What is a resume?
A resume is a self-promotional document
that presents you in the best possible light, for the purpose
of getting invited to a job interview. A resume does its
job successfully if it does not exclude you from consideration.
To prepare a successful resume, you need to know how to
review, summarize, and present your experiences and achievements
on one page.
Why you need a resume ?
It's unlikely you
will gain an interview without a succinct, compelling cover
letter and resume. The combined factor of the two is the
greatest asset you have for marketing your skills and attributes
to a prospective employer. In today's competitive business
world companies aggressively market their products and services
to the public. Likewise, you are no exception when it comes
to job-hunting. Your cover letter and resume is the greatest
advertisement you can have working on your behalf.
How to prepare an effective resume ?
Use the 5 C's when writing your
Clear - well-organized and
logical (remember most CV's are faxed, so choose a font
that will fax well)
Concise - Your CV should
be no more than 1-2 pages of relevant and necessary information.
Lengthy CVs are typically overlooked. Keep it simple by
eliminating non-medical work experience for example.
Complete - includes everything
you need for the position you are applying for. Include
your contact information including phone number(s) and
address at the top.
Consistent - don't mix styles
or fonts (make it easy to read)
Current - up-to-date, including
your current position
Before you write, take time to
do a self-assessment of your self. Outline your skills
and abilities as well as your work experience and extracurricular
The Content of Your Resume
All your contact information should
be mentioned at the top of your resume. Name, address,
telephone, e-mail address, web site address
Use a permanent address.
Use a permanent telephone number and include the area
Add your e-mail address. Many employers will find it useful.
(Note: Choose an e-mail address that sounds professional.)
If you have a professional web
site then include the web site address.
Objective or Summary
An objective tells potential employers
the sort of work you're hoping to do.
Be specific about the job you want.
Tailor your objective to each employer you target/every
job you seek.
Avoid pronouns and flowery language.
Focus on what you have to offer rather than on what the
job can offer you. This may sound backwards, but employers
are not so much interested in what you hope to get out
of a job with them, so much as they want to know whether
you fit their needs.
If you are not clear on your career
goals, you probably should not include an objective on
Typically a new graduate does not
have related work experience from which to draw in order
to make a strong first impression. Unless a candidate's
education is in a highly sought after area, competing
with more experienced candidates can be a challenge, thus
they need for a well designed résumé with emphasis on
work experience which should be listed first. Alumni can
list it after the work experience section.
Your most recent educational information is listed first.
your degree (A.S., B.S., B.A., etc.), major, institution
Briefly give the employer an overview
of work that has taught you skills. Use action words to
describe your job duties. The way you arrange your resume
depends on how well your experience seems to prepare you
for the position you want. Basically, you can either describe
your most recent job first and work backwards (reverse
chronology) or group similar skills together-that is,
put your last job first and work backward to your first,
Don't feel that you must limit this section to paid work
experiences, especially if you are still in college or
a recent graduate. Employers understand that the most
valuable or most challenging experiences often occur in
internships, volunteer work or other extracurricular activities.
Be specific. A vague description of your duties will make
only a vague impression.
Identify accomplishments. If you headed a project, improved
productivity, reduced costs, increased membership, or
achieved some other goal, say so.
Include both your duties AND your accomplishments. Duties
tell the employer you can do the job. Accomplishments
indicate that you will go above and beyond the call of
Remember one good advice not to say anything if you cannot
say something nice. Leave all embarrassing or negative
information off the resume
Have someone else proofread the master copy carefully.
Location of work (town, state)
Dates of employment
Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific
skills and achievements.
Ask people if they
are willing to serve as references before you give their
names to a potential employer. Do not include your reference
information on your resume. You may note at the bottom of
tips will make your resume easier to read and/or scan into
an employer's data base.
white or off-white paper.
Use 8-1/2- x 11-inch paper.
Print on one side of the paper.
Use a font size of 10 to 14 points.
Type your resume, using a standard typeface. (Printed resumes
are becoming more common, but employers do not indicate
a preference for them.)
Choose one typeface and stick to it.
Avoid italics, script, and underlined words.
Do not use horizontal or vertical lines, graphics, or shading.
Do not fold or staple your resume.
The action words
are used to describe your experience and accomplishments.
Here are some actions words to use:
What Employers want ?
Employers say they
are impressed by job candidates who have excellent communication
skills, good grooming habits, and relevant work experience.
Employers say they want employees who can move right in,
get along with their co-workers, and get the job done without
having to be told what to do at each step.
Qualities Employers Seek :
Communication skills (verbal and written)
Teamwork skills (works well with others)
Interpersonal skills(relates well to others)
The Litmus Test
To know how well you have performed
in creating your resume that allows employers to process
information quickly, have someone or your friend perform
the 15-20-second litmus test on your resume. Simply time
your reader for twenty seconds as he or she reads your
resume. What all did he or she learn about you? If your
reader noticed within twenty seconds what you want employers
to learn about you, then most likely you have created
an effective resume. If not, try moving important information
to the first quadrant, checking that you have used sans
serif and serif fonts consistently, and limiting the tools
for emphasis you use in your document.
1. Don't expect the person reading
your resume to know and understand industry "jargon".
Explain the term in "layman" language.
2. Start each sentence with a powerful
3. Know and understand your attributes
and aspirations, and succinctly describe this to the reader.
4. Check your dates. Are there
any gaps or overlaps?
Forget about fancy fonts. Not only can it be hard to read,
but it also makes it unreadable for scanning software.