Creating an effective resume cover letter
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Creating an Effective Resume & Cover Letter. Overview. Purpose of a resume Preparing to write your resume Resume content areas Resume format Use of keywords & action verbs What to include and exclude Cover letters. What is a resume?.

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Creating an Effective Resume & Cover Letter

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Creating an effective resume cover letter

Creating an Effective Resume &Cover Letter


Overview

Overview

  • Purpose of a resume

  • Preparing to write your resume

  • Resume content areas

  • Resume format

  • Use of keywords & action verbs

  • What to include and exclude

  • Cover letters


What is a resume

What is a resume?

  • A resume is a self-marketing tool designed to “sell” your qualifications to employers

  • A resume is a one (or two for highly qualified candidates) page summary of your education, skills, experience and accomplishments

  • Aresume is your introduction to the employer and where you make your first impression

    A resume gets you the interview so you can get the job!


Preparing to write your resume

Preparing to Write Your Resume

Conduct Self Assessment

  • Outline your skills, experience, and abilities

  • Determine where your interests lie in your chosen career field

  • Conduct research on job titles that are available in your career field and what qualifications are required

  • Find matches between your skills and interests and available positions


Self assessment

Self Assessment

  • Write down your jobs, volunteer work, activities, class projects

  • Have one paragraph worth of information for each item and include:

    • Concrete, quantifiable data (saved over 20%; sales in excess of $2M)

    • 5 or more success stories

    • List of skills and experiences

    • Achievements and accomplishments


Self assessment1

Self Assessment


Resume content basic section titles

Resume Content - Basic Section Titles

  • Name

  • Contact information

  • Objective or Summary of Qualifications

  • Education

  • Research or Projects

  • Related Experience / Employment Experience

  • Volunteer Experience

  • Activities & Honors / Professional Memberships

  • Skills


Contact information

Contact Information

First Last

[email protected]

Current (Until May 6, 2012) Permanent

1000 Melbourne Avenue – 2587 1234 Main Street

Melbourne, FL 32901 City, IL 12345

123-456-7890 (cell) 222-222-2222

FIRST LAST

1500 Melbourne Avenue #123

Melbourne, FL 32901

321-123-4567 (cell)

[email protected]

FIRST LAST

123 Main Street, Melbourne, FL, 32901 321.222.1111 [email protected]


Objective statement

Objective Statement

  • It should not be about you and what you want!

  • Make it about the employer’s needs and what value you bring to the position

  • Consider a summary of qualifications or professional profile statement to better show your value


Objective statement1

Objective Statement

  • Be specific when possible

  • Tailor your objective for field/position and employer

  • Include specific skills necessary for the position that you have to offer


Objective statement2

Objective Statement

What do you think of these objective statements?

An entry level position that allows me to develop my full potential as an engineer.

A position that offers a challenging work environment and opportunity for growth.


Objective statement samples

Objective Statement Samples

  • A position as a support specialist utilizing my skills and experience in the fields of computer science and management information systems

  • A summer internship in biological sciences working with marine mammalsand utilizing excellent laboratory and analytical skills.

    Sample Summary Statement

  • Experienced human resources professional with expertise in payroll, program implementation, and organizational development seeking position as human resources manager. Accomplishments include:

    • Understanding of benefit administration and labor laws

    • Knowledge of human motivation factors

    • Administering counseling, support, career guidance and development


Education

Education

  • List most current education first

  • Omit high school unless you are a freshman

  • Use bold font for major

  • Anticipated graduation date

  • GPA if over 3.0 or if meets minimum requirements

  • Related coursework – bulleted list of 4-6 related courses

  • Certifications or additional training

Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology

GPA: 3.45

Anticipated graduation: May 2012


Work related experience format

Work/Related Experience Format

  • List position, organization, location, and employment dates

  • Location – just city and state is required

  • Dates – just list years for multiple years and use consistent format when listing months

  • List in reverse chronological order

  • Use past tense for previous positions

  • Start each description with an action verb. Make sure that all of your descriptions are full statements.

  • Try to match your action/keywords with the keywords used in the job description

  • Look at your current job description for guidance in writing your work description


Work related experience format1

Work/Related Experience Format

  • Florida Institute of Technology, Resident Assistant, Melbourne, FL, August 2011 - May 2012

  • Served as peer counselor and assisted over 50 residents in transitioning to campus culture

  • Enforced college policies to ensure campus health safety standards were met

  • Organized, promoted and implemented educational workshops and social activities for residents

  • Resident Assistant 9/2011-5/2012

  • Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL

  • Served as peer counselor and assisted over 50 residents in transitioning to campus culture in several capacities:

  • Organized, promoted and implemented educational workshops and social

    activities for residents

  • Enforced college policies to ensure campus health safety standards were met


Work related experience

Work/Related Experience

Formula for describing your responsibilities and accomplishments:

What did you do > How did you do it > For what purpose > What was the result?


Work related experience1

Work/Related Experience

Systems Administrator

  • Rough notes: I helped migrate more than 1,000 users from local servers to corporate Unix DCS servers. My boss wanted this done in a month, and unbelievably, I achieved this.

  • Formulated Statement: Integrally involved in seamless migration of 1,000-plus users from various local servers onto DCS corporate UNIX servers in aggressive one-month timeframe.

    Administrative Assistant

  • Rough notes: On my first day on the job, I couldn't find anything, because the filing system was a mess. Customers were unhappy, because wait times were long as we located files. I reorganized the filing system, which now works beautifully.

  • Formulated Statement: Improved office efficiency by overhauling previously haphazard filing system and implemented a new charting system that resulted in a 20% increase in the number of customers served while also increasing customer satisfaction.


Work related experience tips

Work/Related Experience Tips

  • List tangible results and skills where possible

  • Avoid using pronouns such as “I” or ”my” in describing your responsibilities and throughout your resume

  • If you have held many part-time or summer jobs, only list the most recent and most relevant to your targeted position

  • Consider condensing jobs that are similar but not related to the target position into one statement to show that you worked while in college and that you contributed to your college expenses

    Sample:

    2009-2011 Held several part-time positions in hospitality industry to earn money for college expenses.


Work related experience tips1

Work/Related Experience Tips

  • Internships and major-related jobs can be listed in their own section and should be listed before non major-related jobs

  • If you have not had an internship or major-related experience, list the work experiences that you have and focus on transferable skills and any achievements

    Sample:

    Cashier, Walmart, Palm Bay, FL 2011-2012

  • Cash handling and customer service duties in high volume retail environment

  • Trained and supervised new employees


Research volunteer experience

Research & Volunteer Experience

  • Research related to your major with professors or in class

  • Articles published (use proper citing for your major)

  • Senior design project – describe goal of project and accomplishments

  • Volunteering shows responsibility, dedication, and involvement

  • Especially valuable if major related

  • Use the same format as for work experience but identify volunteer work under a separate heading


Activities memberships

Activities & Memberships

  • Campus organizations – clubs, sports, student government, etc.

  • Honor societies related to your major (Psi Chi, Alpha Eta Rho)

  • Professional organizations:

    • IEEE

    • NSBE

    • SWE

  • Special scholarships – exclude amount

  • Awards

  • Leave off high school accomplishments

  • List most relevant activities such as professional associations or honor societies first


Skills

Skills

  • Lab skills (Proficient with laboratory and field equipment)

  • Basic software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)

  • Programming languages (C/C++, Perl, Java, C#, Fortran, SQL, PHP)

  • IEEE standards & Engineering concepts

  • Specialty Software

  • Aircraft flown (PA-2-161, Mooney M20J, etc)

  • Flight time (PIC, Dual Given, Instrument, Complex, Multi-Engine)

  • Fluency or knowledge of a foreign language


Skills1

Skills

  • Consider adding “soft skills” to the resume in your skills section

  • Soft skills that are sought after by employers such as communication, teamwork, leadership, and management skills

  • Although typically listed in a cover letter, including them on the resume can help in key word searches


Keywords

Keywords

  • Keywords are especially important in resumes that are submitted online and scanned

  • Match with the key qualifications or requirements of a job description

  • Consider a skills section that is targeted to the qualifications required by the employer


Keywords action verbs

Keywords & Action Verbs

  • Checked

  • Classified

  • Coached

  • Collated

  • Collected

  • Communicated

  • Compiled

  • Completed

  • Composed

  • Conducted

  • Consolidated

  • Constructed

  • Controlled

  • Counseled

  • Created

  • Dealt

  • Delegated

  • Delivered

  • Demonstrated

  • Designed

  • Determined

  • Diagnosed

  • Directed

  • Drafted

  • Edited

  • Eliminated

  • Encouraged

  • Evaluated

  • Exhibited

  • Expedited

  • Forecasted

  • Found

  • Generated

  • Guided

  • Hired

  • Implemented

  • Improved

  • Increased

  • Influenced

  • Initiated

  • Innovated

  • Integrated

  • Interpreted

  • Invented

  • Invested

  • Launched

  • Led

  • Lobbied

  • Maintained

  • Managed

  • Measured

  • Mediated

  • Negotiated

  • Organized

  • Participated

  • Planned

  • Predicted

  • Programmed

  • Proposed

  • Reduced

  • Revised

  • Simplified

  • Streamlined

  • Systemized

  • Upgraded

  • Accelerated

  • Accomplished

  • Accounted

  • Achieved

  • Acquired

  • Adapted

  • Administered

  • Adopted

  • Advised

  • Advocated

  • Aided

  • Allocated

  • Analyzed

  • Appraised

  • Arranged

  • Assembled

  • Based

  • Budgeted

  • Built


Resume basics

Resume Basics

  • You have 30 seconds (or less) to grab the attention of the person reviewing your resume

  • Resumes should be concise

  • Easy to read & align visually

  • New college grads with little experience only need a one page resume

  • Some graduate students and alumni may need a two-page resume

  • Determine what skills and achievements are necessary for your resume – keep only those that will help you get the job you are seeking

    SPELL CHECK!!!!!


Dos don ts

Dos & Don’ts

  • Do include all relevant experience

  • Do use a legible font face and size

  • Do include enough white space to allow for skimming

  • Do use bulleted lists for job descriptions

  • Do try to stick to one page unless you are a skilled professional

  • Don’t include your SSN, Photo, Marital Status, etc

  • Don’t use more than two fonts

  • Don’t put references on the resume – create a separate sheet

  • Don’t use excessive bold face/italics or an ink color other than black


Sample resume

Sample Resume


Sample resume1

Sample Resume


Your resume

Your Resume

How does your resume measure up!

  • Is it easy to read?

  • Does your objective statement bring value or is it all about you?

  • Is your education listed in correct order and format?

  • Work experience – if you have any, is it listed in reverse chronological order?

  • Relevant skills section?

  • Is the most important information listed first and easy to read?


Cover letters

Cover Letters

  • Opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer

  • Provide enhanced details about your qualifications

  • Point out specific experiences which make you an excellent fit for the position

  • A cover letter does not need to be lengthy and should not exceed one page


Cover letters1

Cover Letters

  • Paragraph #1: How you learned about the job? Identifying your source of information about the job.

  • Paragraph #2: Why you are interested? Address the reasons you are motivated.

  • Paragraph #3: How you are qualified?Opportunity to relate your qualifications to the various skills the employer has outlined in the position description.

  • Paragraph #4: What steps you plan to take to be considered?

    Summarize your interest in the position, show appreciation, indicate contact information for further information, and take responsibility for following up.


Resume and cover letter resources

Resume and Cover Letter Resources

Optimal Resume

https://fit.optimalresume.com/

Career Management Services

http://www.fit.edu/career/resumes/


Career management services

Career Management Services

  • Part-time and full-time job postings on Panther Career Link at http://fit.experience.com

  • Internships & Co-op

  • ProTrack Co-op

  • Federal Work-study

  • Florida Work Experience Program

  • Workshops

  • Resume & Cover Letter Critiques

  • Career Fair & Employer Day

  • Mock Interviews


Contact us

Contact Us

Dona Gaynor, Director

[email protected]

Delicia Lewis, Assistant Director

[email protected]


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