Résumé Writing Hints
A good résumé is: concise, no more
than 1-2 pages; with perfect grammar and spelling; positive;
action-oriented and achievement-oriented; attractive and thought
of as your advertisement targeted toward a "buyer," the
A résumé is not your life
history, generalizations, the same as an application, wordy,
lengthy, or boring to read!
There are three basic types of résumés:
chronological, functional, and combination-style. There is no
one way to write a résumé. The style to use is the one that
works the best for you, that communicates to the employer that
you can do the job!
the following in any résumé:
- Personal demographics: name,
full mailing address, telephone at home and work, and
- An objective that gives the
employer an idea of the type of work you are looking for.
The objective gives focus to your résumé, and is
- Education/training: include
degrees, certificates, majors, institution, year awarded.
- Work History: job title,
employer, location, years worked.
Additions and options include: special
skills, professional summary or highlights, professional
memberships, honors/awards, publications, relevant personal data,
(such as security clearance, licenses, citizenship, languages,
machinery or equipment, computer skills) and community
the following in any résumé:
- The word "résumé" at the
- Personal data, such as age, marital
status, race, religion, political affiliation, family
- "References Upon Request" is
understood and not necessary.
- Writing in the first person,
- Salary for each job you have held
Tips for Writing a good résumé:
- Write with the following format in
mind: Action verb + object + the purpose + any
achievement/award/accomplishment you received for
doing a great job. Indicate responsibility, results, and
relevancy. Example: "Taught résumé writing to
college students to increase their marketability; over
50% of students received job interviews as a
- List achievements and how you solve
problems. Example: "increased efficiency, saved
money, increased customer interest in the product."
- Use action verbs in the present or
past tense. Example: "coordinated, initiated,
supervised, developed, wrote, researched,
organized." Avoid using the phrase,
- Use numbers or statistics when you
can. Example: "helped raise over $5000 for
charity" or "set up fully operational office in
3 months" or "managed a petty cash fund of up
to $3000" or "supervised and trained 3
full-time clerical employees" or "improved
efficiency of contacts with customers by 40%."
- Use the language of your future
profession. Example: in human resources, talk about
FLMA, EEO or ADA; in management, talk about ISO 9000; in
computer, talk about ADA, C++, HTML, JAVA, Microsoft
Office, Excel; in education, talk about curriculum
development, lesson plans, discipline, communication with
- Bring out personal, professional
qualities that you bring to the job.For
example: ability to work alone or as a team member, team
leader, ability to work effectively under the pressure of
deadlines, creative, ability to give and follow
directions, ability to work in diverse environments with
all types of people. Include qualities that are most
relevant to the type of position you want. Always be 100%
honest. An interviewer can tell what is true about you
after a few minutes on the phone or during the interview.
- Be specific; every word counts.
Dont write in generalities and describe
"things" or "various
responsibilities" or "other software."
- Be selective. Only include what
is relevant to the position. Be able to defend every word
and give examples in the interview.
- Include volunteer, community, club
or class responsibilities if they are relevant.
Example: managing a budget, writing a 20-page report
analyzing a small business and suggesting solutions to
problems. Include any and all experience that is
pertinent to your objective.
- Avoid using abbreviations and
- Write your own résumé.
A résumé is a "living document," and you will
edit it and rewrite it many times in your lifetime.
Always ask other professional opinions, such as your
professors, former employers, people you use as
references, and persons in your network. By writing your
own résumé, you prepare yourself well for the interview.
- Pay particular attention to making
your résumé look beautiful.
Use a clear, distinct 10-12 point font (Arial or Times
Roman is good). Use a laser printer. Use high quality
résumé paper (white, ivory, light gray). Lay out your
résumé with one-inch margins all around, and leave the
right amount of "white space." Use bold face,
underlining, italics, bullets, and capitalization so that
your résumé can be easily skimmed. However, a plain
résumé on white paper is recommended for faxing,
scanning or sending electronically. Résumé are looked at
an average of one minute initially.
- Keep your résumé
on a disk so that it can be updated or tailored for a
specific position quickly.
- Each résumé
should look like it was written with a particular job
objective in mind, not mass produced. Some people
write 2-3 different résumés for different objectives.
- Always send a cover letter if you
mail, fax or email your résumé. The
cover letter should introduce yourself, tell why you are
sending your résumé, what position you are applying for,
and requesting an interview.
- Do not include references or salary
history/requirements on your résumé.
It is not necessary to include the phrase
- "References Upon Request."
Rather, have a separate sheet with your name, address and
phone at the top; with the heading
"References." List the names, titles, business
address, business phone, and e-mail of former employers,
professors or anyone who can tell about your skills,
abilities, and knowledge as a worker. Take this list of
references with you to your first interview and offer it
as a follow-up. A copy of a letter that is complimentary
about your work performance may be sent with your
résumé, if appropriate and beneficial.
- Keep a record of all résumés
you send or give out, the date, and what the final
outcome was. Follow up on all leads.
- Use your résumés
to: apply for advertised jobs, give to contacts in
your network, send to specific organizations for whom you
would like to work, give to placement agencies, give to
references, use as a business card.
|ALWAYS CARRY AN UPDATED RÉSUMÉ WITH YOU!