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					How to Write a Great Resume!

Greg Iaccarino                Kari Nysather
L&S / Human Ecology       &   Graduate Business School
Career Services Advisor       Career Services Advisor
What do I need a resume for?
¡   To get your target employer’s
    attention…in 30 seconds or less!

¡   To communicate your credentials

¡   To demonstrate your achievements

¡   To create a first impression of your
    professional image
Getting Started :
Know thyself and thy job

¡   The biggest initial obstacle to writing a resume is
    describing your experience in terms of skills and
    abilities and not just as the duties you performed
    or your job responsibilities.

¡   Sometimes it’s necessary to convey job functions,
    but employers are really looking for you to
    identify what you learned from those duties and
    how they’re going to transfer to the new job
    (since no two positions have identical, static
Getting Started :
Know thyself and thy job

¡   Once you’ve identified your skills, then
    you can begin looking for the job(s) that
    would be the perfect fit for you. If you’re
    having trouble narrowing your job search,
    rank the skills or talents you’ve learned in
    your education, work, internship,
    volunteer or extracurricular involvement
    in the order in which you’d most like to
    use them in your future career.
Resume Styles

¡   Which style will best represent your
    skills and experiences to a potential
    l   Reverse Chronological
    l   Functional
    l   Combination
Reverse Chronological format…
        if you’re staying on the same career path

    traditional structure for most resumes.

¡   This format focuses on the Experience section and
    highlights in detail the last several jobs you’ve had as if
    they were rungs on the career ladder you’re now

¡   This type of resume is best used if you’re sticking in
    the same profession or type of work, or if you’re
    applying within a conservative field (such as law or

¡   A career objective on this type of resume acts as the
    next rung you’d like on your career ladder.
Functional Resume…
        if you want to veer down another path

¡   The FUNCTIONAL RESUME highlights your major
    skills and accomplishments from the very beginning.

¡   The functional resume is a must for career changers,
    those with divergent careers, those with a wide range
    of skills in their given profession, and who want to
    make slight shifts in their career direction.

¡   Readers can see clearly what you can do for them,
    rather than having to read through job descriptions.

¡   It helps target your resume into a new direction or
    field, by lifting up from all past jobs the key skills and
    qualifications that help prove you will be successful in
    this new direction or field.
Combination Resume…
        for something in between

¡   A COMBINATION RESUME is another wonderful

¡   This type includes elements of both the chronological
    and functional formats.

¡   It may be a shorter chronology of job descriptions
    preceded by a short “Skills and Accomplishments”
    section (or with a longer Summary including a skills list
    or a list of “qualifications”); or, it may be a standard
    functional resume with the accomplishments under
    headings of different jobs held.

¡   It maximizes the advantages of both kinds of resumes,
    avoiding potential “turn-off” of either type.
Essential Components
¡   Contact Information

¡   Educational background

¡   Relevant professional or school-related
    activities, clubs or organizations

¡   Experience
Must Have’s: Contact Information
¡   Your Name

¡   Your Address: Most college students give
    “current” and “permanent”

¡   Phone Numbers: Make sure that any phone
    number you include has a professional message
    at the other end

¡   Email address: Again, make sure it’s
    professional…(ie. no
Contact Information (example)

           Maria Velasquez
   Permanent Address: 367 Alameda
        Drive, Chico, CA 95926
Present Address: 1623 Monroe Street,
          Madison, WI 53711
     Phone: (608) 257-1914 (home)
         (608) 279-0484 (cell)
What’s next Experience or Education?

¡   If you are a current college student
    or about to graduate, you generally
    list education first

¡   If you’ve been out of school for a
    few years working, then you
    generally list experience first
Must Have’s: Educational Experience

¡   Always list the name of your University first
¡   Next, spell out your degree
¡   List your major(s) and certificates after your
    degree and your graduation date (or expected
¡   You can also list relevant coursework
¡   Academic awards, honors, and recognition should
    also be listed under this section
¡   You may want to list your GPA…it depends
Educational Experience (example)

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bachelor of Arts, May 2002
Double Major: International Relations and Spanish
Awards and Honors: Chancellor’s Scholarship
                       Dean’s List (8 semesters)
                       Hilldale Research Grant Recipient

Relevant Coursework:
Latin American Politics         International Economics
Business Spanish                International Business
    Must Have’s: Experience
¡   You can use subsections for specific skills or
     l   (Volunteer/Community Service, Study/Work Abroad,
         Language Proficiencies, Professional Memberships, Public
         Relations Experience, Editing/Journalistic Experience,
         Fundraising Experience, Laboratory Experience,
         Experience With Children, etc.)
¡   Include company name, city and state
¡   Dates of employment (month or season, and year)
¡   Job Title
¡   And excellent descriptive statements to convey the
    skills you used, the accomplishments you made, and
    the initiatives you took…
Experience (example)

Intern, Human Rights Watch
Washington D.C.
Summer 2001
  l   Performed research for international human
      rights campaigns
  l   Initiated contact with international political
      organizations such as the European Union
  l   Translated documents from English to Spanish
      and vice versa
What’s an excellent resume vs. a
mediocre resume?

¡   Use ACTION verbs
¡   Show your achievements
¡   Demonstrate scope
¡   Readability and organization
¡   Clear and Concise Language
¡   Error Free (check grammar, spelling,

¡   Relevance, Relevance, Relevance !!!
Weak vs. Strong Descriptive
¡   The example statement below was on a student’s
    resume that I counseled on resume improvement.
    After further discussion, I found out he was not
    concisely showing his abilities and skills as an
    Assistant Sales Manager. The statement on the
    next page reflects the change.

¡   “Responsible for stocking inventory, working with
    employees, helping customers, keeping books,
    and closing store.”
Strong Descriptive Statements
¡   Supervised and trained 30 employees in
    selling shoes, customer service and
    stocking shelves in a store with sales of
    $200,000 annually
¡   Consistently exceeded Corporate Sales
¡   Top sales manger out of three managers
¡   Created and implemented employee
    incentive program, and increased sales by
    20% per year
Optional Resume Components
¡   Objective statement – (mixed reviews on this)
¡   Skills Summary or Professional Profile
¡   Honors or Awards
¡   Availability
¡   References upon request
¡   Computer Skills
¡   Group Projects

¡   Rule of Thumb…
¡   Make sure it’s relevant to your target job !!
More on Career Objectives…
         do I need one or not?

¡   The rule of thumb on Career
    l   If you are changing career directions,
        or have a diverse background you may
        want to use a career objective.
    l   If your resume show consistency in a
        particular career path, you may not
        need one.
If you use a Career Objective…
       make sure it clarifies the following

¡   the Position that you’re applying for

¡   the Industry you’re interested in

¡   or the Skills you would like to utilize
More specifically, a Career Objective
can define…

¡   Functional area of interest and/or specific job title
¡       (sales, data processing, research, copy writing…)

¡   Type of organization or industry
¡       (governmental, manufacturer, retailer
¡       social service agency, financial institution…)

¡   Level of position — optional, unless listed
¡       (mid-level, entry-level...)

¡   Size and scope of organization if relevant
¡       (small, large, local, regional, international…)
Examples to help you prepare your
own career objective:

¡ Interested in a career in media or market research field
   with a large agency. Particular focus on corporate

¡ Seeking assignment as a programmer or systems
   analyst with an interest in marketing and finance

¡ In pursuit of a personnel assistant post in public
   service organization with partiality towards human
   resources management.
Other Optional Components

¡   If you have little professional work experience, think
    about the skills that you used in the following areas:
    l   Research Papers/Project
    l   Summer Jobs
    l   Certification Courses
    l   Internships
    l   Campus jobs (Work study)
    l   Campus Activity Positions
    l   Entrepreneurial/self-employed jobs
    l   Temporary Work
    l   Volunteer Work: service learning, tutoring, mentoring,
        clubs, non-profit organizations
    l   Extracurricular Positions
What NOT to Include?
¡   Personal information
    l   Marital or family status, age or date of birth,
¡   Pictures
¡   High school honors
    l   Undergrad awards are okay if relevant
¡   Personal interests
    l   Unless you know how it connects
¡   Personal characteristics
    l   Example: reliable, fast learner, team player
Final Test!
¡   Try a variety of styles and organizational
    techniques – what works best for you?

¡   Have professionals in career services and
    your field read your resume to be sure of
    clarity and image projected

¡   Keep more than one resume on file to
    accentuate different skill sets