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Resume Writing Guide

2201 G Street, NW Duquès Hall – Suite 560 Washington, DC 20052 (202) 994-6704 sbcareer@gwu.edu The Real Purpose of a Resume • It presents your background and qualifications in the best possible way. • It is a sales brochure that should be designed to take a product (you, your skills and experiences) and market them to a specific consumer or targeted consumer base (employers).

R es umes do not get you jobs , they get you interviews
Formatting Your Resume • Chronological: This is the resume type is favored by US employers. It identifies your experiences in reverse chronological order. (See examples) • Combination: This method is not as commonly used, but can be useful for “career starters” – persons changing both job function and industry. It highlights skill sets and accomplishments but still lists work experience in chronological order. Check with your career consultant to determine if this format might work for you. Tips • Page length: Employers prefer ONE page (two pages are acceptable for 10+ years of solid work experience) • Perfect format: Use the GWSB format template to ensure consistent indentation, capitalization, punctuation, font style, font size and spacing. • Print and review for typing and spelling accuracy. Have at least 2 other persons proofread it.

E mployers s c an a res ume in 30 s ec onds to determine if it is worth reading!
Writing an Outstanding Resume • Target your content: Highlight experience, transferable skills and language/key words relevant to the specific industry and job function • Highlight transferable skills: These types of skills can relate to multiple fields and can help you successfully transition to a new industry or function. Examples of transferable skills are: project management, research, customer retention, client management, financial modeling etc. • Results-oriented accomplishments; Quantify and/or qualify your results • Target • SAR: Write concise bullets based on Situation / Action / Results) Tips • Action verbs: Begin bullets with strong action verbs. Use key words. Refer to Action Verbs list. • Be consistent: Show clear career and/or skill set progression • Don’ts: Do not exaggerate your experience, begin phrases with “I”, or use narrative sentences S c an able Resumes • Scanner technology is increasingly used to search resumes for keywords that relate to skills and experience the employer seeks. Simplicity is important for scan able resumes • Make liberal use of keywords that define your experience and are listed in the job description • Avoid complex formatting like italics, tables, tabs and “decorative” lines. • Refer to the VAULT Career Library article, “Resume Advice: Writing a Scan able Resume”.

and dates of employment. • Action-orientated statements: Lead the reader to an understanding of the skills you bring to the table o Each one of your bullets under your work experience should start with an action verb o Do not use any action verb more than once under each job you have had o See action verb table in this guide • Accomplishments not just responsibilities: Describe experiences that demonstrate you get results and can succeed in the position you are pursuing.ELEMENTS OF A RESUME HEADING • Include name.” Numbers can also be used to add magnitude: “Designed and delivered a corporate technology training program for 500 participants in 10 locations. or numbers.” • Qualify results: If unable to quantify results.” • Include awards and details relevant to the job you are seeking: Merit scholarships. French (proficient). ADDITIONAL INFORMATION It is important to highlight relevant interests. • “Career Starters” and “Career Changers”: Employers are looking for experience. and technical and/or professional skills detailed in your resume that highlight your qualifications for a specific job in your target market. • Foreign Schools: Introduce employers by providing a frame of reference. recommendations were accepted and implemented. For example: Languages • Russian (fluent). related to your career goal: See Martha Washington resume example.e. areas of expertise. use stats. Example: “One of the top 5 universities in China” or “Ranked as the top engineering university in India. Listing relevant courses can be included if you are changing careers. located under each title. case competitions. city and state. • Quantify results: As often as possible. leadership positions etc.” • Skills Gained: These are optional. (i. include dates of completion in reverse chronological order. qualify them. employer name. Use key words.This is an optional section in a resume while still in school • Include projects. telephone number email address and Linkedin address or link SUMMARY . Including “skills gained” for each position. can be a good way to highlight transferrable skills. consider bulleting statements EDUCATION • List all institutions and degrees.This is an optional section in a resume which is best used by persons with significant work experience • The purpose of a summary statement is to encapsulate the experience. Refer to Accomplishment Memory Joggers list. International Residency Projects). • Study Abroad experiences should be included with dates and location. Greek (basic knowledge) . mailing address. certifications and other criteria that will make you more attractive to employers. Examples: “Campaign resulted in a 30% membership increase. not just education. “Presented report to Senior Management. skills.” “Re-organization reduced annual operating expenses by 15%. Include the job title. affiliations. See Martha Washington resume example. especially for Masters level candidates. By seeking out and highlighting class and outside consulting projects you demonstrate exposure and commitment to your chosen field EXPERIENCE • Order: All work experiences should be listed in reverse chronological order. RELEVANT PROJECTS . but appropriate for “career starters” or “career changers” especially if not clear in accomplishment bullets. Spanish (competent). percentages. clubs.

Affiliations / Interests / Volunteer • Affiliation List professional organizations and other community affiliations that support your career goal • Hobbies and interests: List those that show sustained interest. Examples: avid marathon runner. languages and any other technical hardware / network skills . Avoid including activities that might be considered controversial • Volunteer: List most recent activities and highlight leadership role Computer or T ec hnic al Skills • List computer applications. activity. extensive travel throughout Latin America. and / or are directly related to your career goals.

administer or implement any projects. made money.? • Did you improve quality or standards for hiring. goals. policies. made money. contracts. with clients. and correct them. procedure. production. clients. brochures. etc.? • Did you develop new markets. department. etc. manuals. cash flow. etc. streamline or reorganize). organizational changes. staff. products. technique? • Did you develop or design a new program. proposals. programs. territories. market share. plan. guides. project. system method. product. time. revenues. products. P R OB L E M S OL V ING • Did you identify any problems or challenges? • Did you resolve or minimize any problems? • Did you discover and take advantage of any opportunities? C OS T R E DUC T ION & E F F IC IE NC Y • Did you reduce costs. and whose suggestions were incorporated into their strategic planning? • Did you uncover accounting errors.? • Did you improve (redesign. or effort? Did you make any recommendations that saved money. etc. or clients? OT HE R • Did you improve employee relations or boost morale? • Did you open or establish a new office. plans. present or impart knowledge to a senior management. or with the community? • Did you train. accounts. distribution.? P R ODUC T DE V E L OP ME NT & P R OC E S S IMP R OV E ME NT • Did you target a need for a product. increased efficiency or productivity? • Did you make any recommendations that saved money.? • Did you increase or participate in increasing sales. recruitment? C OMMUNIC AT ION • Did you facilitate or improve communication among employees. newsletters. etc. branch. increased efficiency or productivity? • Did you produce reports whose recommendations were well received by senior management. services. services? • Did you improve customer satisfaction or service? P L ANNING • Did you formulate or participate in formulating any management decisions.Accomplishment Memory Joggers Use the following memory joggers to help you recall your accomplishments in each of the positions you have had in the past – including relevant internships and volunteer positions. facility? • Did you make a technical contribution? • Did you create any original works: reports. method. service. acquisitions. waste. processes. strategy. system. thus saving them money? • Did you reduce the liability for the company by suggesting safety improvement. program. improved security. etc. profits.? You did? Great! By how much and for whom? . service. volume. plan. process.

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• • • EXPERIENCE________________________________________________________________ THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART. Web Site Redesign and Maintenance Project July 2008 – August 2010 Skills gained: Leadership. France RELEVANT MBA PROJECTS__________________________________________________ • Performed Competitive Intelligence and Scenario Analysis of Internet services firm (e-business and wireless). publishers. • • • Formulated strategic plan to significantly enhance Web site featuring new design. saving approximately 12 man-hours per week. collectors.Sample Resume MARTHA WASHINGTON 1234 First Street. reducing process time by 50% and increasing data accuracy by 4%. Spring semester 1997 Kalamazoo.edu 202 -333-3333 Linkedin address or link EDUCATION_________________________________________________________________ THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. GWSB American Marketing Association. Led procurement team and managed vendor selection for site development. Recommended and implemented changes expediting internal workflows by one week. vendor selection • Led cross-departmental team and managed new Web site Redesign and Maintenance Project. Created strategy for Branding/Customer Retention campaign for property management firm and led inter-division focus groups.gwu. Spanish (proficient) Front Page. project management. database management • Performed ad hoc marketing communications for internal staff. US History. Alexandria. Arlington. Women’s Softball Team • Institute for American Universities. DC Web Communications Manager. Corporate Relations Committee KALAMAZOO COLLEGE Bachelor of Arts. • • Revised and improved internal communications reporting and procedures enhancing museum efficiency. Project completed two months ahead of schedule. Developed Business Plans for broadband project and for startup consulting company. museum professionals. film industry and general public. Analyzed and implemented new procedures for updating collection databases. image branding. Analyzed company strategy and image branding. Prepared and presented Marketing Strategy business case on International Olympic Committee online initiatives. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION________________________________________________ Languages: Technical Skills: Interests: Volunteer: French (fluent). Communications and New Media Manager July 2006 – June 2008 Skills gained: Internal and external client management. content and functionality. Presented to Senior Management team and won approval for project. Signed contract for 5% under budget. marathon runner Tutored at Patrick Henry Elementary School. Marketing Focus May 2012 • Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Fellow • Case competition winner: Best startup business plan • Pres. Access and relational databases Travel throughout Western Europe. performance metrics development. HTML. MI May 2006 Aix-en-Provence. School of Business Washington. Virginia 22213 Martha@gwmail. VP Net Impact. Developed performance metrics and requirements to write RFP and communications plan. DC Master of Business Administration. Expanded sphere of influence by 20%. art dealers. VA 1997-2000 . SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION Washington. Art History and French • Waskowsky Art History Award for best senior thesis • Captain.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION_________________________________________________ Certifications: Technical Skills: Languages: Volunteer: Certified Public Accountant in the District of Columbia Advanced Excel modeling. • Redesigned customizable PwC product offering resulting in a 20% decrease in client implementation costs. Managed key projects on time and within budget producing $1. Washington.July 2004 • Managed client relationships and project finances. German (Conversational) Public Relations Committee. spreadsheet-based cost analysis software that IBM. conducted customer needs analyses and drafted process flowcharts to understand clients’ businesses and identify their product requirements. • Hired external vendor to build web document sharing system for Fortune 200 clients. CPA 714 21st Street. a 33% reduction in learning curve for new employees and a $2. VP of Marketing VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE & STATE UNIVERSITY Bachelor of Science. School of Business Master of Business Administration. Designed and delivered new product reducing J&J’s processing time 73% from three weeks to four days. DC 20052 gwash@gwu.400 per project increase in income based on $12. Sr. • Employed gap analysis and brainstorming sessions to reveal inefficiencies in Johnson & Johnson’s overseas payroll process. Consultant August 2004 . Researched accounting / tax issues.000 price.. DC Habitat for Humanity. within budget product delivery.July 2008 • Designed a complex. Hewlett-Packard and AT&T successfully used to calculate taxes and compensation for overseas employees. Accounting • Subsidized education by working 20-25 hours a week during senior year Washington. Reduced project hours 13% by replacing manual process. LLP Baltimore. NW. Finance and Investments focus • Finance Club. . VP of Operations • GW MBA Association. Reviewed contracts and assisted in negotiations. • Led coordination of global activities for the implementation of PwC’s performance management tool for 8. LLP Washington. DELOITTE & TOUCHE. MD Senior Accountant January 2003 . MD Staff Accountant Intern May 2002. • Created fixed asset spreadsheets for golf course audits. VA December 2004 EXPERIENCE________________________________________________________________ PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS. DC Consulting Manager.August 2010 • Integrated national PwC business strategy into technology solutions. Coached team of five. KPMG. Recognized by Firm for superior customer service and on time. • Built 100 standard work-papers for national project tracking software reducing management’s review time.Sample Resume GEORGE WASHINGTON. United States and Canada August 2008 .edu 202-994-6704 Linkedin address or link EDUCATION_________________________________________________________________ THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. Lotus Notes database design Spanish and French (fluent). DC May 2012 Blacksburg. Created financial budgets. LLP Baltimore. Software reduced national HR review cycle time increasing Firm’s billable hours by 10%. analyzed and drafted detailed financial statements and prepared corporate tax returns. Received award for customizing and delivering this software to IBM faster than any PwC competitor had done in the past.5 million in fees.December 2003 • Audited companies.000 users in the US and Canada.