Job Search and Resume Preparation

Where do I begin? Unfortunately, you cannot hang a sign on your door and just wait for the job to magically appear!

Getting started is probably the most difficult aspect of the process. At times there may be roadblocks along the way. This will be a time-consuming endeavor. However, with a well-developed plan and a strong commitment, you will persevere. You must be motivated and dedicated to the process.

In order to be successful, you must identify your interests, skills and values. The first step is to identify your career options that closely match your interests, skills and values.

Networking is an essential component in your job search. Develop a list of people who are willing to assist in your job search. Relatives, friends, former employers, teachers, etc. are all good. Provide each person with a copy of your resume. Follow-up on all leads and when you are contacting them be sure to mention the name of the person who provided the lead.

You may create a network through people you meet at conferences, career fairs, meetings, etc. Keep your network informed of your progress. Always send a “thank you” note to all who have assisted you.

Resume Preparation
“Putting You on Paper”

What is a Resume?

  • A resume is a personal data sheet.
  • It is a short summary of important facts about you.
  • These facts help an employer decide whether or not to interview you.
  • A resume should always be well-thought-out, up-to-date, and well-prepared.
  • A resume has approximately 10 to 15 seconds to get the reader’s attention.

The fastest way to prepare a resume is to complete the Personal Data Sheet.

Why is Your Resume Important?

  • You will feel more confident by becoming more aware of your qualities and skills.
  • A resume reflects your potential as an employee better than the job application. (Your resume should always be given to the employer with your completed job application.)
  • A resume shows the employer you are organized, prepared, and serious about wanting a job.
  • You may get an interview over other applicants simply because you have a resume.
  • A resume shows that you are professional.

Helpful Hints/Guidelines

Write it yourself!
You will be better prepared for the interviews.

Be Relevant!
Everything must directly relate to your job objective.

Be Positive!
Emphasize your accomplishments and skills.

Be Specific!
Document your education, abilities, experience, etc. Present data in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

Be Accurate!
You will be expected to perform as described. Make certain all information is correct and verifiable.

Be Brief!
Use short sentences. Use action words to define duties. One page only. Clearly typed, (do not use a font smaller than 10-point), use good margins, and highlight important information.

Make it Error-Free!
Have someone check your spelling and grammar.

Have it Look Good!
Keep resume formal and businesslike (Professional). Keep it clear, concise, logical flow of information, consistent style and form, and easy to read. Use uppercase and lowercase letters. Have consistent spacing and use consistent verb tenses.

The Bottom Line!
Does the resume arouse the interest of the employer? Does it get the applicant invited for an interview?


Resume Writing

There are two resume formats that are widely used today. These formats are: chronological and functional. Each format has its own purpose and advantages. Which format should you choose? It depends on several factors.

The chronological format presents your education, work experience and activities with each section described in reverse chronological order with the most recent at the top of each section. This type of resume is the traditional. If your skills and accomplishments coincide with your most significant work experience and if these are in line with your career goals, this is the format to use.

On the other hand, the functional format organizes your skills and accomplishments into job task groupings that support your stated career objective. If you must pull together certain skills and accomplishments from a variety of past experiences to show your preparation for what you want to do in the future, then the functional format is for you. People who have been out of the workplace for several years-for example, those people who choose to stay at home to raise a family while the children are young-benefit greatly from this format. It draws attention to what you did rather than when you did it.

Your resume should be a brief highlight of your experiences and education. The goal of your resume is to effectively market yourself to potential employers, and to obtain an interview. Your resume is about you, the job hunter, not just about the jobs you’ve held.

  • Starting from scratch: BRAINSTORM all experiences you have had, such as: volunteer, internship, employment, etc. You may not list everything on each resume, but if you keep a master list, it will help you in the future.
  • Targeting your resume: If you are applying for more than one job, you will need several versions of your resume. Each resume should be tailored for each type of position. Always emphasize the experiences you had that most directly relate to the position for which you are applying.
  • Catch the Reader’s Eye: Most readers will spend 20 to 30 seconds initially reviewing your resume. Using bullets, bolding and indentations will make it easier for the reader to follow and read relevant information. Use action words when describing skills and experience.
  • Length of Your Resume: One-page, unless you have years of experience and education.
  • Accentuate The Positive: Highlight accomplishments, not just the mere duties you performed. Do not use negative statements or anything that would be questionable.
  • Leave it Off: Personal information, such as marital status, age, race, gender, religion, and birthplace is not appropriate. Many times high school information should not be included.
  • Appearance of Resume: The format of your resume should be professional and eye-catching. Do not use bright colors or graphics.

The heading of your resume should contain information that employers can use to contact you easily. Make certain that your address, phone number, and e-mail address are current before you send out your resume.

The impact of technology on resumes needs to be covered. More and more companies allow you to submit electronic resumes on their websites and other companies are scanning resumes into their computer systems to let the computer do a keyboard search to find suitable candidates for them.

Additional Pointers

What if I have had lots of short term jobs?
Combine several similar jobs into one “Chunk”
Example: 1998-2005 — Waiter/Busboy; Olive Garden, McDonald’s, Shoney’s

What is the best way to impress an employer?
Use “PAR” statements. Problem-Action-Result statements include the problem, your solution and beneficial results.

How can I avoid age discrimination?
Do not present your entire work history. Label that section of your resume “Recent Work History” or “Relevant Work History.”

How far back should I go in Work History?
About 10 – 15 years should be enough, unless you need experience for your resume.

What if I do not quite have my degree or credential yet?
Diploma anticipated in September, 2007.
Associate Degree anticipated in March, 2008.

What if I have not narrowed down my job objective?
Do not use a generic resume. Write a different resume for each job.

What about paper?
Use plain white or ivory. Do not use bright colors.

The Deadly Dozen

There are certain items you as a job seeker should virtually always leave off your resume. Besides allowing the potential employer to discriminate against you (either intentionally or unintentionally) before he/she even meets you, including any of The Deadly Dozen will date your resume about 30 years.

Be sure to omit The Deadly Dozen from your resume:

  • Height: Even if you’re of average height, the potential employer may not be.
  • Weight: Too thin, too fat, too perfect.any one of these might be a strike against you in the eyes of a potential employer.
  • Health: Would you put anything besides “Excellent” on your resume? It is not likely.
  • Sex: Though they may be able to guess this because of your name, don’t mention it anyway. You want to be hired on the basis of your qualifications, not because you are filling a quote, right?
  • Marital status: Depending on the company, being married can be an asset or a liability (and the same would go for being single). Putting your marital status on your resume may make the potential employer wonder if a married man is right for the job, rather than if you are right for the job.
  • Number of children: Some employers may assume that if you have children, you will miss work more often than an employee who has no children.
  • Religion: Whose business is it anyway? Yours and only yours. However, if you are applying for a job with a religious organization, you might want to indicate your religion somewhere on your resume, perhaps in the community activities section.
  • Ethnic origin: You should avoid mentioning your ethnic origin or heritage, unless your goal is to fill a quote for the company.
  • Date of birth: You do not want to be ruled out as too young or too old for a job before the employer even gets to meet you, so leave this off as well. The employer is only allowed to ask if you are between the ages of 18 and 65 (for most jobs).
  • Photographs: Even if you are the most drop-dead gorgeous person on the face of the planet, do not include a photograph. What if you look just like the potential employer’s ex-husband? Again, you should be hired because of who you are, not what you look like. Only a few occupations, such as modeling, actually require good looks.
  • Reasons for leaving previous jobs: If the employer really wants to know, he/she can ask you in the interview. Do not give any fuel for the fire too early.
  • Salary history: Though many employers will ask that you provide this information, address it in your cover letter if you feel that you must comply with the request. If you mention salary too high, you might knock yourself out of contention before you even get your foot in the door. If you mention a salary too low, you may severely under price yourself. Wait to discuss salary until the interview, if possible.

Sample Objective Statements

  • To join a leading Health Care Facility as a Medical Assistant assisting in the care of medical-surgical patients.
  • To obtain an entry level position as an electronic technician.
  • To obtain a challenging position that will utilize my strong leadership skills and extensive experience in training.
  • To obtain a position in a Health Care Facility which will maximize my administrative and medical skills, as well as afford an opportunity interact with patients.
  • An engineering position in manufacturing or design that will allow me to apply my knowledge and interests to benefit the company. Available for relocation nation- or world-wide. Willing to travel extensively.
  • Seeking a clerical/secretarial/office management position where my experience, acquired skills, and educational background will allow me to make an immediate contribution as an integral part of a progressive company
  • To obtain a responsible position within an established organization that values loyalty and hard work. Willing to take advantage of training that will enhance my value to the employer.
  • To obtain a position in mid-level management that allows for application of extensive managerial and communication skills.
  • A position as a Medical Assistant in which skills and knowledge can be fully utilized to render exceptional care.
  • Responsible entry-level data entry position
  • To secure a position as a Legal Secretary which will utilize my skills and which offers opportunities for advancement.
  • Motivated, results-oriented professional seeking a full-time position where training in Criminal Justice and Public Administration will advance organizational goals and objectives. Reliable and flexible team player with strong communication and interpersonal skills. Organized, eager to learn, and willing to do what it takes to get the job done.
  • Seeking full-time or part-time employment as a receptionist in which my experience, skills, and education will be of value.
  • To secure a position as an administrative assistant.
  • A position with a company that can utilize my skills in Information and Office Technology.
  • To obtain an entry-level position as an Accounting Specialist.
  • A challenging position that will utilize my skills and experience in a company for growth and advancement.
  • An entry level position in a progressive organization in which acquired skills and abilities will be utilized.
  • To secure an administrative assistant position in which experience, skills, and education may be utilized.
  • To utilize my talents and skills as an administrative assistant in a progressive firm.
  • To apply knowledge, ability, and troubleshooting techniques in a position as an Electronic Technician leading to Electronic Engineer.
  • Seeking a challenging clerical or administrative position in which skills and abilities in Information and Office Technology will be utilized.
  • To obtain a position with a company that can utilize my skills in Accounting.
  • To work for an innovative progressive company that will allow me the opportunity for advancement.
  • To obtain a position that will allow me to make effective use of my expertise, knowledge, and abilities I have acquired.
  • To apply my training and experience in a full or part-time position as a Material Control/Supply Specialist, or any related position where experience, education and ability will be effectively utilized with opportunity for advancement.
  • To obtain a position that will allow me to make effective use of my expertise, knowledge, and abilities I have acquired.
  • Entry-level clerical position which offers opportunity for advancement.
  • A position as a technician in which in which my aptitude and sales ability will be of value to a progressive organization offering the potential for future advancement.
  • Seeking to join a progressive organization, where I may utilize my experience and skills for professional growth.
  • Seeking a challenging position as an Administrative Assistant which will allow me to utilize my skills and abilities in Business and Office Technology.
  • To obtain employment in the Automotive Maintenance Industry leading to a position as foreman.
  • A responsible position with a company that will effectively utilize my educational background and secretarial skills.
  • To apply knowledge of .working with battery recycling machinery, starting with this company in an entry-level position, furthering my career in Electronic Technology and advancing to Electronic Engineering.
  • To secure Entry-level position as a Legal Secretary.
  • A responsible career opportunity in industrial maintenance/electrical maintenance in which I can fully utilize my skills while making a significant contribution to the success of my employer.
  • To obtain a position with a progressive organization who provides opportunities to utilize acquired skills and knowledge in the industrial maintenance field.
  • To apply my knowledge and ability in a position as an Administrative Assistant.
  • To obtain a challenging, career oriented position in security with the Muscogee County School Board.
  • Seeking an entry-level position with the goal of moving into management.
  • To be a hands on accomplished manager selling and providing high quality technical services in the computer hardware/software industry.

Sample Highlights/Skills Statements

  • How many years experience as a what.
  • How many years of progressive experience and responsibility with documented success in the areas of what at various organizational levels.
  • How many years progressive what
  • How many years proven record of accomplishments in what.
  • How many years successful experience in a what setting.
  • Title with extensive experience in what.
  • A what with more than how many years in what.
  • A good morale builder.
  • A hands-on professional with a proven record of success.
  • Able to communicate and interact effectively with individuals of all levels.
  • Able to handle multiple projects concurrently.
  • Adept at utilizing teaching skills to provide quality instruction.
  • Articulate and creative, offering innovative and practical solutions.
  • Able to work with others toward a team goal.
  • Able to coordinate all multifaceted tasks involved in what.
  • Able to develop and implement new systems when necessary.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; skilled at developing professional relationships with diverse cultures.
  • Excel in taking charge and motivating others; enjoy initiating action.
  • Creative, imaginative, and objective; confident in expressing ideas.
  • Excel in writing and illustrating; knowledgeable in different genres of art.
  • Demonstrated ability to execute tasks independently and as a team member.
  • Devoted, success driven, and dedicated.
  • Respond positively and effectively in demanding situations; thrive in high intensity level environments.
  • Skilled at problem meditation and resolution while successfully upholding Objectives; possess maturity to handle challenging situations.
  • Able to please customers under all circumstances.
  • Able to serve as an agent for others, and trusted to speak on their behalf to accomplish desired results.
  • Able to translate ideas into concrete written or visual form to share with others.
  • Able to visualize solutions to bring about changes.
  • Able to work independently.
  • Able to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Achieved consistent client satisfaction.
  • Adept at both oral and written communication. Interact effectively with individuals of all levels.
  • Articulate and creative, offering innovative and practical solutions.
  • Bring enthusiasm to team projects and encourage others to develop workable ideas.
  • Broad experience as what.
  • Can easily break a large project down into smaller pieces, prioritize goals, and work under short deadlines without sacrificing creativity.
  • Can work within a set budget and meet or exceed expectations.
  • Capable of handling multiple projects concurrently.
  • Cheerful personality.
  • Committed to assisting others.
  • Computer literate – can quickly learn new software.
  • Consistently successful in what.
  • Creative writing skills.
  • Dedicated and meticulous.
  • Demonstrated accuracy, attention to detail and ability to work well in team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with clients.
  • Demonstrated effective leadership skills.
  • Demonstrated record of high performance standards, including attention to schedules, deadlines, budgets and quality work.
  • Demonstrates competence and poise in professional and social settings.
  • Dependable – can work without supervision.
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Effective interaction with who and who.
  • Efficient and courteous.
  • Enjoy working with people.
  • Excel at directing a cohesive staff in the successful attainment of objectives.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Excellent motivational skills.
  • Exercise initiative, achievement and independent judgment.
  • Expert what with over how many years hands-on experience.
  • Expert technical knowledge of what.
  • Expertise in area and area.
  • Extensive experience in what.
  • Familiar with what, what, what and what.
  • Familiar with computer software.
  • Fluent in what language.
  • Friendly – can get along well with others.
  • Highly imaginative with many innovative ideas.
  • Honest, friendly, outstanding communication skills.
  • Influential public speaker.
  • Knowledge of what kind of functions.
  • Knowledgeable and experienced in all phases of what.
  • Major strengths in planning, problem solving and communication.
  • More than how many years hands-on experience in what.
  • Organized and efficient.
  • Outstanding master of time management.
  • Over how many years experience in what.
  • Particular areas of expertise include what.
  • Pleasant speaking voice.
  • Professional demeanor.
  • Proficient in all facets of what.
  • Proficient in task assessing and completion.
  • Proficient in the use of various software packages including what.
  • Proven leader and self-starter; equally adept as team member.
  • Proven record of working within a budget.
  • Quickly learn procedures and methods.
  • Received what award for what.
  • Scheduled what for whom.
  • Self-motivated and assertive.
  • Self-starting, goal-oriented strategist whose confidence, perseverance and vision promote success.
  • Sensitive to racial and cultural issues.
  • Skilled at encouraging others and developing rapport.
  • Skilled with computer systems and software.
  • Speak what languages how well.
  • Strong background in all phases of what.
  • Strong training skills.
  • Talented in what.
  • Thorough understanding of what.
  • Trained in all areas of what.
  • Well-organized and efficient.
  • Work well in a high pressure environment.
  • Working knowledge of what.

Action Verbs

Management Skills:

directed evaluated
promoted publicized

Research Skills:

evaluated examined
interviewed investigated

Teaching Skills:

coordinated developed
guided informed
set goals

Helping Skills:

diagnosed educated
recorded retrieved

Financial Skills:

computed develop
integrated introduced

Communication Skills:

developed directed
influenced interpreted

Technical Skills:

devised engineered
programmed remodeled

Creative Skills:

designed developed
guided referred

Clerical or Detail Skills:

collected compiled
implemented inspected

Sample Resumes