Résumé 101: Preparing an Effective Résumé


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Résumé 101: Preparing an Effective Résumé

  1. 1. Preparing an Effective Résumé
  2. 2. What is a résumé? • A résumé is a brief document presenting your qualifications for a particular position. • A résumé is one part of a set of tools you can use to demonstrate to a prospective employer how your experience, skills, and accomplishments are well suited to the job for which you are applying.
  3. 3. A résumé is not ... ... a comprehensive statement of who you are as a person. ... a laundry list of everything you did at all of the jobs you have ever held. ... a fixed or unchanging document.
  4. 4. Common Résumé Styles Chronological • The standard résumé style and the approach typically expected by employers • Most effectively used when looking for work in one’s current profession Functional • Often used when making a career change • Focuses on skills and accomplishments more than on positions held
  5. 5. Chronological Résumé Temp L. Israel 477 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115 ● (617) 566-3960 SUMMARY OR OBJECTIVE STATEMENT Short statement (no more than 2 to 4 sentences) highlighting your strengths and immediate career goals. PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Organization Name, Location Position Title, Dates held ● Briefly describe responsibilities and accomplishments for each position ● List in positions in reverse chronological order ● Introduce each point with an action verb ● Use bullet points to help your reader find the important information OTHER SKILLS OR RELEVANT EXPERIENCE Possible section headings include: ● Relevant volunteer work ● Technical skills; Languages ● Awards ● Professional memberships EDUCATION Institution, Location Degree, Year
  6. 6. Functional Résumé Temp L. Israel 477 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115 ● (617) 566-3960 SUMMARY OR OBJECTIVE STATEMENT Short statement (no more than 2 to 4 sentences) highlighting your strengths and immediate career goals. ACCOMPLISHMENTS & SKILLS GROUPED INTO FUNCTIONAL CATEGORIES ● Briefly describe related accomplishments and achievements ● List in order of relevance to the position for which you are applying ● Technical skills or languages might be mentioned here PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE ● List details of positions held, in reverse chronological order (include position title, organization name, location, and dates held) OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION Possible section headings include: ● Awards ● Professional memberships EDUCATION Institution, Location Degree, Year
  7. 7. Building a Summary Statement 1. Who are you? What do you do? What are your most noteworthy competencies? 2.What directly relevant experience, skills or training do you have? Technical skills? People skills? Significant experience? 3. What other qualifications or notable skills make you a good candidate for this job?
  8. 8. Sample Summary Statements Results-oriented executive with over 15 years experience managing people and organizations. Demonstrated ability to lead successful teams and motivate staff to take on complex projects and meet aggressive deadlines. Extensive experience in financial management, contract negotiation, and strategic planning. Strong interpersonal skills and a reputation for building trusting and productive working relationships with staff, colleagues, and clients. Experienced administrative assistant with strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills. Imaginative professional able to expertly manage time and projects to meet organizational goals. Loyal team player with a demonstrated record of individual achievement.
  9. 9. Exercise: Summary Statement • Think about the qualifications and skills you most want to communicate to a hiring manager looking at your résumé. • Jot down your thoughts. Who are you? What experience or special skills do you have? What talents or capabilities do you have that may not be immediately apparent from your job history or accomplishments? • Write a draft summary statement
  10. 10. Alternatives to Summaries • Objective Statement Objective: To obtain a position as a department administrator and build on 10 years of experience in academic administration and grants management. • Tagline Educator. Connector. Innovator. • Nothing
  11. 11. Employment History • Do not describe the position as it might appear in a job posting. Tell potential employers about you, not the job. • Try to show how you made the job your own. What special mark did you leave? • Focus on your accomplishments in the position. Describe your achievements in clear, active terms. • Use bullet points, no more than two lines each
  12. 12. Sample Accomplishments Extensively revised and expanded departmental manual to provide a single complete and authoritative source for policies and procedures documentation. Restructured telephone system, creating efficiencies resulting in an annual savings of $10,000. Supervised team of 6 programers, managing project deadlines and workflow. Planned and successfully led a one year drive to raise $1.2 million to fund a statewide adult literacy program.
  13. 13. Examples of Action Words Achieved Launched Revised Corrected Managed Selected Demonstrated Maximized Simplified Determined Negotiated Standardized Established Planned Supervised Eliminated Persuaded Trained Improved Recruited Updated
  14. 14. Exercise: Accomplishments • Thinking about your current or most recent position, write an accomplishment statement • Use strong action words, express your role clearly, and make sure to put yourself in the foreground • Avoid the passive voice • Use numbers, quantities, or results to illustrate the concrete effect of your work and communicate its importance
  15. 15. Formatting Your Résumé • Use a typeface that is easy to read, at least a 11- or 12-point font • Use bolding, italics, and other typeface variation to help your reader understand the structure of your résumé at a glance • Make sure there is enough white space • Use bullet points, no more than two lines each • No more than two pages (unless a CV or longer document is specifically requested)
  16. 16. Saving Your Résumé • PDF: Keeps your formatting regardless of the recipient’s OS and software. PDFs can be created using Adobe Acrobat, OpenOffice, the Mac OS X print menu, and online. • Plain Text: Basic text only, minimal formatting options. Small file size, good for sending in the body of an email and uploading to some online application systems. • MS Word Document or other word processing format: Use only if specifically requested.
  17. 17. Next Steps • Look at lots of résumés (samples in books or online, friends, coworkers, etc.) • Write a draft résumé • Show your draft to as many people as you can and get their feedback • Compile a master résumé document that you can use to quickly build targeted résumés designed for a specific position or purpose • Get regular input on your résumé from friends, colleagues, and others. Don’t wait until you are looking for a job.
  18. 18. Good Luck!