Writing an Effective Resume
Career Services
8 Kerr Administration Building
737-4085
http://oregonstate.edu/career
Overview of Career Services
• Individual Career Counseling
• Drop-ins
• Workshops
– Career Assessment Tools
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Computer Lab
Mock Interviews
Career Resource Library
Career Fairs
• Beaver Recruiting
– Job Listings
– Resume Match
– On-campus Interviews
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Co-op and Internship Program
National Student Exchange
Peace Corps
Equipment/Classroom Usage
– VCR/DVD
– Flat Screen TV
– Digital Video Camera
Agenda
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Purpose of a resume
Resume formats
Sections of a resume
What not to include in a resume
References
Purpose of a Resume
• Introduction to employer
• Personal advertisement
• Get you an interview
Basic Formats for Resumes
• Chronological
– Reverse Date Order
• Functional
– Grouped by Skill Category
• Combination
• Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Components of a Resume
Necessary Information:
• Contact information
• Education
• Experience (tasks, skills learned)
Optional Information:
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Objective
Course highlights
Projects/research
Computer skills
Foreign languages
• Honors/awards
• Volunteer work /
community service
• Activities/Interests
• Many more…
Contact Information
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Name
Address: Campus/Permanent
Telephone number
Email address
Objective
• Convey a match between you and the position
• Communicate what you have to offer
• Identify skills that will benefit the
organization/industry
• Tailor your objective to the job/field
Example:
“Seeking an internship with XYZ Corporation in
which I can utilize my proven leadership abilities
and recognized customer service skills.”
Education
List formal education with the highest degree first
• Include:
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Institution
City, State
Degree
Major title
Graduation date
• Optional Information:
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Minor/Concentration
Dean’s List
Grade Point Average
Exchange programs*
Dissertation or Thesis*
Honors, awards,
scholarships*
Experience
• Full-time, part-time, volunteer, practicum, co-op,
internship, clinical, and field experience
• List in reverse chronological order
• May use “Related Experience” section
• Need to include:
Name of employer
City, State, and dates of employment/participation
Position titles
Position description
Position Description
• Demonstrate achievements, knowledge,
skills, highlights, and responsibilities
related to the position
• Use action verbs: use past and present tense
consistently and accurately
• Break up large blocks of texts with bullets
Accomplishment Statements
Two parts:
– The results or benefits that came as a result of
your work. These results/benefits should be
stated in terms of the value added, and in as
tangible and quantified a manner as possible.
– The action you took to achieve those
benefits/results. (What steps you took or what
techniques you used)
Accomplishment Statements
• Benefits
– Much better awareness of the skills and abilities that
will be the foundation for your job search.
– Concrete credibility for everything you claim in the
way of qualifications and abilities. You will have
simple documentation of the value you can bring to an
employer.
– Greater confidence in presenting yourself to potential
employers. You will understand better that you are not
"asking for a job," but rather you are offering a
contribution to an employer.
Accomplishment Statements
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Increased profits
Reduced errors
Reduced losses
Improved teamwork
Made things easier
Sped things up
Foresaw a problem
Found an easier solution
- Received an award
- Found a new opportunity
- Accomplished more with
the same
- Prevented a problem
- Provided new resources
- Developed a new
procedure
- Overcame obstacles
Examples
• "Saved $60 a year in service charges by proposing
and acquiring a checking account at a new bank
for College Council."
• " Instituted residence hall tutoring program that
increased average overall GPA from a 2.9 to a
3.3."
• " Increased membership in ABC student club by
50% through creative advertising."
• "Presented training for new campus-wide email
system to approximately 30% of the student
body."
Special Categories
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Course highlights
Projects/research
Research awards
Certifications
Computer skills
Foreign language
proficiency
• Special skills
• Volunteering /
community
involvement
• Leadership activities
• Honors, scholarships,
awards
• Activities, interests
Let’s Practice
• Please take a minute and write an
accomplishment statement using your own
educational and/or professional experiences.
Interests and Activities
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Association memberships
Academic/social clubs
Athletic teams
Hobbies
– Include offices elected to and contributions made to the
organization
– Select your interests and activities carefully
What NOT to Include
• Salary requirements or previous salaries
• Name or contact information of supervisors
• Personal information (e.g. birth date, marital
status, health status, picture, etc.)
• References - place them on a separate sheet
Note: if applying for jobs outside of the US, these
may not necessarily apply – do your research!
Points to Remember
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Use vocabulary of your field or industry
Use concise phrases
Use numbers to quantify achievements
Avoid long paragraphs
Omit personal pronouns
Action verbs
Points to Remember (cont.)
• Use bolding, italics, and underlining to
highlight or separate sections
• Margins should be ½ inch to 1 inch
• One page length is standard
• Use only one side of the paper
• Laser print on quality paper
• http://oregonstate.edu/career/students/career
guide2005.pdf
References
• Have at least three references
• Ask before using someone as a reference
• Give resumes to your references and keep them
informed of your progress
• Things to include on reference sheet:
– Your contact information (same format as on resume is
recommended)
– Name of reference, company or organization, address,
phone number, and email address
A Strong Cover Letter
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Targeted to employers and specific jobs
Promotes your abilities
Looks organized and professional
Enthusiastic and conveys interest
Clear and concise articulation of skills
Error-free
Components of a Cover Letter
• Your contact
information
• Date
• Employers’ contact
information
• Salutation
• Introductory
paragraph
• Body of letter: one or
more paragraphs
connecting your skills
to employer needs
• Conclusion
• Closing
• Signature, if in paper
format
Opening Paragraph
• Why are you writing?
– What position are you applying for?
– How did you hear of the opening or
organization?
Example: Dr. Anderson in the Anthropology Department at
Oregon State University recommended that I contact you.
I would like to apply for the archaeology internship
available in your office.
Middle Paragraph(s)
• Explain interest in working for this employer and
reasons for desiring this position
• Do NOT iterate entire resume; rather expand on
one or two areas that reflect relevant skills learned
• Emphasize skills or abilities that relate to the job
• Express confidence and enthusiasm
Final Paragraph
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Persistent, businesslike closing statement
Indicate desire for a personal interview
Example: I will call you on [date] to discuss this career
opportunity with [name of organization].
• “Thank you” for consideration
Closing:
Sincerely,
Sign name
Type name
Enclosure
Cover Letter Tips
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Address letter to a specific person if possible
One page only
Use industry “buzz words”
Follow through with employer
Let them know you have done your homework
– Say something flattering about the organization
(e.g.: “Energy Plus has an excellent reputation locally for
customer satisfaction, and I would like to become part of
your customer service team.”)
Good Luck!
Let us know how else we can help you!
Career Services
8 Kerr Administration Building
737-4085
http://oregonstate.edu/career
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Resume Building Workshop