Workplace Literacy: Resume Writing

Writing a resume is an essential part of the job search process. It is often the first opportunity an employer will have to learn about an applicant. Employers, on average, only look at each resume for six to seven seconds. Therefore, it’s important to help your learners create stand-out resumes. But resume writing can also be a great writing exercise learners can do to simply improve their formal writing. For example, learning how to use bullet points and where to place headings. Learners should complete a resume writing program with the ability to write an effective resume demonstrating their skills, experiences and education.

Tutors may start a lesson by discussing what a resume is, what it’s used for and what should be included. Learners can use helpful tools such as resume checklists, templates and samples. There are four main areas potential job applicants need to learn when writing their resume:

  1. Objective – Although an objective is not a requirement of a resume, writing one will help the learner decide what information is needed in their resume and what can be omitted based on what they hope to achieve.
  2. Experience – This is perhaps the most important part of a resume. Applicants list their relevant experience and accomplishments for the position. This section is good practice for using bullet points and writing in parallel structure. It’s also a good time to discuss how to decide what experiences are relevant to the position they are applying to.
  3. Education – Beyond listing any schools they attended and degrees earned, learners can also add courses they have taken or awards they have earned. This section’s structure and format will be taught similarly to the experience section.
  4. References – Here is where it is important to discuss when it is appropriate to use the phrase “References available upon request” and when it is more appropriate to list out relevant references. The tutor can also discuss how and when to request someone as a reference.

For more tips for teaching resume writing, check out the resources below.


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