The following are some tips on writing your resume and effective interviewing that may help you in the job-seeking and placement process.
Resume Writing Tips
An effective resume provides concise, factual, and positive information about you to help employers decide whether you are the best candidate. It is your marketing tool to assist in selling your talents to a prospective employer. Since it remains after your interview is over, it reminds the employer about your background.
It should be limited to one to two pages and summarize your experience, skills, and education to highlight your qualifications for employment.
Your resume should say:
- Who you are
- What you know and have done
- What kind of work you want
- Why you should be hired
A cover letter should accompany your resume, because it serves to focus the aspects of your experience and education that are directly applicable to the job. A cover letter may demonstrate your attitude, work ethic, and written communication skills. A well-written cover letter and resume can play a major role in establishing your candidacy and increasing the likelihood you will be called for an interview.
Your work history should include the name of each employer, your job title, employment dates, and a brief description of your duties and responsibilities, as well as relevant achievements and specials skills, including military experience.
List, if appropriate to your field of work, memberships in professional organizations, knowledge of foreign languages, articles published, inventions or patents, and skills such as typing or computer software knowledge. Avoid religious or political affiliations.
In citing your educational background, don’t provide details (like a listing of major courses) unless the job requires it, your work experience is limited, or you did not graduate but want to show you have taken courses related to your occupation. If you want to emphasize your education, place it before your work history; otherwise, you should place it after your work history.
- List all conferred degrees, starting with the highest. If you have not received a degree but have attended college, you may list the total number of hours completed. Give the name and location of the college, degree(s) conferred, and major field(s) of study.
- Include job-related extracurricular activities and significant scholastic honors.
- Include any other pertinent education, such as vocational, professional, or military schools. List professional licenses or certificates.
Do not list references on your resume. Simply include a statement, such as “References available upon request,” at the bottom of your resume. Have a separate sheet listing your references and bring this to an interview. Notify your references if it appears you are being seriously considered for a position. It is a good idea to send copies of your resume to the references you plan to use.
Carefully consider the language and format of your resume. Limit the length of your resume by using concise phrasing rather than complete sentences. You should convey a positive tone and use strong action verbs to describe job-related responsibilities and accomplishments. A few examples of action verbs are: instructed, demonstrated, performed, planned, motivated, increased, trained, solved.
- Make your resume easy to read and scan; use white space to make text stand out.
- Use serif fonts (Times New Roman or Ariel), type size 10.5 or 11.
- Avoid using “I” statements; instead begin sentences or phrases with action verbs.
- Devote more space to recent jobs than to earlier ones.
- Write out all numbers from one to nine; use numerals for 10-999,999.
- Write your name and phone number on each page (in case pages get separated).
- Do not misrepresent or exaggerate your experience.
- Do not use abbreviations or jargon, either professional or technical, unless it is relevant to the position and all readers will be sure to understand the terms.
- Do not include a snapshot.
- Be aware of information or dates that could be used to screen you out of consideration.
Neatness definitely counts, so be consistent with the layout- - pay attention to the arrangement of headings, captions, use of capitals, underscoring, and fonts. Lead your reader’s eye through points with headings, bullets, bold type, and white space. Of course, check for typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Be critical - - have at least one other person proofread and review your resume.