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How to Write a Resume in Paragraph Form

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You have choices when formatting the body of your resume. The two most common options are bullet point form and paragraph form. When choosing to use the paragraph form, it is important to know how to effectively pull out information from your experience that a prospective employer most needs to know. The key is to be focused and brief. You want to grab the attention of the employer and not bore them or force them to do a lot of reading to determine how fit you are for the position.

Writing a Resume in Paragraph Form

Create the core of your resume by dividing it into sections. Include objective, personal Profile, employment, education, volunteer experience and other sections that pertain to your professional background. Search the Web for resume templates or choose one that may be available in your word processing program if you have not composed a resume before.

Under each section, list your specific jobs, educational experience, etc. Also include position titles, degrees achieved, locations (city/state) and dates.

Brainstorm "power words" (verbs and adjectives) that describe you. Examples may include "strategic, decisive, motivated, advised, calculated, composed, established and managed." Search the Web for power word lists (See Resources 1).

Tab over several times under each listing so you are writing in a fully justified style. That means all lines begin at the same spacing and end at the same place on the right margin.

Compose short phrases that will comprise the paragraph below each job, educational experience and other sections of your resume. You are not writing full sentences but rather a block of three to seven fragments that an employer can quickly read to get a feel for your qualifications. Use the power words you have come up with. For example, "Motivated co-workers to achieve sales quotas. Managed a group of ten sales team members" or "Obtained a degree in Business Management. Achieved high honors upon graduation."

Complete your resume. Having the body of your resume composed before writing this section is helpful in choosing the best way to summarize yourself and what you are looking for. Be specific to the job opening you are applying for. Use the same method as you have with the other sections to grab the employer's attention. For example, "Sales professional with strong interpersonal skills. Ten years of experience in sales and sales management. Seeking a position to assist in moving the organization forward."

Tip

Spell check and edit your resume before submitting it to employers. Consider using a mix of paragraphs and bullet points. For example, write a one or two phrase paragraph under each listing with three to five bullet points underneath to flesh out the details.

References

Resources

About the Author

Erin Stertz-Follett has been writing professionally since 1999 and has diverse experience in advertising media planning for clients including Arctic Cat. In addition to her work with Demand Studios, Stertz-Follett has authored numerous curricula used for employment-related workshops to help job seekers find career success. Stertz-Follett holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism-mass communication from the University of St. Thomas.