Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Resume writing Tips

Resume writing is a combination of art and science. Although every one of us can write our resume, only professionals trained in resume writing can provide the final touch of perfection to it. Resume writers have an eye for detail and can maximize your background and abilities. The structure, tone and presentation of the data must be both informative and eye-catching. This is why the success rates

Your resume is you! It presents an image of you to the employer. Consider what image you want to project. A resume is a personal statement and should reflect your style, and, as such, will differ from any other person’s resume.


A well-constructed resume requires that background work be done before you begin writing. You cannot properly bring your credentials to the attention of prospective employers without this preparation. Begin by taking a personal inventory. Examine and define your skills, interests, accomplishments and experiences. You must also know the range of positions for which you are qualified, and the interest you have in this kind of employment. You need to identify employers for whom you would like to work and the qualifications required for entry-level positions in those organizations.

Personal Inventory

Prepare a resume that presents your skills, experiences and accomplishments to an employer. Begin by listing your career-related skills. These skills might include:

  • Communication
  • Management
  • Technical
  • Sales
  • Problem-solving
  • Creative
  • Speaking
  • Interpersonal/
  • Human Relations
  • Organizational
  • Numerical ability
  • Mechanical ability
  • Research
  • Writing
  • Analytical
  • Data/Information

Identify courses and other experiences that are related to the career field you would like to enter.

Until you have taken a personal inventory of skills, it will be difficult to effectively present a well-constructed resume. When you have completed your inventory, evaluated your personal characteristics as realistically as possible, and established your career objective, you are ready to begin writing your resume.

However, if you still feel unsure of how your background can relate to a career, attend a Resume Writing Workshop offered by the Career Planning & Placement Center or make an appointment with a Counselor for a skills assessment.

Gathering Career Information

After you have completed your personal inventory and have developed your career goals, you will then want to research these career areas and those employers that are active in them. For each potential position you need to know the qualifications, duties, and skills required for the job, and any special talents or personal characteristics sought by the employer.

Writing Your Resume

An effective resume incorporates action words, action phrases and action statements which communicate “accomplishment-oriented” information. A good resume conveys a sense of participation and involvement. Here are some action words you can use in your resume:

A resume should be lively and secure the attention of the reader. Use short phrases, be direct and not too technical. Check through job announcements and use some of the same words and terms in your resume that are used in the field of employment you hope to enter.

Organizing Your Resume

Identification — Your name, address and telephone number head the resume. It is centered at the top of the page or placed to one side. Do not use headings such as “name,” “telephone,” “resume.” This information is self-evident and the headings are unnecessary.

Career Objective — If you state a career objective, it should be brief, concise and address the current job only, not future career plans. This category should be used only when your job objective is clear or definite. You may state your job objective in the cover letter rather than in your resume. If so, your resume can be more general and versatile.

Education — Your educational history should be placed near or at the top of the page if it is your most important qualification. Under this heading include the names of schools, dates attended, degrees and dates received, and major and minor fields of study. Internships or practicum experiences can also be included here. Limit the number of schools listed to three. More than that number will suggest that you were school hopping, and the employer may infer that you will go job hopping as well. You may also list relevant course work to give the employer a clearer sense of your job-related skills.

Work Experience — This area can be titled “Work Experience,” “Employment,” “Employment History” or “Professional Experience.” This category can include volunteer, intern or practicum experiences. You may include names of employers, dates, job titles and functions or experiences and accomplishments. Include part-time jobs held during your college years. In describing your work experience use positive words which will show your strengths. Leave out negative or neutral words. Descriptive job titles provide employers with information about what you did.

Professional Activities and Other Interests — This category can include such unrelated data as club and professional memberships, awards, honors, hobbies, internships, volunteer experience and community service. Such a catchall category can be used when there is not enough information in any one single area to warrant a separate heading.

Personal Data — Personal data includes date of birth, marital status, health, references to children, height or weight, etc. This is generally extraneous information and not essential to your resume. You may, however, want to include this type of information, if you believe it relates favorably to selection criteria for the position.

Skills and Accomplishments — These categories will be relevant to “combination” and “functional” resumes. You may describe your skills and accomplishments under such headings as “art experience,” “supervisory experience,” “management experience,” or “counseling skills.” Emphasize skills, especially those that are transferable.

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