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Resume Writing – A Basic Guide

Resume Writing– A Basic Guide 12
DETJ-9433-P (R. 11/2016)Resume Writing – A Basic Guide for the person with little or no resume writing experience. CONTENTS Resumes and application forms are two ways to When do you use a resume? Tips for good resumes provide employers with written evidence of your Selecting information for your resume qualifications and skills. Generally, the same page 2 information appears on both a resume and an A standard resume should include ... page 3 application form. The way it is presented differs. Resume 1: Outline and example page 4-5 Some employers prefer a resume and others Resume 2: Outline and example page 6-7 require an application form. This booklet presents Cover letter: Outline and example the basic information to include in your resume. page 8-9 You want to apply for a job. Do you need a resume? That de- Application letter: Outline and example page 10-11 pends on the kind of job you’re applying for. Resume checklist RESUME REQUIRED page 12 • Professional, technical, administrative and managerial jobs. Resume worksheet • Sales positions. page 13-14 • Secretarial, clerical, and other office jobs. 10 tips for effective resumes, and and using electronic resumes RESUME SOMETIMES REQUIRED page 15 • Skilled jobs (Examples: Baker, Hotel Clerk, Electrician, Drafter, Welder) RESUME NOT REQUIRED • Unskilled, quick turnover jobs (Examples: Fast Food Server, Laborers, Machine Load- er, Cannery Worker, etc.) There are many ways of organizing a good resume. Depending on the job, you should choose the format that best highlights your skills, training, and experience. 1A resume must be very easy to read so that an employer can see at a glance who you are, where you can be reached, what kind of work you can do, and why you’re qualified for that kind of work. A resume should be short, preferable one page typewritten. It must be error free. It includes honest, positive information that is related to your job goal. A good resume will open the door for an interview. When do you use a resume? it takes to do that item. Write them all down. • To respond to a want ad • Look at the abilities (talents) identified • To give an employer more information on your background and experience list. about you than the job application gives You have talents that you use everyday. • To send to a company you’d like to work Now, find out what JOBS can use your for talents. • To give to an interviewer so he or she • Don’t limit yourself. The important thing will ask you about the positive things on is not the job title, but the skills and abili- your resume you want to talk about ties of the job. • To leave with an employer after an in- terview as a reminder of your skills and 2. Job information. Gather specific information abilities on the job you’re applying for. Here’s what you need: Tips for good resumes • Job duties (to match your skills to the You need two types of information to prepare skills needed to do the job). Get your job your resume: duties from the job announcement. If the job announcement or ad is vague, call 1. Self information. Completing a background the employer and ask for a description and experience list will give you the self infor- of job duties. mation required to prepare your resume. • Education and experience required (again, so you can match your education • If you’ve worked before, list your jobs. and experience with that required for the Next, write down the work duties for the job). jobs you’ve listed. Now, think about the • Hours and shifts usually worked. skills or talents it took to do each work • Pay range (make their top offer the mini- duty. Write them down. mum acceptable!). • List your hobbies, clubs you belong to, sports you’ve been involved in, church Selecting information for your resume and school activities, and things that interest you. Look at the first item on The best way to select information that belongs your list. Think about the skills or talents on your resume is to think like an employer. Ask 2yourself, “If I were hiring a person for this posi- If you have been working for over five years, tion, what training and experience would be re- you don’t need to give as much information lated?” Give brief, specific, positive information about your education. Name the school, city, that would be of interest to your next employer. state, degree or certificate, or course work and Do not give unrelated or negative information. dates (dates are optional). A standard resume should include... Include your high school unless you have a higher degree. Never include your grade school Contact information or middle school. Tell the employer your full name, street address, apartment number, city, state, zip code and tele- Military Experience phone number (including area code). Tell the employer the branch of service, your highest rank, type of discharge, and date of Employment goal or job objective separation. List any special assignments, du- Tell the employer the specific job you are inter - ties, clearances, collateral duties, and decora- ested in. Good examples are, “An entry-level tions that relate to the job that you are seeking. clerical position”, “A customer-service posi- Technical military training can be listed under tion in the retail industry”, or, “A manufacturing the Education heading on your resume. (A Mili- position utilizing my five years of quality control tary heading is only listed if you have military experience.” experience.) Avoid vague statements like, “A position with Special Skills and Abilities growth potential”, or, “A challenging position Tell the employer any other information you with a stable company.” Remember, keep it feel might help you. (This section is optional.) simple and to the point. You might want to include information about knowledge of foreign languages, volunteer or Summary of Qualifications leisure activities, memberships in professional Tell the employer your major selling points in organizations, special skills such as typing, 3-5 lines. Be brief, summarize, give facts — not computers, machines you can operate, licenses opinions. (This section is optional) or certificates you possess. Do not provide per - sonal information such as your age, sex, marital Work Experience or Work History status, or handicaps. Tell the employer about your work experience in one of two ways — either by job titles and References dates, or by functions and skills. Later in the Tell the employer simply that, “References are publication you will see outlines and sample available upon request,” or, “References gladly resumes which will help you decide which way furnished upon request.” Do not list references would work best for you. on your resume. Instead, have them typed on a separate sheet of paper and have them avail- Education able if the employer asks for them. You should Tell the employer about any job-related training have three to five references listed. They should or education. List your most recent training first. be people who know you and your work — not If you are a recent graduate with little work your relatives. Be sure to get each person’s experience, you might want to list the following permission to use him or her as a reference. information before your work history: the name of the school, the degree or certificate received, dates, course titles related to your job goal, scholarships, honors, grades, and extracurricu- lar activities. 3Resume Outlines and Examples The following pages have outlines and examples of two of the most commonly used basic resumes. Example 1 lists each job separately, starting with your most recent job and working backward. Specific information is given about each job. Example 1 Outline First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name Street Address, Apt. No. City, State, Zip Code Area Code/Telephone Number Employment Objective Tell the employer the specific position you are interested in. Summary of Qualifications A brief summary of your best selling points Work History Company Name City, State Dates of employment Your Job Title Describe your duties, skills, responsibilities: • State your major accomplishments, achievements, skill area. • Start each with an action verb; try to keep each to 1-2 lines. • Use an asterisk (*), dash (-), or bullet (•) to draw attention to each statement. • Give specific results to show your qualifications. • List your most important accomplishments first. (Use the above format for additional employers. Start with your most recent job and work backward. Give the most space to more recent and more relevant work.) Education School City, State Degree Dates attended (optional) Military (Optional) Branch, rank Type of discharge (optional) Dates served (optional) Special Skills and Abilities Interests, hobbies, foreign languages, clubs, etc. References Available upon request. 4Example 1 Resume Tammy P. Farrell 1234 Major Street Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481 715/555-4444 Employment Objective Seeking a position as a retail sales clerk. Summary of Qualifications Five years successful experience in direct retail sales. Excellent communication skills; sincere commitment to providing quality customer service. Work History ShopWell Stevens Point, Wisconsin 2001-present Sales Associate Assisted customers with item selection, operated computerized cash register, balanced cash register daily, monitored inventory and stocked shelves. • Set new monthly sales record, surpassing all sales associates for any given month in company history. • Accurately balanced cash register daily. Never was short. • Maintained detailed paperwork for inventory control. Operated automated inventory equipment. • Handled customer problems with patience and sensitivity. • Promoted to sales associate lead worker after one year. Trained new associates. PickRite Rosholt, Wisconsin 1999-2001 Sales Clerk Operated computerized cash register and automated scanning equipment for the local branch of a large department store chain. • Worked cash register and scanning equipment in all departments. • Conducted inventories. Reconciled counts against inventory control systems. • Entered data into computer for special orders. • Received customer service and inventory control training. • Trained two new sales clerks. Education Rosholt Senior High School Rosholt, Wisconsin Diploma 1996 graduate Military (Optional) US Army Honorable Discharge 1996-1999 Special Skills and Abilities Able to speak, read and write Spanish References Available upon request. 5Resume Outlines and Examples Example 2 lists the 3-5 skill areas or functions you performed that are related to your present job goal, briefly describing the work you’ve done within each area. V ery little attention is given to when and where. Example 2 Outline First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name Street Address, Apt. No. City, State, Zip Code Area Code/Telephone Number Employment Objective Tell the employer the specific position you are interested in. Prior Experience Major skill areas or functions (list 3-5) • bulleted skills, successes or accomplishments • short phrases that start with verbs • result-oriented statements (Use the above format for additional skill areas or functions.) Work History Company Name City, State Dates of employment Job Title (Use the above format for additional skill areas or functions.) Education Degree School City, State Dates attended (optional) Military (Optional) Branch, rank Type of discharge (optional) Dates served (optional) Special Skills and Abilities Interests, hobbies, foreign languages, clubs, etc. References Available upon request. 6Example 2 Resume Tammy P. Farrell 1234 Major Street Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481 715/555-4444 Employment Objective Retail salesperson Prior Experience Sales • Set new monthly sales record, surpassing all sales associates for any given month in company history. • Worked cash register and scanning equipment in all departments. • Set-up advertising signs and displays to increase sales. Customer Service • Handled customer problems with patience and sensitivity. • Greeted customers and assisted them with item selection. • Answered customers’ telephone and in-person inquiries. Record Keeping • Conducted inventories. Reconciled counts against inventory control systems. • Entered data into computer for special orders. • Kept layaway records current. Work History ShopWell Stevens Point, Wisconsin 2001-present Sales Associate PickRite Rosholt, Wisconsin 1999-2001 Sales Clerk Education Diploma Rosholt HS Rosholt, Wisconsin 1996 graduate Military (Optional) US Army Honorable Discharge 1996-1999 Special Skills and Abilities Able to speak, read and write Spanish References Available upon request. 7Cover Letter Most employers prefer that a resume be mailed with a letter of introduction. This letter is called a cover letter. A cover letter should tell the employer which position you are interested in and why you are qualified for the position. It should cover 1/3 to 2/3 of an 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of paper and should be on the same size, grade, and color of paper as your resume. It is best to use a personal computer, word processor or typewriter to write your cover letter. Some information in your cover letter may also be on your resume; it is all right to have some overlapping information. Be sure your letter does not have spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors. Have another person proofread it before you mail it. Cover Letter Outline Your Current Street Address City, State, Zip Code Telephone Number Today’s Date TWO LINES OF SPACE Name of Individual Official Title Name of Company Mailing Address City, State, Zip Code ONE LINE OF SPACE Dear Mr./Ms.: ONE LINE OF SPACE Paragraph 1 - The Opening/Your Introduction 1. Give your reason for writing the letter. 2. Tell the employer the position in which you are interested. 3. Tell where you found out about the job opening. ONE LINE OF SPACE Paragraph 2 - The Body/Your Hook 1. This is 1-2 paragraphs that tell the employer why you are qualified to do the job. 2. Include information about your education, work experience, job-related skills, accomplishments, personality, availability, etc., that relates to the employer’s needs and the position for which you are applying. 3. Keep this section brief; give only the highlights of qualifications. ONE LINE OF SPACE Paragraph 3 - The Closing 1. Tell the employer you are interested in interviewing for the available position. 2. Thank the employer for considering you for the position. ONE LINE OF SPACE Sincerely, THREE LINES OF SPACE Your signature in ink Your name typed 8Cover Letter Example 1234 Major Street Stevens Point, WI 54481 715/555-4444 January 5, 2002 Ms. Judy David Store Manager Michael’s on the Mall 5678 Minor Street Stevens Point, WI 54481 Dear Ms. David: The position you listed on JobNet at your store in Stevens Point for an experienced Retail Salesperson is one I am very interested in and for which I am very well quali- fied. For the past three years I have worked as a salesperson in retail stores in the area. I have operated computerized cash registers and automated inventory control systems. I bring experience in stocking shelves, reconciling inventory levels, mark- ing merchandise, balancing cash registers and handling customer comments and requests. I enjoy providing friendly service to customers. My store manager once told me that my desire to help customers kept them coming back. During one month, my sales totals set a company record. I have enclosed my resume for your review. I am very interested in the position you have available and look forward to meeting with you to further discuss my set of qualifications. Sincerely, Tammy Farrell Enclosure 9Application Letter: An Alternative to a Resume In some situations, a traditional resume might not be the best way to contact an employer. De- pending on the employer’s preference, the field of work and your qualifications, you may want to use a Letter of Application. This is a personal letter you write to an employer that tells which position you are interested in and why you are qualified for that position. It should fill 1/2 to 2/3 of an 8-1/2” x 1 1” sheet of white or light-colored bond paper. It must be error free. Have another person look it over to make sure it is perfect before you mail it. An outline and a sample for a Letter of Application follow. Application Letter Outline Your Current Street Address City, State, Zip Code Telephone Number Today’s Date TWO LINES OF SPACE Name of Individual Official Title Name of Company Mailing Address City, State, Zip Code ONE LINE OF SPACE Dear Mr./Ms.: ONE LINE OF SPACE Introduction: Tell the employer what position you are applying for and how you learned of the opening. ONE LINE OF SPACE Body: Tell the employer why you are qualified for the job. Include information about your education, work experience, job-related skills, accomplishments, personality, availability, etc., that relate to the employer’s needs and the position for which you are applying. ONE LINE OF SPACE Closing: Ask for an interview. ONE LINE OF SPACE Sincerely, THREE LINES OF SPACE Your signature in ink Your name typed 10Application Letter Example 1234 Major Street Stevens Point, WI 54481 715/555-4444 January 5, 2002 Ms. Judy David Store Manager Michael’s on the Mall 5678 Minor Street Stevens Point, WI 54481 Dear Ms. David: Please consider this letter my application for the Retail Salesperson position listed on JobNet in Stevens Point. I believe I am qualified for this position. With over three years experience as a retail sales clerk, I have demonstrated my abilities to operate computerized cash registers, accurately monitor inventory levels, and provide quality, friendly service to customers. In my most recent position, I set a new monthly sales record, surpassing all sales associates for any given month in company history. After one year, I was promoted to head sales associate. I really enjoy retail sales. I would appreciate an interview with you to further discuss my qualifications. Sincerely, Tammy Farrell 11Resume Checklist  Use 8-1/2" x 11" paper, 1-2 pages  Choose ivory, white, cream, buff or light gray paper  Use personal computer, word processor, typewriter or typesetting  Keep margins 1" wide at sides and bot- tom  Check for and correct any spelling, punctuation, typing or grammatical er- rors  Write short and to-the-point statements  Keep it brief; write a summary, not a life history!  Use short phrases beginning with action words to demonstrate accomplishments  Emphasize important information by and results underlining or using capital letters when appropriate, but don’t overdo it  Provide positive and honest information  Don’t list wages, company street ad-  Use a simple, professional, easy-to-read dresses, references, salary require- style ments, personal problems  Have others look it over to make sure  Provide examples of your qualifications it’s perfect  Look at your resume through the eyes of  Leave off personal information such as an employer and ask yourself, “If I were height, weight, age, sex, marital status an employer, would I want to interview this person?” Application forms Resumes are required for some jobs, and are sometimes required for other jobs. An employer may have you complete an application form instead of submitting a resume. On some occasions, an employer may ask you to complete an application in addition to your resume. When you fill out an application form, make sure you fill it out completely and follow all instruc - tions. Do not omit any requested information and make sure that the information you provide is correct. 12Step 1: Read this brochure. Step 2: Review the samples provided in this brochure. Step 3: Tear out and complete this worksheet Step 4: Write your resume using the information from your worksheet. Resume Worksheet Step 5: Check it for errors. Have others check it, too. Step 6: Have your resume word processed, typed, or typeset. Step 7: You’re ready! Now USE YOUR RESUME! Name _____________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip Code __________________________________________________________________ Telephone (with Area Code) ___________________________________________________________ EMPLOYMENT OBJECTIVE (optional) __________________________________________________ SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS ______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ WORK EXPERIENCE: List most recent jobs first. 1. Job Title: _______________________________________________________________________ Job Duties/Accomplishments: _______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Company Name: _________________________________________________________________ City, State: ______________________________________________________________________ Dates of Employment (year to year): __________________________________________________ 2. Job Title: _______________________________________________________________________ Job Duties/Accomplishments: _______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Company Name: _________________________________________________________________ City, State: ______________________________________________________________________ Dates of Employment (year to year): __________________________________________________ 133. Job Title: _______________________________________________________________________ Job Duties/Accomplishments: _______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Company Name: _________________________________________________________________ City, State: ______________________________________________________________________ Dates of Employment (year to year): __________________________________________________ SPECIAL SKILLS AND ABILITIES: _____________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ EDUCATION: Technical School and/or College: _______________________________________________________ City, State: _______________________________________ Dates Attended: ___________________ Degree/Certificate or courses taken: _____________________________________________________ High School: _______________________________________________________________________ City, State: _______________________________________ Dates Attended: ___________________ Diploma or courses taken: _____________________________________________________________ MILTARY EXPERIENCE: (optional and if not used elsewhere on this resume) Branch of Service: ___________________________________________________________________ Highest Rank: ______________________________________________________________________ Type of Discharge: _________________________________ Year of Separation: ________________ Duties: ____________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE: List job titles/positions you want to show but do not want to go into detail about, i.e. short-term jobs, part-time jobs, volunteer work, etc. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 1410 Tips for an Effective Resume 1. If possible, use a computer to prepare 6. Use action verbs. For more information, your resume. There are computer pro- read the publication, “The Right Words grams that make it easy to produce a to Use in Your Job Search” (DETJ- professional looking resume. Your Wis- 9463-P). consin Job Center, school, library, or quick print shop 7. Be specific. Use concise can help. sentences, Keep it short (one page is best). 2. Do not include irrelevant personal information (age, 8. Make sure your resume “looks weight, height, marital good” (neat and readable). status, etc.). 3. Do not include salary and 9. Proofread the master copy wages. carefully. Have someone else proofread it carefully. 4. Center or justify resume headings. Avoid the use of 10. Inspect photocopies for clarity, abbreviations. smudges and marks. 5. Be positive. Identify your accomplishments. Using Electronic Resumes in Wisconsin and nationwide The information for your resume can be fed into When posting a searchable resumes, it is databases as an electronic resume. important to accurately represent your work experience, education and training, skills, and Electronic resumes are searchable by poten- availability. Be sure to use keywords and phras- tial employers who aim to select resumes for es specific to your education, skills and work further scrutiny. experience. In Wisconsin, you may post your resume on Job Job Center of Wisconsin permits searches on Center of Wisconsin, an internet-based service. the following fields for your matching keywords: • Employment Profile Visit http://JobCenterOfWisconsin.com • Work Experience • Education From the “Job Seeker Tools” menu on the toolbar, you will first need to establish an ac - You are in control of the information you pro- count. Once you have your password-protected vide. No personally identifiable information will account, return to the “Job Seeker Tools” menu be displayed to the employer. If the employer and choose, “Create/Update Résumé”. Com- decides to contact you, it will be by email. plete instructions, and help text is available on the web site. 15Where talent & opportunity meet web: http://jobcenterofwisconsin.com (888) 258-9966 email: JobCenterofWI@dwd.wi.gov Job Readiness publications: Your Wisconsin Job Center features additional • Personal Data Record publications to guide you with your • Resume Writing – A Basic Guide resumes and applications • The Right Words to Use in Your Job Search • Transferable Skills • Employment Skills Personal Data Record (DETJ-4937-P) Publications available in these topic areas: Thoughts on Resumes • Job Readiness (DETJ-4658-P)• Interviewing • Job Search The Right Words to Use in Your Job Search (DETJ-9463-P) Publications are also available through Wisconsin Job Centers on these topics related to job search success INTERVIEWING Keys to Successful Interviewing (DETJ-6951-P) Hidden Elements of Interviewing (DETJ-9484-P) Informational Interviewing (DETJ-9407-P) JOB SEARCH Qualities an Employer Looks for When Hiring (DETJ-8459-P) Networking (DETJ-9455-P) Where to Look for Job Opportunities (DETJ-9467-P) To obtain single copies of this publication, visit your nearest Wisconsin Job Center. For multiple copies of this or other Wisconsin Job Center publications, contact Document Sales at 1-800-DOC-SALE (Visa/MasterCard accepted). We invite your comments. Send an e-mail message to: jobcenterofwisconsin@dwd.wisconsin.gov The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. DWD does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the provision of services or employment. If you need this printed material interpreted, translated, in a different form, or if you need assistance in using this service, please contact us at 888-258-9966. Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired callers may reach us through (866-275-1165) or contact us through the Wisconsin Relay Service, number 711. DETJ-9433-P (R. 11/2016)The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. DWD does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the provision of services or employment. If you need this printed material interpreted, translated, in a different form, or if you need assistance in using this service, please contact us at 888-258-9966. Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired callers may reach us through (866-275-1165) or contact us through the Wisconsin Relay Service number, 711.
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