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Program Objectives Provide brief information on the basics of writing a resume. Cover content, format, and appearance. Address frequently asked questions.

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Presentation on theme: "Program Objectives Provide brief information on the basics of writing a resume. Cover content, format, and appearance. Address frequently asked questions."— Presentation transcript:


2 Program Objectives Provide brief information on the basics of writing a resume. Cover content, format, and appearance. Address frequently asked questions. Discuss additional resources.

3 What is a Resume? An advertisement of who you are: Competencies Accomplishments Future capabilities Your chief marketing tool to introduce yourself to your audience! Applicant’s perspective: To help you get interviews Interviews lead to jobs, graduate admission, internships, leadership positions, or scholarships Reviewer’s perspective: Screening- what this person can do for me Resumes should communicate value

4 Do your research! Know yourself… Experiences Skills Strengths Interests Future goals Know your audience… Mission or vision What they’re looking for in an applicant In other words: target your resume!

5 Examples of Targeting Technical fields Include related information like computer skills, use of lab equipment, technical or scientific techniques, etc. Human services Include experiences relating to interpersonal and communication skills or volunteer experiences Creative or promotion related fields Resume may be more creative in appearance

6 A GOOD RESUME = CONTENT The type of information you choose to put on your resume. FORMAT The way you arrange this information. APPEARANCE How this information is presented aesthetically.

7 CONTENT Qualities, skills and experiences you want your audience to know about. Relevant experiences can be both paid and unpaid. Your resume can be as individualized as you are- create custom categories and headings to suit your needs.

8 Content: Overview of ideas to include (more detail to follow) Name, Contact Info Objective Education Courses and Research Papers and Projects Experience Work (paid or unpaid) Internships, Externships Clubs/Organizations Volunteer or Service Skills Technical Foreign Language Lab, Communication Other Study Abroad and Travel Honors and Awards Certification or Training References (separate page)

9 Name & Contact Information Provide one email address & one phone number One or two addresses are both ok Current Address: JMU Box 8234 Harrisonburg, VA 22807 Ann Smith 721-566-9003 Permanent Address: 930 Covington Drive Dayton, OH 25612 Ann Smith JMU Box 8234, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, 721-566-9003

10 Objective Objective is like the thesis of your resume. “To obtain a position in the import/export industry that will use my knowledge of business as well as language, leadership and communication skills”. Focus on how you would benefit your audience. Avoid phrases like “looking to build my skills and advance my body of knowledge.” Be concise and direct- but not vague. Avoid phrases like “seeking a challenging position with potential for growth and advancement.” Target your objective to each audience you’re applying to.

11 Education JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY, Harrisonburg, VA Bachelor of Science, May 2014 Mathematics Major, Applied Math Concentration Biology Minor 3.1 Overall GPA, 3.6 Major GPA, 3.2 Minor GPA Usually don’t need to list High School at all. Academic Honors- include # of semesters or semester and year Ex: Dean’s List, 4 semesters or Dean’s List, spring 2013

12 Education- Coursework Relevant Coursework Description of 2-3 courses where you can highlight major projects, research, or knowledge gained (this is usually preferred) Bulleted list of 6-8 course titles with no description (doesn’t tell the reader as much) If you have relevant skills or experience from outside the classroom you won’t need to use coursework.

13 Special Feature: Coursework

14 Experience- paid & unpaid XYZ Organization, Anywhere, VA Intern, dates Edited a monthly newsletter for the department, streamlining office communication. Quantify, be descriptive, identify strengths Use strong, action verbs and key words

15 Skills Technical Skills: Computer programs/software/languages. “Familiar” or “proficient”? Foreign Language Skills: “Basic understanding”, “conversant” or “fluent”? Lab/Scientific Skills: Equipment you can use, processes you can perform. Include specific use of more interpersonal skills in your Experience bullets! Communication, Financial, Management, etc.

16 Other information Study Abroad and Travel Can be listed under Education, International Experience, Skills, or as its own section. Honors, Awards, and Recognition Can be listed under Education or as its own section. Training and Certification Can be listed under Skills, Experience, or as its own section.

17 Resume Reminders A well-prepared resume and cover letter is an essential component to getting an interview. Do not list English as a language skill on a resume written in English for an English speaking country. Do not include personal information such as your picture, age, marital status, race, or religion. Avoid listing an international permanent address, especially if an employer cannot reach you at that address.

18 Benefits of Hiring an International Student Diverse cultural background and the ability to speak more languages are especially appealing to companies that are planning to globalize their business. Living and studying abroad enables international students to demonstrate a number of skills such as adaptability, language skills, and resourcefulness. Be able to communicate how you have overcome some of the challenges you faced, as these types of skills can be directly linked to the skills desired for the position you are seeking.

19 Resume Reminders Provide employers a frame of reference when referring to foreign companies and schools. For example, “My internship was with the largest telecommunications company in Egypt.” Make sure the resume is free from grammatical and spelling errors, as well as awkward use of language. Maintain up-to-date copies of the resume in the format and language of native countries to serve as back-up for employment in home countries or to pass on to contacts.

20 References References should be on a separate page and typically only sent when requested Include the person’s name, title, organization, contact information, and relationship to you. Dr. Ira Smart, Associate Professor Department of Philosophy & Religion, MSC 1214 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA 22807 540-568-0000 Professor for three classes


22 Chronological Format Organizes information around dates, stating what you did and when. Work history is typically related to the job objective. Jobs/experiences are listed in reverse chronological order. Titles and organizations are emphasized. Accomplishments are highlighted.

23 When to Use a Chronological Format When the names of previous employers or organizations are important to highlight. When prior job titles are impressive and give credibility to your qualifications. When you are applying for positions within the same field as your previous work experience and you want to show continuity and career growth.

24 Chronological Resume


26 Functional Format Organizes information around functional headings, highlighting major areas of accomplishments and strength. Allows you to organize content in an order that most supports the objective; not bound by dates. Titles and work history are secondary. Draws on all sources of experience- volunteer, activities, courses, work and signifies each as equally important.

27 When to Use a Functional Format When you want to emphasize capabilities, not your chronological work history. To illustrate your TRANSFERABLE SKILLS. If your experiences are characterized by unrelated experiences or a variety of part-time jobs unrelated to your objective.

28 Functional Resume


30 Combination Format Combines the best aspects of both the chronological and functional. Emphasizes skills, accomplishments, interests, and work experience relative to the objective. When to use the Combination Format? Use when you want to emphasize previous activities and or experience while also highlighting transferable skills.

31 Combination Resume


33 Be creative! The following resume samples show how you can adapt these resume formats to promote your background in the best possible way. Think about the ways in which you can customize your resume! No two resumes will be alike.

34 Special Feature: International Experience

35 Special Feature: Research


37 Appearance Don’t use a template Try to stick to 1 page in most cases (at most 2) Be consistent Use one (or two) font style and size- except for your name Check for spelling and grammatical errors Font: no smaller than 10 point Margins: no smaller than 0.5 inches Fill the page- pay attention to white space Paragraphs vs. bullets Paper choice matters

38 A Few Final Guidelines… Do’s Revise your resume often- get feedback from various people Think about what your audience wants from you, not what you want from them Organize by importance level Use key words, verbs Think about the message you’re giving Make several versions of your resume, including one that is scannable If a position is still in progress, indicate so: “Fall 2012-present”

39 A Few Final Guidelines… Don’ts Don’t use “I”- or other personal pronouns Don’t use course numbers, just course names Don’t Overuse Capital Letters Don’t include WPM or hobbies Don’t use an international permanent address Don’t include a picture or irrelevant personal information Don’t list the full address and phone number of experiences Don’t be overly wordy Don’t be too concise Don’t begin sentences with lower case letters

40 Career & Academic Planning Resume Resources Resource Center: Wilson 303 Resume review appointment Resume Events: See website for special events such as ResumePREP and walk in resume reviews Mock Interviews Recruit-A-Duke: Upload your resume and get involved with on-campus interviewing

41 QUESTIONS © Career and Academic Planning, James Madison University

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