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Learning Targets • I Can…Define contacts, cover letter, resume, letter of recommendation, portfolios, transcripts, references and placement office • I Can…Write a professional cover letter • I Can…Explain the purpose of the cover letter, resume, references and job interview
HOW TO WRITE A RESUME • As you approach writing your résumé, it is important to know that this is a marketing piece, an advertisement, for your unique set of skills, abilities and experience. It is a tool that you use to gain an interview. Employers today want to know “What can you do for me?” …It is up to you to do the research and discover what employers in your field seek in a prospective employee. • In marketing terms, we'd like you to think of your résumé as a billboard. It is not going to be possible to list every single item of interest about yourself in this document - you need to identify what will be of interest to your target audience and highlight that information.
What Will a Resume Do For Me? • Enable you to assess your strengths, skills, abilities and experience - thereby preparing you for the interview process • Act as a reminder of you to the employer/interviewer after you're done interviewing • Be a basis for the interviewer to justify your hiring • The ultimate goal of a resume is to gain you an interview!
Are There Any Absolute Rules of Resume Writing? • Almost every rule you have ever heard can be broken, if you have a very good reason. Some rules, however, are absolutes, including: • No typing errors • No errors in spelling • No lying or grandiose embellishments
Are There Any Absolute Rules of Resume Writing? • No negative information should be included • Include only relevant information • Never be more than two pages long
What Are the Other (Sometimes Breakable) Rules of Resume Writing? • While most recently graduated college-student resumes are one page, this is not an absolute rule, • IF you have the right combination of experience and education. • Your resume must be long enough to detail what you have to offer a potential employer, BUT short enough to entice that employer to want to know more (that is, invite you for an interview.) • As a general guideline, you should keep your resume to one page until you have 5-10 years of experience, then go to two. • If you cannot fill two entire pages, you should condense it to one page.
Will I Have More Than One Version of My Resume? • YES! • Employers today want to know what you can do for them, so it is imperative that you create a targeted resume each time you apply for an opportunity. • You will also develop a 'generic' resume to use in online databases. • You may also need a scan able or web-based resume, depending on your field; more on these later.
How Do I Get Started? • Get a job announcement or description for the job, or type of job, you are seeking, if possible. • Make a list of all co-curricular activities you are involved in (clubs, Greek organizations, honor organizations, major-specific fraternities, intramurals, etc.) • Compile a list of all community activities of which you are a part (PTA, church committees, social clubs, volunteer work, etc.) • Gather together job descriptions from your past positions. If you haven’t saved copies of these, you should from now on! • List what things friends/relatives/peers come to you for help with. This may assist you in identifying strengths you would not otherwise recognize in yourself.
What Must I Have on My Resume? • Name • Address • Phone number • Objective • Education • Profile or Summary of Qualifications • Experience
What Else Can Be Included on My Resume? • Licenses/Certifications • Accomplishments/Achievements • Affiliations/Memberships • Activities and Honors
What Should Never Be on My Resume? • Height, weight, age, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, sex, race, health (some of these items may be necessary on an International Resume) or social security number (NEVER!) • The word "Resume" at the top! • Any statement that begins with "I" or "My" • Reasons for leaving previous job(s) • Picture of yourself • Salary Information for previous positions or Salary Expectations • Reference names • Religion, church affiliations, political affiliations
How Do I List My Name? • Use your "go-by" name. That is, if everyone knows you by a nickname or your middle name, use it. • For example, Katherine Elaine Johnson – if everyone calls you Kate – just put KATE JOHNSON on the top of your resume, if everyone calls you Elaine – use ELAINE JOHNSON or K. ELAINE JOHNSON. • List any professional credentials (M.D., CPA, Ph.D.) that are appropriate for the job sought.
What About Phone Numbers or Email addresses? • If you must use your cellular phone # - be sure not to answer it every time it rings. If you are not in a position to have a professional conversation and consult your calendar to make an appointment - DON'T answer; rather, let your voicemail pick it up and you can return the call when you are ready. • Email is a great way to communicate. However, only include yours if you check it on a regular basis (everyday!) Employers who use this method will expect to hear back from you soon. Also, be sure your email address projects your professional image as well ~ addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com would not be appropriate! Use common sense.
Do I need an OBJECTIVE? • YES, it tells the reader why you are sending the resume, i.e., what position or type of position you are seeking. • It should be very brief, does not need to be a complete sentence. • An objective is like the thesis statement of your resume. Everything you include after it should support it! • Ideally target your objective to include job title desired, position level, field, industry, and/or company name. If you are sending this resume for a specific position at a specific company - SAY IT HERE!
Do I need an OBJECTIVE? • Use the objective to tell what you can do for the company, NOT what you want the company to do for you… no statements like: to gain valuable experience, etc. • Avoid the words "entry level" ~ we recommend "professional" instead. • All post-secondary institutions from which you (a) have a degree or (b) expect to receive a degree • College name, city, and state • Major - be sure to get the exact name of your degree and list it here! If you don’t know, check your degree plan or check with your advisor or dean’s office. • Graduation date (or expected graduation): Month/Year
Should I put my GPA on my resume? • Yes, if it is 3.0 or higher • If your overall GPA is lower than 3.0, but your GPA within your major is 3.0 or above, you can isolate your major GPA. • If you list your GPA for one degree, you must list it for all. Licenses and Certifications – Do I include them? • Yes, if they are relevant to the job you are seeking. Otherwise, no.
What About High School? • Don't include high school on your resume, as a college student, it is understood that you completed high school. • Exceptional activities and honors from high school may be included IF (1) the honor is one that very few receive (i.e., valedictorian, Eagle Scout, etc.) or (2) the award shows an early interest in your career
Where do I list Academic Awards, Honors, and Recognition? • We suggest using the Honors and Activities section at the end of the resume.
What About References? We recommend between 3 and 5 references. They should all be individuals who have direct knowledge of your job abilities (supervisor, etc.) or a professor who teaches a major-related class. • They should all be individuals who have direct knowledge of your job abilities (supervisor, etc.) or a professor who teaches a major-related class. • Ask the references permission before you use them. Also ask them if they will give you a good reference. You don’t want to list folks who won’t sing your praises! Make sure to ask where they would like to be contacted, i.e., home or work and get the correct contact information for each person. Afterward, follow up with your references by sending them a copy of your completed resume. This will help them if/when they get a call on you. • Be sure to take copies of your references to all interviews. Most employers will request them at that time.
When & Why Do I Need a Cover Letter? • Any time you send your resume to an employer it should be accompanied by a cover letter. • A cover letter acts as an introduction for your resume. • A cover letter also stands as a sample of your writing skills, so be sure to make it the best possible sample you can. • If you are sending your resume via email - the cover letter is the email message itself. Then attach the resume following the employer's instructions (i.e., MSWord document, text document, etc.)
I Need My Resume to Distinguish Me From Everyone Else, How Do I Do That? • Spend some time up front to determine what you have to offer and what you are worth to an employer. • DON'T use the resume wizard or template from your word processing software or copy the samples from this workshop! This document needs to be uniquely you - you don't want to look like anyone else's. • Answer the question, "Why am I more qualified than the next guy?" Then develop your resume to reflect that. • DON’T try to distinguish yourself by fancy fonts, clipart or non-traditional papers. That is not the interest you want to capture!
What About Paper? • Use resume paper. This can be purchased by the sheet at a print shop or by the box at any office supply or discount store. • Don’t get fancy – plain white or off-white (cream, ecru, etc.) is your best bet. • As noted earlier, don’t go with any bordered or themed paper. You want the attention on your resume contentnot on it’s vehicle!
What About Mailing? • Don’t fold and stuff your resume in an envelope (even the nice ones you can buy to match your resume paper!) • Buy envelopes that are the same size as your resume and slip your cover letter on top, then your resume. Type an address label and return address label (or stamp if you have it) and mail flat.