Résumés

  • Drop-In Résumé Review Sessions

    The Career and Professional Development Center conducts Drop-In Résumé Review Sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday during the Fall and Spring semesters from 4:00-6:30 p.m. in Pratt 302 - no appointment necessary! Trained career counselors will be available to critique your résumé, so bring a draft copy and learn how to create a good résumé!

    PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to schedule an appointment to have your résumé reviewed, rather than use a Drop-In Resume Review session, please send your resume to resume-review@iup.edu at least two business days in advance to facilitate the review process.

    When preparing your résumé, it is important to remember that the purpose of a résumé is to get you an interview. In the thirty seconds your résumé will be looked over, you must convince a prospective employer that you deserve an interview. Therefore, do not attempt to present an autobiography of yourself. Focus on your accomplishments and the skills that you have acquired and what you have to offer a particular company for the future.

    Creating Your Blueprint

    To begin your résumé, make a detailed list of all of your experiences. Segment these experiences into categories such as:

    • Education
    • Work Experience
    • Internships
    • Volunteer Work
    • College Activities
    • Professional Group Memberships
    • Honors
    • Awards
    • Special Training

    Optional items for your résumé include:

    • Additional Skills (Computer Skills, Languages, etc.)
    • Relevant Coursework
    • Publications/Research
    • Job Objective

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    Formats

    Include everything that you can think of because your résumé can be revised later during a résumé appointment with a counselor at the Career and Professional Development Center. Once you have compiled a list of experiences into categories, you will need to decide on the format that best exemplifies your accomplishments and your goals. The two formats most often used are the chronological and functional résumé.

    Chronological Résumés

    A chronological résumé focuses on past experiences. It is the most effective format to use when:

    • staying in the same field as prior experience
    • job history shows growth and development
    • entering a highly traditional field
    • previous employers are highly prestigious

    It is the least effective format to use when:

    • you have a spotty work history
    • changing your career goals or if you have had frequent job changes

    Sample

    Functional Résumés

    A functional résumé focuses on strengths and accomplishments. It is the most effective format to use when:

    • emphasizing capabilities not recently used in work experiences
    • changing careers
    • you have a variety of unrelated work experiences

    It is the least effective format to use when:

    • entering a highly traditional field
    • performing limited work functions
    • emphasizing a management growth pattern

    Sample

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    Tips

    Once you have gathered and organized your information, there are several things to keep in mind as you begin the actual writing process:

    • Be consistent.
    • Use bullets to draw the reader’s attention to your verb phrases.
    • Use phrases to describe your skills instead of sentences.
    • Condense ideas.
    • Be specific.
    • Be neat and organized.
    • Use quality résumé paper in shades of cream and gray.
    • Use a laser printer.
    • Be honest about your information including your GPA.
    • Proofread.
    • Have someone else proofread your résumé, and edit, edit, edit!

    You should never include in your résumé:

    • References to race, religion, sex, or age
    • Photos
    • Reasons for job changes
    • Self-serving claims
    • Abbreviations or jargon
    • Irrelevant information

    Individual résumé counseling is available by appointment. Please contact the Career Services Office at 724-357-2235 to make an appointment. We also provide drop-in hours for résumé reviews on Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 4:00-6:30 p.m. in Pratt Hall, Room 302.

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    Action Words

    The following “action” words can be used as the first word of sentence fragments in your résumé. Always begin your statements with an action word that describes a certain skill or ability you possess. A thesaurus can be a helpful tool in this process!

    Accelerated
    Accomplished
    Achieved
    Adapted
    Administered
    Analyzed
    Approved
    Completed
    Conceived
    Conducted
    Conferred
    Constructed
    Contracted
    Controlled
    Converted
    Coordinated
    Created
    Cut
    Delegated
    Delivered
    Demonstrated
    Designed
    Developed
    Devised
    Directed

    Doubled
    Drafted
    Edited
    Effected
    Eliminated
    Enlarged
    Equipped
    Established
    Evaluated
    Exhibited
    Expanded
    Expedited
    Formulated
    Guided
    Implemented
    Improved
    Increased
    Influenced
    Initiated
    Installed
    Interpreted
    Invented
    Launched
    Lectured
    Maintained

    Managed
    Motivated
    Negotiated
    Operated
    Organized
    Originated
    Participated
    Performed
    Pinpointed
    Planned
    Prepared
    Produced
    Proficient
    Programmed
    Promoted
    Proposed
    Proved
    Provided
    Recommended
    Recorded
    Reduced
    Reinforced
    Researched
    Responsible
    Revamped

    Reviewed
    Revised
    Scheduled
    Set up
    Significantly
    Simplified
    Sold
    Solved
    Streamlined
    Structured
    Succeeded
    Successfully
    Supervised
    Supported
    Taught
    Trained
    Translated
    Trimmed
    Tripled
    Uncovered
    Unraveled
    Widened
    Won
    Wrote

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    The Do’s and Don’ts of Résumé Writing

    Do

    • List a page number and your name on each additional page
    • Be clear, concise, and precise
    • Avoid abbreviations except fully understood words, i.e., PA, B.S., etc.
    • Include a cover letter when mailing your résumé
    • Proofread!!!

    Don't

    • Lie or exaggerate about your accomplishments
    • Use personal pronouns like “I” or “My”
    • Staple or paper-clip pages
    • Use big words or professional jargon
    • Round off your grade point average
    • Write long paragraphs or sentences
    • List high school activities
    • Include a photograph


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    Common Employer Criticisms of Résumés

    • Misspellings, bad grammar, and wordiness
    • Too long, short, or condensed
    • Poor layout, physical appearance
    • Poor punctuation
    • Lengthy phrases, sentences, and paragraphs
    • Too slick, amateurish, and “gimmicky”
    • Too boastful or dishonest
    • Poorly typed and reproduced
    • Irrelevant information
    • Critical categories missing
    • Hard to understand or requires too much interpretation
    • Does not convey accomplishments
    • Text does not support objective
    • Unclear objective
    • Too much jargon

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    Tips for Scannable Résumés

    In order to cut costs, some employers have begun using computers to read résumés. The development of scanners and Optical Character Recognition software now enables an employer to “read” and store thousands of résumés into a candidate database, which can be searched for keywords when a vacancy needs to be filled. As the use of this technology grows, it will change the way in which résumés are prepared. For now, the following tips can be used to make your résumé more “scanner-friendly”:

    • Use non-decorative typefaces, such as Helvetica, Futura, Univers, Optima, ITC Avante Garde, Goth, Time, New Century Schoolbook, ITC Bookman, Palatino, or Courier. These fonts are easier for scanners to recognize.
    • Use a font size of 10 to 14 points.
    • Avoid italics, script, and underlining. Avoid using graphics and shading.
    • Use light-colored, standard-size 8-1/2"×11" paper, printed on one side only.
    • If you know your résumé is going to be read by a scanner, do not fold, staple, or wrinkle it.

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