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Division of Student Affairs

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Resumes and Interviews

Resumes

What is a Resume?

A resume is a focused summary of the qualifications, skills, and background you have to offer a potential employer. It forms the first impression an employer will have of you. The primary purpose of a resume is to obtain an interview. Properly prepared, a resume is a written picture of how you see yourself and how you want an employer to see you. Allow it to reflect you, your personality, your creativity, and your ability to express yourself.

Resume Guidelines

Start Strong-Employers often draw conclusions based on the first paragraph or first third of a resume. Grab the reader's focus at once. Provide a three or four sentence paragraph that gives an overview of your background or synopsis of your qualifications. Your resume probably has less than thirty seconds to make an initial impression. Check to make sure that the paragraph conveys your strengths and accomplishments. Does it sing with lively, clear verbs and nouns?

Audience

Use your research skills to gather as much information about the employer as possible. Use your contacts. Try to talk to someone who works for the organization to determine culture. For example, a financial institution vs. an art museum may indicate a different style resume.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job

The trick is to think as your potential employer. Imagine what they consider to be most important in the job. Your thorough research will shine through here. Employers read scores of resumes. Critical information about your suitability for the job must be easy for them to locate. Put the most relevant information first. A resume should detail what specific ways your qualifications match the needs of the employer.

Accomplishments (Quantify)

Employers want specifics. Stress your results. Elaborate on how you contributed to past employers. Accomplishments must be quantifiable and demonstrate a high level of activity and initiative. Did you increase sales, reduce costs, improve productivity, implement a new program or procedure, develop a new idea? Were you promoted?

Slant your accomplishments toward the type of position you hope to obtain. Do you hope to supervise people? Specify how many and performing what function.

Coach

Use a friend, spouse, teacher, etc. to brainstorm your job experience. Start by talking to your coach and tell them what you have done in each job or volunteer experience. Try tape recording it. You may discover things that you may have overlooked in your written self-assessment.

Write, Re-write and Polish

Use a friend, spouse, teacher, etc. to brainstorm your job experience. Start by talking to your coach and tell them what you have done in each job or volunteer experience. Try tape recording it. You may discover things that you may have overlooked in your written self-assessment.

Interviews

Career Development and Education (CDE) has resources to help prepare students for the interview process. Mock Interviews, offered in the CDE, give students the opportunity to practice interview techniques. For current and accurate salary information, please use the NACE Salary Calculator Center.

Prepare

Know the Employer

Get as much information as you can about the organization you are about to interview with. Information you might want to know regarding a potential employer includes:

Communicate Your Strengths and Accomplishments

Where can you get this information?

Practice

Well organized Attention to detail
Problem solver Flexible
Ability to make quick decisions Creative
Can establish good rapport with people Ability to motivate
Diplomatic Sense of priorities

Presentation

Resume

Dress

Closing the Interview

Thank You Notes