The Career and Professional Development Center conducts Drop-In Hours every Tuesday and Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. in Pratt 302—no appointment necessary. Trained career counselors will be available to critique your résumé and answer quick questions. Drop-in hours begin two weeks after the semester has started and end the last week of classes before finals.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 30 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.
To begin your résumé, make a detailed list of all of your experiences. Segment these experiences into categories such as:
Optional items for your résumé include:
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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.
A chronological résumé focuses on past experiences. It is the most effective format to use when:
It is the least effective format to use when:
A functional résumé focuses on strengths and accomplishments. It is the most effective format to use when:
Once you have gathered and organized your information, there are several things to keep in mind as you begin the actual writing process:
You should never include in your résumé:
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 to 6:30 p.m. in Pratt Hall, Room 302.
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.
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”:
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