Building a Resume

All it takes to build a resume is an internet connection and some disk space on a personal computer.  In fact, anyone with access to a word processing application can start building a resume immediately.

In this article, we're going to briefly talk about word processing applications, including two free open source productivity suites, and how these can be used to create a resume.  Next, we'll talk about the use of resume templates and wizards.  Then we'll finish up with links to some downloadable samples.

Word Processing Applications

Most computers are sold, or can be configured, with a word processing application pre-installed.  That includes both Microsoft's Word and Corel's WordPerfect.  Individuals that don't have a word processing application on their home computer can download a high quality application for free.

OpenOffice and LibreOffice

Linux is a UNIX-type of operating system that someday may challenge Microsoft's Windows operating system.  Linux is perhaps the single best known software application, which has been put together by a growing community of programmers.  This community believes that software should be free to those that need it.

This is how OpenOffice and LibreOffice evolved. Both of these productivity suites operate the same way Microsoft's Office works.  They contain applications for presentations, spreadsheets, drawing, writing, and even a database engine.  They can also run on a variety of operating systems, including Windows.  Links to these productivity suites can be found here:

Resume Builders versus Templates

All word processing applications come with templates to help the user get started building a resume in addition to other types of documents.  These templates are constructed by the software providers, and frequently use some of the more progressive ideas on topics such as resumes.

In MS Word, end users have a choice of building a resume using one of several templates or using a resume wizard.  These templates come with pre-built sections such as the objective statement and work history.  The wizard allows the user to pick the sections they want to include in their resume.

Resume templates are a good choice for individuals that need to build a simple resume and have a relatively "light" work history.  The vast majority of people are better served by using a resume wizard.

Resume Wizards

Users of MS Word 2003 can find the resume wizard by creating a new document through the File then New commands.  At this point, the user should be presented with several options to choose from including templates.  In the templates dialog box, resumes can be found in the Other Documents tab.  Once the user has chosen to build a resume using the wizard, they will be walked through a series of questions and answer choices.

After walking through the style, type, and headers to include in the resume, the wizard creates the document.  In later versions of Word (2007 / 2010 / 2013 / 365), wizards were eliminated; however, they were replaced with a greater number of templates from which to choose.

Before using any template or wizard, users should familiarize themselves with the advantages and disadvantages of each resume format.  Time can be saved by looking through articles describing the functional, chronological, and combination resume before starting to populate a document.

Free Downloads

The following three downloads illustrate the differences between the modern-day resume formats in use today:

Below are three more examples extracted from Microsoft's website:

OpenOffice and LibreOffice Sample

Users running OpenOffice or LibreOffice can use the resume samples supplied above too.  These applications have a document conversion wizard that can be used to alter Word documents into the .odt file format.  Once the file has been downloaded, the following instructions can be used to convert the documents or templates:

  1. Start Writer, then
  2. File, Wizards, Document Converter
  3. Choose Microsoft Word to convert

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