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IS YOUR RESUME READY? Resume Critique and Evaluation. Troy Vaughn – Director, Recreational Sports Southeast Missouri State University One University Plaza, MS 7100 Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701 Phone: 573.651.2878 E-Mail: or link to

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IS YOUR RESUME READY?Resume Critique and Evaluation

Troy Vaughn – Director, Recreational Sports

Southeast Missouri State University

One University Plaza, MS 7100

Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701

Phone: 573.651.2878

E-Mail: or link to for the presentation on line

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What’s All of This Resume “Stuff” About Anyway??? – Times are “a changing!”“Finding a job is actually tougher than the job itself!”

  • “Purpose” of a resume (vita) – a blueprint of you (present and past) and it’s a roadmap to who you are and where you want to go!

  • Adds better professionals and “polished” individuals to the field of recreation

  • How do I keep my resume up-to-date?

    • Weekly updates (I usually do each Friday afternoon)

    • Make the time to keep updated – you lose too much if you don’t!

  • What should I put in or leave out of my resume? It’s a difficult decision!

  • Saving to disk (posting on a website?)

    •, your own personal website? (YES!)

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Participant Demographics Times are “a changing!”Ross Study - 1997

Recreational Sports Directors are Looking

For What from a Candidate? Two studies:

(Dr. Craig Ross, Indiana University - 1997)

About the Research (older research – but still very relevant):

  • 70% Male, 30% Female respondents

  • Over 50% Ages 30-44

  • 70% At Least 9 Years of Professional Experience

  • New research taking place now – more information on changes since 1997 coming soon!

  • Many aspects are from experience as well

  • Jim Jamriska, Ball State University (2004) – looked at preferences for GA candidates

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Overall Resume Components Times are “a changing!”What EACH Resume Should Include:

  • Career Objectives (why I don’t like to use these)

    • Common mistakes made are…not specific enough, same one to the previous agency, etc – don’t take chances!

  • Educational Record (no high school needed)

  • Professional/Related Work Experience

  • Non-related Work Experience (waiter, cashier, laborer) – show work ethic, dedication, skills not seen in recreation! (Is this Good?)

  • Personal Information (how much is too much?)

    • Common mistakes made are…

  • Professional Development – YES! Listing of conferences attended – NO!

  • References – many rules here

  • Style, font, pages, and much more…

  • and… the cover letter LOA (“Letter of Application”)

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What I Times are “a changing!”DO Suggest

All Institutions

Field of Study


Degree(s) Earned

Thesis Information (if relevant to the job)

Certificates earned (related/relevant to the job)

What I DON’T Suggest

High School Info

G.P.A. Below 3.5 (or GPA at all?)

“Bragging” about your school – examples I see have been… “Big 10 Champs”; “The best Rec Center in the country”; The most involved Recreation Department in NIRSA”…

Educational Record

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Professional/Related Work Experience Times are “a changing!”

  • Job Function – what IS the job you do/did?

    * Be descriptive (DESCRIPTORS!) and tell what you did, how many, what types, what it involved, and more! (#1 fault is not telling enough!) WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW YOU did what you did or are doing now?

  • Achievements / Accomplishments

  • Positions / Exact Titles Held – don’t make up…ask!

  • Actual Dates of Employment (Don’t Guess)

  • Name and Address of Employer and supervisor (website?)

  • Location of Employer (street, city, state, zip)

  • Concerns / Red Flags: “Gaps in Dates”

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Non-Related Work Experience Times are “a changing!”Why this is important to add!!!

  • Job Function – what do/did you do?

  • Positions / Exact Titles Held

  • Dates of Employment

  • Name of Employer

  • Name of Immediate Supervisor

  • Volunteer Information

  • Hint…Tell us about experiences with handling money, Leadership skills, labor, etc…

  • Maybe title this area :“Related Experiences, Customer Service Experiences”, etc…)

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“Relevant” Personal Information – in the Mast Times are “a changing!”

What is the Mast of a Resume?

  • Current Campus Address

  • Current Permanent Address

  • Telephone Numbers

  • E-mail Addresses – in the mast (Be careful!);;

    (ones or L’s???);;; use an underscore in a web address)

  • Date Current Information Is No Longer Valid

  • DON’T – Tell too much! – being a minister, ordained, sexual orientation, political preferences, etc…

  • Don’t forget the voicemail messages either…(if you list a cell phone, make sure it has voicemail that only YOU have access to)

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Professional Development and Skills Times are “a changing!”

  • Certifications Earned (also list in Descriptors)

  • Professional Organization Memberships (as related to the position)

  • Professional Conferences / Workshops Attended

    * Sometimes good and bad… just attending may not be enough for some people – show conferences that you were INVOLVED

  • Professional Presentations Delivered

  • Professional Publications Authored

  • Technology Proficiencies (very important today)

  • Community/Volunteer Involvement

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Professional Times are “a changing!” References

What I DO Suggest

  • Ask your references if you can list them

    * Only ask those that can give OUTSTANDING comments – why get “average” comments from someone?

  • Give references a copy of your updated resume and keep them abreast of jobs you are looking at.

  • List previous professional references that you are comfortable with (and that are OK with you as well!)

  • Include reference list with complete citations (name, title, phone (work and home if possible), address, e-mail)

  • 5-10 Balanced references (men & women)

  • Using Student/Peer/Subordinate employees as references – YES – How???

  • How to list these (“Power References” – like reading a book)

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Professional References Times are “a changing!”

What I DON’T Suggest

  • “References Available Upon Request”

  • Family or friends as references

  • Listing “power” people (directors or “name people in the association” you met once, people that cannot comment on your actual work quality or ethic)

  • All of one gender listed (remember “balanced”)

  • “Character” References – let the employer be the judge of your character…

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Letter of Application “LOA” Times are “a changing!”(Cover Letter Information)

  • 3-4 paragraphs in length (MAX) stating your interest in the position and just a bit of an overview of why you are qualified for the position.

  • Average view is 4.2 seconds for a committee to look at a cover letter – be brief (but efficient)

  • Use “power words” in your letter – same as your resume

  • Dear…“Mr., Dr., Mrs., Ms., Professor, Committee Chair, Human Resources Rep, etc… (what and to whom you address?) – DO YOUR RESEARCH on the organization – don’t settle for anything less than a name!

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Additional Helpful Information Times are “a changing!”

  • Resume Paper Color and weight

  • Designs on the resume “Lollygags”

  • Length of Resume (myths) – Athletic Administration vs. business

  • Resume Format - How to List Information

    • Chronological

    • Paragraph style (not ideal)

  • How to “Stand Out” (hints: red paper clip, personal business card attached - not a regular business card from your current employer, follow-up with an e-mailed resume, telephone calls etc…)

  • Use Only Significant Experience

  • Page numbering – upper right hand corner …..VAUGHN, 2

  • Using e-mail – be careful! “Never write what you can say directly”

  • For those looking for graduate assistants, more info can be obtained by contacting Jim Jamriska at the Ohio State University (

  • Abbreviations in a resume? – NEVER (including states)

  • Spelling – the “mortal” error

  • Common Mistakes made (which can kill you): Wrong info listed (telephone, e-mail, addresses, reference info changed, etc), misspellings, bad grammar, gaps, “flow problems (being choppy)”, not enough information, applying on-line when it is stated in the listing NOT to apply on line, and much more….

  • NEW! Technology is adding much to our field

  • Practice makes perfect – keep working at it! You are NEVER done with your resume – it’s always a work in progress!

  • Ask yourself “Am I qualified to apply for each job I am looking at “

    • Minimum qualifications

    • “Shot gunning” your resume

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    Uh Oh’s…… People in the News Times are “a changing!”

    • Relevant stories of lies and deception (regardless of intent or not)… George O’Leary -Notre Dame Football Coach and Tim Johnson - Toronto Blue Jays Manager, Wally Backman - former manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and several college coaches have found themselves in some trouble in recent years due to resume “Bending the Truth”

    • Be honest and remember your INTEGRITY first and foremost…. BE ETHICAL!!!

    • Small things DO matter with accuracy (coordinated vs. directed, square footage of a facility, number of personnel supervised, “responsible for”, etc…

    • Who is at fault when deception occurs? – employer or candidate?

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    Websites to aid in the job search for a recreation/sports administration position

    There are several websites/contacts that can assist you in searching

    for a position in the field of recreation

    • Check with your state or city/town for positions (Indiana:, Indianapolis:

    • Check with university websites, agency websites, professional development organizations (like NIRSA, NRPA, etc)

    • Check with local amusement parks (Kings Island, WDW, etc)

    • Check with private company websites (

    • Check with the many listed cruise lines (most based in Florida: Royal Caribbean:

    • (position in parks and recreation)

    • (opportunities for civilian personnel within US Army bases)

    • (opportunities for civilian personnel within US Naval bases)

    • (International Arena Assembly Managers – jobs in facility management and arenas)

    • (YMCA employment)

    • (job posting in state, local, and federal government)

    • (opportunities for civilian personnel in the Air Force)

    • (pay site for jobs in sports)

    • (comprehensive listing of positions in all forms of government)

    • (partial pay site – may listings for athletics positions)

    • (classified ad site – enter keywords)

    • (classified ad site – enter keywords)

    • (the mother of all classified ad sites – enter keyword to begin search)

    • (classified ad site – enter keyword)

    • (better classified ad site – enter keyword)

    • (governmental search site)

    • Motorsports Industry (all are pay sites):;;

    • (Job listings from the Chronicle of Higher Education)

    • posted from the NCAA News)

    • - US Army MWR Internships

    • – US Air Force MWR Internships

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    Resume “Action” Words administration positionExcellent Words to Use in a Resume and LOA for Descriptors

    Thanks to for this partial listing

    achieved acquired adapted addressed

    administered analyzed anticipated assembled

    assisted audited budgeted calculated

    centralized changed collaborated composed

    condensed conducted constructed contracted

    converted coordinated created cultivated

    demonstrated designed developed devised

    discovered doubled drafted edited

    enforced established evaluated expanded

    explained forecasted formed founded

    generated guided hired implemented

    improved informed insured interpreted

    interviewed launched maintained managed

    marketed minimized motivated negotiated

    obtained operated organized originated

    performed planned prevented produced

    programmed promoted provided publicized

    published posted recruited reorganized

    reported researched resolved reviewed

    selected separated set up simplified

    solved surveyed supervise(d) taught

    tested trained used instructed

    Others: incorporated realigned reacquired


    Are there anymore that you can add???

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    Resume Critique administration position

    • Pick up evaluated resumes after this presentation

    • I’m ALWAYS available for comments and suggestions

    • Remember – MY OPINION only… other comments will vary and be different

    • For additional help - See local (school) Career Center staff for more info; professionals within your staff; or someone you have met at a conference in a LIKE-JOB that you want!


    • Stay in touch with me for updates and suggestions

    • The role of the professional in your setting (mock interviews and career preparation is a MUST)

    • Try adding a professional development mock interview question during EACH staff meeting you have!!!