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Resume Prep for the Business Professional Presented by: Mike Major, SPHR Director Career Services. Career Services. Who is your competition?. Career Services. Career Services. Winning Résumés. Career Services.

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Resume Prep for the Business Professional

Presented by:

Mike Major, SPHRDirectorCareer Services

career services

Career Services

Career Services

Winning Résumés

value proposition

Career Services

Value Proposition
  • What will you bring to the organization?
  • Do you have the skills necessary to do the work?
  • Do you have the experience that the organization desires?

layout primer
Eyes tracing


From left to right

Use of bold

Use of italics

White space

Clear headings

No large text blocks

Use of bullets

Career Services

Layout Primer

standard resume headers

Career Services

Standard Resume Headers
  • Name and Contact Information
  • Objective
  • Education
  • Relevant (Fieldwork) Experience
  • Computer & Technical Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Community Involvement & Accomplishments
  • References

name and contact information

Career Services

Name and Contact Information

Susan Student

7400 Bay Road

University Center, MI 48710

(989) 222-2222 (Cell)

(989) 555-5555 (Home)

*if you’re not staying at home or don’t trust your roommates to take messages, cell only is appropriate


Career Services

objective personal summary
Be sure that it is customized specifically for each job that you are applying for

“To apply my exceptional interpersonal, creative and teamwork skills as a co-op or intern in business.”  Too Vague

Study the Job Description to see what qualities they are looking for and accentuate those aspects of your professional capabilities

Career Services

Objective/Personal Summary

objective personal summary1
“To apply my exceptional leadership, interpersonal, and technical skills as an accounting intern with the Dow Corning Corporation.”

Being very specific in an objective statement is helpful when resumes go into a CENTRALIZED HR office with DECENTRALIZED hiring managers

Career Services

Objective/Personal Summary


Career Services

  • It’s not always required.
  • If you use one, make it count.


Career Services

  • What is most important?
  • Standard format

Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Anticipated: May 2015

Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI

Minor: Marketing

President’s List: Eight semesters

Deans’ List: Fall 2008, Winter 2009

GPA: 3.55 (list if above a 3.0)

SVSU BBA/BPA/MBA degrees are AACSB accredited, is this important?

related experience
Previous positions that are relevant to the one you want

Acceptable format:

Career Services Student Employee Sept. 2012–May 2013

Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI

Assist in the recruitment of SVSU students and alumni by facilitating in the posting of nearly 4,300 vacant positions to the online job database

Interact directly with business and community leaders through telephone conversations

Use Action Words for Bullets

Career Services

Related Experience

computer technical skills

Career Services

Computer / Technical Skills
  • For business majors, this section is usually one of the most difficult to write due to the varying skill levels


MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook; Corel WordPerfect; various email packages; Windows Operating Systems


Graphic Design Skills: Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator; GIMP

Applications: MS Certified Excel Expert

Database Systems: SQL Server, MySQL, MS Access

importance of effective bullet statements

Career Services

Importance of Effective Bullet Statements
  • “A picture is worth 1,000 words”
  • Paint a picture in the employer’s mind
  • Statements should be clear, concise and detailed
  • “Presented to a group of students” vs.“Presented to a group of 35 college freshmen”

three levels of bullet statements

Career Services

Three Levels of Bullet Statements
  • Level One
    • Lists duties, tasks and responsibilities
      • Helped customers
      • Stocked shelves
      • Used cash register
      • Cleaned store
      • Dealt with students
    • Not very impressive
    • Tasks implied by the title
    • Add no value to résumé

it is our recommendation that you do not use level one bullet statements at any time on your r sum

Career Services

It is our recommendation that you do not use Level One bullet statements at any time on your résumé.

three levels of bullet statements1

Career Services

Three Levels of Bullet Statements
  • Level Two
    • Explain how or in what way you perform level one tasks exceptionally well
    • Additional duties that you initiated?
      • Assisted customers in a warm and friendly manner
      • Stocked shelves during down times to ensure a professional environment
      • Processed financial transactions through the cash register in a fast and efficient manner
      • Cleaned store to maintain an appealing atmosphere to enhance customer satisfaction


Career Services

While it is acceptable to use Level Two bullet statements from time to time, you will not want to rely on these to earn you an interview.

three levels of bullet statements2

Career Services

Three Levels of Bullet Statements
  • Level Three
    • Describe accomplishments and achievements
    • Increase something good or decrease something bad?
    • Employers want individuals who will make a difference
      • Earned Associate of the Month honors for outstanding service in June 2012
      • Created effective displays which increased monthly sales by 200% in a two-month period

work experience
Match skill sets with new position


Crew Member May 2010 – April 2013

McDonald’s Restaurant, Bay City, MI

Prepared 500 orders during the daily lunch hour

Effectively dealt with stressful situations in a team environment

Career Services

Work Experience

other activities

Career Services

Other Activities
  • Highlight appropriate accomplishments
  • Example:


Volunteer, Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Midland May 2006 – Present

* Received ultimate brother award by successfully logging over 1,000 hours of volunteer service, assisting four youths who all went on to attend college

Member, SVSU ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Sept. 2008 – Present

* Served as treasurer for an on-campus organization of over 50 members and $10,000 in resources

Recipient, SVSU Award for Excellence Scholarship Aug. 2007 – May 2008

resumes vs cvs

Career Services

Resumes vs. CVs
  • Resumes – Two pages max (“old school” philosophers still say 1 page)
  • CVs – Longer, more elaborate, used in higher education and graduate school
    • Use the additional space with purpose
    • Accomplishments / Achievements
    • Do NOT include “tasks” that don’t add value


Career Services

  • Ask permission!!
  • Choose wisely
  • Keep your references informed of your job search

Dr. Someone Who-knowsyouwell, Professor

Department of Management

Saginaw Valley State University

308 Curtiss Hall

7400 Bay Road

University Center, MI 48710

(989) 964-4000 (Office)

cover letters

Career Services

Cover Letters
  • Will be read after résumé
  • Emphasize characteristics that are supported in résumé
  • Keep it short and simple


Career Services

  • Review, review, review!
  • Career Services
    • 964-4954
    • Appointments with staff for review
    • SVSU Writing Center
  • Guidelines and Tutorials available: