Resume Writing Tips

Report
RESUME WRITING TIPS
Topics
Resume Objectives
 Elements of an Effective Resume
 Resume Types
 Resume Do’s and Don’ts
 Resume Myths

Why is a Resume So Important?
“In today’s job market, your resume has
only about eight seconds to catch an
employer’s attention. Make your
resume look inviting and quick to
read.”
Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume, 2nd Edition – Susan Ireland
Resume Objectives

To get you an interview.

To market skills, abilities, and competencies.


To provide a factual representation of your
background.
Should be written for the employer, not for you.
Resume Red Flags
 Unorganized
Structure
 Lack of Qualifications or Applicable Skills
 No Relevant or Progressive Work History
 Outdated Resume Information
 Gaps in Job History
 Inconsistencies between Applications & Resumes
 Spelling/Grammar Errors
 Lack of requested documents
 Inappropriate personal information
Elements of a Good Resume







Contact Information
Summary of Qualifications
Education
Professional Experience
Optional Sections – Volunteer Activities,
Professional Associations, Professional
Development / Training
Computer Skills
Listing of References (separate page)
Contact Information

Full Name

Correct Address

Phone Number – Cell / Home / Work


Review all of your voicemail messages for
professional appropriateness
Email Address
 Make
sure your email address is professional
Summary of Qualifications



Replaces the Objective statement.
List of 3-5 bullet points summarizing
qualifications.
Emphasize skills you possess that aren’t obvious
from your past work experiences.
Education

Emphasizes your educational background and formal
training.

What to include:
Schools you have attended, including universities,
community colleges, technical schools, etc.
 Date of graduation, actual or anticipated
 Degree(s) earned or pursued
 Grade Point Average (GPA) if recent


Extra information about your degree (major or minor,
funding sources, honors, etc.).
Placement of the Education Section


Depends on what you consider to be your
strongest asset – your education or
professional experience?
The strongest, most relevant section should be
placed towards the top of the page.
Professional Experience


Emphasize your past and present employment and/or
your participation in relevant activities.
Provide information and details necessary to persuade
prospective employers that your experiences qualify
you for the position.

Address gaps in work history (if able).

Include both paid and unpaid experience if relevant to
job.

Use action verbs and try to quantify information when
possible.
Use Action Verbs
Before:
 Distributed publications.
After:
 Independently streamlined distribution of
publications for this fast paced department that
generates annual, quarterly, and monthly
publications with individual circulation of up to
120,000.
Example
Before:
 Facilitated the electronic network process.
After:
 Devised electronic network that facilitates
immediate written communication with over 200
remote locations.
Example
Before:
 Answered phone.
 Wiped tables.
After:
 Acted as liaison between clients and legal staff by
answering telephones and directing inquiries.
 Created healthy environment for customers and
maintained positive public image by ensuring cleanliness
of facility.
Highlighting Job Responsibilities



Select content that supports your qualifications
and matches job description.
Consider organizing by order of importance.
Use professional wording, integrating jobspecific terms.
Example
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
GENERAL ELECTRIC, INC., St. Louis, MO
1988-Present
Administrative Secretary to Director, Corporate Communications, 1993-Present

Independently streamlined this fast paced department that generates annual,
quarterly, and monthly publications with individual circulation of up to 120,000.

Devised electronic network that facilitates immediate written communication with
over 200 remote locations.

Managed budgets totaling $1 million. Prepared estimates and proposals for new
publications.
Secretary to Vice President, Merchandising, Office Products, 1991-1993

Set up and managed office procedures for the Merchandising Department, which
produced a national wholesale office products catalog.

Provided office support for 13 managers.
Additional Sections To Consider




Emphasize your participation in relevant activities,
honors received, or special skills acquired.
Highlight Professional Development / Training.
Other Considerations: Awards, Memberships,
Volunteer Activities, Special Honors, Military
Accomplishments, Professional Associations.
Computer Skills - Highly Recommended!
Additional Sections



Provides additional evidence of your
qualifications & commitment to your profession.
Gives employers a sense of who you are
outside of school and work.
Shows support to the overall mission of Notre
Dame.
References



In general, do not include the names and addresses of
your references on your resume.
Create a separate reference page to bring with you to
the interview.
Do include both professional and personal references.
Trend: Writing “References Available Upon Request” at
the bottom of the resume is unnecessary.
Organization / Formatting



Organize your resume to highlight your unique
skills and strengths.
Tailor your information to the specific position you
want, emphasizing accomplishments that fit.
Use whatever combination of organizational styles
you think best highlights your individual
qualifications.
Designing Layout for the Reader

Consider using the following for emphasis:
o
o
o
o
o
o


Subheadings
Indenting
Bold Face Type
CAPITALIZATION
(Parentheses)
Bulleted lists
Be consistent from section to section.
Include name on second page.
Resume Types



Chronological – Highlights dates of
employment, places of employment, & job
titles.
Functional – Presents accomplishments under
skill headings.
Hybrid – mix of functional and chronological
styles.
Chronological vs. Functional Format
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Chronological
1988-Present Company
Title
– Independently streamlined this fast paced department that generates
annual, Devised electronic network that facilitates immediate written.
– Managed budgets totaling $1 million. Prepared estimates and
proposals.
Title
– Set up and managed office procedures for the Merchandising
Department.
– Provided office support for 13 managers.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Functional
Major Skill
 Independently streamlined this fast paced department that generates
annual, Devised electronic network that facilitates immediate written.
 Managed budgets totaling $1 million. Prepared estimates and proposals
for the department.
Major Skill
 Set up and managed office procedures for the Merchandising
Department.
 Provided office support for 13 managers.
WORK HISTORY
1988 – Present
Job Title
Company Name
Which Resume Format is Best for You?
Chronological



Anyone who is on a long-term career path and shows a logical
progression from one job to the next, and wants to stay on it.
No major gaps in work history.
Most preferred type of resume.
Functional




Career changers.
Someone with a work history that includes a variety of
jobs/skills.
Parents reentering the workforce or those with gaps.
Students just out of school.
Resume Do’s

Use short phrases, not long and complex sentences.

Write in the active voice and avoid using “I,” “me,” “my,” or “we.”

Use strong action verbs and words. (See Action Verbs handout)

Use a visually appealing format; white space is important. Avoid cluttered, overcrowded
appearance.

Be consistent in all matters of style, punctuation, grammar, and format.

Use bullets, underlining, bold face, capitalization, etc., to create visual interest.

Edit, proofread; edit, proofread; edit, proofread, etc. Do it yourself and get others to help.

Show verifiable accomplishments in terms of numbers, percentages, or dollars. Use facts and
figures.

Be absolutely accurate.

Keep in mind the reader of your resume; is it “skimmable,” readable, and interesting?

Include an e-mail address - it makes communication faster.

Use key words, “Microsoft Word” instead of “word processing.” This is beneficial for businesses
that utilize scanning software.
Resume Don’ts













Include personal information such as; height, weight, eyes, hair color, health, etc.
Include discriminatory information such as; race, religion, married, children,
disabled, etc.
Include any misrepresentations or any statements that cannot be proven.
Use flowery language or self-congratulatory puffery.
Use odd size or brightly colored paper.
Attach photograph.
Use fancy binders or folders.
Mention salary information.
Show gaps in employment history.
Use months; instead, use years only.
Use abbreviations, acronyms, or buzz-words where misunderstanding may result.
Include anything not considered absolutely essential.
Overcrowd the page; leave white space.
Resume Myths

Myth #1 - Your resume must be only one page.

Myth #2 - Employers don’t read cover letters.



Myth #3 - Resumes should include and describe your
entire work history.
Myth #4 - It’s okay to fib on your resume.
Myth #5 - Including “References available upon
request” is standard resume protocol.

similar documents