Resume Tips Do’s and Don’ts of resume building Jim Fenton Bluegrass Community & Technical College
We’ll talk about: • Why a resume? • What problem does a resume address? • Some Don’ts • Some Do’s • Questions/Discussion/Comments
Why a resume? A resume: • is a ticket to a job interview • is a summary of your skills/experience/education • is an opportunity for an employer to find a match • represents you and your abilities: you are skilled, experienced and qualified for the job!
The problem: space is valuable and you don’t have enough! • Resume = 1 or 2 pages maximum • Keep it short: • Employers don’t want to read a biography • Employers do want to identify skills, experience and qualifications; nothing else!
What problem does a resume address? A resume allows an employer: • to quickly identify a pool of qualified applicants for a position • to meet this goal in the most efficient way • to select a few candidates for an interview • to add new skills and diverse experience to an existing workforce • to meet a new need in the market place/business world
Some examples • Crowded, confused & weak organization: • Mixes experience with education. • Why summarize qualifications in a resume? • Education in two places • What skills does she possess that an employer can use?
Missed opportunities:Skills not presented well • Work experience in LA and US with Spanish speaking clientele? • Bilingual/Bicultural skills? • Lesson planning? • Student success? • Foreign language technology course work?
A better resume:Skills presented well • Skills, education and experience are the three categories used • Clearly identified skill set that uses appropriate vocabulary • No confusion as to education/experience/skills • Obvious dates allow reviewer to see work history • Employment history includes description of activities, successes and milestones: ‘One of the region’s fastest growing telecommunications companies; one of the first three employees hired into the Department that currently employs more than 25; earned 4 promotions in 3 years’
Combined Strategies • Resume • Cover letter • Letters of Recommendation • These are: • 3 opportunities to say the same thing? NO! • 3 opportunities to provide complementary info? YES • 3 opportunities to describe all your skills and experience? YES
Cover letters • More detail is OK. • Explains why you are seeking a position. • Explains why you are the best person for the job. • Shows you know the company’s needs and background. • Shows you have good communication skills. • Shows you can represent the company brandin writing. • Expresses your professional approach to a career.
Letters of Recommendation • Ask before you send!! • Inform your referees of your job application • Explain your interest to them and ask for a letter of recommendation. • Provide key talking points – help your referees write the best letter they can. • Send a copy of the job description, your cover letter and your resume to help them out.
Basic Format Don’ts • No photos, borders, ornaments or fancy paper • Because your resume will be read by computer and these elements get in the way • Because you’re not applying for a job designing resumes • Because you need the room to describe more important elements of your skills, experience, education
Content Don’ts • Don’t exaggerate and don’t misinform • Don’t list your daily tasks as ‘experience’ • Don’t include an ‘Objective’ statement • Obviously, your objective is the job you are applying for! • Don’t write “References available on request" • Obviously, references will be available when requested!
Don’t be vague Vague job at XYZ • Kept on task = is this necessary? • Cleaned = what/who/where/why? • Helped customers = how? • Rang up change = how? Good job at XYZ • Managed daily work schedule • Maintained a clean and safe environment for residents and guests • Assisted customers with requests for service and complaint resolution • Operated an NEC 78-2 automatic till/computer terminal
Clean up your online profile • Don’t have a stupid email name/address – use professional language/tone/vocabulary • Don’t leave your personal Facebook info for all to see. Edit/shut down. Employers will check – are you a risk to their brand or company?
Resumes: some do’s
Establish a Professional online profile • Create an email name/address – that uses your name if possible. If you have an institutional affiliation, use this one. • Create an online brand/career presence. (Google yourself – what would an employer find?
Content Do’s • Divide your resume into three basic components: • Skills • Qualifications/Education • Experience • Do tell employers about impressive feats and stand-out accomplishments. • Do include your skills at the top of your resume. Write 3 to 5 sentences tailored for the job you are applying for. Example: SKILLS PROFILE • Excellent people skills and problem solving • Superb communication skills, verbal and written • Strong attention to detail and proficient at running and handling office equipment • Efficient in billing and coding, and excellent computer skills
Soft Skills • Personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make someone a good employee • Just as important an indicator of performance as hard skills • Strong Work Ethic • Positive Attitude • Good Communication Skills • Time Management Abilities • Problem-Solving Skills • Confidence • Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism • Flexibility/Adaptability • Work Well Under Pressure
Don't get lost in translation • Big companies use applicant tracking software (ATS), which scans resumes for keywords • Present your qualifications as if the reader is comparing the words on the resume to a list of desired qualifications: • Strategic planning • Performance and productivity improvement • Organizational design • Infrastructure development • New media • Internet • E-commerce • Change management • Team-building • Leadership • Competitive market • Product positioning • Investor and board relations • Oral and written communications • Problem-solving and decision-making • MBA • Project management • Customer retention • Business development • Corporate vision • Long-range planning • Cost reduction
One resume: many variations • each position at a company requires its own resume • Tailor the resume to the job • Use appropriate vocabulary and terminology • Talk to your referees about multiple job applications • Keep a record of where you applied • Apply for jobs you’re qualified for • Apply to the right person/office