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Writing Winning Resumes – Marketing Your Professional Self

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1 Writing Winning Resumes – Marketing Your Professional Self
Student Resource Centre Student Employment Services

2 Workshop Outline Student Employment Services Purpose of a Resume
Considerations Types of Resumes Presentation and Formatting Tips Employability Skills Organizing Your Resume

3 Student Employment Services
Supports students with their search for employment Resource materials Workshops (Student Success) Resume critiques Job postings on the myMacEwan Student portal (Student Services & Student Employment Services) Employment Services for Students

4 Why Write A Resume? To persuade your readers that you are the best person for the job – a self-marketing tool To construct a professional image of yourself and establish your credibility To provide a sample of your written communication skills To peak a recruiter’s interest so that they want to find out more about you To sell your skills, experience and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you are applying for

5 A Winning Resume Employers use resumes as a screening device. You have about 20 seconds to make a positive impact. Recruiters will use a variety of criteria to make their stack of resumes a little smaller. Spelling errors and length are two common mistakes.

6 Owed to a Spell Chequer Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea. It plainly marques, four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea. It’s letter perfect awl the weigh, My chequer told me sew.

7 How Not to Present your Professional Self
“Worked party-time as an office assistant” “Typing speed of rpm” “Assisted with murders and acquisitions” “I have lurnt WP 6.0 computor and spreadsheet programs” “Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year” “Manged an office of ten persons” “I was working with my Mom until she decided to move” “Marital Status: Single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved”

8 Considerations… The longer your resume is, the greater the risk that it will not be understood or even read entirely Competition for good jobs results in a high volume of resumes and applications It takes a trained, well-disciplined recruiter to give the same consideration to the last application as the first Source: You’re Hired!” Job Search Strategies for the 90’s.

9 Planning must be a deliberate prelude to writing.
E.B. White Author

10 Types of Resumes There are three common types of resumes:
A chronological resume emphasizes dates in reverse order, duties of jobs and highlights a steady work history A functional resume emphasizes related skills and abilities A combination resume emphasizes jobs and skills. It clearly lists relevant skill areas and presents a fuller picture of your strengths

11 Delivery Methods Think about your job-search strategy and make some decisions about current resume technologies. Traditional print resumes Scannable resumes On-line web resumes Research what is current in the industry you are targetting


13 Presenting Your Information
Think not of yourself, but your professional self Target your resume to the job you are applying for Present information in easy-to-read categories Use headings to help skimmers find what they are looking for Use details to convince skeptics you really have the qualifications you say you do Validate the employability skills identified by the Conference Board of Canada

14 Conference Board of Canada Employability Skills
Communication Skills Thinking and Decision-Making Skills Positive Attitude and Behaviors Flexibility and Adaptability Time-Management Skills Organizational Skills Teamwork Skills

15 A Targeted Resume A targeted resume addresses the employer’s need for a specific skills set The resume content includes experience and accomplishments that are relevant to the targeted skill(s) It quickly demonstrates to the employer that you are a good match for the position

16 Targeting Review the top employability skills
Identify areas that you feel you can demonstrate through life, work and your recent educational experience Refer to a specific job ad that you are interested in. Highlight the skills required. Assess the fit.

17 Designing Your Resume Top 10 Visual Appeal Tips
Place your strategic selling features within the visual centre Place supporting information below it Less important material goes at the bottom of the page

18 Take Note…. Beware of appearing single-dimensional
Many companies appreciate generalist skills, especially small- to medium-sized companies where you are often expected to wear many hats By eliminating broad-based, value-added skills, you may appear less qualified in comparison with other candidates

19 Organization Your name should be one of the focal points
Headers Your name should be one of the focal points Include anywhere from 3 to a maximum of 8 data bits to your header Examples: name, address, residence phone, business phone, cellular phone, fax, personal , business web-page A word about addresses & voice mail messages

20 Objective or Focus Statement
Should focus on the employer’s needs Make it work-centered, not self-centered Direct your writing toward what the employer wants and how you can give it to them

21 Three Key Pieces of Information to Include in Your Objective
1) The position you want 2) The key skills that qualify you 3) The benefits or value to an employer

22 This…. Marketing research position that will use my strengths in demographic research and analysis to target, develop and maintain a dominant market share for your company. Retail buyer with impressive record contributing to gross margin improvement, comparable store sales and product development. Human Resources graduate with internship experience in training and compensation and benefits. Strong analytical skills and knowledge of budgeting and planning. Seeking an entry-level HR generalist position.

23 Not This…. Challenging position with a dynamic, growth- orientated company that will lead to advancement opportunities.

24 Title Statement You can quickly convey your job focus with a short noun phrase, known as a title statement Centre it below the header of your resume This technique is clean, gets across your point and saves you one or two lines of space


26 Qualifications Summary
Provides a concise, easy-to-read summary of your skills and qualifications at the visual centre of the resume Three to five points that include a balance of Hard skills Technical training & knowledge base & experience Soft skills Teamwork, communication, initiative

27 Be Prepared… …to back up your summary statements with evidence

28 Alternate Names for Qualification Skills Summary
Accomplishments Background Career Summary Chronology Highlights Professional Profile Skills Summary Strengths Features and Benefits

29 Skills Section(s) A Skills section works well for people in career transition, those with unrelated industry experience or limited paid experience, or no recent work history It avoids redundant job descriptions from employer to employer Use sub-headings to outline up to a half dozen skill areas that reflect your talents and strengths

30 Skills Section(s) Focus on skills relevant to the position you are
applying for i.e. transferable skills For each key skill area, think of several accomplishments Use action words to begin each statement i.e. prepared, developed, created, researched…

31 Education Place this section within the visual centre of your resume if received within the past three years and is related to your profession Once you have gained relevant experience, place below your experience When decades have passed… place at the bottom and eliminate dates of graduation

32 If Education is Your Biggest Selling Point (and even if it’s not) …
Elaborate Can also include current and related credentials, certificates and licenses Treat your education like work experience

33 For Example: EDUCATION
Management Studies Diploma, Insurance and Risk Management Major, 2003 – 2005 Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, AB Course work highlights: accounting, business law, personal property insurance, liability insurance, claims and risk management Field Placement (170 hours): Allstate Insurance Provided excellent customer service while taking the lead on three client files Honours: The Co-operators Scholarship Based on academic achievement and the demonstration of leadership Co-curricular activities: Planning Committee for the Student Business Conference. Member of the International Business Association. Student mentor for first-year business students.

34 Demonstrating and Validating Your Skills
Many recruiters have indicated that new grads are expected to demonstrate and validate the following: good communication and interpersonal skills ability to function as a team player and to take initiative adaptability, flexibility, motivation and a positive attitude How do you show this? By specific examples integrated into your resume and cover letter. Where/when did you demonstrate these skills?

35 Skills Developed as Part of Your Educational Experience
Research, writing and organizational skills Writing essays and term papers Analytical skills and critical thinking Examining case studies, conducting lab experiments, participating in class projects Team Work Group projects

36 Skills Developed as Part of Your Educational Experience
Communication skills, time-management skills, flexibility and the ability to set goals Volunteering, working at part-time and summer jobs Initiative and leadership skills Involvement in campus activities Participation on committees where you have held a position or title

37 Incomplete Diploma Present as a Diploma Program: Accounting and Strategic Measurement, Grant MacEwan College Accounting and Strategic Measurement program – completed 3 terms of the diploma program before accepting an accounting training opportunity with…

38 Work Experience Position title Dates Company, Location
accomplishment/achievement, skills used woven in with duties For example… Server Oct present Moxie's, Edmonton, AB Demonstrated excellent communication and interpersonal skills while delivering exemplary customer service

39 Awards and Honours Consider the impact before deciding where to place this section If related to your career objective, place near visual centre If limited to community work, position near the bottom If only one, weave it into the Qualifications Summary

40 Interests/Hobbies/Activities
Recruiters want to know who you really are and whether you will fit in with their team/workplace/corporate culture It should support your candidacy – if it doesn’t, leave it out

41 Examples Travel experiences Language skills Athletic abilities
Involvement in team sports Musical/theatrical/performance abilities Favourite reading material Unusual experiences Special interests

42 Important If you use an Interest category, make sure it is,
indeed, of interest and supports your professional image If it reads like the one below and you’re not applying to work as a seniors’ activity co-ordinator, rework or eliminate it INTERESTS Member of Bonnie Doon Bowling Team Play clarinet Enjoy gardening, canning and knitting

43 Prune, prune, prune… Resumes should be no more than 2 pages
Ask yourself, “Does this information support or detract from my candidacy?” Omit information that does not support your skills for the position Weed out personal pronouns

44 References List on a separate sheet of paper – bring to your interview UNLESS the recruiter requests references be included with your resume Minimally three Professional Supervisors Instructors Field Placement Supervisors Include name, professional title, contact information Ask permission…first! Keep your references updated about your job search

45 Resumes… Should include only relevant information about your professional self for specific employers. Should be re-written and updated often – like a career, a resume is a work-in-progress. Must include research, planning, questioning and self-reflection as part of the process.

46 Lead with your strengths
Remember Language is powerful Lead with your strengths Show what you know

47 On the human chessboard, all moves count.
Miriam Scheff

48 Thank You Patti Albert, Student Advisor Room 121, SRC, South Campus
Rita J Kolpak, Student Advisor Room 7-112, SRC, City Centre Campus

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