The Resume: How To

The Resume

Name-Peter Michael Smith

Email- psmith@aol.com

Address-123 Elm Street, Anywhere USA, 12345

Phone-123-4567890

Fax-123-0987654

Cell-321-6789234

Resume Title-Here, you place the title of the job that you are applying for. For example; “Librarian at Smith University”

Preferred Location-If the job that you are applying for has more than one location, place your preferred location here. If the job that you are applying for is only offered at one location, then you can omit this heading.

Preferred Job- If you are responding to an ad that has multiple job offerings, be sure to identify the job that you are applying for. Do it under this heading. Also, if the ad supplies you with a job number, this is where you put it.

Resume Objective or Key Point-This section should not be longer than 500 words. The more concise you make it, the better. In this section, you have to catch the eye of the employer. You want tell the potential employer why you are the person that they should hire. Do not blabber. Be concise. Don’t be afraid to put a key sentence in bold print to catch their attention. For example! “I was involved in the planning and opening of our local city’s library.”

Remember, the objective is to sell your skills to the employer. DO NOT LIE! Be honest with your potential employer. Do not write anything that you can not substantiate.

Work Experience-Usually, it is advised to place your most recent job first followed by other jobs that you may have had. Be sure to put accurate dates, addresses and phone numbers so that the potential employer can verify what you have put down.

We suggest that you place the most relevant job first. For instance, in this example, you are applying for a job as a Librarian. If you last job was at Circuit City but your job previous to that was as a Library, then, by all means put the Library job first. Get the drift?

Also, the employer here is looking for continuity of work. Be prepared to answer any time gaps in work. For instance if you worked from 2001-2002, then your next job was in 2004, the employer is going to question why weren’t you working during that time. You need to have an answer. It’s acceptable to say that you went back to school or you needed to attend to a family matter during that time or you volunteered. Have a positive response.

Education- Here your most recent attendance to your first. Don’t forget to put the school’s name, address, phone number and times you attended. Also, put the degree earned. It is also important if you took course work that didn’t lead to a degree if it is in the field that you’re applying for. For example; a certificate in Library Management or a graduate course in “Library Cataloging in the Digital Age.”

Other Relevant Experiences- This is where you can tell them about your life experience. For example; being president of the local PTA or treasurer of the local Little League. Anything that might show a skill that is required in the job that you are seeking.

References-Give references only when asked for. Under this heading, we suggest that you put, References upon request. Also, be sure before giving a person as a reference that you speak to them and make sure that they will give you a positive reference. Do not assume that simply because you asked for a reference that it will be positive. Many people make that mistake.

Resume Writing

Resume writing is very important in your pursuit of employment. It has often been said that your resume is a mirror of you. Remember, your resume is the first contact a potential employer has with you. That being said, there are a couple of things that must realize are unacceptable:

1) Spelling : make absolutely sure that all the spelling and grammar is correct. Misspelled words are a definite turn off. Use your spell checker and grammar checker for sure. However, proof read the resume yourself. For instance, if you want to use the word “they” and type the word “the”, the spell checker will not pick that up. If you are not meticulous enough to make sure that your resume is correct then why would an employer believe that you will be any different on their job?

2) Fonts: When typing your resume, don’t get cute with fancy fonts. Simply pick a blocked font like Times Roman or Ariel.

3) Paper: Good paper is a must but fancy paper is a no no in our opinion. Please note that white paper is the paper of choice. Don’t send a resume with colored paper.

4) Type your resume in black ink only. Bold face when appropriate. Do not use colored ink.

You should write a resume template, a generic resume about you and keep it as a word document. We say this because we believe that you should tailor your resume to the particular job that you are going for. How do you do this? Read the job description so that you can customize your resume to that particular job. By this we mean emphasizing particular strengths that you have for that job. Never lie on a resume.

Your resume should have a Title to it. Of course put your name, address and phone number. Also put your cell phone if you have one. Clearly identify the number as your cell number though. If the job that you are applying for has a job number, put it on the resume. This shows that you have taken the time to do some homework about the job.

Next, we believe that you should put your Resume Objective. Describe your career or position objective. Do it briefly and be to the point. Follow this with your Education. For Education, reverse chronological order we believe is the way to go. Make sure that you put all of your degrees, certificates and any other courses or seminars that pertain to the job that you are applying for.

Work Experience is next. Chronological order in our opinion is not necessary here. Put first the work experience that most closely resembles the job that you are applying for. Then you’re other jobs.

Other Relevant Information is next. Here, talk about experiences that will strengthen your position for this job. For instance, if you are applying for a managerial position in a business where you will be leading a bunch of employees, its relevant that you are the president of you local little league. It demonstrates your people and management skills. Get the drift!

Salary is a difficult question. Some say to put your salary requirements on your resume, others say not to. In our opinion, you need to be flexible and creative. We suggest that you look at the salary range for that particular job. If it is satisfactory to you, then state under the Salary heading of your resume something like “the salary range offered for job number 1234 is acceptable to me”. That does a couple of things. It tells the reader of the resume that you are willing to take the job at the salary offered. It also tells them that you want to negotiate for the upper end of the range. This way you won’t short change yourself or take yourself out of the hunt for the job.

Remember, the objective of the resume is to get you called in for an interview. You don’t want anything including salary to stop you from being called in.

If the job description does not offer a salary range but a fixed amount, we suggest that you simply acknowledge that the salary figure and state that it is acceptable. If the job description does not state anything about salary, we suggest that under your salary heading that you put something like “salary is open to discussion”.

Writing and Formatting a Resume that can be Scanned: What Job Seekers with Disabilities Need to Know

Because we are living in an information age where technology drives most interactions, resumes sent via E-mail and traditional paper are likely to be scanned for key information by a machine, not a human being.

What It Means to have Your Resume Scanned by a Machine

Because employers receive more resumes than they can process efficiently, they are switching to text-searching or artificial intelligence software to track resumes. These systems use optical scanners to put resumes into the computer which then searches for skills that match a job description. Optical character recognition–OCR–software looks at the image to distinguish every letter and number and creates a text file. Such systems are important because they significantly lessen the time it takes to search for qualified applicants to fill a job. These systems can also help employers by creating a centralized resume pool in companies that have a decentralized human resource function.

Why Resume’s that can be Scanned are Important to Your Search

In order to efficiently review resumes, an increasing number of employers are letting computers take the first crack at selecting a first round of applicants for certain jobs. Because computers are programmed to search for certain words, every word in a resume is important in the selection process. Artificial intelligence software “reads” the text and extracts important information such as your name, address, work history, experience and skills. A clear resume allows the scanner to obtain a clean image in order to maximize “hits” (when one of your skills matches the computer search).

How to Prepare a Resume that Will Scan to Jobs You are Seeking

Following are important tips on making your resume “scan-friendly.”

-Use a standard typeface such as Courier, Helvetica, Futura, Optima, Universe or Times with a point size of 10-14.
-Use black ink on white 8 1/2 × 11 inch paper. Do not use colored paper.
-Use only capital letters or boldface to emphasize important information. Do not use italics, underlining, boxes, graphics, or horizontal or vertical lines.
-Avoid a two-column format or resumes that look like newspapers or newsletters.
-Use only a laser-quality printer.
-Do not fold or staple pages.
-If faxing, use fine resolution and follow up with a mailed original.
Avoid “formatting peculiarities.” If you use E-mail, save your file as “text only” or “ASCII” to avoid the possibility that your word processor and your prospective employer’s word processor are incompatible. E-mail a copy of your resume to yourself to make sure it looks the way you meant it to look.
Use “key-words”phrases, terms, industry jargon, and titles to describe your abilities. Describe your experience with concrete words rather than vague terms. Be sure to use state-of-the-art terminology to describe yourself. If you have been out of the job market awhile, research new developments in your field and use up-to-date terms to present your skills. Savvy job seekers often mimic the words a company uses in its help-wanted ads. The more skills and facts you provide, the more opportunities you have for your skills to match available positions.
-Be concise and truthful.
-Use more than one page if necessary.
-If you have extra space, describe your interpersonal traits and attitude. Key words could include: time management, team player, dependable, leadership, and responsibility.
-Use a keyword summary of your skills at the top of your resume to get the attention of robotic and human inspectors. For example, if you are looking for an entry level position in architecture, your keyword summary might include: BS in Architecture, internship experience with large commercial project, knowledge of AutoCAD, PhotoShop, AccuRender, 3-D Studio. Place your name on its own line at the top of the page. Use the standard format for your address below your name. Then list each phone number on its own line.


For job search purposes you may choose to have two versions of your resume:
-One to send for the computer to read (A format that can be scanned and detailed descriptors).
-One for people to read during an interview (a creative layout, enhanced typography, and summarized information.)
-Be sure to proofread your resume before sending it.

How Hiring Managers and Recruiters Use Electronic Applicant Tracking Systems
Typically, hiring personnel set up a search request and tell the computer whether certain qualifications are required or desired. Many resume-scanning systems then rank the candidates they select from the system. Some of the leading systems place a number or percentage next to a candidate’s name indicating how many of the manager’s requirements are reflected in the resume.

As we move into the 21st century, it is important to use technology to find a job. If you push yourself to go the extra mile in your job search, you will find the opportunity you are seeking.

Legal Disclaimer: None of the information provided herein constitutes legal advice on behalf of disABLEDperson Inc.