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How Long Does It Really Take to Write a Resume?

How Long Does It Really Take to Write a Resume?

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Now that you know you need a job, you will need to write an eye-catching resume. If you are asking yourself, ‘how long does it take to make a resume?’ as you stare blankly into your empty Microsoft Word document (while reading this article of course), you are not the only one.

When people wonder why resume writing is hard, it is mainly because job seekers don’t know where to start. This is especially true for new job seekers. But this is also true for people who haven’t been in the job market for a while or are changing careers.

How Long Does It Take to Make a Resume

Be patient and write well. The length of time that it takes to write a great resume depends on a few factors.

Before we get into those details, download your free resume writing guide. This in-depth guide will show your how to write an irresistible job application that will set you apart from the rest. This 22-page document also includes job interview tips and a cover letter writing guide.

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Resume Writing Time Depends

Like most things in life, there is no easy answer this how long it will take to write a resume. Thus, we say that the time you spend writing your job application depends of several important factors:

  • Years of work experience
    • >10 less years
    • <10 years years
  • Career change
  • Starting with a resume template VS from scratch
  • If you have your information already written down.
    • Create a master resume that has all your work experience and job titles in reverse-chronological format, skills section, education section

However…Writing a Resume usually takes 4-6 Hours

Regardless of where you are in your career, resume writing can take anywhere from 4-6 hours. Write efficiently and thoughtfully, and you can expect the time breakdown to look like this:

  • 1 hour – Researching
    • Take note of reoccurring words that appear in the job description and company mission statement and make sure to integrate them into your resume.
  • 2 hours – Writing
    • Use powerful resume action words to bring to life your experience and accomplishments
    • Focus on writing the major sections of your resume:
      • Objective section
      • Reverse-chronological work history section
      • Skills section (include both soft skills and soft skills)
      • Education section
  • 1 hour – Editing
    • Use writing editing programs like Grammarly or spellcheck in Microsoft Word
    • Ask a trusted friend or family member to review your resume
    • Read your resume out loud to hear the flow of words and easily catch spelling or grammar errors

Tips for First Time Job Seekers

Let’s say that you are a recent college or high school graduate who is looking for their first job. Writing the resume for your first job can take a while because you are new to the job market and the job application process. New job seekers need to write to both the hiring manager and ATS (applicant tracking system). More about resume writing for ATS in this article.

resume tips beat ats

Here’s a deep dive into resume writing for new job seekers.

  • Focus on writing a compelling objective section
  • Think about ATS (applicant tracking system)
    • Find keywords in the job description and company mission statement
    • Integrate keywords into job application documents including cover letter and resume
  • Use strong resume action words to illustrate your skills and acheivements
Resume Power Words Infographic

Regardless of your experience level, your resume should be eye-catching, which is why you can expect to send a few hours to work with page formatting and resume design. Your resume design should quickly show your work history, job titles, and skills and job qualifications.

How to Write a Resume Fast

However, writing your resume for a specific job with a resume template and your information already written down, resume writing can take closer to 2-3 hours. We will go over how to write a resume quickly below.

If you’ve landed across a job description that stands out and you need to apply for it quickly, here are some tips. Expedite the writing process by doing the following:

  • Download a resume template
  • Work from a master resume file
  • Write without distractions
  • Ask for help

Our first resume writing tip to create a good resume quickly is to download a professional resume template that you can easily customize with your information. Often times, we find that job applicants spend too much time picking fonts and formatting bullet points.

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

Google docs resume templates are just a download away and work with Microsoft Word and Apple Pages as well. Here are our recommendations for people writing the following resume designs:

First Time Job Seeker Resume (>5 Years Work Experience)

Explore our recent college grad resume templates! For first time job seekers, we recommend that you focus on your objective statement, and your skills and achievements. This is be helpful since you won’t have much work experience. And that’s okay!

First Time Job Seeker Resume Example
Download this professional resume template here.

Experienced Job Seeker Resume (<5 Years Work Experience)

Since you have more work experience as an experienced job seeker, you have more space to write about your specific achievements in your jobs. Use specific language to quantify the quality and effectiveness of your work. This resume template bundle also includes a matching cover letter template, references page, and icons and fonts.

2 pages resume template example for recent college grads 2 page
Download this resume design here.

Career Change Resume

For job seekers that are changing careers, we offer resume templates that are designed for career changes especially into the nursing field.

We offer resume templates designed for career changes, especially into the nursing field. Here are our nursing resume templates.

Best Nurse Resume Template Example
Get this resume template here.

I hope this article has helped give some clarity about the resume writing process. If you are interested in a more in-depth guide to Please take a moment to download your free resume writing guide. This in-depth guide will show your how to write an irresistible job application that will set you apart from the rest. This 22 page writing guide also includes a section about job interview tips and cover letter writing tips.

Good luck!

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