Having a solid resume is the cornerstone developing your career. A well written and well designed resume is what sets you apart from other job applicants. A perfectly written job application, a quality resume and a list of positive references is the job seekers trifecta. In this class we will teach you these skills to help in your search for employment. Below is a list of resume writing tips, read over it before finalizing your own resume.
Resume Writing Tips:
Put your typography skills to work:
Never use comic sans, zapfino or anything difficult to read or is more "expressive" than "rational". Use sans-serif for headers and section titles, pick a complementary serif font for all other text. Limit your fonts to 2, with 1 or 2 modifiers (bold, italic, etc). Also, refer back to our rules on typography in our introduction to typography and utilize those guidelines in your resume. Choose fonts that are complimentary to each other and assist in creating information hierarchy, this helps the reviewer find the information they need quickly. Choose a good sans serif font for your section titles and a complimentary serif font for the rest.
Have an objective:
Know the purpose of your resume and edit it for different job scenarios. Having a focused job objective listed on your resume will help you with attaining an interview and getting hired.
Back up your special skills with job experience:
List your skills but make sure your listed job experience, training or education reflects those skills. Are you really good at making websites? Let them know how and where you learned that skill.
Research and use the right keywords:
Every industry has its own language, research job offerings and pay attention to the keywords that are used. If you put your resume online with a job placement service they will often use certain keywords to search their database for potential hires.
Be descriptive with job experience:
A job title will communicate your role, but not the details of your work experience. List the duties, tasks, activities, skills and achievements that were part of your job.
Format your text:
Use bold text to start each section. Use bullets for lists. Make the document easy to quickly scan and read. Clarity of format is crucial, you have ten seconds before the employer will move on to another applicant.
List most recent job experience first:
This also goes for education, list the most recent first. If your still in High School you can say "future class of 2012", or "Currently attending HS".
List most important skills first:
When writing out your skill list make the most important skills the first ones on the list. If you are applying for a web design job, list your web skills first. Change and edit this for different industries/jobs.
Leave out the obvious:
It is not necessary to add "available for interview" or "references available upon request". References are standard and expected, and of course you are available for an interview. Thats the whole point!
Don't trash talk past employers or state that you didn't like a past job. Simply state that you were looking for future opportunities.
Go with what you got:
If you haven't had work experience yet, just list any summer jobs, volunteer experience etc. If you have hobbies that are relevant to the job you can list those. If you don't have a diploma or degree then just list your estimated date for completion.
Proofread your resume:
Have your neighbor or classmate read your resume. Sometimes the spellchecker doesn't catch typos. The more eyeballs that see your resume before it gets in the hands of the employer the better.
Although these resumes contain similar information, styles do vary. Focus on what makes a resume readable, identifiable and effective. It should be unique to stand out from the rest, but not overly expressive as that can make legibility difficult.
- Download the ROP Career Portfolio Handbook and follow the template to write your own resume from scratch
- Create a 1 page resume that meets the handbook requirements for all included information
- Use any program or online tools of your choice to write your resume
- Demonstrate good typography, spelling and accuracy!
- Make sure your resume shows good information hierarchy so it is simple to read and each section is listed clearly
- Email or print and turn in your resume and list of references for credit - DO NOT POST YOUR RESUME ON YOUR BLOG! It contains sensitive information!
- Due Wednesday
List Of References Writing Assignment:
It is incredibly important to develop a great list of references. These references will help you obtain jobs, college admissions or acceptance into special programs.
Who makes a good reference?
- Present or past employer
- Family friend
- Anyone that can speak highly of your abilities, skills and worth
References to avoid:
- Anyone under 18
- Personal friends
- family members
- Anyone who cannot speak highly of your abilities or skills
- The format of your references should match your resume exactly, same header, same fonts.
- Do not include references on your resume
- Include at least three references
- All references should be responsible adults who know you well and can speak to your character and skills
- Always ask whether or not someone is willing to be a reference before including them in your list
- Verify the contact information before handing over to an employer
Use the following format for your references, using your own accurate information of course:
Persons Name: Bob Smith
Address: 123 Fake Street
Santa Cruz Ca, 95060
Phone #: (831) 555-4321
Title and Business Owner
work place: Moland Spring Bottled Water
Your resume's and reference lists are graded assignments. For a total of 10 points, grading is as follows:
2Pts - Resume and List of References is complete per Handbook Guidelines
2Pts - Resume and List of References is well formatted and easy to read
2Pts - Resume and List of References contains no typos or errors
2Pts - Resume and List of References are two separate documents with consistent style, font and header
2Pts - Resume and List of References are emailed to me as PDF files with descriptive file names (don't send a file called "untitled.pdf")