Resume writing is all about marketing yourself!!!
Think of your resume as a 30 second TV advertisement & need to convey your message to the audience during that time….
What do you want an employer to know about you? How will you market your experience and skills? Paint a picture for the prospective employer demonstrating the scope of your current and past responsibilities and the results you have achieved.
Since your resume is your personal marketing tool, keep in mind that the following section titles are intended to act as general guidelines that you should modify to your individual needs.
Headings for Standard Sections
Personal contact information.
Personal Contact Information (Required). Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, Web site (include only if your personal web site is professional!).
Objective/Summary/Profile. (Optional) Recommended for individuals with specific career goals and used more often in certain career fields.
Educational Training. Begin with the most recent degree you are pursuing or have earned. Include the degree level, concentration, major (and minor), institution, month and year of completion, and location and country. List additional degrees in reverse chronological order.
(Can also be included under Education. This will be relevant for graduates just after college but it will have less relevance with years of experience)
(Can also be included under Education)
Experience. Employers consider experience, paid or unpaid, an integral part of your resume. Your experience section should highlight your accomplishments on the job and the skills you used.
Headings for Other Possible Sections
Computer and Language Skills.
Activities. This section provides you with the opportunity to list your degree of involvement with college and community activities. Through a description or a list of your accomplishments and extracurricular activities, employers can begin to learn about your interests, motivations, and interpersonal skills.
Interests. (Optional~ this section gives you an opportunity to demonstrate another dimension of your life.)
Describing Your Experiences
An effective resume uses dynamic language that is tailored to the specific position for which you are applying. Using action verbs, describe your accomplishments with PAR statements: Projects, Actions and Results.
Example: A newly passed out graduate working at mycareergate IT Help Desk.
(Project) To identify common problems experienced by customers (both candidates and employers).
(Action) Collaborated in a team of three to develop a error tracking system using Visual Basic.
(Result) Decreased the time for customer complaint resolution by 30%.
“Collaborated in a team of three to develop a error tracking system using Visual Basic. Identified common problems experienced by customers, decreasing the time for customer complaint resolution by 30%.”
This entry gives employers a better sense of how you have put your skills to use. Also, you can make a stronger impression by quantifying your experience to convey the size or scale of projects, budgets and results. The following sample list of action verbs will help you turn a passive job description into a strategic, achievement oriented resume that engages employers.
Analyze, evaluate, negotiate, assess, implement, organize, assess, implement, organize, attain, improve, plan, attain, improve, plan, coordinate, initiate, promote, create, lead, research, design, manage, strengthen, develop, monitor, support
Three Basic Resume Formats
There are three basic formats for resumes-chronological, functional, and electronic. Most resumes follow one of these formats or use a combination.
This format is best used when your job history shows growth and development, when you are staying in the same field, when the name of the most recent employer is an important consideration, when prior job titles are impressive, or when you are in a highly traditional field such as accounting, banking, or teaching. It is not recommended when work history has large gaps or when you have changed jobs frequently. Begin with your most recent experience and work backward. This is the most common resume format used by students.
This format is best used when you have a variety of unconnected work experiences and want to emphasize your skills more than your work history. It is also helpful when changing career paths. The functional format is not recommended if you are in a highly traditional field such as teaching or accounting, you have performed a limited number of functions in your work, or you want to emphasize the places you have worked as opposed to the skills you possess.
Electronic or scan able format.
Electronic or scan able resumes are sent or read by computers and have special formatting guidelines. Mycareergate gives you the opportunity to create an electronic resume. It walks you through all the informational requirements that need to be filled. Once completed, it will create a professional resume with a detail format which you can use to apply for jobs listed on mycareergate.
A Word about the Curriculum Vitae (CV)
A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is similar to a resume, but is used primarily when applying for teaching or research opportunities. The CV is designed to highlight an individual's educational and academic history, focusing specifically on academic achievements. The length of a CV may be multiple pages, including the same content of a resume, in addition to the following: teaching experience, research experience, publications (books, articles, research papers, unpublished manuscripts, or book chapters), academic fellowships, honors and awards, presentations, and professional affiliations, dissertation (thesis title and summary), related professional experience, languages or other relevant skills, and study abroad experiences. The CV should be tailored to the position to which you are applying or targeted toward the industry in which you are interested.
For example, if you are applying to a research position, you should describe your research experience first and follow with other experiences such as publications or teaching second. Also, only include work experiences that are directly related to your area of interest (or you may briefly describe unrelated experiences that you think are worthwhile).
1. Proof read, proof read, and proof read your resume. Nothing will eliminate you from an interview list more quickly than a typographical error!
2. If you are a student: Indicate month and year you anticipate graduating.
3. Show them; don't tell them. Use specific examples of your experience and achievements at each position.
4. Include paid and volunteer experiences.
5. Be descriptive, specific, and concise.
6. How many pages should you use?
The amount of experience you have will affect the length of your resume. Generally, an undergraduate student, and sometimes a graduate student, will have just enough information to fit on one page. If you have a significant amount of experience that is relevant to a prospective employer, then two pages may be reasonable. Keep in mind, however, that employers will continue to the second page only if you capture their attention with the information on the first page. Students with one year or less of experience should write a one-page resume and use a cover letter to expand on skills not listed in the resume. Because of the need for special formatting, the length of electronic or scan able resumes may be longer.
7. Use key words in scan able resumes. Be sure to use key words and tailor your resume to each specific employer. An employer searches for words in an applicant's resume that match the qualifications of a particular job (search agent feature in mycareergate.com). If your resumes do not contain the key words for which an employer is searching, the search agent passes over your resume and you may no longer be a candidate for the position. Collect key words from trade magazines, class notes, newspaper ads, and job postings and be sure to use the same terms used in the vacancy announcement.
8. Posting a resume on-line
By keeping your profile updated and posting your resume on mycareergate.com (word/ pdf document or creating an online electronic resume):
1) You will have access to job posted just for university students and professionals; you will get the opportunity to apply for foreign companies; ability to apply for government jobs.
2) You will be able to submit your resume for posted positions on mycareergate by simply selecting the job and clicking on the “apply” button
3) Employers will be able to search your resume and invite you to become a candidate for their positions.
9. Follow-up. Even though you are using technology to help facilitate the process of your job search, it is important to follow up with employers to see if they received your resume, to find out where they are in the hiring process, and to ask if they would like a hard copy of your resume.
References are people who have known you professionally or academically and who can recommend you for a job or award. Supervisors, professors, and people from your community are common references. Avoid using family members or personal friends. Before listing anyone as a reference, you must first ask permission. Do not send your reference list unless you are specifically asked to do so. Take the list with you to the interview. If the employer does not ask for your references, be sure to mention that you have the reference list if s/he would like to have it. Once you have given the list of references to an employer, make sure that you contact your references to alert them as to who may be calling, what job(s) you have applied for, and which of your skills you would like them to emphasize.
Preparing your reference sheet
List your references on a sheet separate from your resume. You should use the same heading as your resume containing all of your personal contact information. For each reference, person’s name (with Ms. or Mr.), title, organization, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and how that person knows you. For example, with a professional reference, you might write "former supervisor." By stating the relationship, you allow employers to select those individuals they wish to contact.
How many references do I need?
Employers will usually specify how many references they need. However, it is a good idea to have at least three references. In addition, you may want to have copies of general letters of recommendation in case you need a reference quickly or lose touch with a reference