Employment Help - Resume Tips

List Your Qualifications

Make a summary of your qualifications by bulleting your professional background highlights as it relates to the needs of the company. Companies need to see immediately that you have the skills and experience they need. Remember, companies are looking for a reason to eliminate resumes from their piles. Make sure yours passes the first test.

The Objective

The job objective is a targeted, brief description of the specific kind of job you are seeking. Try to be specific as possible. If your objective is vague or unfocused, you will appear unable to decide what you want to do with the next part of your life.

You can always change the objective to fit the job for which you are applying. A good way to come up with an objective would be to repeat what the advertisement stated. The objective is not always needed on a resume. If you do decide to leave it off, discuss your objective in the cover letter.

Education

This category is particularly important if you have not had a great deal of work experience. Remember, your most recent educational experience should be listed first.

Include your degree (A.S., B.S., B.A., etc.), major, institution(s) attended, date of graduation, minors or concentrations, and any special workshops, seminars, related coursework or senior projects. A G.P.A. of higher than a 3.0 (either overall G.P.A. or G.P.A. in major) should also be noted here.

Work Experience

If you have only a limited paid work experience, but have done some volunteer work, internships, or had similar experiences, be sure to point this out on your resume. These are your skills and tell a lot about what you can do on the job. Sometimes, non-paying experience can reflect better on you because prospective employers can see that you are willing to put in the time without money being the main issue.

When you list your work experiences remember to include:

  • The title of your position
  • The name of the organization
  • The location of work (town, state)
  • The dates of jobs held

After listing the above items, a brief description of your responsibilities at that job should follow. Emphasize on some of your major achievements and highlight your responsibilities. When writing this section of your resume, use the most relevant work experiences and describe them fully. For instance, if you are trying for a teaching assistant position, you should probably be very brief in describing your summer job at Taco Bell or leave it off completely. If you want to include all of your work experience, try dividing them into two categories: Relevant Experience and Other Experience.

Other Information

If you have interests/computer knowledge/activities that you think can be helpful in getting the job that you want, you can list them under an appropriate heading. Sometimes employers use this section to understand your "personality type". Some things to consider listing are the languages that you speak, the computer software/hardware with which you are familiar (especially if using computers is a necessary skill for the job you are seeking), social or civic activities, sports or fitness activities, any school honors or awards, hobbies, or anything else related to the job that you could not fit in the other areas.

The employer is interested in the skills you have developed whether through volunteer or paid experiences. If you were elected to offices or committees, mention it. Recognition and demonstration of leadership roles are valuable.

If you find that your resume is running long, this is probably a good section to cut. A simple listing that takes up a line or two would be sufficient.

References

Be sure to ask individuals if they would be willing to be a reference for you prior to mentioning their names to prospective employers. Names of individuals are not usually listed on the résumé (unless there is space available at the end), but you should prepare a typed list of three references to provide at the interview. This list should include name, title, employer, address, business and home telephone number. You may also state at the bottom of your resume "References furnished upon request."