1 Resumes Everything You Need to Know A resume is an organized summary of your education, skills, experiences and activities used to introduce yourself to potential employers. In short, it s your calling card. Each resume should be tailored specifically to the position in which you are applying for. The purpose of your resume is to get you an invitation for an interview. An effective resume gets you an interview, not a job, and an effective interview can lead to a job offer. Employers typically take seconds to screen resumes for interviews sorting into yes, no, and maybe piles. o Yes and maybe piles could get a second read. o To make it to the yes or maybe pile, your content and layout need to be clear, concise, and targeted to the specific job for which you are applying. o Typos, spelling or grammatical errors and unclear content won t get you into the yes pile. Your resume is often the first impression you make on a potential employer, so make it a good one. The Basics Templates o Use Microsoft Word but not a MS Word template. o Create your own format using a table, one column for headings Objective, Education, etc. one column for content. Always save your document as a PDF to ensure formatting isn t lost when employers view. o Set the table borders not to appear on your print document. o Use the table borders as a formatting guide; resize and align as you revise your content. o Your margins should be anywhere from.5 1 inch. Format o Keep the layout simple and clean. o Avoid too many layers of indentation. o Be consistent with formatting. o The best way to stand out from the crowd is with high quality content and a clearly written, neat, error free document. Employers are looking for content, not fancy or creative formats. You don t want to stand out for the wrong reason. o Don t put shading on your background or text as it doesn t photocopy, fax or scan clearly. o Don t include a photo on your resume. Length o Stick to one page if you are an undergraduate. That s what employers expect and look for. o A one-page resume is ideal and will contain enough information to properly represent you to a potential employer. o Two pages are permissible for teaching candidates and master s candidates with professional experience. Federal resumes may be longer than one page. o Ph.D. candidates pursuing employment in academia should use a curriculum vita (aka CV ) that may extend to several pages. o Keep a master resume which includes a comprehensive listing and details of all of your experiences that you use for resumes tailored to specific positions. You do not need to share this with anyone. o Graduate students and students with extensive professional experience can sometimes justify a two-page resume. See a Career Coach to help decide.
2 o Graduate students may choose a CV format. This is always used by doctoral students seeking positions in academia. Graduate students pursing industry employment may wish to develop a concise one-page resume. Career Coaches are available to assist you in tailoring your resume. o If your background justifies a two-page resume, the most important information should be on the first page. The second page should include your name and page number in case the pages become separated once they are out of your hands. Font o Use a font that is easy to read and able to be scanned. o Times New Roman and Arial are the most common and easiest to read. o Use point type, with your name larger. o Use black ink and good quality resume paper. o Selectively bold the most important items. o Don t use italic or underlined text generally, as it can interfere with scanning. o Don t use busy or decorative fonts and stick to one or two fonts. Paper o Your resume and cover letter should always be on the same color, high quality bond paper. o Choose a conservative paper color such as white or off-white; avoid anything with a darker color as it will not copy well and don t convey a professional appearance. o You may also wish to buy matching envelopes. Printing o Use a laser printer. Clean photocopies are acceptable to give employers. Mailing o Folding your resume and mailing it in a standard sized business envelope is not the best option. Instead, mail your resume in a 9 x 12 envelope o An unfolded document is easier to photocopy, scan or otherwise reproduce. Make it easy for the employer to reproduce making it easier for more people to see it. o Never staple your documents; use paperclips. Again, make it easy for the recipient. ing o ing resumes is common and appropriate. o Before you do so, check the employer s website for instructions on how to do so, or ask the employer for the preferred method. o Do your research before sending your resume. If you send a resume that an employer can t retrieve or read, don t expect to hear back. Keep it Current o Make sure that your address, phone number and are always up-to-date. If it s close to a holiday break or the end of a school year, include both your permanent and school address on your resume. o Keep it Real o Be sure you can talk about anything on your resume, and that you can demonstrate skills listed. o Action Verbs o Use short concise statements in the body of your resume always beginning with an action verb. o Listing Your GPA o Listing your GPA depends on your GPA, the career field you are pursuing and the other qualifications in your background. o In finance fields, employers tend to place high importance on GPA. They want to know it, and they are going to ask for it eventually. o In fields in which employers care about GPA, if you omit your GPA, you risk employers assuming that it is very low. o In some career fields, GPA is not as important a factor. o If you are uncertain about including your GPA, consult a Career Coach. o Be sure to indicate whether or not it s your major, cumulative or both. o Consider the following: o Are you looking for work in a career field in which GPA is or is not important? o How competitive is the field you plan to enter?
3 o What other credentials are in your background? o Did you work during school to pay for your education? o Did you hold leadership positions or community organizations? o Do you have good experience related to your career goals? o Did you start out in a difficult major that hurt your GPA and then raise your grades significantly after changing into your current major? o Format o Chronological Resume a. Many resumes are referred to as chronological resumes. These are simply resumes that list your education and experience in reverse chronological order most recent items first. b. The most commonly used format, this is best for those first entering the workforce as education and/or experience are closely related to career goals. o Functional/Skill Based Resume a. Where a student s skills from a wide variety of sources are listed together and form most of the content of the resume. Many resumes include a skills section, but in a skills format resume, most of the document is a skills summary. Use a skills format if it works for you, and if the chronological approach just doesn t showcase your strengths. Greater emphasis is put on skills rather than on work history or educational background. Characteristics are listed under broad headers such as management, leadership, technology, etc. o Combination Resume a. Incorporates aspects of both formats listed above with a short skills summary and a reverse chronological order in the education and experience section. Content & Sequence No two resume are exactly alike, but you should be able to tell they are resumes. Heading -- your name, school and permanent address, phone number, . Objective Education Experience Skills Activities NOTE: Don t disclose any personal information such as age, marital status, birth date or provide a photograph. Heading Heading is always at the top of your page. Use the form of your full name as it appears on academic records and other documents an employer may require you to provide, so there will be no confusion. If you go by a middle name or nickname, you can emphasize or insert this, as in George Bradley Brad Martinez, or George Bradley (Brad) Martinez. Current/school and permanent address and phone number. o If you are a student, list both current/school AND permanent addresses as employers may wish to contact you during school breaks or event months after you submit your resume. o Make it easy for them to find you. It might be helpful to include date clarifiers. Professional address DO NOT include the word resume at the top of your resume. Do not include a URL for a personal website unless the contents are strictly professional/academic. LinkedIn URL to your page is acceptable, as long as your profile is full, up-to-date, and you have a professional picture. Make sure to personalize your URL before listing on your resume.
4 Objective Your objective should be an action statement. To obtain, Seeking, etc. Do specify if you are looking for an internship, summer job, part time position or full time position. Do be specific with the name of the company or organization you are applying to. Describe the industry, career field and/or type of position you want. Don t make an employer guess what you want to do. Remember, it isn t the employer s job to be your career counselor. If you don t know what you want, you ll need to do some research. Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach. When mailing your resume to an employer with a cover letter, you can elaborate on the position you are seeking in your letter, and in that case you should leave the objective off. Avoid using generic sayings such as seeking a position which utilizes my skills and abilities. Specify what your skills and abilities are. Avoid objectives that relate to a major. Some majors easily equate to job titles, but most don t. Avoid using cliché sayings such as challenging position in A good equation is: Seeking XY position with XY company utilizing (skill 1) and (skill 2). These should be skills that the job description lists that you possess. Education Your education section should almost always immediately follow your objective. Your bachelor s, master s or doctoral degree work has been your main job most recently. Even if your degree is not specifically tied to your objective, you want the employer to know that you have completed or are working on a degree. List all college degrees in most to least current order. o Degree level (B.A., B.S., M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D., etc.) o Name of major and, if applicable, second major o Minor (if applicable) o Concentration (if applicable) o Date of completion or anticipated completion by month and year. o Institution and location by city and state o Study Abroad if you have done it, or have been accepted to go You may also wish to include under the Education or other sections o GPA overall or major o Percentage of money you contributed towards your education. Earned and financed 50% of college tuition and living expenses. o Technical or continuing education if it is related to your career goal. o Dissertation or thesis topic if relevant to job search. o Career related course-work o Class projects or independent studies o Publications Don t include high school degree. If you are in college, employers know you have one. The only exception would be if you are a freshmen or sophomore. By your junior year, you need to be showcasing your college accomplishments. By graduate school, list college and graduate level work only. Experience List in reverse chronological order (most to least recent). Part time and summer jobs, volunteer work it doesn t matter if they are not related to your career goal. These kinds of jobs show employers that you have learned basic work ethics and skills such as taking responsibility, working cooperatively with co-workers, customer service, time management, or others that are important to any work environment. Think about skills you used that are transferrable to a different work setting.
5 Internships, participation and leadership positions in organizations, and professional experience (if you have it) Freshmen and sophomores can include employment going back to high school; this lets employers know you have a work history. By junior or senior year, and by graduate school, you can trim off the oldest information that s not career-related which will help keep your resume to one page. You may wish to include the following o Field study or class projects these could also go under their own heading, separate from experience o Externship or job shadow experience o Separate sections for related or other experience Each experience should include the following o Employer/Organization o Job title o Location as city and state. Don t include street address or zip code o Duration of experience (Summers 2013 & 2014 or Fall 2014 or January October 2014) o Description Bulleted list of accomplishment; concise descriptions Phrases not complete sentences Use action verbs to start your descriptions (see list of action verbs) (organized workshops on time management) Quantify where applicable (#, %, $) (trained five employees, raised $400 in fundraising, etc.) Use terminology relevant to your career field, skills and interests. Use job descriptions to work smarter not harder. If the nature or purpose of the organization is not clear from the name, provide a brief explanation. When listing an organization, use a complete name followed by an abbreviation. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Honors Your accomplishments tell an employer about your interests, motivations, and skills. You can include scholarships, awards, recognition or academic achievement, etc. Honors can be one combined with another section or can be it s own separate sections depending on how many you have, the types you have, and how you want to sequence them in your resume. If you have one significant academic honor and/or a particularly outstanding academic honor, you can list it in the Education section. This can be helpful if your GPA isn t a strong selling point. Skills, Certifications & Licensure This section can include a list of various skills, including computer skills, laboratory skills, computer skills, foreign language, etc. If all the skills you list are of one type, head the section Computer Skills for example. If you have several skills in several categories, head the section Skills and include subheadings to organize your categories such as Computer Skills, Laboratory Skills, Certifications, etc. In ordering your resume, if your skills are the element of your background that are most closely related to your career objective, place this section higher on your resume. If your certifications or licensures expire, include dates that the certifications are active.
6 Coursework/Relevant Coursework Whether or not to include coursework or relevant courses depends on several things: o Don t include courses that you would have obviously taken based on your major, minor, etc. That doesn t add value to your resume or help you stand out from other candidates. Your space would be better spent on other relevant information. o Include courses that are relevant to your objective that employers wouldn t otherwise know you ve taken. For example, if you are an English major and have taken four computer science classes, it can t hurt to list those courses. o Include courses important to your career objective if it would not be assumed from your major or minor. Interests For graduate students pursuing positions in academia, and for some other career fields, your CV would include teaching and research interests. Don t include an interest section listing hobbies and things that personally interest you. If you have interests, activities or hobbies that are very important to you and that make a statement about who you are, consider creating them in an activities section of your resume or try to incorporate into your interview.
7 Chronological Resume Worksheet HEADER INFORMATION First name, middle initial, last name Current address, dates you will be at this address Permanent address, dates you will be at this address Telephone number _ address Website OBJECTIVE To secure a position with where I can utilize my skills in,, and to enhance the company in what ways. EDUCATION College City, State Degree Month, year to be received Major(s), minor(s), concentration(s) Cumulative Grade Point Average (if above a 3.0) Major GPA Related Course Work Study Abroad Experience, Research, Thesis (if applicable) (the field you are going into) EXPERIENCE (List most recent experiences first.) Name of organization, City, State Title Dates of employment Name of organization, City, State
8 Title Dates of employment SKILLS (Specify computer languages or special skills, including working knowledge, proficiency, or fluency in languages other than English.) ACTIVITIES (List leadership positions, memberships, or affiliations. Include responsibilities and/or duties. Consider moving to Experience section should it relate to the jobs you are applying for.) Name of organization City, State or College Title or Position Dates of employment Name of organization City, State or College Title or Position Dates of employment HONORS AND AWARDS (If listing awards, tell the employer what the award was for.) Name of honor/award, date received Name of honor/award, date received
9 Action Verbs -- By Skills Categories COMMUNICATION/PEOPLE SKILLS Addressed Advertised Arbitrated Arranged Articulated Authored Clarified Collaborated Communicated Composed Condensed Conferred Consulted Contacted Conveyed Convinced Corresponded Debated Defined Developed Directed Discussed Drafted Edited Elicited Enlisted Explained Expressed Formulated Furnished Incorporated Influenced Interacted Interpreted Interviewed Involved Joined Judged Lectured Listened Marketed Mediated Moderated Negotiated Observed Outlined Participated Persuaded Presented Promoted Proposed Publicized Reconciled Recruited Referred Reinforced Reported Resolved Responded Solicited Specified Spoke Suggested Summarized Synthesized Translated Wrote CREATIVE SKILLS Acted Adapted Began Combined Composed Conceptualized Condensed Created Customized Designed Developed Directed Displayed Drew Entertained Established Fashioned Formulated Founded Illustrated Initiated Instituted Integrated Introduced Invented Modeled Modified Originated Performed Photographed Planned Revised Revitalized Shaped Solved
13 Resume Rubric Format Education Section Experience Section Honors/ Activities Resume should effectively land you an interview. This resume fills the page but is not overcrowded. There are no grammar or spelling errors. It can be easily scanned. This section is organized, clear, and well defined. It highlights the most pertinent information and includes: institution and its location, graduation date, major, degree, GPA, study abroad (as appropriate), and any relevant course work. This section is well defined, and information relates to the intended career field. Places of work, location, titles, and dates are included for each position. Descriptions are clear and formatted as bullets beginning with action verbs. (This section could be split into related and other experience.) This section is well organized and easy to understand. Activities and honors are listed, and descriptions include skills gained and leadership roles held. Dates of involvement are listed. Resume could land you an interview (borderline case). This resume almost fills the page, but has some uneven white space. There may be a single spelling or grammar error. This section is well organized and easy to read. It includes institution and its location, graduation date, major, and degree. GPA and extra information, such as study abroad and course work are missing. Places of work, location, titles, and dates are included for each position. Descriptions are formatted as bullets beginning with action verbs, but are not detailed enough to help the reader understand the experience. Information does not relate 100 percent to the intended career field. This section includes all necessary information, but is difficult to follow. Leadership roles within organizations are listed, but skills are not defined. Dates of involvement are listed. Resume is average, needs improvement to rise to the "top of the stack." The font and spacing of this resume are not appealing and cannot be easily scanned. There are spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Information such as institution and its location, graduation date, and major are included, but degree and GPA are not listed. This section is not well organized and there is no order to how information is formatted. Descriptions are not presented in bulleted lists that begin with action verbs. Instead, complete sentences in paragraph form are used to describe positions. Places of work are included for each position, but not locations, dates, and titles. This section is missing key information such as leaderships positions held or dates of involvement. Organizations are listed; organization, involvement and not individual involvement are described in each. Resume needs significant improvement and would be discarded during screening This resume is either onehalf page or two to three pages long. The font is too big or may be hard to read. There is more white space than words on the page. There are multiple spelling and/or grammar errors. This section is missing the most crucial information. Institution is listed, but not its location and graduation date is missing. The major is included, but not degree. No GPA is stated. There is no order to the descriptions of each position. Descriptions are not detailed and don't illustrate the experience. No locations and dates of employment are listed. This section is missing or contains very little information. Organization titles or dates of involvement are not included, and there are no descriptions
14 YANK T. TIGER 1 College Road, Box 1234 Hampden-Sydney, VA effective until Germantown Road Roanoke, VA effective as of OBJECTIVE To secure a position with where I can utilize my skills in,, and to enhance the company in what ways. EDUCATION Hampden-Sydney College Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Minor: Rhetoric Computer Skills: Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, Excel Language Skills: Proficient in Spanish, knowledge of French Honors Program Enrolled and successfully completed 8 of 8 required honors courses. Hampden Sydney, VA May 2016 (expected graduation) GPA: 3.2 (Cumulative) Fall 2011-Present PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERIENCE Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Williamsburg, VA Marketing Intern Summer 2014 Designed and conducted a survey to market products outside the local area. Required extensive research and thorough knowledge of products. Survey results were instrumental in successful sales of a new product line. Managed budget of $12,000 for marketing special summer projects. Hampden-Sydney College Hampden Sydney, VA Resident Assistant Fall 2013-Spring 2015 Publicized and implemented educational, recreational, social, and cultural programs to create a community. Provided academic and personal counseling to peers while enforcing policy and resolving conflicts among residents. Responsible for safety of forty upperclassmen residential students. Garnet & Grey Tour Coordinator Volunteer Tour Guide Provide quality customer services to guests and visitors at official campus events. Lead guided tours to prospective students and parents. Serve as Liaison between Ambassador Membership and Admissions Office. Hampden-Sydney College Fall 2013-Present Spring 2013-Present RELATED EXPERIENCE Kelly Services Richmond, VA Administrative Assistant Summers Wide variety of assignments required flexibility, adaptability, time management skills when meeting deadlines, and exemplary interpersonal and communication skills. Earnings used to pay 50% of college expenses. HONORS Lush Scholar Awarded $4,000 grant to conduct marketing research for nonprofit organization based in London, England. Dean s List Fall 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; Spring 2013, 2014
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420 W. 118th Street, Room 420 New York, NY 10027 P: 212-854-4613 F: 212-854-6190 www.sipa.columbia.edu/ocs RESUME WRITING TIPS FOR POSITIONS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR (BUSINESS, CONSULTING, FINANCE, ENERGY,
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How to write a resume that is informative, attractive and easy to read: Please review this information thoroughly and prepare your resume draft before bringing your resume to be reviewed by a career counselor.
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