Resume Tips

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Is there more than one style of resume?

The Three Types of Resumes

Traditionally there are three types or formats of resume:

1. Chronological- This is the most typical type. It lists your work experience in order of most recent to oldest. It is focused on experience, but does not allow for highlighting skills, as skills are listed under the job where they were performed. This format also emphasizes work history gaps, and should not be used of this is an issue for you.

2. Functional- This format places emphasis on skills, and not so much on work experiences (the jobs themselves). It is a good style for people with gaps in their work histories such as students, people returning to the workforce after an absence (like stay-at-home parents, or people returning from an extended illness), or anyone with limited experience in the field (such as recent graduates).

3. Combination- As its name says, this is a combination of chronological and functional. It affords the opportunity to use the best parts of both types, allowing skills to be highlighted yet also giving a chronological list of work experience. As with the chronological resume, this type of resume is not as effective if there are work history gaps.

Can you show me an example of a good functional resume?

Good Functional Resume

This is an example of a Functional resume. It contains no employment dates, as this job seeker had some gaps in her history. It highlights her skills and lists her employers to show she has a work history.

Natalie Employee
123 Job Street
Worker, New York 90210
(555) 555-5555

Objective: To obtain employment in data processing, coding, or data entry
Local Business School, Worker, New York
Associate Degree in Legal Administrative Assistant, August, 2002
* Microsoft Office Suite

* Word Perfect

* Desktop Publishing

* Business Law

* Accounting

* Legal Office Systems

* Information Technology

* Composition and Research

Local Vocational School, Worker, New York

Received Certification for CIP June, 2000

* Web Page Design

* Computer Programming

Legal Assistant/Secretarial
* Performed general legal office procedures

* Prepared legal documents

* Composed legal correspondence

* Prepared bank forms for mortgage closings and refinances

* Performed title searches

* Handled general filing for busy law office

* Operated switchboard for busy law office

* Carried out general reception duties for busy law offices

Customer Service/Food Service

* Processed customer orders

* Handled cash and cash drawer

* Solved customer problems

* Prepared food

* Performed general maintenance duties

Smith and Wesson, LLP, Worker, New York Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Attorney Elaine Bennis, Worker, New York Legal Assistant
Jerry Seinfeld Law Offices, Worker, New York, Legal Assistant Intern
American Automobile Association, Worker, New York, Legal Assistant Intern
Bill and Ted's Sandwich Shop, Worker, New York Customer Service/Food Prep
Burger Queen Corporation, Worker, New York Cashier/Cook

References Upon Request

What are transferable skills?

What Are Transferable Skills and How Do I Sell Them?

Transferable skills are skills that can be used in various careers or jobs. Management skills, communication skills, organizational skills, and teaching/training skills are examples of skills that will transfer across job categories.

For example, a college graduate with a degree in education can also be a candidate in a large corporation's training department. You will be called upon to use the same skill set as in education - developing lesson plans, creating exercises to educate the classroom (or employees) and evaluating the principal model of the classroom (boardroom).

Why should I send a resume?

Are Resumes Necessary?

A resume is your marketing brochure. It outlines your skills, experience, and education, and gives the employer reasons to you for an interview. Filling out an application summarizes your experience, but it is designed and formatted by the employer. Your resume is designed by you, and as such highlights your strengths and work achievements. Landing that job requires a good sales presentation, and as a good salesman, you don't want to try to sell your “product” without your sales aids. Use all the tools at your disposal, and your reume should be at the top of the tool box.

In addition to helping you sell yourself on paper, your resume serves as a focus that can help you do better on your interview.

What should I include on my resume, and what should I leave off?

Resume Do's and Don't's - In Brief

- Be specific about your skills
- Use action words
- Keep to one page unless you have extensive, unique experiences
- Use straight forward language, and have someone else proofread for grammar and spelling errors
- If possible, do it yourself, it will help on the interview if your information is fresh in your mind.

- Ramble or write the resume as a narrative (use bulleted topics)
- Say anything negative.
- List salary requirements
- Tell about hobbies, unless they are relevant to the work
- Give personal demographics (height, weight, age, children, spouse)
- Attach a photo

Is it okay for a resume to excede one page?

Size Matters

For years, the general thinking on resume length was to keep it to one page. Within the past couple of years, this notion has changed. When going to a second page, make certain that your resume actually fills, or nearly fills, the second page.

If your resume is two pages because you have extensive experience, but all this experience is in one area, condense it to one page. There is no reason to repeat the same experience with different employers. When using multiple pages, make sure each experiences outlined is unique.

Why can't I just take my disk to a printer and get a couple hundred copies all at once?

Like a Tailored Suit

Your resume should be tailored to the various different employers with whom you are applying. With the proliferation and ease of use of computers and word processing, adjusting your resume to fit the company is fairly easy.

Put yourself in the employer's shoes. If you were scanning a stack of resumes – maybe two or three hundred – what would catch your eye? Would you give a second look to a resume that was generic and could be applicable to many jobs, or would you take notice of that resume that describes work skills and experience that fit exactly into the position you are trying to fill?

Tailor your resume to the company, job, and field so that the employer finds what he is looking for with minimal effort and you increase manifold your chances of being asked to interview.

What should a resume look like?

Outline Your Experience

A resume is an outline of your work and educational experience. It is not a long narrative, and should not be written like a letter. Your resume should highlight your most important or relevant work and personal skills and experience. The employer should be able to scan your resume and get a "snapshot" of who you are vocationally, and measure some level of professional success.

Should I have a professional do my resume?

To Write, or Not to Write, That is the Question

With all of the resume-writing services available today, it is easier than ever to get a good, professional-looking resume. However, you should remember one caveat: Know thyself.

If you have the ability to create your own resume, you probably should. The mere act of writing the resume causes you to self-assess and self-evaluate. It also brings your experiences, skills, and abilities to the forefront of your mind. This will help you in the interview.

If you choose to have a professional create your resume, make sure that you are involved in the process as much as possible.

What would make my resume bad?

Bad Resume Example

This resume is too lengthy and conversational. It is hard on the eyes because of its narrative form. It sounds unprofessional at points, and includes references. References need to be available upon request, but not included with the resume. The resume is also riddled with spelling mistakes.

Natalie Employee

123 Job Street
Workerville, New York 90210
(555) 555-5555

Objetive: To get a good paying job


Local Bussiness School, Workerville, New York

I received my Associate Degree in Legal Administrative Assistant in August, 2002. During this time I studied various subjects, which I did well in. Some of the computer skills that I am proficient in are Microsoft Office Suite, Word Perfect, and Desktop Publishing. I also did well in course work in the areas of Business Law, Accounting, Legal Office Systems, Information technology, and Composition and Research. I scored well on all exams, and feel that I am capableof working in these areas.

Local Vocational School, Workerville, New York
I received Certification for Computer Information Processing (CIP) in June, 2000. During this time I studied, and excelled at Web Page Design and Computer Programming. I feel i could work well in these areas, but might need to brush up, as it's been six years.

Work Skills/Duties I Have Performed

I have worked in the Legal Assistant/Secretarial field for several years. I have performed general legal office procedures, prepared legal documents, composed legal correspondence, prepared bank forms for mortgage closings and refinances, and performed title searches. I have handled general filing for a busy law office, operated a switchboard in a busy law office, and carried out other general reception duties as required.

I have also worked in customer service and fod service. In these areas, I have proccesed customer orders, handled the cash drawer, solved customer problems, prepared food for a busy sandwich shop, and performed general cleaning and maintenance duties. My employers told me that I was a very conscientious worker, and that they enjoyed having me on board.

Jobs/Work Experiences

Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe, LLP, Workerville, New York Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Attorney Cheryl L. Stein, Workerville, New York Legal Assistant
Jerry Seinfeld Law Offices, Workerville, New York Legal Assistant Intern
American Automobile Association, Workerville, New York Legal Assistant Intern
Bill and Ted's Sandwich Shop, Workerville, New York Customer Service/Food Prep
Burger King Carols Corporation, Workerville, New York Cahier/Cook

In addition to these employers and experiences, I also have very good references. I have included these references hear:
Joe Reference
Bill and Ted's Sandwich Shop

Mary Reference

Mike Reference
Bible School Teacher

Should I include an objective on my resume?

Resume Objectives

Including a job objective on your resume is optional. Here are two important reasons to include an objective: to state your career goals or to show that there is a match between your skills and employment goals and the position you are applying for.

As with the rest of the resume, your objective should be tailored to the employer. A good objective example is: Seeking a widget sales position with a top 10 widget manufacturer in which I can utilize my eight years of experience in widget and widget accessory sales.

This shows both knowledge of the company, and showcases your experience - briefly. The rest of the resume should revolve around this theme.

What are resume "action words?"

Have Your Resume "Act Out"

When employers do a resume search, they are flooded with resumes. To make your resume as effective as it can be, use “action words” in your skill or experience descriptions. Action words are verbs that show what action you took to perform that job.

Examples of action words are:

Supervised, Achieved, Researched, Compiled, Organized, Trained, Sold, Initiated, Developed, Conducted, or Generated.

When using action words try to make them result-based, and give specific results such as dollar amounts, piece counts or percentages.

For example, rather than saying you “sold more widgets than any other salesman,” you say “increased the company market share of widgets by 6.8 per cent.” The result of your action is increasing market share by 6.8%.

Another example: Rather than state you “trained others in the operation of the Widget Dehydrator,” state that you “improved the company output of dehydrated widgets by 2000 per week through training employees on the most efficient operation of the Widget Dehydrator.” The result is improving output by 2000 widgets per week.

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Jerry Mayo