resume writing guide by fanzhongqing


									Resume Writing__________________________________________
The goal of the résumé is to summarize experiences as they relate to a specific job description. Your résumé
should be one page, printed neatly (using a laser printer), and without spelling errors. It is critical that you
thoroughly proofread your resume and cover letter. Some employers discard applications with even one

A few Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind as you write your résumé:

Do customize. This means tailoring your résumé by detailing work and extracurricular experiences to
the job and industry you are targeting. Taking the time to target your resume will set your application apart.
Do spend time doing your research on the company. Make sure you understand the firm and the
industry. Use key terms, where applicable, in your resume (this will help it get selected if the company uses a
computer program for the initial resume scan).
Do be concise. Use brief, succinct statements and keep it to one page
Do keep font size to 10, 11, or 12 pt.
Do pay attention to verb tense. Use past tense when describing past positions and present tense for
your current position(s).
Do be consistent with punctuation use.
Do use the phone number where the employer can reach you to set up an interview.
Do make sure your voice mail greeting is professional!
Do include an email address. Make sure it is professional (for instance, no
Do include a GPA of 3.0 or better. Consider including your GPA in your major if it is significantly
Do refer to the “Action Verbs” sheet attached—use these as an alternative to common action verbs
such as “do/did,” “completed,” etc.
Do make sure to sell your campus experience as “real” experience. Often students mistakenly feel that
only paid work counts as real experience. Not at all! Campus work experience is often the best experience
on your resume—treat it as you would a paid position.
Do heed aesthetics —print all documents on résumé paper and use a laser printer.
Do include multiple titles and responsibilities if you had multiple roles at one organization.

× Don’t lie or include something that you would not feel comfortable discussing in an interview.
Remember you need to be prepared to discuss everything on your resume.
× Don’t include an “Objective” subheading, unless you can be specific about the position to which you
are applying (ordinarily, you omit it and state your objective in your cover letter).
× Don’t use jargon or acronyms without explaining.
× Don’t rely on spell-check! Have someone read over your résumé for typos and remember — spell-
check won’t tell you if you’ve spelled the company name incorrectly.
× Don’t use “I” or other first-person pronouns.
× Don’t include personal data (e.g. birth date, marital status).
× Don’t include a photo.
× Don’t use dark or speckled paper that can be difficult to read once photocopied or faxed.

Career Development Office:
                                              Resume Formatting

Step 1: Header
       Make your name stand out; you want the employer to remember you. Your name should be in bold and in a
        slightly larger font than the rest of the resume.
       Below your name, list your current mailing address, phone number, and the email address you most frequently
        use. You may use your permanent mailing address if you wish

Step 2: Education
       Always list your most recent education first. Indicate your university, your school (e.g. Georgetown College),
        major, minor(s), and graduation year.
       Include your GPA (optional, see “Dos” above); you may also inclue your GPA for your major and minor if
        you wish, especially if they are higher than your total GPA.

Step 3: Experience
       There are three main formats for summarizing your experience: Chronological, Functional, and Combination. You
        will find Chronological and Combination summarized below, as these are the most commonly used and
        preferred by most job applicants and employers. Remember that relevant experience can include jobs,
        internships, volunteer experiences and coursework.

       Chronological is most commonly used by college students. This format lists your experiences
        chronologically and is familiar to and (often preferred by) employers. This format is the best way to
        showcase your experiences while highlighting all of your assets.
            1. List experiences, starting with your most recent position.
            2. On the first line write the name of the company, location and the dates you worked.
            3. On the next line write the title of your position.
            4. Include three or four sentences describing what your position entailed. Think about what you
               actually contributed to the job or organization and how your role was significant. The use of bullets
               makes the resume easy to read. Refer to the attached “Action Verbs” sheet for help in choosing
               energetic verbs; try to avoid using “responsibilities include” and “did.”

       Combination (of Chronological and Functional formats) allows you to highlight your experience in specific
        fields. Work experiences are listed chronologically under functional categories (e.g., Financial, Legal, etc.).
             1. Create categories based on skills that are most important to the job field (e.g. Financial, Education,
                 Research, Technology, etc.)
             2. List work experiences under each category starting with your most recent position.
             3. Follow steps 2 to 4 as outlined under the Chronological format.

Step 4: Activities
       This is the place to list your extra-curricular activities, such as sports, on-campus involvement, volunteer
        experience, etc. You may provide a brief description of accomplishments and responsibilities for each if you

Step 5: Skills
       Important skills to include are:
        o Languages (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced or Fluent)
        o Technical skills; list specific software with which you are familiar (e.g. MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
           WordPerfect, Adobe Photoshop, etc.)
        o Any specific training or certification programs you have completed that would be relevant to the job for
           which you are applying.
        o You may list these under two separate subtitles (“Extracurricular Activities” and “Skills”) or one (“Skills
           & Activities”) if you need to conserve space.

Career Development Office:
MADISON A. CRAWFORD_____________________________________________________
                                                                        325 Sutherland Hall, University of Pittsburgh
                                                                                               Pittsburgh, PA 15260
                                                                                                     (412) 123-4567
     University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
     Bachelor of Arts, May 2010
     Major: Sociology, Cumulative GPA: 3.4/4.0

       Mediterranean Center of Arts and Sciences, Sicily, Italy
       Study abroad program, Fall 2008

     Student Employment and Placement Assistance, University of Pittsburgh
     Student Assistant, Spring 2007, January 2009-present
     • Research internship opportunities and compile career resources and information for students
     • Develop creative advertising initiatives for outreach programs
     • Classify and input statistical data

       Pitt News, University of Pittsburgh
       Assistant Leisure Editor, August 2009-present
       • Assist Leisure Editor in copy management, article planning and layout
       • Write reviews and feature stories with an emphasis on international films
       • Train writers and assistants for distribution of over 2,500 weekly issues

       Staff Writer, October 2007-May 2008
       • Wrote weekly reviews and feature stories on topics such as university/community relations
       • Interviewed nationally recognized stand-up comic

       Krome Communications, Pittsburgh, PA
       Intern, Summer 2006, Summer 2007
       • Engaged in all aspects of media relations including planning and staffing press conferences
       • Conducted market research for various existing clients and new business
       • Performed administrative and clerical duties

     UPMC Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA
     Volunteer, Fall 2009-Spring 2009
     • Work with child-life specialist on the transplant and oncology floors

       Caminando Unidos (“Walking Together”), Cuernavaca, México
       Volunteer, June 2006-August 2006
       • Served as a volunteer mentor, educator and leader for three months at a charitable organization in
       Cuernavaca, México
       • Supervised underprivileged and homeless Mexican children and taught hygiene, reading, writing, and
       other life skills

     • MS Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook; WordPerfect, Adobe Photoshop
     • Advanced Spanish (speaking, reading, writing, comprehension)

Career Development Office:
                                    Composing a Cover Letter

Your Cover Letter introduces your resume. Employers use cover letters to determine your interest in the
position and company, as well as to assess your written communication skills.

Your Cover Letter should be clearly structured, and should answer the following questions:

    Who are you?
        o Introduce yourself. State your major and year at Pitt.
    Why are you writing?
        o In the first few sentences, list the specific job title, if known, and how you heard about the
             opening. Be concise.
    Why are you interested in the position?
        o Without getting too personal, relate something about the job to your own interests and/or
             experiences to show the employer that you are motivated and will have a genuine interest in
             working for the company.
    How are you qualified?
        o Highlight skills and specific achievements that demonstrate why you are qualified for the
             position, and use key terms from the ad or job description that are clearly relevant to your
    What is your next step?
        o In closing, you should request an interview, with a strong reminder as to why the employer
             should meet with you. Also, state that you will call (e.g. within two weeks) to confirm that
             he/she has received your resume and cover letter (if you have their phone number and will
             follow up).

Things to remember:

    Target the cover letter to a specific employer and job description
    Address the letter to a specific individual. If no name was given in the job announcement, call the
     organization to track down a name. If all else fails, use “Dear Human Resources:” or “Dear Search
    Be brief! An ideal cover letter will be three concise paragraphs and should rarely be more than one
     page. Make sure every sentence says something meaningful about how you fit the position.
    Stick to three to four skills that you possess that are relevant to the position and mention concrete
     examples that demonstrate those skills (and that are listed on your resume).
    Match the font style and paper of your resume to your cover letter. The consistent layout will make
     your documents look more like a “package.”
    Proofread several times and ask friends to help!
    Keep a log of the applications you sent off including the date, the recipient, and when you said in
     the letter you would call them to follow-up (if appropriate), and your follow-up conversation.

Two types of Cover Letters (see attached samples):

   1. Basic Cover Letter—used when responding to a specific job opening or job advertisement.
   2. Prospecting Cover Letter—sent to a company/employer to inquire about possible job openings when
      no job ad is posted, and to display your interest in working with their company.

Career Development Office:
325 Sutherland Hall, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

September 1, 2009

Chris Branin
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20071

Dear Mr. Branin:

You have been most helpful in our e-mail correspondence. I am confident that I more than meet your
needs as a business-side summer intern in Public Relations. Please find my résumé enclosed, which details
my qualifications for the program.

When I found this internship advertised on the Post’s website about a month ago, I was ecstatic. I grew up
with The Washington Post delivered daily to my home in southern Maryland and have incorporated it into my
daily routine. I am eager to employ my strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and computer know-
how while also learning more about the business and production sides of the Post. In addition to my
passion for the Post, from the daily crossword in Style to Sunday’s Outlook section, I have to offer you my
extensive work experience in a variety of professional settings, motivation, and a vibrant personality.

I have requested a position in Public Relations as I feel this department would afford me the ideal
combination of interaction with Post staff members as well as exposure to external businesses and
individuals. As a Public Relations intern, you will benefit from my extensive employment experience in
professional settings, including work dealing with confidential case files in a State’s Attorney’s Office.
Currently, I work at University of Pittsburgh’s Student Employment and Placement Assistance office, where
I engage in computer-based projects and work in conjunction with the career consultants. Also, as the
current Assistant Leisure Editor for the Pitt News, I have successfully trained more than 15 writers and
assistants in the production of our publication while also writing weekly cinema reviews and feature stories.
I am confident that my supervisors will attest to the quality of my work, my conscientiousness, and
professional demeanor.

I will give you a call during the week of September 15 to confirm that you have received my application. If you have
any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (412) 123-4567 or via e-mail at I’m looking
forward to talking further with you to discuss my qualifications.

With best regards,

Madison Crawford

Career Development Office:
                                          Action Verbs

Most Useful*    Interpreted      Streamlined      Expressed      Styled         Filed
Activated       Interviewed      Strengthened     Presented                     Gathered
Adapted         Inventoried      Substituted      Printed        Improved/      Graphed
Advertised      Investigated     Summarized       Publicized     Increased      Kept
Advised         Lectured         Supported        Quoted         Accomplished   Methodized
Advocated       Led              Sustained        Reported       Achieved       Processed
Aided           Listened         Syntheisized     Rewrote        Acquired       Reproduced
Arranged        Located          Tabulated        Wrote          Advanced       Retrieved
Assembled       Maintained       Taught                          Allowed        Revised
Assessed        Mapped           Trained          Counseled/     Assured        Routinized
Bolstered       Markered         Visualized       Instructed/    Attended       Structured
Briefed         Met                               Learned        Conserved      Systemized
Built           (deadlines)      Analyzed         Applied        Enlarged
Cared           Modified         Abstracted       Comforted      Guaranteed     Served
Chaired         Monitored        Anticipated      Communicated   Mastered       Assisted
Charged         Motivated        Ascertained      Demonstrated   Maximized      Attended
Charted         Navigated        Audited          Emphasized     Minimized      Catered
Clarified       Negotiated       Calculated       Enabled        Overcame       Delivered
Coached         Observed         Compared         Enlightened    Perfected      Dispensed
Completed       Obtained         Computed         Familiarized   Upgraded       Entertained
Composed        Ordered          Conceptualized   Informed                      Furnished
Concluded       Organized        Critiqued        Manipulated    Negotiated     Procured
Conducted       Perceived        Defined          Prescribed     Arbitrated     Satisfied
Consolidated    Performed        Detected         Relected       Bargained      Supplied
Consulted       Persuaded        Determined       Saved          Closed
Continued       Planned          Diagnosed        Shared         Lobbied        Sold
Coordinated     Prepared         Discriminated    Tutored        Mediated       Auctioned
Corrected       Preserved        Dissected        Validated      Merged         Bartered
Correlated      Prioritized      Estimated                       Reconciled     Bought
Dealt           Produced         Examined         Created/                      Raised
Debated         Programmed       Figured          Developed      Operated/      Recruited
Edited          Promoted         Graded           Acted          Repaired/
Educated        Protected        Judged           Authored       Maintained     Supervised/
Eliminated      Provided         Predicted        Conceived      Adjusted       Managed
Encouraged      Purchased        Projected        Constructed    Changed        Administered
Enlisted        Ranked           Qualified        Designed       Installed      Allocated
Established     Read             Reasoned         Devised        Piloted        Approved
Evalutated      Recommended      Researched       Discovered     Ran            Assigned
Executed        Recorded         Scanned          Drafted        Replaced       Authorized
Exercised       Reduced          Studied          Experimented   Serviced       Confronted
Expanded        Regulated        Surveyed         Fashioned      Transported    Contracted
Expedited       Reinforced       Symbolized       Financed       Upheld         Controlled
Explained       Related          Verified         Formulated     Utilized       Decided
Facilitated     Represented                       Founded                       Delegated
Fixed           Resolved         Assisted         Increased      Organized      Directed
Fostered        Responded        Brought          Initiated      Accumulated    Dispatched
Generated       Restored         Collaborated     Innovated      Balanced       Distributed
Guided          Revamped         Contributed      Instituted     Budgeted       Enforced
Handled         Reviewed         Cooperated       Introduced     Cataloged      Fired
Helped          Scheduled        Ensured          Invented       Classified     Followed
Implemented     Screened         Participated     Launched       Collated       (through)
Improved        Served           Referred         Modeled        Collected      Governed
Indexed         Set                               Originated     Compiled       Headed
Influenced      Simplified       Communicated     Pioneered      Copied         Instructed
Inspected       Solved           Addressed        Proposed       Detailed       Mentored
Inspired        Spoke            Answered         Refined        Developed      Oversaw
Integrated      Stimulated       Corresponded     Shaped         Displayed      Preside

Career Development Office:
                                        Action Verbs

Career Development Office:

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