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Developing Your Résumé A workshop series brought to you by the Purdue University Writing Lab
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  • 1. Developing Your RsumA workshop series brought to you bythe Purdue University Writing Lab

2. Overview of Sections The Objective Statement Contact Information Education Experience Honors and Activities 3. The Objective StatementA workshop brought to you by thePurdue University Writing Lab 4. What is an objectivestatement? A short section (usually 1-3 lines), often inthe form of a sentence fragment,immediately below your contactinformation An at a glance picture of you and yourcareer interests Other names: Professional Objective,Rsum Capsule, Career Goals, etc. 5. Why write one? Emphasize key qualifications, skills and/orgoals Help your readers find what they need toknow quickly Make a good first impression Relate company goals to personal goals 6. Q: Is this a good objectivestatement?An internship allowing me to utilize myknowledge and expertise in different areas Well-written but raises too many questions For example: What kind of internship? What knowledge? What kinds of expertise? Which areas? How will you contribute to this company? 7. A good objective statementanswers questions What position(s) are you applying for? What are your main qualifications? What are your career goals? What is your professional identity? How can you help the company? 8. The importance of tailoring Sometimes one size does NOT fitall Each person and employer isunique in certain ways Aim for a custom fit when possible,but how? 9. Getting started... Reflect on your overall qualifications andcareer goals: In what ways are theytypical? Unique? Research individual employers in yourfield: In what ways are employers alike?Different? 10. Questions about you What are your main qualifications,strengths, skills, and areas of expertise? What position(s)--or type of position--areyou seeking? What are some of your professionalgoals? What type of organization or work settingare you most interested in? 11. Questions about employers What qualifications are most desired byemployers in your field? What positions are available on the jobmarket? What are they titled? What are some goals of the organizationsthat interest you? What kinds of organizations are nowhiring? 12. Instant objectivestatements For practice, fill in the parts inbrackets To utilize my [qualifications, strengths, or skills] asa [position title] A position as a [position title] for [company name]allowing me to develop my [qualifications,strengths, or skills] An opportunity to [professional goal] in a [type oforganization, work environment, or field] [position title] with emphasis in [areas of expertise] 13. Which of your objectivestatements is best? The one that best Emphasizes your qualifications and/or goals Appeals to employer expectations A trick question: Youll probably need towrite more than one objective statement. Tailor for each type of position thatinterests you and, for best results, modifyfor each particular employer (asnecessary) 14. The Contact InformationSectionA workshop brought to you by thePurdue University Writing Lab 15. What is a contact informationsection? Easy answer A section that Provides information to help prospectiveemployers contact you Presents a first impression Is usually located at the top of the page 16. What may you include? Name, of course! Address and phone Campus Permanent Email Web address Fax number Any other means of contact 17. Q: Is this a good sample?Your Name Here1234 Streetname, #1West Lafayette, IN 47907Student@univ.edu765-555-5555 18. Moving beyond the typewriter Use design strategies Picking fonts Size Type Highlighting Using layout Alignment Columns Coordinate with rest of resume 19. Using fonts Size: how big is big enough? Two major kinds: Serif Sans serif Text highlighting: bold, italics, caps,underline, special effects 20. Putting it on the pageAligning text1. Flush left2. Center3. Flush rightUsing columns1. Both left and right2. Left, right and center 21. Q: Is this sample better?Campus Address1234 Streetname, #1West Lafayette, IN 47907yourname@university.edu765-555-5555Permanent Address4321 StreetnameAnytown, IN 12345 Name Here 22. Adding a graphic element May include horizontal line May possibly include a small graphicelement 23. Coordinate design strategies Match design with rest of resume Use same font types Use consistent layout Match with cover letter Make stationary template based on contactinfo Use same paper for all applicationdocuments Aim for a professional package 24. Proofread with a magnifyingglass Triple-check for accuracy One typo could cost you aninterview! 25. The Education Section 26. What is an education section? A section that emphasizes your educationalbackground and formal training, individualizingfor an organization. Usually a major section for college studentsand recent graduates 27. Purposes: to inform andpersuade Give information about your schoolingand training Persuade employers your educationalbackground is relevant to the job,providing evidence of your qualifications Help your rsum stand out from othersin the stack 28. Where should you place thissection? Above or below your experience section? It depends Which is stronger, your education or yourwork experience section? How much relevant work experience do youhave? Place strongest, most relevant sectionclosest to top of the page 29. The bare bones educationsection Schools you have attended, including universities,community colleges, technical schools, etc. Location of school(s) Date of graduation, actual or anticipated Degree(s) earned or pursued Grade Point Average (GPA) Courses taken outside of typical major classes that mayadd to qualifications of job 30. Are we done yet?EducationB.A. in EnglishPurdue UniversityWest Lafayette, IndianaAnticipated Graduation:December 2007GPA: 3.4/4.0 31. What else may be included?Extra information about your degree (major,minor or selective GPAs, funding sources,honors, etc.)usually listed or included inparenthesesSpecializations and special projectsusually listed or described brieflyOther relevant skills and training (relevantcoursework, computer skills, languageproficiency, certifications, licenses, etc.)maybe subsections or separate sections 32. Questions to answer What are my major and minorGPAs? Any honors related to mydegree? How is my education funded? What are my major(s) andminor(s)? What are my areas ofemphasis, specialization, orconcentration? What special course or degree-relatedprojects may berelevant? What courses have I takenthat are related to my careergoals? With what computerprograms am I most familiar? What language proficienciesdo I have? Any certifications or licenses? Do I have any on-the-jobeducational training such asin-house training programs? 33. Designing content for readers Consider usingo Subheadingso Indentingo Columns/tableso Parentheseso Bulleted listso Paragraphs Match with rest of page 34. Are we done now?B.A. in Professional Writing, PurdueUniversity, West Lafayette, Indiana,May 2007 (Funded 100% of Schooling)Concentration: Business and TechnicalWritingSelect Coursework: Computer-aidedPublishing, Writing for the ComputerIndustry, Business Writing, TechnicalWriting, Advanced Professional WritingOverall GPA: 3.4/4.0 Major GPA:3.7/4.0EEdduuccaattiioonn 35. The Experience Section 36. What is an experiencesection? A section that demonstrates your mostrelevant experience in work or activities. Other common names: ProfessionalExperience, Work History, Field Work,Volunteer Work, etc. Special names: Technical Experience,Supervisory Experience, AviationExperience, etc. 37. Informing to persuade Provide information to help persuadeprospective employers that yourexperiences make you qualified for thejob and that you align with theorganizations goals Help your rsum stand out from othersin the stack Construct your professional identity 38. What goes into this section? Company or organization and location(city, state) Position title Dates of employment or involvement Descriptions of responsibilities, duties,achievements, etc. Use action verbs to describe duties! 39. Where should you put thissection? Above or below your education section? It depends How much work experience do you have? Which is stronger, your education or yourwork experience section? Place strongest, most relevant sectionclosest to top of the page 40. Getting startedList your past and present experiences.Include: jobs volunteer positions appointments assistantships internships any activities that used the sameduties or qualifications that may beused in the job youre applying for 41. Describing experiences To tailor the content of this section, circleeach item that is Related to your career goals Asked for in job ads and descriptions Choose one experience you circled anddescribe briefly 42. Developing your descriptions Use varied action words to describeexperiences Answer the journalistic questions: Who?With whom did you work? What? What duties did you perform? Where? Where did your job fit into theorganization? Why? What goals were you trying to accomplish? When? What timelines were you working under? How? What procedures did you follow? 43. Developing your descriptionsExampleBefore: planned activitiesQuestions asked: What kinds?, How?,When?, For Whom?After: planned arts, crafts, activities, and exercisesweekly for physically-challenged children 44. Making your descriptionsparallelCOLUMN A Recording OSHAregulated documents Material purchasingand expediting Prepared weekly fieldpayroll Responsible forcharge ordersCOLUMN B Recorded OSHAregulated documents Conducted materialpurchasing andexpediting Prepared weeklypayroll Processed chargeorders 45. Try to see your experiencesas a professional wouldUNDERSTATED Answered phone Wiped tablesPROFESSIONAL Acted as liaison between clients andlegal staff Created healthy environment forcustomers and maintained positivepublic image 46. Ways to tailor this section Select content that supports yourqualifications and matches jobdescription Consider organizing by order ofimportance Use professional wording, integratingjob-specific terms, verbs are action-oriented 47. A formula for success Tailor for your audience Use appropriate headings Included required content Organize your section strategically Develop your descriptions Make your descriptions parallel See through potential employers eyes 48. The Honors andActivities Section 49. What is an honors andactivities section? A section that emphasizes your participationin relevant activities and any honors youhave received Other names Awards Memberships Volunteer Work 50. Why bother? Fill up white space Provide additional evidence of yourqualifications Give employers a sense of who you areoutside of school and work 51. Where does this section go? Usually last section on the page Can be moved up if information isespecially important or relevant Sometimes omitted if there is a lack ofspace or relevant information 52. What goes into it?Draw three columns, one for each of thefollowing: Titles or positions Sponsors or affiliated organizations Dates of involvement (M/Y-M/Y or Y-Y) 53. Exploring contentpossibilities Extracurricular activities Awards, grants, prizes, and special honors Memberships in professional clubs andorganization Volunteer activities 54. Big or little? Major or minor? How relevant are your honors and activities tothe job you are applying to? Which honors and activities would mostinterest prospective employers? How much space do you have? Choose andorganize your information to emphasize themost relevant activities. 55. Two approachesMinimal approachPhotography Club, University of Illinois,January 1999-PresentElaborated approachPresident, Photography Club, University ofIllinois, January 1999-Present Organized campus contest Increased membership with promotional efforts 56. Using visual design Simple list Columns List with bulleted descriptions Coordinate with other sections 57. Plan of attack Brainstorm Decide what to include based on relevance,interest-value, and space considerations Match organization and design with rest ofresume Seek critical feedback 58. For More Help DevelopingYour ResumeContact the Purdue University WritingLab Heavilon 226 Grammar Hotline: (765) 494-3723 Check our web site: Email brief 59. Reference Kopp, B. (2000). Developing your resume[PowerPoint slides]. Purdue UniversityWriting Lab. Retrieved: 60. The End