Writing a Resume

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Writing a Resume

  1. 1. Career Center Search Strategically Resume Writing The resume serves as an introduction that tells the story of how your past experiences and accomplishments have prepared you for a specific next step. It is tempting to jump to the resume as the first step when kicking off your search process. This will present you with challenges because the resume is a culminating effort, not a first step. Synthesizing your experiences and accomplishments into short and impactful statements requires complex thinking. If you’re struggling with crafting your resume, reach out to us for help. A successful resume will pique enough confidence and curiosity about you to secure an interview. The purpose of your resume is to answer two key questions for readers: • What are you capable of and what do you know? • How well suited are you for the role that is being filled? A carefully constructed, well-edited and focused resume will create a compelling description of your patterns of qualities, skills and accomplishments in response to these underlying questions. 5 Tips for a Successful Resume 1. Think creatively about experience. Your meaningful accomplishments will come from across a variety of endeavors in your life. Consider businesses you’ve run, projects that you complete, longstanding hobbies and pursuits, contributions you have made or other defining experiences in your life. All of these can be aspects of your resume. 2. Format your resume with first things first. The top and left side of your resume are the most valuable spaces when someone is visually scanning the page and forming a first impression. Use the first section heading strategically to ensure that your most compelling experiences are at the top of the page. To start each bullet, thoughtfully choose verbs that are precisely descriptive of your actions. Order the bullets so that the most compelling comes first. 3. Illustrate your patterns of success. Showcase the skills you have developed through experience; what you have learned in the classroom or other points of exposure; positive qualities you will bring to the work; and a mastery of the language and culture of the realms to which you apply. 4. Articulate the impact of your contributions. Highlight accomplishments and include measures of your success wherever possible. Use individual resume bullets to highlight your outcomes in ways that will resonate with the readers’ point of view. For example, use measurable, quantified results for a bottom-line-driven industry. 5. Write multiple resumes if you have multiple interests. Your varied interests may require equally varied presentations of you at your best. For different industries or roles, change the categories, order and descriptions of different experiences to ensure that unique readers of your resume recognize right away that you excel in areas that are meaningful to them. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708
  2. 2. FULLNAME BIG&BOLD Address Best Phone Number Best Email Address Education Duke University Durham, NC Your Degree Graduation Month and Year • What have been your meaningful educational accomplishments while at Duke? • Include highlights-­‐ you don’t have to be comprehensive. • Consider GPA, honors, study abroad, thesis, projects, research, relevant courses, or other components Other Universities Location Degree or Program Dates of Study • What were the main benefits to you inside and out of the classroom? High School Location Degree, GPA, or other characteristics Dates of Study • What were your primary accomplishments, educationally? Specific Experience Category #1 Interesting Job Location Role Dates • Bullets include an active and specific verb that describes this contribution, learning, skills or outcome, and details and data that make it tangible. • Prioritize, with the most important and relevant bullets first. • Use concise and clear language and industry-­‐specific language only if applying to that industry. Student Organization Location Current Role Dates • Write about being elected (what for!) or ways you contribute more over time. Earlier Role Dates • Include a variety of experiences and contributions; no need to replicate information in similar roles. However, repeating something and presenting it in a new way can serve as an enhancement. Specific Experience Category #2 Internship Location Role Dates • The number of bullets under each experience does not need to be consistent. However, the space that something takes on the resume does give a sense of its level of importance. Specific Experience Category #3 Independent Project Location Role Dates • Describe your initiative, managing a huge endeavor, overcoming obstacles, getting support from others, and other challenges you overcame when managing something new! Skills Language: Computer: Lab: Interests Highlight unique aspects of your background, personality, or attention to professional topics. Someone may have to mail you documents or have your address for official correspondence. Keep your address simple. Only include multiple addresses if necessary. This can include major, minor, certificates, specializations, or other degree components. You can use this section to feature your study abroad experiences. A high school section is most used by first and second year undergrads or those who attended schools with a large or passionate network of alumni. Think creatively about how you design your categories. This is an opportunity to bring attention to patterns in your interests or skills. Look at example resumes for ideas but two general categories could be common type of organization, e.g., Media Experience or function, e.g. Research Experience. e.g. researcher, founder, volunteer, consultant Use a skills section to bring added attention to RELEVANT skills. Be sure these skills are evident throughout your resume as well. No need to add a line about references being available. This has been seen on resumes, historically, but is no longer expected. Save that space for interesting content. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Resume Example The CV: What Do I Need to Know? Internationally, the terms curriculum vitae, CV and resume may be used interchangeably. However, in the context of academic or research-based work, a CV refers to a document with very specific content and organization detailing the research, teaching and administrative expertise required. While a common application document for those with a Ph.D., undergraduate students most commonly need a resume.

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