If you are looking for a job, you need to write a resume, which is different from a Curriculum Vitae used for academic jobs. Consider your resume as your brand and provide the best of yourself so that you are marketable to prospective employers. However, never exaggerate or make up a work experience as recruiters check your skills and responsibilities with your previous employers through the references you'll provide. One or two pages for your resume should suffice.
Even though there is not an official U.S. format for a resume, we have tried to break down each step in the process to help you build a strong resume.
Contact information. Provide your full first and family names, mailing address, telephone number, and email address. If you have a LinkedIn site or a website, you can include those, too.
Professional summary or objective. If you have one or more years of work experience, you may write your professional summary in one short sentence of 4-5 lines maximum to enhance your highest achievements and responsibilities. With permission from the Career Resource Manual of the University of California, Davis, here is an example:
"Award-winning sales professional with several years of experience in the consumer products industry and strong track record of exceeding quarterly sales quotas. Highly effective at creating and maintaining good customer relations and generating repeat business. Proven ability to communicate sales tactics and strategies to other professionals through strong presentation skills."
If you have just graduated or have less than one year of work experience, your Objective may includ the kind of position you are aiming for. Do not be wordy or too "me" centered in order to avoid creating the impression that there is not much to say about you. An objective could be "Seeking a full-time, entry level position as a teacher."
Education. Provide the name of your degree or certification and the month and year you received it. Include the college or university's name and city/state address or city/country address for non-U.S. degrees. If you have not graduated yet, give the number of credits earned toward the degree and your anticipated completion date. You may list any activity or classes you participated in that would help you in the desired job.
Skills and key words. It's crucial to list the exact names of the devices, programs, procedures, licenses, systems, and tools that you have mastered because your resume is first downloaded into a searchable database. It means that if a hiring manager searches the database for the key word "Maya", the computer will only pull up the resumes of people who have that character animation skill with the software Maya in their resume.
Work experience. Start with your most recent employer. Include the job title, the start and ending dates of employment. If you are still employed, write your beginning date and the word "Present" to show that you are still in the same company. Provide the employer's name and city/state address or city/country address for a non-U.S. employer, and website. Employers often skim resumes, looking for key job titles and relevant qualifications. Include a description of the job requirements for the position. This are the specific skills and responsibilities inherent to the position, as well as personal achievements. It's important to include details such as numbers of employees you supervised, projects completed, budget, and turnover so that recruiters may visualize what you accomplished in your job in terms of time, effort and results obtained. Repeat for each additional additional employer.
Volunteer experience. You can also use volunteer experience to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments. This is useful if you have no paid work experience yet. Relate your volunteer experience or other interests to the position that you are applying for to demonstrate that you have the required knowledge. For example, you can highlight your experience in the charitable fundraising you have been participating in, even if you have no marketing experience yet.
Power verbs. When you are describing your work and volunteer experience remember to use past tense for previous employers and present tense for current employment. Below are the most used power verbs in a resume; if you want to consider more choices, click here.
Administered Analyzed Appraised
Assembled Budgeted Coached
Compiled Conducted Coordinated
Designed Developed Evaluated
Facilitated Managed Monitored
Negotiated Planned Repaired
Printed Recorded Recruited
Served Supervised Taught
Translated Wrote Reviewed
Additional Information. Make your resume stand out from the competition by including something to personal that can be of interest to a future employer. For example, the potential employer may appreciate that you both share the same hobby or language, such as a black belt in Karate or fluency in Mandarin. This may also reflect well on you because it highlights your innate curiosity, inclination to learn and willingness to undertake a challenging task. One or more items from the following list can be included in this section:
Honors and Awards
THE COVER LETTER
A one-page personal letter that you send with your resume. It's your chance to create a rapport with your potential employer by introducing yourself, describing your competencies and abilities and explaining why you are fit for the position.
It's always better to get the name and the job title of the hiring manager, but if you don't have it, then send your cover letter to the appropriate department of the company and write "To Whom It May Concern".
Sample of a cover letter With permission from the Career Resource Manual of the University of California, Davis.
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