Saturday, April 13, 2013

What exactly is a resume?

A resume is often your one opportunity to show a prospective employer what you have to offer their company. A professional, clean, clear resume increases your chances of getting an interview with the employer, and therefore is key in getting most jobs. Of course, not all jobs require a resume, but whether you need one now or later, you'll be glad you know how to write one. As you prepare to graduate and start college or a career, chances are very good that you will need a resume.

So, your writing assignment for this lesson is to write a resume. I will give you a few basic tips about how to write it, as well as a couple of examples. Then you will turn in the resume with your portfolio in lesson 5. Notice that I just gave you a lesson about omitting needless words. Resumes are a perfect forum to practice this concept. You must make every word count.

Many word processing programs have excellent resume writing templates that make it very easy to create a professional document. You are welcome to use one of those. If you don't have access to one of those, just make sure you follow the guidelines I give you. The examples that follow should be very helpful.

There are five major items that you should cover in your resume.

Personal Data

You should include your name, address, phone, e-mail address, etc.

Job Objective

You should include a brief statement to define your employment goal. What type of work are you looking for, and what organization do you want to work for? Sometimes this information will be very specific if you are applying for a specific job opening for a specific company. Other times, the objective will be more vague if you are sending out multiple resumes to several potential employers.


Here you want to include the key qualities/skills that you can offer the organization as well as other relevant work experience.


Although for seniors in high school this may be rather short, you may want to include certain classes that you have taken that might be relevant to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a secretarial position, you would want to include that you took Word Processing 1, 2, and 3 and that you can type 80 words per minute. Some of that type of information might also go in the skills/experience section. Wherever you decide to put it, don't repeat it.

Other Pertinent Information

This is a miscellaneous category where you can take the opportunity to let the employer know a little more about you as a person, or to put in any other important information that would be important for the employer to consider.

Now that you know the basics, let's look at a couple of examples. The first one I'll show you is an imaginary graduate school application resume for myself. Notice it doesn't follow the five categories above exactly, but it is professional and it covers the information in those five categories.

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