Writing an eye catching resume


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  • Anywhere from five to 15 seconds. The interview then determines how you will do the job by assessing your performance. Basically, the resume gets you the interview, and the interview gets you the job.
  • Explain the difference between a “profile” and an “objective.”
  • A great way to get ideas for your resume is by looking at job posting/descriptions. Let’s look at several job posting examples. Find a bunch of organizations that you would like to intern at. Check out their websites—looking especially at the different departments or issues/topics/causes they cover. You might also want to look at the job opportunities on the site to get a sense of the organization’s style, etc.
  • Example: political science major with knowledge of Eastern European issues. If you apply to intern at a think tank, then that will gain the HR person’s attention.
  • I would only list projects and/or course work if its relevant or interesting. And, if it’s on your resume, be sure that you know your project well enough to talk about it.
  • The keep word to remember as you write your bullet is “how.” HOW did you accomplish your task and part of that will be—what were the results.
  • Responsible for supervising software engineers.” “ Transcribed research data.” “ Excellent written communication skills.” “ Helped develop a brand identity for NPR’s jazz programs.” What do these four sentences have in common? All can easily be mistaken for information in a job description or duties that you would be required to perform on the job. These things read, “Here are the tasks/responsibilities required in this job.” It doesn’t say, “Here are all my achievements.” So, all the correct resume bullets had one thing in common: they demonstrated tangible and measurable achievements. Another way to think about it is try to distinguish your duties from your skills. Duties are the activities you perform on the job: generating reports, helping coordinate an industry conference, providing desk support. Skill are the tools and techniques you use to accomplish these tasks: knowledge of certain software, comm. abilities, leadership skills. Before compiling your resume, write down all of your previous duties. Then list the skills and abilities that were necessary to accomplish each task.
  • - doesn’t give the reader an idea of exactly what you’re referring to.
  • Think of this section of your resume as the courses, opportunities, etc., that you’ve completed on your own time to either enhance your work skills or things that interest you. To me, I look at this and think to myself that the person is motivated to do stuff outside of work to educate/improve him/herself.
  • Technology Skills: Formal training in: HTML, ASP, JavaScript, SQL, Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop; proficient in all Microsoft Office programs, advanced training courses in PowerPoint and Excel
  • Coursework—if you worked on a group project, etc., that’s relevant to a particular field, put it on your resume. Part-time jobs—working at the Gap or at The Olive Garden may not seem like the kind of experience employers are looking for but your part-time gig taught you some important skills that can translate to any workplace. You learned how to diplomatically handle all sorts of people—even difficult ones. Plus working through school shows dedication and impressive time-management ability. Campus leadership positions—it’s impressive to be a dorm president or RA. Show how this position made an impact on the organization/school. Clubs, etc.—If you are a varsity athlete, then you probably have leadership skills, teamwork and some serious time-management—all things employers consider to be important. Volunteer work—this really counts as relevant experience.
  • Address the letter using an honorific (Mr., Ms., etc.) and a specific individual. Don’t do the typical – To Whom This May Concern; Dear Sir or Madam, but try Dear Human Resources Director. Specify the position you’re applying for or state the reason you’re contacting that organization. If you don’t know the person’s name, call the organization and ask the receptionist for the HR Director’s name.
  • Hit a positive balance between features and benefits. Features are the specifics you bring to the job: experience, education, training, awards, skills, abilities, etc. Benefits allows you to emphasize what your features mean to the employer. For example: “ I have the five years of hands-on experience you’ve identified as critical, which means I’ll be productive from the moment I begin working with you.” The first half of this statement presents features (experience, education), while the second half emphasizes the payoff for the employer (productive from the start). The point is close the gap between the skills and abilities you offer and what that means for the employer. Hit a positive balance between features and benefits. Features are the specifics you bring to the job: experience, education, training, awards, skills, abilities, etc. Benefits allows you to emphasize what your features mean to the employer. For example: “ I have the five years of hands-on experience you’ve identified as critical, which means I’ll be productive from the moment I begin working with you.” The first half of this statement presents features (experience, education), while the second half emphasizes the payoff for the employer (productive from the start). The point is close the gap between the skills and abilities you offer and what that means for the employer.
  • Construct a strong, positive closing paragraph that includes a summary remark, follow up information and some statement of appreciation. Example:
  • Also, remember to clearly label the “subject” line in your e-mail.
  • Sidebar: I recently read a very interesting article on what employers want in their employees. Research shows that half of hiring managers take a certain qualification into account when making hiring and promotion decisions. What is it? A person’s writing ability. No matter what your field or position, your ability to communicate using the written word plays a major role in career success. Many hiring managers cite typos and grammatical mistakes as the most common resume errors. There’s an organization called the National Commission on Writing that says that two-third of salaried employees in American companies have some writing responsibility. It doesn’t matter what level in the company.
  • So, that means, no: denim shorts, short skirts, halter, strapless or tank tops, flip flops, workout attire, beachwear, midriff-bearing clothes, or concerts t-shirts or shirts with offensive slogans or logos.
  • I would say that you should just be comfortable with the following to have a successful first “interview”: yourself; the industry; and the employers. Be sure to send a thank you note ASAP. That will differentiate you from others. Make it simple and brief and indicate that you are interested in the position.
  • Writing an eye catching resume

    1. 1. Career Action: Establishing Your Professional Foundation Tips to help you write an eye catching resume and cover letter and prepare for the interview process Developed by Sarita Venkat
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Internships and Why They Are Important </li></ul><ul><li>How to Write a Resume </li></ul><ul><li>How to Write a Cover Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Tips on Interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>First 100 Days on the Job/Internship </li></ul><ul><li>Final Thoughts </li></ul>
    3. 3. The Importance of Internships <ul><li>Work-related references </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Different types of management styles </li></ul><ul><li>Potential of working at these places on a full time basis after graduation </li></ul>
    4. 4. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Question: How long does the typical recruiter look at your resume? </li></ul><ul><li>What purpose does a resume serve? The goal of a resume is to give an organization insight into the skills and capabilities you have in order to determine whether you can do the job. </li></ul>
    5. 5. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>HEADER </li></ul><ul><li>Contains your name and contact information </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure your name stands out; include nickname in parentheses </li></ul><ul><li>Include one or two phone numbers where you can be easily reached (home and cell are best) and be 100 percent sure the contact information is correct; ensure the voicemail messages on those numbers are professional and simple (i.e., no humor, music or children’s voices) </li></ul><ul><li>Use an e-mail address that is professional; SurferGirl@domain.com or CoolDude@email.com is not acceptable </li></ul>
    6. 6. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Sample Header </li></ul><ul><li>YOUR NAME </li></ul><ul><li>Street Address · City, State and Zip Code </li></ul><ul><li>Cell number · E-mail Address </li></ul>
    7. 7. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>PROFILE </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to draw the reader in; gives an overview of who you are, what you bring and what you are looking for </li></ul><ul><li>3-4 lines at the top of your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Do not write it in the first person (“I”) or third person (“Ms. Smith”) </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by your content </li></ul>
    8. 8. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Sample Summary Profile </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced writer and editor with over five years of researching the strategic needs and challenges confronting Fortune 500 companies. Possess solid written, communication, analytical and organizational skills. Consistently recognized by management and peers for producing high quality work and demonstrating a results-oriented work ethic. </li></ul>
    9. 9. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>How Do You Write a Summary Profile? </li></ul><ul><li>Peruse job openings to determine what’s important to employers. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a list of your matching skills, experience and education. </li></ul>
    10. 10. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>EDUCATION </li></ul><ul><li>Shows your degrees or coursework you have completed at degree-granting institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Be formal--don't write sentences (i.e., BA Political Science, not “Received BA in political science”) </li></ul><ul><li>List the degrees first—they are always more important than where you got them (however, also list name of university/college below the degree) </li></ul><ul><li>If you choose to include the city and state, list after the institution. </li></ul>
    11. 11. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Include minor, thesis and specific coursework if it’s important to the audience reading your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Put projected graduation date if degree completion is more than a semester away (“Expected May 2007”) </li></ul><ul><li>Right justify all graduation dates </li></ul><ul><li>GPA isn’t crucial to include, but include if it’s over a 3.0 </li></ul>
    12. 12. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Example Education Section </li></ul><ul><li>EDUCATION </li></ul><ul><li>BA Political Science, GPA: 3.8/4.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Concentration: If you have one </li></ul><ul><li>List College/University Name, City and State </li></ul><ul><li>Projects: List projects completed </li></ul><ul><li>Coursework : List actual courses here—if applicable to the job/internship you are seeking </li></ul>
    13. 13. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE/INTERNSHIPS </li></ul><ul><li>This section describes elements of your work history that are the most relevant to the audience receiving your resume. </li></ul>
    14. 14. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Quick Test: Which of the following statements is more powerful? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Responsible for supervising software engineers.” </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>“ Managed a team of eight software engineers.” </li></ul>
    15. 15. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>“ Compiled research data and dialog from six focus group sessions.” </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>“ Transcribed research data.” </li></ul>
    16. 16. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>“ Excellent written communication skills.” </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wrote jargon-free User Guide for 11,000 users.” </li></ul>
    17. 17. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>“ Helped develop a brand identity for NPR’s jazz programs.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Led a company-wide team that developed a brand identity for NPR’s five jazz programs, by creating a logo, press materials, and web site; efforts resulted in a 20% increase in jazz program sales.” </li></ul>
    18. 18. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Distinguish duties (activities you performed on the job) vs. skills (tools and techniques you used to accomplish the tasks) </li></ul><ul><li>List out your duties </li></ul><ul><li>List out skills/abilities necessary to accomplish each task </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your accomplishments NOT your job responsibilities. </li></ul><ul><li>DEMONSTRATE your achievements. Use metrics whenever possible. (e.g., Include the amount of the budget you managed, number of people you supervised, percentage increase in sales, number of client accounts you managed, etc.) </li></ul>
    19. 19. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Eliminate vague words--“some” or “various” or “many” </li></ul><ul><li>Use descriptive words. Should lead with a past-tense action word . (examples: directed, led, managed, achieved, delivered, generated, increased, initiated, launched, created, established, implemented, saved, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t include everything you did at every job—select relevant bullets based on your audience. </li></ul>
    20. 20. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>For each employer, list each position beginning with the most recent first—it shows progression and promotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Bullet point your experience—no one wants to read long paragraphs and don’t use periods at the end of bullets—bullets are meant for statements—use dashes, colons or semi-colons to connect thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t include orphans (lines with one or two words); the white space can be distracting </li></ul>
    21. 21. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Example listing from an internship at C-SPAN: </li></ul><ul><li>International Relations Intern Summer 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>C-SPAN, Washington, DC </li></ul><ul><li>Attended eight press briefings and congressional hearings and summarized key points of these events to the Division Director </li></ul><ul><li>Edited scripts for regularly scheduled international shows </li></ul><ul><li>Assisted in the research and editing of Booknotes , a compilation of interview excerpts conducted by CEO Brian Lamb with high-ranking government and business leaders </li></ul>
    22. 22. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT </li></ul><ul><li>This section shows all of the additional work and effort you have undertaken to develop yourself professionally </li></ul><ul><li>Use formal titles of software and be sure to spell correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Include leadership roles </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer activity is optional; include if it shows community involvement or is relevant to your area of expertise (e.g., finance analyst who is also treasurer of a local community group) </li></ul>
    23. 23. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Example listing in Professional Development: </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Awards </li></ul><ul><li>Clubs </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer </li></ul>
    24. 24. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Don’t underestimate your abilities; strategically market your campus activities: </li></ul><ul><li>Coursework </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Campus leadership positions </li></ul><ul><li>Clubs and other activities </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer work </li></ul>
    25. 25. How to Write a Resume <ul><li>Quick Recap </li></ul><ul><li>Keep all of the info. on your resume relevant. </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific about your qualifications; too much info. can work against you. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep everything on your resume positive. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be too quick with that send button. Double check everything before you submit any message. </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence is great but there is such a thing as too much self-promotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Proofread! </li></ul><ul><li>Politics, religion and other loaded subjects have no place on a resume. </li></ul><ul><li>Badmouthing former bosses will get you nowhere with potential employers. </li></ul>
    26. 26. How To Write a Cover Letter <ul><li>Why is it important to craft a good cover letter? </li></ul><ul><li>It provides a word-based snapshot of who you are, what you’ve done, what you know and what you’re capable of doing. </li></ul>
    27. 27. How To Write a Cover Letter <ul><li>Three Elements to the Cover Letter: </li></ul><ul><li>The opening: Tell the organization why you’re contacting them. </li></ul><ul><li>The body: Tell them how you’re qualified and why you’re the best candidate. </li></ul><ul><li>The closing: Tell them how and when you’ll follow up, then exit on a positive note. </li></ul>
    28. 28. How To Write a Cover Letter <ul><li>The Opening </li></ul><ul><li>Generates interest </li></ul><ul><li>States or implies employment/internship interest </li></ul>
    29. 29. How To Write a Cover Letter <ul><li>The Body </li></ul><ul><li>A paragraph that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>demonstrates your ability to add value to the group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>highlights your key strengths and abilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A background summary paragraph that briefly summarizes your relevant education and experience </li></ul>
    30. 30. How To Write a Cover Letter <ul><li>The Closing </li></ul><ul><li>A statement that either compels or ensures follow-up action </li></ul><ul><li>A statement of appreciation </li></ul><ul><li>Example: “Thank you for considering my application for what I know will be an exciting and rewarding position. I will contact you the week of September 5, or I may be reached at…” </li></ul>
    31. 31. How To Write a Cover Letter <ul><li>Cover Letter Dos </li></ul><ul><li>Address your cover letter to a specific individual. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer logical questions, such as why you’re interested in this particular opportunity and why you’re the best choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for an interview and tell the recipient that you will contact him/her. </li></ul><ul><li>Cite real examples: concrete outcomes; notable accomplishments. </li></ul><ul><li>Mirror the words the employer used to describe the position. </li></ul><ul><li>Limit your cover letter to one page. </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to yourself in the first person “I” instead of “one” or by name. </li></ul><ul><li>Spell and human check your cover letter. Your cover letter should illustrate your very best writing and communication skills. If your best work contains errors, what is the quality of your everyday work like? </li></ul>
    32. 32. How To Write a Cover Letter <ul><li>Cover Letter Don’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Expect employers will intuitively know which job/internship you’re applying for—SPELL IT OUT. </li></ul><ul><li>Assume the employer will read between the lines—they won’t. </li></ul><ul><li>Lie about your education, experience or achievements. </li></ul><ul><li>Be chummy or arrogant. </li></ul><ul><li>Plead, beg or share sob stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Include threats or say anything negative. </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat every detail you’ve included in your resume. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use more than one font in a cover letter. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use a lot of bold, underlines, capitalization and italics for emphasis. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t write a letter in all capitals—ever. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use clip art or flashy logos. </li></ul>
    33. 33. Submitting Your Cover Letter and Resume <ul><li>IMPORTANT TIP: Remember to clearly label your resume and cover letter file names. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: resume_sv or 1106finalresume is unacceptable. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead: SaritaVenkat - Resume or another clear label is preferable. </li></ul>
    34. 34. “ The Write Stuff” <ul><li>Keep these tips in mind: </li></ul><ul><li>Know what you want to say </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your reader </li></ul><ul><li>Trust your ear </li></ul>
    35. 35. Interview Tips <ul><li>First and second most common mistake people make during job interviews? </li></ul><ul><li>Second: Not showing enough enthusiasm. </li></ul><ul><li>First: Not presenting a professional appearance. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: JobsOnTheWeb.com </li></ul>
    36. 36. Interview Tips <ul><li>What’s the interviewer thinking? </li></ul><ul><li>Punctuality </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance/grooming </li></ul><ul><li>Eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Non-verbal comm. (gestures, poise) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication skills/articulation </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge/interest of the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge/interest of the industry/field </li></ul><ul><li>Self-confidence and initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of resume </li></ul><ul><li>Overall impression of student </li></ul>
    37. 37. Interview Tips <ul><li>To summarize, use these 10 strategies: </li></ul><ul><li>Research the company/organization before you go on the interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Study your qualifications and abilities for a brief presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember what’s in your resume/cover letter. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to link/relate your skills to the organization’s needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about potential interview questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Be well-groomed; dress appropriately. </li></ul><ul><li>Be friendly and outgoing; give a firm hand shake; maintain good eye contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Get to the interview 10 minutes early. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for a business card before leaving. </li></ul><ul><li>Send a “thank you” card/e-mail within 24 hours of the interview. </li></ul>
    38. 38. Final Thoughts <ul><li>Once in an Internship: </li></ul><ul><li>Observe the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Be nice to everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in touch with your former boss </li></ul><ul><li>Find a mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Build on functional skills and don’t worry about subject matter expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a running list of all your accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>Build your portfolio with a wide variety of things to take away with you and show in future interviews </li></ul>