Resume writing and cover letters
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Resume Writing and Cover Letters. Academic Advising and Career Center • (916) 278-6231 www.csus.edu/careercenter. Purpose of a Resume. To secure an interview Focuses relevant skills and knowledge for audience Acknowledges accomplishments Tailored to the position for which you are applying

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Resume Writing and Cover Letters

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Resume writing and cover letters

Resume Writing and Cover Letters

Academic Advising and Career Center • (916) 278-6231 www.csus.edu/careercenter


Purpose of a resume

Purpose of a Resume

  • To secure an interview

  • Focuses relevant skills and knowledge for audience

  • Acknowledges accomplishments

  • Tailored to the position for which you are applying

  • Updated throughout college and professional career


Styles of resumes

Styles of Resumes

Chronological

Combination


Resume categories

Resume Categories

  • Heading

  • Objective (optional)

  • Summary of Qualifications (optional)

  • Education

  • Certifications, licenses

  • Work Experience, Professional Experience

  • Related Experience


Additional resume categories

Additional Resume Categories

  • Affiliations

  • Community Involvement

  • Professional Development Classes

  • Publications

  • Projects and Research

  • Workshops/Seminars Conducted

  • Interests (work-related)

  • International Experiences


Heading

Heading

  • Name

  • Street address

  • City, state, zip

  • Email address

  • Telephone number with area code

  • Centered or right justified


Objective

Objective

  • List the job title, position, or department to which you are applying; company name or industry.

  • Objective may be omitted for some purposes, such as a generalized resume for a career fair

  • Avoid wordy objective statements; simple is better


Objective samples

Objective Samples

OBJECTIVE

To obtain a position as a Human Resources Assistant with Allison Health, Inc.

Sample Objective #1:

Sample Objective #2:

OBJECTIVE

To obtain a position as a Computer Programmer with proficiency in C/C++ and assembly language noted for producing clean, readable, and imaginative code


Education

Education

  • Degree(s)

  • Major(s)

  • Concentration(s); Minor(s)

  • School(s) where you received a degree

  • Graduation date

  • Overall and/or Major GPA (optional)

  • Expected: graduation date


Education sample

Education Sample

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Minor: Spanish

California State University, Sacramento, May 2009

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies

Concentration: Public Relations

Minor: Spanish

California State University, Sacramento, Expected: December 2009

Education Section Examples #1 and #2:


Sub categories within education

Sub-categories within Education

  • These provide an excellent way to highlight information related to your school accomplishments

  • The information should relate to the requirements of the position in priority order


Samples of sub categories within education

Samples of Sub-categories within Education

  • Achievements

  • Credentials

  • Language Skills

  • Honors

  • Awards

  • Related Coursework

  • Projects

  • Class Projects

  • Computer Skills

  • Certifications

  • Licensure

  • Scholarships


Sample of sub categories within education

Sample of Sub-categories within Education

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, Digital Media

Minor: Computer Science

California State University, Sacramento, May 2010

Honors:Golden Key National Honor Society

Certification:C++ Programming

Language Skills:Bilingual and biliterate in Spanish

Computer Skills:Microsoft Access, PowerPoint, Excel


Showcasing your leadership experiences

Showcasing Your Leadership Experiences

  • Awards/Achievements

  • Campus Activities: Orientation leader, Peer mentor

  • University Service

  • Recognition: Senior Sales, Manager, Supervisor

  • Program or Project Leader

  • Publications

  • Organizations, Clubs

  • Volunteering


Examples of showcasing your leadership skills

Examples of Showcasing Your Leadership Skills

LEADERSHIP PROFILE

• Three year membership in the Honor Society, including acting as Treasurer and President for one year

• Five years volunteer experience at Loaves and Fishes

• Three years experience as a recreation leader at the Boys and Girls Club of Sacramento

COMMUNITY INVOLVMENT

Recreation Leader, Boys and Girls Club, Sacramento, CA 2008-2009

Volunteer, Loaves and Fishes, Sacramento, CA 2005-2010


Examples of showcasing your leadership skills1

Examples of Showcasing Your Leadership Skills

ACTIVITES

Treasurer, Queer-Straight Alliance, California State University, Sacramento, CA 2010

Member, Art History Club , California State University, Sacramento, CA 2009

WORKSHOPS PRESENTED

Effective Marketing Tactics, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sacramento State, CA 2008

Career Options, Philosophy Club, Sacramento State, CA 2007

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Leadership Conference, California State University, Sacramento, CA, 2011


School experiences in resumes

School Experiences in Resumes

  • Technical skills and knowledge,

  • Internships and volunteer work

  • Projects, group work, assignments

  • Senior project and/or other research projects/assignments

  • Lab courses

  • Soft skills, such as communication, leadership, organization, and research skills

  • Student clubs and organizations

  • Course content skills and knowledge

  • Community engagement opportunities


Chronological resumes

Chronological Resumes

Advantages

  • Known, Conventional

  • Good for work history that relates to the position

  • Employer can see job duties for each position

  • Emphasis on job titles and dates

Disadvantages

  • May not highlight most relevant skills

  • Reflects gaps in employment history

  • May not highlight skills and knowledge from school and volunteer work


Combination resumes

Combination Resumes

Advantages

  • Includes skills acquired from school and other experiences

  • Emphasizes skills most relevant to the position

  • Underplays chronology, limited experience, “job hopping”

  • Helpful to those who have limited job related experience, are transitioning from the military, or who are changing careers

Disadvantages

  • Employers may be unfamiliar with style or wary that you are trying to “fix” something

  • Employer cannot see job duties from each position


Work experience in a chronological resume

Work Experience in a Chronological Resume

  • In reverse chronological order by date

  • Job title

  • Company/Organization

  • Department/Division

  • City, State

  • Dates of Employment

  • Action-verb sentences in priority order and written to reflect skills/knowledge relating to the job


Sample of work experience in a chronological resume

Sample of Work Experience in a Chronological Resume

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Instructor and Networking Assistant January 2008 - Present

Technology Resource Center, Hansen University, Happy Valley, CA

• Instructed 120 college students in web-designing and multimedia

video production during the summer.

MIS InternSept 2006 - Dec 2008

Globe Central, Inc., San Francisco, CA

• Installed, configured, enhanced, and maintained computer systems

for the Human Resources Department with 50 employees and workstations.


Skills section in a combination resume

Skills Section in a Combination Resume

  • Three skill categories that relate to the position or purpose of the resume

  • Always include a Work History section after the Relevant Skills and Knowledge section

    • The Work History section only includes the Job Title, company or organization name, City, State, and date range.

  • The date range can be express by year only or month and year.


Sample of skills section in a combination resume

Sample of Skills Section in a Combination Resume

RELEVANT SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE

Program Development

• Prepared and taught health education programs to students in

stress management, relaxation and exercise.

• Implemented a smoking education and cessation program in the

residence halls for freshman and sophomore students; 85% of

students attended.

Management and Supervision

• Supervised a staff of up to 15 personal trainers in a center that

specialized in professional and college athletes.

Project Management

• Directed a 15-person team that conducted a nutrition health survey of 1,000 school age children, ages 9 – 17.


Action verb statements

Action-verb Statements

  • Describe skills, knowledge and/or accomplishments that relate to the position, industry, department, or company

  • Begin with past-tense action verbs

  • Are quantifiable, if possible

  • Are usually no more than two lines

  • Are written in priority order in relation to the skill set required for the position


Action verb statements1

Action-verb Statements

  • Taught a technical workshop. (First Draft)

  • Designed and taught a workshop on web-based video.

  • Designed and taught a 10-week training session for 20 Consulting Department employees on Web-based Video Production.

The following is an example of an action-verb sentence demonstrating the progression of creating a sentence from a first draft through a more developed and comprehensive sentence.

Sample Action-verb sentence #1:


Activity

Activity

  • If you were a group of employers, what would you look for in a resume?


References

References

  • References are listed on a separate page with the same heading as your resume and include your reference name, business title, business address, telephone number, and email address

  • Printed on the same paper as your resume

  • Same heading as your resume with a title, for example, REFERENCES or Professional References

  • Personal references are not acceptable.


Cover letters

Cover Letters

  • Are an essential part of your application packet

  • Must be written for each job for which you are applying; avoid generic cover letters

  • Avoid “essays”; keep your letter simple and pertinent to the job and/or purpose of the letter

  • Personalize the letter by including information about the position/company/organization.

  • There are many types of business correspondence, including cover letters

  • One page. Keep to a minimum sentences that start with “I”

  • Sign your letters in black ink. Use 100% cotton paper or the same resume paper as your resume

  • Letters should have plenty of “open space”

This handout is provided by the Academic Advising and Career Center at California State University, Sacramento and is intended for personal non-commercial use. 2013


Cover letters1

Cover Letters

Sections:

  • Your name and contact information

  • Inside Address: Employer’s name and company address

  • Salutation

  • Body

  • Closing

  • Enclosure (Resume)


First paragraph

First Paragraph

  • Briefly introduce yourself and your interest in the organization/position

  • Mention how you heard about the position, if someone referred you, or you met the recipient at a previous event or meeting


Middle paragraph s

Middle Paragraph(s)

  • Highlight your background, with examples, as it relates to the position or purpose

  • Focus on skills and accomplishments

  • What attracts you to the company or organization

  • What makes you unique?


Closing paragraph

Closing Paragraph

  • Appreciation for considering your application

  • How to contact applicant

  • Thank them for their time and consideration


Thank you

Thank you

The Career Center offers drop-in services where you can obtain assistance with questions about resumes, cover letters, interviewing techniques, and other aspects of your job search. If you need help beginning to write a resume or if you have a draft that you would like critiqued, visit the Career Center in Lassen Hall.

Thank you, The Career Center Staff


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