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Information about Resumes

Published on March 16, 2014

Author: lhodges


The Resume: The Resume English 114 – Professional Research and Reporting Lee Ann Hodges Tri-County Community College Introduction: Introduction Resumes are an important way to introduce yourself to a potential employer. Your resume represents who you are professionally, and if it is prepared carelessly, chances are good that it will wind up in the shredder instead of the “To Interview” pile. Definition: Definition A resume is a document that informs potential employers of one’s work skills and experience. It also lists contact information for the applicant. Resume Style: Resume Style Most resumes are written in a condensed form that relies heavily on lists rather than paragraphs. The lists enable the reader to quickly scan the resume and enable the writer to fit more information in the document. Lists should begin with action verbs. Examples: Supervised two cashiers Calculated closing reports Action Verbs Action Verbs: Action Verbs Here are some examples of other action verbs: Achieved Investigated Analyzed Negotiated Exceeded Participated Developed Solved Enhanced Trained Installed Supported 3 Keys to Effectiveness : 3 Keys to Effectiveness Employers use three main aspects of a resume to determine whether a candidate is a good contender for a particular position—and, therefore, should be offered an interview opportunity: Content Correctness Overall Presentation 1. Content: 1. Content Most importantly, your resume must contain substance. Employers expect your resume to answer the following questions . . . Content Questions: Content Questions Do you meet the minimum qualifications established for the job? (These are usually provided in the advertisement or job posting.) Do you have experience in this type of work? If so, what skills are you most proficient in? How successful are you? If you don’t have experience, what skills do you have that will help you learn on the job and be successful in this type of position? 2. Correctness: 2. Correctness Correctness is important because it suggests that you’ve taken care in preparing a perfect resume—and care and attention to detail are qualities every employer wants in an employee. Aspects of Correctness: Aspects of Correctness Correctness is illustrated through the following: Absolutely NO typos, misspellings, inappropriate word choices, poorly structured sentences, etc. Absolutely NO mistakes in the information itself. Importance of Correctness: Importance of Correctness There is no room for mistakes in a resume. Sometimes employers receive dozens of resumes for one position, so they can afford to be ultra-selective. Importance of Correctness: Importance of Correctness Correctness is important for the words in your resume, but also for the content. Misrepresenting your experience, length of employment, responsibility level, etc. is grounds for immediate rejection for a position or for dismissal if the exaggerations are discovered after offered employment. Importance of Correctness (2): Importance of Correctness (2) It doesn’t matter if you misrepresented something intentionally or not—lack of absolute truth on your resume can cost you a job as well as your professional reputation. 3. Overall Presentation: 3. Overall Presentation “Overall presentation” refers to the impression a reader gets when s/he glances over your resume. This impression is influenced by several factors. Neatness: Neatness Neatness is quite important with resumes. A neat resume indicates an organized, detail-oriented applicant who clearly wants to make a good impression. Tips to Achieve Neatness: Tips to Achieve Neatness Send out only pristine resumes . They should not contain a drop of White-Out, spilled coffee, or blurred ink. Furthermore, you should never write in a correction on a resume. If you have a correction to make, do it on the computer and reprint it. Tips to Achieve Neatness: Tips to Achieve Neatness If you must fax or email a resume, follow up with another copy by mail (or dropped off in person). That way, if the ink blurs or another problem occurs, a neater copy will be available. It’s OK to fold a resume to fit into a business-sized envelope, but it’s preferable to mail it in an envelope large enough that it won’t need to be folded. Tips to Achieve Neatness: Tips to Achieve Neatness The resume should not be crumpled in any way. Do not use colored ink for the main text. It’s OK to use a conservative color of ink (like dark blue) for your name or the headings, but color should be used sparingly. Good Formatting: Good Formatting Good formatting also enhances the overall impression of a resume. There are several aspects of good page design that you should be aware of when you write a resume. Tips for Effective Formatting: Tips for Effective Formatting Make sure your name and contact information is in a readily noticeable spot. The best location is at the top of the page. Use headings so that the reader can quickly scan and find areas s/he is interested in reading. Address, phone number, and e-mail address Name Section title heading Tips for Effective Formatting (2): Tips for Effective Formatting (2) Use enough “white space” on the resume to ensure that the material doesn’t look crowded or cramped. Use lists instead of paragraphs. Lists are easier to scan and allow you to include more information, making the best use of a small space. Tips for Effective Formatting (3): Tips for Effective Formatting (3) Use an appropriate resume length—usually one to two pages. General guidelines: Even entry-level applicants should aim for one page, and it should be a fairly full one page. Resumes of two-thirds of a page or less look too skimpy. If you are quite experienced in your field, a two-page resume is fine, but that’s the limit. Unless you’re applying for an executive-level position, two pages are quite sufficient. Tips for Effective Formatting (4): Tips for Effective Formatting (4) Use graphic highlighting (bold, italics, etc.) as a formatting aid to enhance the organization of the resume. Use headings and graphic highlighting consistently. For example, if your first heading uses the Tahoma font in bold, use the Tahoma font in bold for the second heading. Tips for Effective Formatting (5): Tips for Effective Formatting (5) Use an easy-to-read font for the main text of the resume. Times New Roman and Arial are two that are commonly used. It’s acceptable to use a different font for headings, but use no more than two fonts in the entire resume. Use a reasonable font size for the main text of the resume—10-12 point size is a reasonable range. Larger sizes can be used for your name at the top and for headings if you wish. Other Ways to Enhance the Overall Impression: Other Ways to Enhance the Overall Impression Print the resume on good-quality, slightly heavy paper. Use the same type of paper for the cover letter and any other extra documents that you wish to include (like a list of references or professional statement). Make it clear that this resume was designed with this job in mind. Tailor your resume to the job and its expectations. Other Ways to Enhance the Overall Impression: Other Ways to Enhance the Overall Impression Be wary of using pre-made “Wizard” resume formats. These are quite common, and employers have seen them often. You risk having your resume confused with someone else’s or having it fade into the background because it looks so common. Use these pre-made formats only if you feel that you can’t format your resume reasonably well on your own. Writing the Resume: Writing the Resume One must first brainstorm content for the resume. It helps if you think about which type of resume will work best for you. Types of Resumes: Types of Resumes Chronological Functional Combination Chronological Resumes: Chronological Resumes Chronological resumes focus on work history, listing jobs and beginning with the most recent position. PRO : It shows career growth well. CON : Some applicants may not have extensive work experience in their fields. Functional Resumes: Functional Resumes Functional resumes focus on function—the skills you know how to perform. PRO : It helps to de-emphasize gaps in employment, lack of work experience, etc. CON : Most employers want to know about the applicant’s work history. Combination Resumes: Combination Resumes Combination resumes use the best of both chronological and functional resumes. They allow resume-writers to highlight their education and skills as well as their work history. Decide on Sections: Decide on Sections Once you’ve decided how to organize your resume, think about what sections to include. Common sections include . . . Common Resume Sections: Common Resume Sections Objective : A statement describing what type of job you wish to obtain. Experience : A listing of jobs you have held that includes employer, job title, starting and ending date (month/year is sufficient), and location (city and state is sufficient). You might also want to include your supervisor’s name and your responsibilities. Order of Items: Order of Items IMPORTANT: Jobs as well as educational experiences should be listed in reverse chronological order. Start with your most recent job and work your way back into the past. Start with most recent Work backward from there Common Resume Sections: Common Resume Sections Education : List your college education first , including your college, location of college, program of study or degree achieved, and date you graduated (or projected graduation date). You may also list specific skills you learned in your classes. It isn’t necessary to list high school or GED information (unless you took classes in high school relevant to the job for which you’re applying). Common Resume Sections (2): Common Resume Sections (2) Awards : List any job- or school-related awards you have won (quality commendations, production awards, scholarships, academic honors, honor societies, etc.). Accomplishments : List specific accomplishments you have achieved. These can be related to your job, education, or community. Common Resume Sections (3): Common Resume Sections (3) Licenses: If your job requires a license (such as real estate or nursing) list your license information. Certifications : If you hold certifications relevant or helpful to a particular job, list them. Examples might include Notary Public, CPR, or Certified Medical Assistant. Common Resume Sections (4): Common Resume Sections (4) Languages : If you have a reading, writing, and/or speaking proficiency with another language, list the language and your skill level. Many employers need bilingual employees. Computer Skills : If the job depends to any degree on computers, list your level of expertise along with the programs you are proficient in. Common Resume Sections (5): Common Resume Sections (5) Volunteer Work : You may want to list volunteer work or community organizations with which you are involved. Common Resume Sections (6): Common Resume Sections (6) References : References are the names and contact information of people who can attest to your work ethic, capability to do the job, and skills. Good choices for references include former employers, supervisors, and instructors. A full list of references isn’t typically included on most resumes today. More often, the phrase, “References available upon request,” is placed at the end of the resume. If you wish to include references, list names, titles, and contact information for the people on your list. Many job seekers do not include references within the resume but instead list them on a separate page. This is a good idea if the resume is already quite long. People listed as references should have no family relationship to you. Required Sections for Our Project: Required Sections for Our Project The following resume sections are REQUIRED for our class assignment: Education Experience Organizing Rules: Organizing Rules Your name and contact information should always appear at the top of the page. Contact information should include at least a mailing address and phone number. It’s also helpful to include an email address. Organizing Rules (2): Organizing Rules (2) If you choose to include an objective statement, it should appear after the name and contact information. References (if included) always appear last. The relative importance of the remaining sections may vary depending on individual, so the order may vary as well. Organizing Rules (3): Organizing Rules (3) For example, if you have several years of relevant job experience, your “Experience” section should appear before the “Education” section. However, if you have little or no job experience in the field for which you are applying, your education will probably be your biggest selling point. Therefore, you should list it before your work experience. Final Tips: Final Tips Be straightforward about gaps in your employment history. If you took time off from work to raise a family, continue your education, or care for a sick family member, say so. Otherwise, the employer will wonder about those missing years. Final Tips: Final Tips Some people add personal information to their resumes. Some personal information is acceptable, such as briefly describing hobbies or interests. You should not list your gender (although that is usually obvious from one’s name), age, weight, health status, marital status, or ethnicity.

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