When you send your summary to a potential employer, you can press the Send button. It can be a nerve experience. We are here to show you how to create a summary using Microsoft Word and provide some tips on how to get through the screening process so that you can press the send button with confidence.
What is a summary?
A summary, often referred to as CV, is a summary of a person's background and experience, including work experience, education and even volunteer work, and its most common use is to send to potential employers when looking for a new career opportunity. In fact, Leonardo Da Vinci, even though you take a very different form than you would expect a summary to look like today, did it yourself, and he often gets credit as the first person to create a resume.  Of course, the summary has undergone quite a transformation since the Da Vinci 1482 version, drastically so under the age of word processor and digital set in the 1970s -40 years after the résumés became an institution. Quickly up to today and not only do you have your default .doc or .pdf summary, but you also see that people upload video videos on YouTube and use social media like LinkedIn to sell to businesses.
We should be grateful for this development, because now we can skip quill and ink and jump straight into Microsoft Word.
Using Microsoft Word Records Template
Microsoft Word contains a lot of summary templates. Some are beautiful; some are not We let you decide which style suits you best, but here you will find them.
Continue and open Word. As soon as you do, you will be greeted with several different templates to choose from, ranging from a single blank document, cover letters, summaries or even seasonal eventsheets. Click the "Resume and Cover Letters" link below the search box to see only the types of templates.
Now you will see all the different CV styles Word has to offer. There are many different styles and color schemes to choose one, so choose what feels right. If you scroll down the list, you'll also see some simpler CV templates designed for different purposes, such as an input level, chronological or extended CV style.
Some of the templates are already built in Word; Others are a fast, free download from Office.com (and you do not even need to leave Word to capture them). When you click to create a resume, Word will let you know the download size (if it needs to retrieve the template). Click the "Create" button and a few seconds later you will be in your document and ready to edit.
That's all there is! But what if you did not find a summary you liked? Fortunately, Word has a couple of formatting tools to help you create the perfect summary.
Create a Custom Resume in Microsoft Word
Before we begin, it's important to know that each summary should reflect the person's personal experience and education. Since everyone's experience is different, it is not surprising that their summary will be.
It is said that there are some general aesthetic guidelines for making a summary that we strongly recommend you follow.
Continue and open a clean, glossy document in Word.
The first thing we want to do is set our margins. Go to the "Layout" tab and click the "Margins" buttons.
The drop-down menu displays several different margin options that you can choose. If you do not find the one you are looking for, click on "Custom Margins" at the bottom and enter your specifications. Let's move on and do it.
According to experts, the best margin size 1 is "top and bottom and 0.63" for the pages. This may seem like a strange specific number, but the goal is to get as much (relevant) information about yourself as possible on one page without overwhelming the reader. With the above references, we leave enough blank space on the page to make the reader not feel stifled.
Click "OK" when you have specified the margins you want.
Decides what information to include
Now that our margins are set, it's time to start inserting information.
The information you put depends mainly on what you are trying to accomplish and where you are in your professional career. If you have more than two years of work experience, it is more valuable to detail the information than which upper secondary school you graduated from or which clubs you were a part of at college. As a letter, your summary must unique to the recipient. Dress to impress.
So what information do you want to add? We give you the overview, and you can decide which areas to specify.
For all of these, tailor the information to the job. You do not need to apply irrelevant work experience there unless it would create a gap in your work experience. But if you apply for a job as an accountant, do not worry that you have delivered pizzas 12 years ago. And you make list additional skills, make sure they are relevant to the position you apply. Your high school friend can be impressed by how high you can kick, but your future employer – not so much.
Another thing to remember is that you should always figure out your experience in reverse chronological order. That is, list your last experience first and go back from there.
Organizing That Information
There are several ways to do this, but it is probably the most effective way to create headlines and then add a table for the content of each section. By doing so, you can not only move the content into groups instead of individually, which can be a headache itself, but you can also give your résumé a unique touch by adding table design. For example, in the image below, we have added a dashed edge to the left of the table to create a nice little visual element to tie the different experience elements together.
First, let's go ahead and find a title that we like. In the "Styles" section of the "Home" tab you will find several default styles. If you do not find someone you like, Word has a feature that lets you create your own. First click on the "More" arrow on the right side of the different built-in formats.
You will see a menu with three different options. Continue and click on "Create a Style."
The "Create new style from formatting" window appears. All you can do here is to name the style, then click on "Change".
Now you should see a window with many formatting options. For fonts, there is no good option. Just make sure that you use something that is clean and readable. "Georgia" is a good example. A 14 pt font size is good for headlines, but make sure it's bold so that each section is easier to find for the reader.
The "Add Style" option will automatically be selected. It's good to let this option be selected so you have easy access to your title for the other parts of your summary. If you plan to use this title again in future documents, you can continue and deselect "Only in this document", but as we only plan to use it for our summary, we will keep this option.
Click on "OK."
Continue typing your first heading and using the new style. In this example, we use "Experience" first.
Let's use a table under our first heading so that we can keep our entire content properly. Place your insertion point in the line under your new heading, switch to the "Insert" tab and click the "Table" button.
You will see a 10 × 8 grid on the drop-down menu. You can create the table size by moving the mouse over the grid and clicking when it is the size you want. For your summary, you'll need a column and enough lines to contain the separate tasks you need to list. For example, if you have three previous jobs listed in the Experience section, you want a table that is 1 × 3.
And here it appears when we have tabbed the table in the document.
We will remove the boundaries later. First, continue and submit your information. You want the text "Job Title, Company" to be 1 or 2 pt larger than the rest of the text, but make sure it is kept smaller than the title in the section. If you want your work title to appear, you can change the color or make italics, but try to keep it simple.
When done, let's keep changing the borders of our table. Select the table by placing your insertion point somewhere inside it. Change to the "Design" tab in the "Table Tools" section of the band and then click the "Borders" button.
If you want to keep it simple and remove all rows in your table, select "No Border." In this example, we will give our table a little taste, so we choose "Borders and Shading."
Since we just want to customize the left border of our table, select "Custom" under the "Setup" section. This allows us to use the "Preview" section to deselect the pages where we do not want boundaries. Click the boxes surrounding the preview to turn off all borders except for the left.
In the "Style" list, you can select the boundary signal, color and width you want. Click "OK" when you're done.
Now, we should have an experience department about our summary that begins to form. A small game of colors and maybe distance between the table lines a bit and you should be ready to go.
Now just repeat these steps for the rest of sections and your professional summary will be completed in no time!
Image Credit: Fizkes / Shutterstock