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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Resume Preperation tips

Resume Preparation Tips

Resume Preparation

In preparing to write your resume, remember that you can only count on an employer to spend twenty seconds scanning your resume before deciding whether to review it further or put it aside. The key is to design the format in such a way that it leads the employer's eye to words that speak to his/her needs. Obviously then, effective resumes are developed by individuals who have thoroughly researched the organizations they want to work for, have identified the specific job they want, and have figured out what they have to offer.

In addition, well designed resumes have these characteristics in common:

1. Visual appeal, easy to read layout, and high quality reproduction.

2. Highlights strengths and links them to employer's needs; minimizes or
excludes irrelevant experience.

3. Presents the most important information first in the order specified below.

4. Entirely free from any errors: spelling, typographical, punctuation, or grammatical.

5. Succinct and organized; should not exceed two pages.

Point out that the categories of information you include on your resume should provide answers to these questions:

1. Contact section: Who are you and how can you be reached?
2. Objective statement: What do you want to do?
3. Education section: What have you learned including your marks? Note that marks should be aggregate if organization has not specified a semester wise cutoff.
4. Experience/Employment section: What can you do? What have you done? Clearly write about your industrial training. A lot depends on it.
5. Professional activities and accomplishments: How have you been recognized?
6. Miscellaneous: What else do they want to know about you?

Sequence the categories according to what is most important to the employer and your career objective. A recent college graduate with limited experience should usually put the education section first since it is the most significant qualification. Education should also be listed first when, as in the case of teaching, law, medicine, or engineering, education is a qualifying requirement.

1. Contact Information

Begin your resume with your name by capitalizing or using bold type. Include street address, city, state, and zip code. Include phone number(s) where you can be reached weekdays, 9am-5pm. Designate your home phone with an "H," and work number with "W," or a "Messages" number. Preferably give mobile number if possible as it is always with you.

2. Career/Job Objective

This is recommended only for recent graduates or entry level personnel. Experience and professional job seekers rarely include it. This component of the resume can be very challenging to write. The purpose of the objective statement is to inform the reader of your career goals and qualifications. The statement should be written specifically enough to let the reader know that you have a focus to your job search.

3. Educational Highlights

This section is most effective when you have experiences from your education that are impressive and/or directly relate to your objective. Adding this section is useful when you have developed skills and specific knowledge through your education rather than work experience. This section can be used to highlight coursework, research, or special knowledge that complements your objective. This information is useful in a resume of entry level candidates and recent graduates.

An alternative to highlighting courses is to list the skills and knowledge acquired through important courses and research.

Examples: Developed model investment portfolio for ABC Company, Designed a project using microcontroller which helped the organization a lot, etc.

Summary information about your undergraduate and graduate education should be included in your resume. List the name and location of the school, time period or date of degree, the degree received, and academic honors, significant scholarships or fellowships. Never list every course or seminar you have attended. In general, the more recently you have attended college, the more education related information you may want to provide as you will most likely have relatively less work experience.

Start with your most recent degree or the program in which you are currently enrolled. List other degrees or relevant education in reverse chronological order e.g. firstly M.TECH, then B.Tech,10+2,10th and so on.

Highlight your degree by using bold type, capital letters or underlining.

If the degree is relevant to your job objective, begin with degree and emphasis, followed by university, location of university, and date of graduation or anticipated date of graduation. Example: ABC University, XYZ city, India, month and year.

If degree/program is not directly related to current job objective, begin with the university, followed by the location, degree and emphasis, and graduation date.

If you are within two semesters of graduation, do not use "expected" or "anticipated" with month/year of graduation.

If you are an entry level candidate or recent graduate and have a high GPA, include it on your resume. You may want to highlight your GPA on a new line, or in an educational highlights section. Note: Some employers believe no GPA on a resume indicates an poor GPA. Employers hiring experienced professionals generally care only that you have the degree.

If your education relates to your objective and is within the past three years, it should be the first section. If not, education should follow the work experience section of your resume.

4. Employment and or Experience Summary

A brief summary of qualifications can condense an extensive background by emphasizing experiences and accomplishments in brief phrases. The qualifications summary is accomplishment-oriented and provides an overview of your work experience. A summary is most appropriated for someone with substantial experience, for someone who is changing careers and wants to demonstrate transferable skills, or for someone with an eclectic background.

In general, you should list, in successive order for each position you have held, your employer, position title, dates (year to year), a brief description of your position, and accomplishments. You need to devote little space to explain commonly known responsibilities for positions such as city manager, police chief or public works director. You will probably devote more space for positions such as assistant city manager, city engineer, and similar jobs. You should also indicate the size of the budget and number of employees for whom you were responsible. Give brief, illustrative examples of your responsibilities and accomplishments. This is where you have the opportunity to tailor (while being accurate and truthful) your resume to what the employer is seeking. At least for your current position, indicate your base salary, not the top of your range.

Begin with your current/most recent position and work backward, chronologically. Devote more space to recent employment.

If your job titles relate to your current job objective, start each position description with job titles. If not, begin with the organization.

Follow job title and organizational information with the organization's city and state.

Use the first and last month and year to describe dates of employment. Do not use exact days but only month and years.

Describe the last three to five positions in detail. Summarize earlier positions unless relevant to your objective.

Do not show every position change with each employer. Only list the most recent and describe promotions.

Do not repeat skills that are common to several positions.

Tailor your position descriptions to future job/career objectives.

5. Professional Activities and Accomplishments

This part of your resume offers you the opportunity to provide insight into your career development. You should be selective and complete, listing such items as memberships in professional associations and offices held, professional registrations, honors received, and major articles or publications you have written. Do not list every article or every speech you may have given or every conference you have attended. Emphasize quality - this section of the resume should help you to demonstrate you are current and active in your profession

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