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Develop an effective resume

Develop an effective resume

Resumes are what people use to get jobs, right?

Wrong!

A resume is your ticket to an interview where you can sell yourself!  It's a 1- or 2-page summary of your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience. A resume does its job successfully if it doesn't exclude you from consideration.

To prepare a successful resume, you need to know how to review, summarize, and present your experiences and achievements effectively. If your resume is poorly organized or written, you'll have little chance of getting an interview. Before you write, take time to do a self assessment on paper. Outline your skills and abilities, as well as your work experience and extracurricular activities. This will make it easier to prepare a thorough resume.

Contents

All of your contact information (name, address, telephone, e-mail address, and web site) should go at the top of your resume.  

  • Avoid nicknames.
  • Use a permanent address (for example, your parents' address, a friend's address, or the address you plan to use after graduation).
  • Use a permanent telephone number and don't forget the area code.
  • Use an e-mail address that sounds professional.
  • Include a website address only if the content reflects your professional ambitions (you probably don't want to link to your page on a social networking site unless your content is only career related).

When including your work experience, use action words and phrases.  For example, instead of saying  "I was supervisor for the customer service department", say "Supervised the customer service department". 

If you include a job objective, state what type of position you want and how you can benefit the employer in that position.  For example: "Career objective: To use my technical talents and abilities while providing superior customer service".

Cover letter

When you apply for a position, include a cover letter stating why your qualifications fit the particular position and why you want to work with the company. A good resume and cover letter should lead to an interview.

Tips

  • Keep your resume to one page, if possible. Unless you have considerable experience, you don't need two pages.
  • Print your resume and cover letter on good quality paper.
  • Be honest about your skills and work experience.
  • Don’t be too “wordy” – be brief!

Sample resumes (PDF)