Follow These Guidelines
- Fill out your application to show employers three things:
- The amount and kind of responsibility you have handled.
- The results you have achieved.
- The relevancy of your past responsibilities and accomplishments.
- List your achievements and how you solve problems, not simply your responsibilities. In other words, explain how you increased operational efficiency, the amount of money you saved or raised, the number of people who used the service or product, the action that came about as a result of your efforts, etc. Write these items in phrases that identify the problem, note the solution, and describe the result.
- Use statistics or numbers when you can, to show the results of what you did (i.e., size of organization, number of people supervised, length of report, time involved, size of budget, amount of money raised, etc.). Identify types of people, services, products, and programs with which you worked.
- Fill out your own application. Seek all the advice you can, but since you’ll be the one at the interview, you’ll make the best author. If you decide to use a resume writing service, work closely with the writer to make sure that the resume reflects your experience and personality.
- Keep your information brief, clean and easy to read. Use the minimum number of words to convey what you wish to say. Be able to defend every word.
- Be specific about your job and accomplishments; leave nothing to the imagination.
- Be selective in the information that you include in your application. Choose only information that relates to the jobs you seek.
- Include volunteer experience relevant to the position sought. Also, include data on travel, languages, hobbies, certificates, if relevant to the target job.
- Be creative, but always professional.
- Keep an electronic copy of your application so you can easily make changes.
- The online form allows you to save all of your information as a text file with or without submitting it to an agency. This is offered so that if the user wishes to apply for another position they have the information on-hand and can quickly enter it into another application.
- Be impressive in describing your experiences, but always be 100% honest. Never exaggerate or misrepresent yourself.
- Make several drafts of your resume—boil it down to essential information and have it critiqued before it is copied.
Recognize that you may need to write several different resumes in order to customize it for specific jobs.
- Always send a cover letter to accompany your resume.
- Do not include names of references on your resume.
- Do not mention salary on your resume.
- Keep everything positive in what you say about yourself—stress your strengths, not your weaknesses.
- Use feedback from friends, relatives, and interviewers as to how your application information is coming across and modify where necessary.
- Include languages you speak, read or write in the Other Related Experiences section, as well as any machinery or equipment you can operate, build or repair;
- Computer hardware and software you can use can be added to the Computer Skills section. Do not use military terminology!
- Emphasize credentials (licenses or certifications) obtained if they relate to the job that you are seeking.
These can also be added to the Other Related Experiences section.
- Be Dynamic. Use the action verbs we provide on this website to begin each sentence in your resume.
Avoid using the phrase “responsible for… .” Most interviewers interpret that phrase to mean you did not complete the action yourself. It is recommended that you use present tense for current jobs and past tense for jobs you have previously held.
Name: Use your complete name, not a nickname, as it appears in your normal signature.
Address: Make certain it is complete and spell out Street, Avenue, etc.
E-mail: Make sure that it is a professional address
Phone: Include area codes and use numbers where you can be reached personally, by voice mail, or by a professional message on an answering machine. Never leave a number for a machine that has something “cute” or “funny” as a greeting.
Use information that highlights your professional background as it relates to the needs of the company. It is intended to draw attention to specific personal qualities and skills you possess that make you a unique and qualified candidate. Hiring managers need to see that you have the skills and experience they need. If an employer has to figure out what you can do for him, the odds are you won’t get an interview. Your company research will be invaluable here to help you relate your qualifications to the needs of the company. This can be in the form of a paragraph or a short list, with 4-5 one line bullet statements. Remember this information is a sales tool and this is a good place to catch someone’s interest and to “brag” about your best qualities.
If, for example, you are applying for a position as an Administrative Assistant, you might want to list things such as:
- Five years experience in customer service
- Organized and efficient
- Ability to relate detailed information to the overall project for improved customer service
Some other examples include
- Over 15 years of diverse and challenging experience, combined with powerful presentation skills, a disciplined approach to the task at hand and the innate ability to anticipate potential obstacles are attributes that contribute to a strong record of excellence and acknowledgment for “getting the job done.”
- Over three years experience ordering and maintaining a complex four million dollar inventory of parts. Filled orders in a timely fashion with 100% accuracy. Skilled at operating inventory control software.
- Five years experience in heavy equipment operation. Knowledgeable of related OSHA regulations with a perfect safety record. Experience in both commercial building and road construction.
- Over 12 years of technical sales and marketing experience including:
- electronic component sales
- knowledge of Unix, Pascal, Sun work station, Fortran
- new software business start-up and market presentation
- international marketing penetration
Depending on the style you select, it will dictate where and how you will organize the information. There are many books that provide example resumes. See the transition website for specific recommendations. To begin exploring your employment history, write down everything you can about what you did in a specific job. Include: skills, accomplishments, machines you can operate, computer software you can run, and improvements you suggested or made in a process or system. Try to include specific and quantifiable data. Refer back to skill section.
Once you have written a paragraph or pages of information, find qualifications relating to the job you are seeking. If the job you are seeking is an entirely new field, but uses a lot of the specific skills from your past experience, consider putting information into categories. An example would be if you have been a Military Police Officer and want to go into private investigation, you could group bullet statements under categories such as investigation, case management, and security to create a combination resume. Or, if you were an electronics technician for the past four years in the military plus worked in the same field for two years prior to joining, and want to go into the same field of work, then you would write a chronological resume to show stability and progressive job responsibilities.
Quantify your Experience, Responsibilities and Accomplishments:
List all results/achievements you have produced that relate to the position desired. Results sell, job descriptions don’t! Refer back to the skills section and expand on these to use when writing your resume. Employers need to see accomplishments they can relate to with regard to the open position. The question that must be answered is, “What is this individual going to do for me?” Achievements that relate to the specific position will answer that question. Describe what you accomplished with numbers, percentages, etc.
Explain how many times annually, what percentage of increase or decrease you produced, how large a group you supervised or trained, examples include:
- Supervised 14 member staff to complete $5.4 million project three months ahead of estimated date.
- Produced 150 percent of quota for eight consecutive months resulting in $400,000 additional savings for the department.
- Administered travel budget of $15 million dollars.
- Reduced inventory loss by 20 percent over six month time period resulting in first ever decrease in inventory loss.
- Developed training program for a 600 person organization.
Make sure you include education that is relevant to the job you are applying and start with the most recent.
- List colleges, trade schools, military training schools (if you are applying for a job as a security guard, then your specific firearms training would apply, but if you want to work as a supervisor in a pre-school, this would not fit), correspondence courses, etc.
- List the location of the school. Normally you do not list grades or specific classes; however, if you want a job where you have little experience and have a specific course that would directly relate, then you may want to point this out somewhere in the education section. If you have recently graduated and took classes at night while working full-time, then the fact you graduated Magna cum Laude might be important to some employers. Always relate the information on the resume to the job.