Resumes and Professional Communications

Your resume is your advertisement to professionals that should look professional, target the needs of the employer, and highlight your strengths, skills, and experience.

A Resume Is:

  • A marketing tool and representation of who you are and how you fit a particular job or position.
  • A tailored outline of past/current experiences and education to convey qualifications to an employer, including ALL relevant experiences—not just your paid experience.
  • A tool used to get you an interview, NOT to get you the job.
  • A individualized document that should follow some guidelines based on what employers like to see, but customized to you and your experience. There are many different ways to write a resume.
  • Above all else, you should be happy and comfortable with your resume; make sure it reflects you.

Steps To Consider

Brainstorm your experiences: It is usually helpful when first starting this document to just get a list together of everything you might want to include. Make sure to consider all the accomplishments you have accrued from your various work experiences, classes, activities, and organizations. Don’t be modest. After this is created, start looking at sample resumes that have an appealing format and start to form a new Word document with your information.

Decide on a resume format: After compiling all the information you want to include on your resume, decide whether you want to use a chronological or functional style, or a combination of the two. Determine which format best demonstrates what you have to offer.

Assess your own interests, skills, abilities, experiences and personal characteristics: What are you good at? What tasks do you enjoy doing? What are the areas in which you have experience and skill? What are the things that you would like to learn about? How does all of this information pertain to the job for which you are applying?

Research jobs and tailor your resume: Find out information about the company and the position for which you are applying. Rather than just listing each of job or activity, try to focus your efforts on presenting information that will be of interest to the recruiter. Find out what the company stands for and what they expect out of their employees. This might help you form language to describe your background.

Highlight related experience: Whether this comes from your educational background or from your work experience, employers are eager to learn about your related experience. If, on the other hand, you feel you are lacking in experience related directly to the job, don’t worry! Every position help you build transferable skills that you can use in other work settings. Be sure to highlight these skills on your résumé.