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Resume Writing for Graduate Students

Resume Writing for Graduate Students

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Resume Writing for Graduate Students

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  1. Resume Writing for Graduate Students St. Cloud State University Career Services Center

  2. Agenda Purpose of a resume General tips and recommendations Standard sections of a resume What makes a graduate level resume different? The curriculum vitae References Final reminders

  3. Purpose of the Resume • To get you INTERVIEWS! • The resume is a self-marketing tool – an important first impression • Highlight your qualifications for a particular job • The candidate whose resume most closely matches the qualifications sought by the employer is the one who will get the interview

  4. Getting Started – The Basics Microsoft Word document Do NOT use a template 1-2 pages for graduate students Use consistent formatting/style One inch margins – “white space” Times New Roman, 10-12 pt font Use boldface for the key information

  5. More General Guidelines Omit personal information Eliminate high school and any old, irrelevant college and work information Avoid using personal pronouns No abbreviations/acronyms/jargon unless the employer knows what they mean Use action verbs to describe experiences Do not use contractions Be clear and concise – avoid flowery language

  6. Different Kinds of Resumes • Chronological • Most common or “traditional” – preferred by employers • Organizes experience by date – good when you have stable history of experience, progressive responsibility in the same field • Functional • Focus on skills and qualifications – what you achieved versus where you achieved it • Experience grouped into “skill areas” such as communication, administration, counseling, leadership, technical, financial, etc. • Good when you a lot of experience in a variety of positions, don’t have a stable history or you are changing fields • Combination • Uses the structure of a chronological resume, but adds a “summary of qualifications” or “professional profile” to summarize key skills and experiences

  7. Standard Resume Sections/Headings Contact Information Objective (optional) Education Employment/Experience Activities and Achievements

  8. Additional Headings for Graduate Students Research Experience Computer/IT Skills Additional Languages Professional Memberships Committees Summary of Qualifications Research/Publications (CV) Teaching Experience (CV)

  9. Contact Information • Name • Current address • Current phone # • Email address Example: John Smith 105 South Maple Saint Cloud, MN 56301 320-255-3333 smjo1001@stcloudstate.edu

  10. Objective • To let employer know what position(s) you seek • Indicate exact job title if you know it • Brief and concise • Leave off “Objective” section if: • Employer has more than one position of interest • Don’t know what position(s) employer has • Need space to describe more qualifications

  11. Objective - Examples Seeking a position as a Public Relations Specialist To obtain a position as a Rehabilitation Counselor with Dextra Client Solutions Driven, results oriented emerging business professional seeking a position as a Sales Management Trainee at Enterprise Rent-a-Car

  12. Education Section • Degree • Graduation date • Universities and locations • GPA (if 3.0 or higher) • Do NOT list high school • Other optional items under education: • Emphasis or area of concentration • Academic honors or awards • Any related certificates or licensures • Program accreditation • International experience • Related training • Thesis or final project

  13. Education - Example Master of Arts: Social Work May 2013 St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN GPA: 4.0 Bachelor of Science: Psychology May 2010 Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN Minor in Communication Studies Dean’s List – 3 semesters GPA: 3.7

  14. Experience Sections • What is the difference between “related experience” and “employment?” • Related – all experiences specifically related to the opportunity you are seeking; can be paid or unpaid • Employment – experiences that are paid; may be related or not related; important to focus on transferable skills • Experiences can include: • Graduate Assistantships • Internships (credit and not for credit) • Employment • Campus Involvement • Volunteer work • Research • Class projects • Practicum/field work

  15. Employment/Experience Section • Job Title/Position • Name of Employer/Organization • Location (city and state) • Date(s) (month and year) • Skills/Duties/Accomplishments • Use bullet points! • No complete sentences or personal pronouns

  16. Bullet Points Match verbs/skills words in bullet points to those used in job posting List specific results -- include the impact or contribution your involvement had Use phrases, not full sentences; 2-3 lines max Use action verbs when describing your experiences and skills developed (not “responsible for” or “duties included”) Use appropriate verb tense with past and present employment

  17. Employment Example Graduate Assistant July 2012 -Present Career Services Center, SCSU, St. Cloud, MN • Strengthen counseling skills by meeting with students for individual, one hour appointments regarding major or career decision • Interpret career assessment instruments such as the MBTI, FOCUS, and Strong-Interest Inventory • Demonstrate strong communication and public speaking skills by presenting on a variety of career related topics • Assist in the coordination of job fairs on and off campus by communicating with employers in the St. Cloud region

  18. Experience Example Research Assistant/Intern Summer 2011 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Contributed to the development of nicotine research protocols as a member of a research team of clinical psychologists, physicians, and biostatisticians Participated in health psychology evaluations and formulated diagnostic impressions and treatment plans Independently contributed to the closure of a research project and successfully produced a manuscript for journal submission

  19. Activities and Achievements Use this section to provide additional examples of the initiative, motivation, leadership, related experience and skills, interest in profession, etc., sought by employers Could include student organizations, volunteering, community involvement, awards, scholarships, etc.

  20. Activities and Achievements Crisis Hotline Volunteer June 2012-present Crisis Center, St. Cloud, MN Completed 40 hour training in telephone crisis intervention Supervise seven undergraduate volunteer students and serve as a facilitator for debriefing discussions during the academic year Member, Graduate Student Organization August 2011-present Graduate Student Organization, SCSU Volunteer August 2010- May 2012 Catholic Charities, Saint Cloud, MN Award Recipient March 2012 Excellence in Leadership Award, SCSU One of only 23 students on campus of 16,000 to receive award for outstanding leadership and service

  21. Curriculum Vitae – What is it? • An expanded resume for individuals in academic professions • Cumulative record of all academic activities – update regularly • Higher education, specialized scientific research, government • Allows for specialized, academic specific language • No page limit • Includes additional headings such as publications, teaching experience/courses taught, research, presentations/poster sessions, professional activities, conference participation, current research interests, grants, practicum/field work, specialized training, etc.

  22. References Current or previous supervisors College professors or advisors NOT family or friends Always obtain permission first Do not write “References available upon request” on the bottom of your resume

  23. References Separate page Paper, font size and style should match resume Heading from resume should match heading on references Generally 3-5 references Recommendation letters vs. references General Format: Name of Reference Title Organization Mailing Address City, State, Zip Phone # Email

  24. Example Dr. Jane Doe Assistant Professor, Political Science St. Cloud State University 720 4th Ave South St. Cloud, MN 56301 jodoe@stcloudstate.edu 320-308-5555

  25. Cover Letters Formal business letter that introduces your resume Allows you to expand and personalize your resume Connects your past experiences to the position you are applying for – highlighting strengths, accomplishments, and personality Should be tailored for the position and company Convince the reader of why you should be invited for an interview Good opportunity to explain any problems, gaps, etc. on your resume

  26. Tips for Writing a Cover Letter Needs to be well written, detailed yet concise Don’t just repeat the resume – expand and incorporate your personality Give real life examples of how you have demonstrated skills/qualifications Don’t write in generalities – no kitchen sink statements Address to a specific person if possible (not “To Whom it May Concern”) No more than one page, typically 3-5 paragraphs Same style and formatting as your resume If mailing, sign in blue ink

  27. Cover Letter Content • Intro • Explain why you are writing – what position are you applying for? (be specific) • How did you find out about the position? • Brief intro statement of why you are qualified • Express interest in the specific employer, company, etc. • Body • Explain why you are qualified for the position • Expand on your resume – highlight most important qualifications, give examples • Discuss your most relevant or distinguishing characteristics • Closure • Brief summary statement • Indicate that your resume is enclosed • Mention that you would like to meet for an interview • Thank them for their time and consideration

  28. Final Reminders Review for spelling and grammar errors! Print on good quality resume paper Do not print double sided Do not fold or staple If 2+ pages, include your name and page # on every page Convert to PDF or plain text before uploading to online systems (depending on the system) Always have a cover letter and reference sheet ready Keep track of positions you have applied for, follow up Bring it to Career Services!

  29. Thank You! For more information, please call or visit: St. Cloud State University Career Services Center Centennial Hall 215 320-308-2151 www.stcloudstate.edu/careerservices