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Resume Writing September 19, 2012 Jeanette Hickl VCU University Career Center Division of Student Affairs Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Presentation on theme: "Resume Writing September 19, 2012 Jeanette Hickl VCU University Career Center Division of Student Affairs Virginia Commonwealth University."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Resume Writing September 19, 2012 Jeanette Hickl VCU University Career Center Division of Student Affairs Virginia Commonwealth University

3 Agenda Resumes Resumes –Purpose –Formats –Content –Organization and Appearance Cover Letters Cover Letters –Purpose –Format –Content

4 Purpose of a Resume Goal: ? Goal: ? an interview A resume is a strategic personal marketing tool to sell your relevant experience, education, skills, accomplishments and qualifications to potential employers A resume is a strategic personal marketing tool to sell your relevant experience, education, skills, accomplishments and qualifications to potential employers

5 Resume Formats Resume Resume –Chronological Resumes –Functional Resumes –Combination Resumes Curriculum Vitae Curriculum Vitae

6 Resume Content *Use the categories that fit you CORE CONTENT AREAS: Name and Contact Information Name and Contact Information Objective or Professional Interest Statement Objective or Professional Interest Statement Education Education Experience Experience Scholarships/Honors/Awards Scholarships/Honors/Awards ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES: Certification/Licensure Certification/Licensure Selected Coursework/ Selected Coursework/Projects/Presentations Research Experience Research Experience Publications & Presentations Publications & Presentations Professional Organizations Professional Organizations Computer/Technical Skills Computer/Technical Skills Skills Summary Skills Summary Additional Experience Additional Experience Professional Development – training, professional organizations, workshops, conferences Professional Development – training, professional organizations, workshops, conferences Student Organizations Student Organizations Community Service/Volunteer Community Service/Volunteer Foreign Languages Foreign Languages

7 Name and Contact Information Do not write “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” on your resume Do not write “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” on your resume On top of page: On top of page: –Name – slightly larger font size (14 or 16) –Contact information – legible font size (11 or 12) –Address –Phone number(s) (cell – screen calls, professional voic ) – address (remove hyperlink, professional)

8 Name & Contact Information ~Examples~ Jamie T. Student 907 Floyd Avenue ▪ Richmond, VA ▪ ▪ _______________________________________________________________ Jamie T. Student Current Address: 907 Floyd Avenue ▪ Richmond, VA Permanent Address: 123 Lovely Lane ▪ Fairfax, VA ▪ _______________________________________________________________ Jamie T. Student Current Address: Permanent Address: Current Address: Permanent Address: 907 Floyd Avenue Lovely Lane 907 Floyd Avenue Lovely Lane Richmond, VA Fairfax, VA Richmond, VA Fairfax, VA 32145

9 Objective Optional Optional If you have one, be specific If you have one, be specific Avoid clichés or general statements Avoid clichés or general statements Focus on how the employer would benefit, not on how they can help you Focus on how the employer would benefit, not on how they can help you Consider targeting your objective for each resume you send out Consider targeting your objective for each resume you send out

10 Objective ~Examples~ OBJECTIVE To obtain a position as a Victim Advocate. OBJECTIVE Seeking a Co-chair position with International Women’s Alliance through the 2012 conference. OBJECTIVE (PROFILE) Recent gender studies graduate with interest in victim’s advocacy and experience as a certified grant writer seeking victim advocacy.

11 Education List all degrees in reverse chronological order List all degrees in reverse chronological order Abbreviating degrees is appropriate; writing them is preferred Abbreviating degrees is appropriate; writing them is preferred GPA is recommended (3.0 or above) GPA is recommended (3.0 or above) Indicate graduation with honors Indicate graduation with honors Do not include high school graduation Do not include high school graduation

12 Education ~Examples~ EDUCATION Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, May 2013 Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, VA EDUCATION Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond, Virginia Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s StudiesMay 2013 GPA: 4.0

13 Experience Focus on relevant experience Focus on relevant experience Include other relevant experience Include other relevant experience Can include unpaid experience, internships or volunteer work Can include unpaid experience, internships or volunteer work Begin descriptions with strong action verbs Begin descriptions with strong action verbs Include complete but succinct descriptions Include complete but succinct descriptions Avoid the use of personal pronouns Avoid the use of personal pronouns Avoid the use of articles (a, an, the) Avoid the use of articles (a, an, the) Focus on skills and accomplishments rather than including a comprehensive list of job duties Focus on skills and accomplishments rather than including a comprehensive list of job duties Quantify accomplishments whenever possible (for how many? how often? etc) Quantify accomplishments whenever possible (for how many? how often? etc)

14 Action Verbs  Use strong, descriptive action verbs to describe your experience  If it is a current experience, use the present tense  If it is a previous experience, use the past tense  Avoid gerunds (-ing)  Vary your action verbs (refer to action verb list in resume guide)  Avoid “duties include” or “responsible for”  Refrain from using “handled” or “dealt with” when referring to people

15 Examples of Advocate Descriptions Keep records or prepare reports for owner or management concerning visits with clients. Keep records or prepare reports for owner or management concerning visits with clients. Submit reports and review reports or problems with superior. Submit reports and review reports or problems with superior. Interview individuals or family members to compile information on social, educational, criminal, institutional, or drug history. Interview individuals or family members to compile information on social, educational, criminal, institutional, or drug history. Provide information or refer individuals to public or private agencies or community services for assistance. Provide information or refer individuals to public or private agencies or community services for assistance. Consult with supervisor concerning programs for individual families. Consult with supervisor concerning programs for individual families. Advise clients regarding food stamps, child care, food, money management, sanitation, or housekeeping. Advise clients regarding food stamps, child care, food, money management, sanitation, or housekeeping. Oversee day-to-day group activities of residents in institution. Oversee day-to-day group activities of residents in institution. Visit individuals in homes or attend group meetings to provide information on agency services, requirements, or procedures. Visit individuals in homes or attend group meetings to provide information on agency services, requirements, or procedures. Monitor free, supplementary meal program to ensure cleanliness of facility and that eligibility guidelines are met for persons receiving meals. Monitor free, supplementary meal program to ensure cleanliness of facility and that eligibility guidelines are met for persons receiving meals. Meet with youth groups to acquaint them with consequences of delinquent acts. Meet with youth groups to acquaint them with consequences of delinquent acts.

16 Experience ~Example~ RELEVANT EXPERIENCE Feminist Student NetworkRichmond, VA AdvocateMay-July 2012 Provided information or refer individuals to public or private agencies or community services for assistance. Provided information or refer individuals to public or private agencies or community services for assistance. Interviewed individuals or family members to compile information on social, educational, criminal, institutional, or drug history. Interviewed individuals or family members to compile information on social, educational, criminal, institutional, or drug history. Consulted with supervisor concerning programs for individual families. Consulted with supervisor concerning programs for individual families.

17 Honors Honor Societies Honor Societies Scholarships awarded Scholarships awarded Other awards Other awards Alphabetical or reverse chronological order Alphabetical or reverse chronological order Include graduation with honors in Education section (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) Include graduation with honors in Education section (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude)

18 Honors ~Example~ HONORS VCU Scholarship, awarded 2011 VCU Scholarship, awarded 2011 Golden Key International Honour Society, inducted 2009 Golden Key International Honour Society, inducted 2009 Virginia Commonwealth University Dean’s List, all semesters Virginia Commonwealth University Dean’s List, all semesters

19 Organizations Focus on relevant organizations Focus on relevant organizations Highlight leadership positions Highlight leadership positions Include memberships in professional organizations and student organizations related to field Include memberships in professional organizations and student organizations related to field Include years of membership Include years of membership Can be combined with Honors or another section Can be combined with Honors or another section List in reverse chronological order or alphabetically List in reverse chronological order or alphabetically

20 Outreach Include relevant volunteer experience or community service Include relevant volunteer experience or community service Consider elaborating on this experience; organize just like experience section Consider elaborating on this experience; organize just like experience section

21 Organizations/Outreach ~Example~ ORGANIZATIONS/OUTREACH Co-founded Feminist Student Network at CU-Boulder Co-founded Feminist Student Network at CU-Boulder Planned three International Women’s Week (IWW) conferences Planned three International Women’s Week (IWW) conferences Co-chair, International Women’s Alliance, coordinated 25th Annual IWW XXXX Co-chair, International Women’s Alliance, coordinated 25th Annual IWW XXXX Team Captain for XXXX Race for the Cure Team Captain for XXXX Race for the Cure Coordinated campus effort for the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s “Campaign 2.6” Coordinated campus effort for the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s “Campaign 2.6”

22 Resume Organization and Appearance Consistent organization is critical to an effective resume Consistent organization is critical to an effective resume The appearance and organization of the resume is just as important as the content The appearance and organization of the resume is just as important as the content Skim … Skim … in less than 5 seconds - ATS

23 Resume Organization Avoid templates Avoid templates Consistent organization Consistent organization Use horizontal space Use horizontal space Balanced page Balanced page Fill the page Fill the page White space in between sections and entries White space in between sections and entries Use tabs, not space-bar to indent Use tabs, not space-bar to indent Use “print preview” Use “print preview” Resumes should be one page in most cases Resumes should be one page in most cases A second page is justified if it includes relevant, significant information A second page is justified if it includes relevant, significant information If you use more than one page, make sure you include “Name, Page #” & avoid stragglers on all subsequent pages If you use more than one page, make sure you include “Name, Page #” & avoid stragglers on all subsequent pages Use bold, CAPS, italics and underlining strategically and sparingly Use bold, CAPS, italics and underlining strategically and sparingly Be consistent with heading style and margins Be consistent with heading style and margins Use one font style and size (except for your name and/or headings) Use one font style and size (except for your name and/or headings) Font: Times New Roman or Arial Font: Times New Roman or Arial Font Size: no smaller than 10 in Arial or 11 in Times Font Size: no smaller than 10 in Arial or 11 in Times Margins: at least 0.5 inches Margins: at least 0.5 inches Avoid paragraphs Avoid paragraphs Use bullets, not dashes Use bullets, not dashes Avoid numbering your secitons Avoid numbering your secitons

24 Resume Appearance - Proofread Use all periods or no periods at the end of sentences Use all periods or no periods at the end of sentences Dashes used in dates – consistent size, consistent spacing Dashes used in dates – consistent size, consistent spacing Check for spelling and grammatical errors Check for spelling and grammatical errors Spellcheck does not check words in all caps Spellcheck does not check words in all caps Avoid personal pronouns and personal information Avoid personal pronouns and personal information

25 Resume Appearance - Final Copy Avoid graphics, pictures, color ink Avoid graphics, pictures, color ink Print on laser printer Print on laser printer Use high quality, 100% cotton paper in white or off-white Use high quality, 100% cotton paper in white or off-white Don’t staple or fold Don’t staple or fold Don’t print on both sides of paper Don’t print on both sides of paper If mailing, use large envelope If mailing, use large envelope

26 References List 3-5 professional references on a separate document following the resume List 3-5 professional references on a separate document following the resume Copy and paste your contact information at the top of the page Copy and paste your contact information at the top of the page When listing references include name, title, organization/institution and department, business address, phone number, and When listing references include name, title, organization/institution and department, business address, phone number, and Don’t write “References available upon request” on your resume Don’t write “References available upon request” on your resume ALWAYS ask permission from person giving you the reference ALWAYS ask permission from person giving you the reference Offer your references a copy of your resume Offer your references a copy of your resume Inform your references of the positions you’re applying for so they are prepared Inform your references of the positions you’re applying for so they are prepared

27 References ~Example~ REFERENCES Janet R. Hutchinson, Ph.D. Professor of Public Policy Chair, Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies Virginia Commonwealth University Crenshaw House, 919 W. Franklin Street Richmond, VA Phone 804/

28 Cover Letters Why write one? Purpose: Introduce yourself/your resume Introduce yourself/your resume Indicate the position you are seeking Indicate the position you are seeking May take the place of the objective May take the place of the objective Highlight your qualifications Highlight your qualifications Tailor letter to the job Tailor letter to the job

29 Cover Letter Format Business letter format: (Left justify everything) Your address Your address Today’s date Today’s date Employer’s name, title, organization, address Employer’s name, title, organization, address Greeting Greeting Body Body Closing (Sincerely, Yours truly) Closing (Sincerely, Yours truly) Your signature Your signature Your typed name Your typed name Enclosure(s): resume, application, references... Enclosure(s): resume, application, references...

30 Cover Letter Format Simplified format: Leave off greeting and closing Leave off greeting and closing Use this option when you are not writing to a specific person Use this option when you are not writing to a specific person Allows you to avoid generic greetings (To whom it may concern; Dear Sir or Madam) Allows you to avoid generic greetings (To whom it may concern; Dear Sir or Madam)

31 ing a Cover Letter Two options: 1. Your is the cover letter, attach your resume –Leave off return address, date and employer’s address –Follow basic cover letter writing guidelines for the body of your – cover letters should be briefer than traditional cover letters –Spell check and proof read your prior to sending 2. Write a brief , attach your cover letter and resume –Follow traditional cover letter writing guidelines –Spell check and cover letter prior to sending

32 Content: First Paragraph Introduce yourself and state why you are contacting the organization Introduce yourself and state why you are contacting the organization Indicate the specific position of interest and how you learned of the position Indicate the specific position of interest and how you learned of the position Include degree you are seeking and when it will be awarded Include degree you are seeking and when it will be awarded You may wish to quickly summarize your experience/qualifications in one sentence You may wish to quickly summarize your experience/qualifications in one sentence

33 Content: Body Paragraphs Explain why you are interested in this position and this organization – demonstrate that you have done your research Explain why you are interested in this position and this organization – demonstrate that you have done your research Address each skill or qualification in the position description and explain how you meet the organization’s needs – be specific Address each skill or qualification in the position description and explain how you meet the organization’s needs – be specific Provide examples that demonstrate your skills Provide examples that demonstrate your skills Do not just repeat your resume Do not just repeat your resume

34 Content: Concluding Paragraph Reiterate your interest Reiterate your interest Invite the employer to contact you and repeat your contact information (it should already be listed at the top) Invite the employer to contact you and repeat your contact information (it should already be listed at the top) Indicate how and when you will follow up (if you have the contact information to do so) Indicate how and when you will follow up (if you have the contact information to do so) Thank the employer for their time and/or consideration of your application Thank the employer for their time and/or consideration of your application

35 Cover Letters Other information to include: Request information or interview Request information or interview Explain gaps in employment, why you are reentering the job market, or why you are changing the focus of your career Explain gaps in employment, why you are reentering the job market, or why you are changing the focus of your career If you were informed of the position by an employee of the company, include their name If you were informed of the position by an employee of the company, include their name

36 Tips For A Stellar Cover Letter Address letter to a specific individual, when possible Address letter to a specific individual, when possible Be specific when discussing your career goal and qualifications Be specific when discussing your career goal and qualifications Give supporting evidence of your skills Give supporting evidence of your skills Try not to start many sentences with “I” Try not to start many sentences with “I” Write no more than 3 or 4 paragraphs Write no more than 3 or 4 paragraphs Write simply and clearly Write simply and clearly Cover letter should complement, not repeat your resume Cover letter should complement, not repeat your resume Let your personality come through Let your personality come through

37 Resources Go to Go to Scroll down and click on “Resume Guide” and “Job Search Correspondence Guide ” on the bottom/center of the page Scroll down and click on “Resume Guide” and “Job Search Correspondence Guide ” on the bottom/center of the page

38 VCU University Career Center Jeanette Hickl University Student Commons Monroe Park Campus Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


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