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Writing Your Resume and Cover Letter
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Writing Your Resume and Cover Letter

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    Writing Your Resume and Cover Letter Writing Your Resume and Cover Letter Document Transcript

    • Why You Need a Resume A resume is an essential and expected part of virtually any job search. It often forms the first and, if poorly written, the last impression on an employer. As an advertisement of yourself, your resume should be designed to entice employers to meet with you. It should demonstrate the positive attributes and qualifications that would best serve the organization to which one is applying. At the same time, it should draw attention away from those areas of your work history that lack definition and vigor. The primary purpose of a resume is to obtain an interview, not to tell your life story. As you sit down to write your resume, keep in mind that the reader will probably have a large number of resumes to review and will usually expect a clear, concise, one-page document. To ensure that the employer can easily scan your resume, use the active voice and keep your phrases simple, clear, and direct. Choose a Layout The most common and readily accepted resume format is the Chronological Resume. This is simply a chronological listing of job titles and responsibilities, beginning with the most recent and ending at your first job (or ten years ago, whichever is shorter). The strong points of this resume are that the format is one with which most employers are familiar, is easiest to prepare, shows a steady employment history, and provides the interviewer with a guide for discussion during the interview. Its limitations are that it can starkly reveal gaps in employment history, it may put undesired emphasis on certain experiences you may wish to minimize, and it may be difficult to highlight your skills. Though other formats for resumes exist, a chronological resume is the type chosen by most undergraduate students with minimal hands-on experience. For more information on additional formats for resumes, stop by or call Career Services.
    • What to Include in Your Resume Name  Provide your first and last name only.  Mr., Ms., Mrs., or Miss are not required, unless your first name is “genderless.” E.g. Christian, Alex, etc. Address  Always provide your complete address.  Do not use abbreviations except on the state. Use the two-letter post office standard abbreviation. Telephone Number  List your home telephone number, including area code.  Do not list your business number in your resume unless your current employer knows of your job search. Education  This information is listed in the most beneficial position in your resume. If you do not have extensive job experience, your education should be placed before your job experience.  The information in your Education section should be listed in reverse-chronological order, with the highest level of attainment always listed first. Work Experience  Place less emphasis on frequent job changes. Instead, focus on the unifying aspects of the different positions that apply to the job you are currently seeking.  If you are weak in work experience, you can create a general “Experience” section that highlights areas in which you are stronger.  If you have extensive experience in one job or field, you should highlight this fact.
    • Things NOT to Include in Your Resume Titles  Titles such as “Resume,” “Fact Sheet,” and “Curriculum Vitae” are redundant and should not be included. References  Listing the names and contact information of references on your resume is unnecessary for two reasons: 1. Interviewers are not interested in checking your references before they have a chance to meet you and develop a strong interest in you as a potential employee. 2. Employers are forbidden by law to check references without your written consent. They must first ask for your consent, and you must meet them in order to give it. Salary Preference  There is no reason to limit yourself by listing a salary preference that is too high or too low. Personal Information Such as:  Age Sex  Race National Origin  Religion Photographs  Health or Physical Descriptions Weaknesses  Do not list any information that could hurt your chances of employment.  Disclose negative information if asked, but do not voluntarily list it on your resume. Exaggerations  Getting caught lying on your resume will most certainly prevent you from being hired. Guidelines for Creating a Computer-Friendly Resume
    • In your search for a job, there may be times that you will need to send your resume via e-mail or post it on the Internet. In these situations, there are certain guidelines you need to follow in order to ensure that other computers are able to read and store the information contained in your resume.  Use popular, non-decorative fonts or typefaces.  Use a font size of 10 to 14 points.  Avoid italic text, script, and underlined passages. If your original resume included these elements, simply revise it before you post your resume or send it via e-mail.  Avoid graphics and shading. Also, do not compress spaces between letters.  Your name should always be the first readable item on your resume. Final Guidelines  Use action verbs to edit and polish your work and to persuade the reader to want to know you better.  Keep industry jargon to a minimum.  Keep your sentences to about twenty words.  To save space and to shorten the time required to read your resume, use Third Person Abbreviated voice. (I.e. Responsible for machine and system design, Organized informational sessions…)  Your resume should fit on one 8.5”X11” sheet of paper except if your resume documents more than 10 years of experience.  You should print your resume on a neutral-colored sheet of resume paper – white, off-white, or ivory – and be placed in a matching 13” catalog envelope.  Never fold your resume.  Remember to check your resume for spelling errors. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!!
    • Chronological Resume NAME Current Address Permanent Address Hendrix Box 9999 200 Battery Way 1600 Washington Avenue Peach City, GA 30548 Conway, AR 72032 (560) 554-2185 (501) 615-8710 YourEmail@whatever.com Education HENDRIX COLLEGE CONWAY, AR Bachelor of Arts in Political Science Degree expected May, 2001 NANZAN UNIVERSITY NAGOYA, JAPAN Study Abroad Program September – December 1998 Completed intensive language study and course work in Japanese art. Work Experience RESIDENT ASSISTANT HENDRIX COLLEGE September 1998 – Present Conway, AR  Counseled and referred students in areas of academic, personal, and social concerns.  Organized weekly educational and social programs to facilitate the development of residence hall community. PROGRAM DIRECTOR HENDRIX COLLEGE Summer 1997 Sheridan, AR  Developed and implemented summer youth activities programs for 35 adolescents with the goal of suicide prevention.  Coordinated all fundraising, public relations, programming, and advertising with a $1500 budget.  Founded the Youth for Youth Business League. PRODUCTION ASSISTANT EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION NETWORK January – March 1996 Conway, AR  As an intern, researched legislative bills coming before the 1996 Arkansas General Assembly for a weekly public affairs program.  Assisted in the post-production of the “Arkansas Week” program. Extracurricular Activities  Student Host Committee  Resident Assistant Council  Hendrix College Choir  International – Intercultural Committee
    • Chronological Resume NAME 1113 S. Poplar Avenue Salem, MA 51674 (651) 654-9841 email@address.com Education Hendrix College. Conway, Arkansas. Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics and a minor in French. Degree expected May 2005. Work Experience Messenger Conway Regional Medical Center Conway, AR Sent, received, and delivered faxes, prepared hospital rooms for patients, operated switch board daily, and greeted clients. Intern for Mike Huckabee State Capitol Little Rock, AR Maintained main computer database, conducted telephone banks frequently, and organized meetings and dinners for the Democratic Party. Peer Tutor Hendrix College Conway, AR Held accounting help sessions to assist students with difficult material, assisted with the development of curriculum for a time management session, and created a database for all students’ names. Organizational Involvement Pre-Law Club 2000-2001 Hendrix College Young Democrats 1999-2002 Student Congress 1998-2000 Hendrix College Student Mobilization 2000-2001 Computer Skills 96 Word Per Minute average Proficient in MS Word, Works, Internet Explorer, Excel Working knowledge of Basic and MS DOS Honors and Awards Arkansas Distinguished Scholar Reward Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholar Hendrix College Leadership Scholar
    • Functional Resume NAME 12 Blue Street New Orleans, LA 24697 (264) 321-5144 jeepers@hendrix.edu Objective To obtain a position in pharmaceutical sales that will benefit from my education, research, and sales experience. Summary of Qualifications  Extremely experienced within a laboratory setting. Able to synthesize, characterize, and radiolabel complex lipids for cardiological research.  Possess substantial knowledge of basic laboratory equipment and advanced laboratory techniques.  Possess strong interpersonal skills. Communicated daily with clients through telephone and on-site contact.  Detail-oriented and able to use this trait in a business environment. Maintained an extensive database of sales and product inventory. Experience University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR June – September 1998 Coca-Cola Enterprises Marianna, AR June – September 1996, 1997 Hendrix College Conway, AR April - June 1996 Education HENDRIX COLLEGE CONWAY, AR Bachelor of Arts in Biology Expected graduation date: May 2000 GPA in Major: 3.64 Related Coursework Organic Chemistry Immunology Biochemistry Genetics Anatomy Physiology Microeconomics Macroeconomics Investments Statistics Principles of Accounting I and II
    • Combination Chronological-Functional Resume NAME 782 Mountainhigh Avenue St. Louis, MO 58464 (456) 789-1023 _________________________ greatresume@email.com___________________________ Professional Experience Marketing and Sales Presentation  Planned successful marketing strategies used in targeting and establishing new business.  Marketed and presented “solution-oriented systems” to a broad spectrum of the business community.  Conducted seminars and trade shows involving demonstrations of integrated accounting software and networking features and benefits. Planning and Organizational Skills  Developed and maintained extensive database of 822 clients for use in all aspects of account activity and marketing analysis.  Supervised four co-workers and their involvement in satisfying client needs and expectations after a sale had taken place.  Managed 12 field personnel in the design, set-up, monitoring, and analysis of field trials in an effort to boost local economies. Communication and Interpersonal Skills  Authored various business correspondences, including mass mailings and fee-based proposals as well as support and training materials.  Trained co-workers in developing effective telemarketing and presentation techniques.  Established and maintained good business relationships with client base through: Regular phone contact and on-site visits to establish rapport and instill confidence, Preparing and executing all aspects of proposal presentation thoroughly, and Performing conflict resolution with tact and diplomacy. Employment History Business Systems Consultant Consulting Resources, Inc. Dallas, TX 1996 – Present Corporate Sales Representative Computerland of Oklahoma Tulsa, OK 1994 – 1995 Education Hendrix College Conway, AR May 2000 Bachelor of Science in Biology Overall GPA: 3.3 Honors and Activities  Student Host  Resident Assistant
    • WHY YOU NEED A COVER LETTER A cover letter should always accompany your resume in order to explain what position you are applying for and why you are the best candidate for that position. A cover letter allows you to show an interest in the company that you cannot show on your resume. You can also show more about yourself while highlighting one or two of your skills or accomplishments the company can put to good use. Do: Address the letter to a specific person (include their title). Explain specifically how you can benefit the employer. Relate relevant information that is not on the resume Limit your paragraphs to three or four sentences each. Sign your name. Have someone else proofread your cover letter before sending it. Don’t: Place your needs over those of your potential employer. Make demands. Be too general or vague. Elements of a Cover Letter Your Street Address (or Post office box number) City, State, and Zip Code The date (Enough spaces to center the letter on the page) Name of contact person (including Mr. or Ms.) His or her title Name of the company Street address City, state, and zip code The opening paragraph should explain which position you applying for and how you became aware of the position. Next, you should write a concise statement that explains why you are interested in the position. If you were referred to the employer by someone, you should include that person’s name and point out that he or she suggested you write to that employer. The middle paragraph is where you make note of relevant information not on your resume. You should note how you can benefit the company at which you are applying. In the closing paragraph, you should thank the employer for his/her time and consideration. If assertiveness is valued in the job field (e.g., sales), the last sentence could make an assertive statement of what the applicant will do next, such as calling to arrange an interview at the employer’s convenience. Otherwise, use this opportunity to let the employer know that you are interested in an interview and when you are available for an interview. Sincerely, (Your signature) Your name typed Enclosures (ex. Resume enclosed or Resume attached)
    • Why you need a Reference Page A reference page allows the applicant to choose which people future employers will contact for information about their history. References provide potential employers with the information about the applicant’s work style, compatibility in the work environment, and overall performance. You must ask each person you would like to include on your reference page before you list his or her contact information. Family members and close friends are not acceptable references. Your references should be past employers who are qualified to evaluate you and provide information that is useful to future employers. You should list a minimum of 3 references. As a college student or recent graduate, you should list no more than 5 references. The name and contact information for each of you references should be centered or arranged in columns and typed in the same font and style as your cover letter and resume. Example: NAME Hendrix Box #2398 1600 Washington Avenue Conway, AR 72032 (501) 456-9798 misterman@hendrix.edu REFERENCES Mr. Ronald Franks Vice President of Marketing Carillon Enterprises 684 West Nanny Road (541) 165-2656 sillyface@email.com Ms. Easter Present Owner Neal’s Café 783001 Egg Drive Springdale, AR 72764 Chickenhead@email.com Ms. Sally Struthers Manager Orphan Adoption 74332 Child Lane Hong Kong, AR 65456 (987)654-3210 happy@hotmail.com
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