Anatomy of a Resume – How to present yourself
Here are some tips and hints on resume writing – the things to do to help your resume give employers the insight into your professional persona’s strongest attributes.
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Make yourself easily accessible by phone or email. Be sure that your voicemail message is professional. You don’t want a potential employer to get the wrong impression from an unprofessional message or greeting. Do not include personal information, such as marital status or age, on your resume.
Objective / Title
Some believe that if you include an objective, it might limit your chances of being selected for an interview and/or if your objective doesn’t match the recruiter’s needs at the time, you may miss out on a great opportunity. On the flip side, if you know exactly what you want, why not say it? It may be best to take a broad approach. Instead of writing a sentence like “Seeking a career opportunity in Industry……,” try a simple title after your contact info, such as Veterinarian.
Include your title and years of experience first, then list special skills. Next, talk about your character traits or work style. Remember that this is a summary. Don’t go over three sentences.
Example: Small Animal Veterinarian with over 10 years of experience with two hospitals. Over three years of directing a hospital. Customer service oriented.
List each position held in reverse chronological order going back at least ten years. If you held multiple positions with the same employer, be sure to list all of them to show how you have progressed. You should describe your responsibilities and your accomplishments.
The body of the position description has two parts:
- A description of your responsibilities
- Your accomplishments
Formats to organize your experience
Use the Feature-Accomplishment-Benefit format to organize your skills and sell your accomplishments.
Feature: The actual responsibilities
Accomplishment: The performing of responsibilities
Benefit: How your performance affected your employer
Example: Small Animal Veterinarian
Feature: Turned around clinic
Accomplishment: Increased clientele base by 30% in one year
Benefit: Increased annual revenue by more than 45% in one year
Statement: Turned around clinic by increasing clientele base by 30% which led to increased revenues of more than 45% last year.
This format might be used to demonstrate your problem-solving capabilities.
Situation: What situation was your company facing?
Solution: What did you do to solve the problem?
Outcome: What was the outcome?
Example: VP of Sales
Situation: Company wanted to grow non-government business
Solution: Created and implemented commercial market penetration strategy
Outcome: Increased revenues over $50 million
Statement: Company wanted to grow non-government business. Developed business that resulted in the capture of commercial sales with increased revenues of over $50 million.
Be truthful when putting together your resume. A resume in and of itself may not get you your dream job, but if you blunder in composing it, you might kill any chance for an interview. Here are some blunders, big and not so big, to avoid when putting your resume together. Lying about your experience. Augmenting your credentials with a little fiction might help you get the job, but you almost certainly will be found out. This could cause you to be fired sometime down the road. Worse, you will have gravely harmed your reputation within your chosen industry.
Industry people travel in the same circles. It’s highly likely that your employer will someday bump into someone who knows the real you, so don’t say you were Phi Beta Kappa if you were a C student. Even a little white lie can backfire. Here’s a real workplace example: An employee’s company was relocating to another state, and people were offered severance packages if they did not want to move. This man used the company fax machine to send a resume to a potential employer. He listed his current position as chief information officer, when in fact he was not involved in technology at all and held a lesser title. He was found out because he left his resume in the company fax machine, where co-workers found it. Not only did he not get the new job, he lost the one he had, along with severance benefits he would have received. -Source of article unknown.
There are many types of resumes, but the one we recommend is the Traditional. There are several different types of Traditional resumes. One of the most popular Traditional resumes is the Historical / Chronological resume. This type is set up in reverse chronological order, most recent first. This style is best suited for those with significant experience in their field.
Another type of Traditional resume is the Functional. This format uses titles ( or job functions) as headings and may ignore historical format. Recent college graduates use this style.
A third type of Traditional resume is the Analytical. This format uses skill fields as headings and also ignores historical sequence. If you have diverse experience or are trying to change careers, use this style.
Top 12 Accomplishments of Interest to Employers
- Increased revenues
- Saved money
- Increased efficiencies
- Cut overhead
- Increased sales
- Improved workplace safety
- Purchasing accomplishments
- New products / new lines
- Improved record keeping process
- Increased productivity
- Successful advertising campaign
- Effective budgeting
Sample resumes are available on our Sample Resumes page.