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Resume and Cover Letters

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  • 1. LAVC Writing Center Resumes and Cover Letters May 9, 2011
  • 2. Workshop Objectives
    • Students will learn the basics of how to do a resume and cover letter
    • Students will leave the workshop with a rough draft of a resume
    • Students will learn what to avoid when creating a resume and cover letter
  • 3. Definition A resume is concise piece of SELF-ADVERTISING that is focused on a specific position or job title. What’s the main goal of a resume? To impress an employer so they will want to schedule an interview with you.
  • 4. Resume Basics How long should a resume be? One page for most individuals. Sometimes it is two pages or more for professional occupations such as teaching, counseling or positions requiring a doctorate degree.
  • 5. Basic Types of Resumes
    • Chronological (preferred)
      • In date order (most recent first)
      • Use when career has an upward path and/or there are no long unemployment stretches
    • Functional (least preferred)
      • Focuses on skills you’ve attained
      • Lack of work experience
      • Use when career lacks an upwardly mobile path and/or there are gaps in employment history
    • Chrono-Functional
      • Focuses on skills attained while providing a chronological listing of jobs
      • Use when you want to stress the skills obtained in various jobs rather than the positions themselves or the employment progression
  • 6. Resume Format: Header At the top of the page include your name, address, phone number, and email address What should you avoid with the header? Unprofessional email addresses: [email_address] [email_address]
  • 7. Resume Format: Header Rosa L. Santos 2854 Independence Blvd Los Angeles, CA 91401 (818) 555-1234 [email_address]
  • 8. Resume Format: Objective vs. Position statement Recruiters and hiring managers don’t like resume objectives because they focus on the needs of the job seeker rather than the needs of the potential employer. Objective Statement: “Seeking a software engineer position with a progressive employer where I can contribute to the development of new technologies and work with bright, committed people.” Position Statement: Senior Software Engineer with 10 years experience developing leading-edge technologies, managing multimillion dollar projects, and supervising over 75 employees.”
  • 9. Work Experience
    • Work Experience
    • 10/08 - Present Shapiro & Lemitz, Inc. Los Angeles, CA
    • Legal Administrative Assistant
    • • Interview clients, open files, draft petitions and letter, and file petitions at courthouse; research
    • legal issues and devise new angles to argue in court.
    • • Perform general bookkeeping functions for six attorneys; implemented computerized
    • bookkeeping system.
    • • Verify accuracy of bills, place collection calls, and file paperwork needed for litigation when
    • necessary; automated firm's billing system.
    • • Compute employee withholdings and prepare paychecks; also prepare payroll and corporate
    • tax returns.
    • • Independently manage office when partners are out of town (often for
    • weeks at a time).
    • Use concrete examples that can be measured: e.g.- instead of “has leadership abilities” be specific, use: “supervised eight employees.”
    • The resume reader will usually equate your value with that of your employer. Describe
    • only the parts of your job that helps to sell you and showcase your value.
  • 10. Action Verbs
    • Using actions verbs creates a more positive impression. Below are some of the
    • more creative action verbs used.
    • Achieved Administered Analyzed
    • Controlled Coordinated Created
    • Designed Developed Diagnosed
    • Directed Established Expanded
    • Implemented Improved Increased
    • Initiated Innovated Instructed
    • Modified Negotiated Organized
  • 11. Action Verbs
    • Using actions verbs creates a more positive impression. Below are some of the
    • more creative action verbs used.
    • Pioneered Planned Promoted
    • Reduced expenses Referred
    • Requested Regulated Resolved (problems)
    • Scheduled Screened Strengthened
    • Summarized Supervised Tested
    • Totaled Trained Transformed
    • Translated Upgraded Validated
    • Won Worked Wrote
  • 12. What if you have limited work experience?
    • Consider marketable skills that you may have:
      • Working on research paper
      • Internships and/or committees
      • Coaching and tutoring
      • Recognition or essays or projects
      • Assisting teachers, elders or children.
      • Serving on student government committee.
      • Club leaderships
  • 13. Education
    • Education
    • June 2010 Los Angeles Valley College Valley Glen, CA
    • Associate of Arts
    • • Consistent Dean's List recognition G.P.A.: 4.0
    • Education
    • June 2009-Present Los Angeles Valley College Valley Glen, CA
    • Associate of Arts: Anticipated Completion Date June 2012
    • • Consistent Dean's List recognition G.P.A.: 4.0
    List the type of degree, the institution, and the date. If you have a college degree, do not include a high school diploma.
  • 14. Certificates and Licenses
    • If you have any relevant certificates or licenses, be sure to list them. In this section list the name, location and date of the certificates you have that relates to the position.
    Certificates National Career Readiness Certificate Level 1: Gold Issue Date: 3/8/11
  • 15. Military Experience
    • Military Experience
    • Branch of service
    • Your highest rank
    • Type of discharge and date of separation.
    • List any special assignments, duties, clearances, collateral duties, and decorations that relate to the job that you are seeking.
    • Technical military training can be listed under the Education heading on your resume.
    •  
  • 16. Professional Skills Professional Skills: Knowledge of HTML, MS Word, Excel, Typing speed:65 wpm Language: Advanced Spanish, Conversational Russian Computer Skills: Languages:
  • 17. References
    • Do not include references on the resume
    • It is expected that you will provide references when asked.
  • 18. Common Resume Errors
    • Overstating one’s qualifications
    • Using the word “Resume” in the heading
    • Listing references on the resume
    • Using handwritten corrections
    • Putting a date on the resume
    • Using a nickname or initials
    • Using abbreviations or acronyms (spell out)
    • Using I instead of action verbs
    • Using colored or printed paper
    • Including hobbies
    • Including personal information (religion, marital status, etc.)
    • Including salary information
    • Including reasons for leaving jobs
    • Lying
    • Having any typos!
  • 19. Scannable Resumes
    • Follow these steps to create your Scannable Resume:
    • Remove all graphics; they confuse scanners. This includes art, shading, bullets, and to be safe, horizontal and vertical lines/rules. You can use an asterisk, tilde, or hyphen to replace various symbols.
    • Be sure your name is on the first line of the resume and no other text is on that line.
    • Although tabs and centered text may be readable on most systems, it is safest to move all text to the left margin, remove tabs, and use the space bar to indent.
    • Use common and easily recognizable fonts. Ideally use a sans-serif font (without the little "feet" on characters) such as Arial or Helvetica, or a common serif font such as Times or Times New Roman.
    • Keep all point sizes between 10 and 14 points.
    • Use standard line spacing, i.e., avoid compressing lines of text.
    • Remove bold, italic, script, and underlining. Use all caps sparingly to create visual emphasis.
    • Keep "To" and "From" dates on one line, and use a single date on college degrees.
    • Use hyphens (rather than parentheses) around telephone area codes: 303-456-3945.
    • From: http://www.careerperfect.com/content/resume-writing-help-scannable-resume-tips/
  • 20. General Tips
    • Use 24-lb., 100% cotton, white or off-white paper
    • Tailor your resume to each particular job that you apply to
    • Print in black ink
    • Use 10-12 point font
    • Use action verbs
    • Use keywords from job description (especially important if scanned. Also if scanned, follow scannable format guidelines
    • Align lists exactly
    • Keep current and applicable
    • Proofread!
    • Include a cover letter
  • 21. Cover Letters
    • Why do we include a cover letter with our
    • resume?
    • Complements and emphasizes the highlights of your resume
    • Expresses your intent, interest, and enthusiasm in a potential position
  • 22. Cover Letter Template
    • For a cover letter template, click here
  • 23. General Tips
    • Avoid addressing the letter the generic “To Whom It May Concern.” Do your research and find the right person to get address it to
    • Avoid going over 1 page long
    • Avoid sending a generic cover letter; instead customize the letter to each job
    • Use key words from job description
  • 24. Cover Letter Sample
    • For an example of a strong cover letter, click here.
  • 25. Sources
    • “ Education Resumes, Cover Letter, References, and Thank you Letters.” Career Center Westminster Colleg e. 1 May 20100. Medium: Website
    • Gordon, Clive. “Strategies for Creating the Right Resume.” Career Transfer Center @ LAVC. 25 April 2011. 1 May 2011.

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