HOW TO WRITE A RESUME Prepare for Your Job Search

HOW TO WRITE A RESUME Prepare for Your Job Search Student Success Centers University of Southern Maine at Portland/Gorham/LAC Updated 06/25/10 Stud...
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Prepare for Your Job Search Student Success Centers University of Southern Maine at Portland/Gorham/LAC

Updated 06/25/10

Student Success Center

Adapted with Permission Rodney Mondor Student Success Coordinator University of Southern Maine

WHAT IS A RESUME . . . It is a summary of:

...who you are ...your employment history

...your strengths ...your skills and abilities ...why the employer should call you for an interview

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TYPES OF RESUMES Chronological • Organized by job titles with the most recent position listed first

Functional • Places the focus on professional skills and experience that you gained from your employment

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WRITING YOUR RESUME The KEY to a successful resume... skill identification and presentation!

There are many important aspects to a resume. Everyone has a different way of putting one together and in most cases, there is no "right way" or "wrong way." Student Success Center

MAJOR COMPONENTS • Contact Information • Objective Statement • Education • Experience

• Honors and Activities Student Success Center

CONTACT INFORMATION • Usually located at the top of the page. • Includes: • Name • Address and phone • Campus • Permanent

• Email • Any other means of contact

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FOR EXAMPLE Rose Mantle Current Address: University of Southern Maine 37 College Ave. Gorham, ME 04038 (207) 555-5555

Permanent Address: 123 City Drive Stowe, VT 12345 (555) 555-5555 [email protected]

Rose Mantle 123 City Drive Stowe, VT 12345 (555) 555-5555 [email protected] Student Success Center

OBJECTIVE STATEMENT • An “at a glance” statement of you and your career interests. • Be clear and specific. • “Seeking a nursing job in pediatric care.” • Make sure your objective matches the position you are applying for. • Not a required component, but suggested. Student Success Center

“Instant” Objective examples Practice filling in the parts in the (


To use my (qualifications, strengths, or skills) as a (position title). An opportunity to (professional goal) in a (type of organization, work environment, or field).

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EDUCATION • Name and location of school(s) • All college work if you transferred • Need not include high school

• Degree and date of graduation (actual or anticipated) • Major/Minor • Optional Items • GPA • Relevant courses outside of a typical major that may add to qualifications of job • Other formal training or skills if applicable (computer, language proficiency, licenses, etc.) • Specializations and special projects

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FOR EXAMPLE EDUCATION University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME Bachelor of Science: History / Minor: Economics Major GPA: 3.9 Overall GPA: 3.8 Honors and Awards: Dean’s List 2006-2010

May 2010

Related Coursework: History of the Wars, European Economics

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EXPERIENCE: (Purpose) • Provides information to help persuade prospective employers that your experiences make you qualified for the job and that you align with the company’s goals. • Helps your resume stand out from others in the pile. Student Success Center

EXPERIENCE (Content) Select your resume format. • Chronological • List employment in reverse order. • Include position held, employer, and dates. • Describe job duties, tasks, and skill levels. For example… Company 1 Sales Associate Description of job duties

September 2009 - Present

Company 2 Intern Description of job duties

December 2007 – September 2009

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EXPERIENCE (Content) Functional • Choose skill headings according to your job objective, and job description’s keywords. • Include accomplishments, responsibilities, and duties. For example… Customer Service List accomplishments, responsibilities, and duties Sales & Advertising List accomplishments, responsibilities, and duties

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EXPERIENCE cont. Developing your descriptions- Example: Before:

Planned activities


As Recreation Therapist intern, planned activities and exercises weekly for children with physical challenges.

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HONORS and ACTIVITY SECTION A section that demonstrates your participation in relevant activities and any honors or awards you have received. May include: • Memberships in professional clubs and organizations • Volunteer activities/ Service learning projects • Study abroad • Outstanding Senior Award • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Student Success Center

LET’S GET STARTED • Think about the jobs you have held. • Consider any activities that used the same skills that may be used in the job you are applying for- such as volunteer positions, assistantships, etc. • What were your responsibilities? • What specific skills/abilities did you use? • Incorporate value into your statements, “how well you did.”

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Who would you hire? Receptionist A: •

Answered phone

Greeted plant visitors

Made appointments

• •

Sorted incoming mail Processed checks

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Receptionist Y: •

Received incoming calls on 3 business lines, determined nature of call, and effectively transferred caller to destination with 99% accuracy.

Maintained daily phone log.

Collected, sorted, and distributed mail and messages to staff members.

Greeted visitors to office and issued visitor passes.

Arranged future appointments for staff upon request.

HELPFUL RESUME TIPS • Keep your resume up to date.

• Try different formats. •Watch your objective sentence.

• Two pages is OK. • You have your cover letter to explain.

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OTHER CONSIDERATIONS •DESIGN: Aim for a professional package so that your resume and cover letter have consistent format (layout, font types and sizes, stationery). •ACCURACY: Proofread with a magnifying glass and have others review for you too. What’s wrong with this skill statement in someone’s resume? •Skill: have perfected my “atttention to detail”

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NEED MORE HELP? Visit one of USM’s Student Success Centers Gorham 119 Bailey (207) 780-5652

Lewiston/Auburn 119 LAC (207) 753-6536 Portland 119 Payson Smith (207) 780-4040 Student Success Center