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Resume writing

Resume Types and Samples

You should choose your resume format depending on your work and personal background. In this section, we will provide an overview of the main types of resumes, which types work best for specific people, and samples of each. Experience-Focused Resume This resume works well for people who are applying for a job in their current field because it focuses on experience and shows your career progress. In fact, this is the most common resume out there since most people are switching jobs within the same industry. Here is an example of an experience-focused, or chronological, resume. Experiences are highlighted in this type of resume Skills-Focused Resume Often called functional resumes, these provide a summary of your qualifications with an emphasis on your experience and education rather than employer or position. You might consider using this format if youre changing fields because this skills-oriented format demonstrates your transferable skills better than the experience-focused format. Also, if you have gaps between jobs, you should use the functional format since it de-emphasizes times of your experiences. (However, you should usually still include years, so you dont give the impression of being misleading; however, just make the dates less conspicuous.) Here is an example of a functional resume. Skills are highlighted in this type of resume Hybrid Resume The hybrid resume includes your most relevant and best information from both your experiences and your education in a chronological order. This is one of the most common resumes, and we at Trusty Guides think its the best format particularly for those who are looking for their first job out of college. Remember, its best to include your GPA, because leaving it out will seem disingenuous. Here is an example of a combination resume. A hybrid resume combines skills and experience Curriculum Vitae (CV) A CV is not exactly a resume, but some employers request a CV in place of a resume. We wont go into further detail on CVs in this guide, except to say that CVs include more detail than resumes (up to 10 pages), and are most often used for international jobs or PhD positions. Read on to learn about the best way to structure your resume.

Content Do's and Don'ts

Your main content should provide specific examples of the responsibilities and tasks you performed at that other job or institution. Here are some tips to remember: Do: When writing your resume, write it from the perspective of the employer and his/her needs. Read the job description of the job you are applying for to understand what the ideal candidate would possess. Recall all the qualities/experiences you have had that would fit this job description. Think of the best ways to describe these qualities and experiences. Pick specific examples to include. Choose a resume structure and style that best showcases these experiences/talents. Only mention work/education that is notable. Read and re-read every word. Check out the proofreading checklist at the end of this guide for proofreading tips. Dont: Dont think that the more you write the better. You want impressive experiences and relevant information, not padding. Dont mention daily, tedious work that you did in previous positions. It doesnt impress. Dont mention unskilled jobs. Its great that you mowed lawns one summer, but dont put it on your resume unless you are applying for a job to mow lawns. Dont mention job responsibilities you once had that you dont want to do in the future; if you dont want to do secretarial work anymore, leave it out. Dont include your high school or age. Dont include past salaries or wages. Dont include references unless specifically required by the potential employer. To learn what writing style you should use for your resume, see the next section.

Resume Problems and Solutions

This is the quick FAQ section. Maybe you think you have a problem with writing your resume that will keep you from having a chance at the job you want. Maybe its not that bad, and even if it is a challenge,that just means fixing your resume will take a little extra work. Here are some common concerns and helpful suggestions for addressing them. Problem Solution Use a skills based (functional) resume and highlight skills that you No experience in field would need at the job you are applying for. Also, do volunteer work you're applying for relevant to that job, even if part-time (a few hours a week). Highlight your experience and education; explain your gaps in the Gaps in work cover letter. experience Had only one job for This is not necessarily bad list different positions you held within the company, and show your progression and increased responsibility. decades Many short-term jobs, You can drop short-term jobs that don't highlight skills needed for the job you're applying for. You can also combine a few similar jobs by fragmented work position: eg. 2001-2004: Waiter Chili's, Pizza Hut, Ground Round. history, job hopper You dont have to put your GPA on your resume unless they ask for it. An alternative is just putting the GPA of your major if its higher than Low GPA your overall GPA. In general, include your GPA if its above 3.0, or employers might think its worse than it actually is. Dont have time to You can create two or three resumes aimed at slightly different jobs, tailor resume for every and choose which resume to submit according to the best fit. job Resume Writing Style Youve spent thousands of hours and several years at the grind, working hard and putting forth your best effort at your job. When it comes time to capture this work on paper, dont shortchange yourself and limit your future by writing the first thing that comes to mind with your professional experiences. These tips on resume writing style are essential to keep in mind when writing or revising your resume. Top Action Words Managed Executed Trained Increased Performed Created Designed Improved Examined Supervised Built Organized Use Key Words If youre tailoring your resume for a specific job, then read over that job description and look for key words that are used frequently, or unusual words that reveal what the employer is looking for in an employee. Even if youre not tailoring your resume for one job, chances are that if youre looking in a certain job field, desired skills will remain fairly consistent with the field. If youre submitting your resume electronically, a computer scanner may search your resume for key words. Scanners then filter out resumes that a human employer will look at, while other resumes may be deleted without ever being read by a human.

Be concise and dont use fluffy language Keep descriptions of your responsibilities short and concise, with no more than 3-4 lines per bullet point. Employers dont expect nor do they want to read that much detail in a resume. However, dont just say how you have special expertise at something. Give examples and specifics these convince people youre for real more than your personal ego stroke. . Use Active Voice Avoid These Adjectives Responsible Hard-working Professional Team player Ambitious Competent Detail-oriented Goal-oriented Creative Experienced Successful The active voice makes almost any writing style sound better, including resume style. Transforming phrases from the passive to the active voice is usually not that difficult, but it can make a big difference because this technique makes it sound like you have actively pursued your work which is true. See this Action Words Web page from Purdue University for a comprehensive list of powerful action words to include on your resume: Dont Be Wordy Not only should you be concise, but you shouldnt use pedantic words that your employer will have to look up. Avoid professional jargon, obscure abbreviations, recondite words and clever wordplays. Keep your wording clear and straightforward, and your accomplishments will stand out and the presentation will serve as the vehicle, as its meant to.

Resume Proofreading Checklist

Grammer Tip
Heres the scoop on its and its: Use its only as a contraction, meaning you can substitute it is. Do not use its as a possessive. Its incorrect. Use its for all other cases. Some employers say that when they see a typo on a resume, they immediately click delete without bothering to re ad the rest. Even if youre applying for an engineering position and no one in the company knows (or cares about) the difference between its and its, spending a few minutes proofreading could make a big difference. When proofreading your resume, run through this checklist:

Resume Proofreading Checklist

How does your resume look? Are the spacing and margins flush and consistent? Is your personal information correct (e.g. Address, e-mail, phone number)? Are there periods after complete sentences that end a line? If not, then make sure you are consistent

Did you use the correct tenses, and use them consistently? Use present tense for current jobs and past tense for past jobs. Did you use correct grammar and punctuation? Are numbers written correctly? Write out the numbers from one to nine, and use numerals for 10 and above, except when beginning a sentence (spell out numbers beginning sentences). What are the one or two weakest points of content? Can you improve them by substituting an active verb for an overused adjective? Finally, have a friend look closely at your resume, even a professor or contact at the company you are applying to. Their edits can prove crucial.

Thanks to the Internet, applying for multiple jobs today is much easier than 10 years ago. In fact, there are dozens of Web sites where you can search for jobs and post resumes. In a few minutes time, you can send your resume to hundreds or even thousands of Web sites. However, that doesnt necessarily mean employers will be knocking at your door anytime soon. You need to make sure your resume stands out; and thats why you need to make sure you take our advice from the body content and writing style sections earlier. Also, note that when you post your resume online, the site may ask for a different format (e.g. text-only), so be prepared to spend some time reformatting. Sending your resume out into cyberspace hoping for someone to pick it up is a little bit like sending it out to sea with the same hope.

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