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Drop-In Résumé Review Sessions

The Career and Professional Development Center will conduct Drop-In Résumé Review Sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday 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!

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 andfunctional 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 nondecorative 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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  • Career and Professional Development Center
  • Pratt Hall, Suite 302
    201 Pratt Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2235
  • Fax: 724-357-4079
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.