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Writing an Effective ResumeMichael R. Wick Department of Computer Science University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI 54701

Road Map

Role of the Resume Types of Resumes Resume Formats Resume Sections Additional Documentation Miscellaneous Tips Miscellaneous Tilts Sample Resumes OnOn-line Resources

What is a Resume?

A marketing tool

Your first tool for building a career The first impression a prospective employer has of you A selling tool that allows you to highlight to an employer how you can contribute to the company Purpose of the resume is to get you an interview Must capture the readers interest and attention Must convince the employer that you have the ability to fill their position A snapshot of what you believe are your most important experiences and qualifications

Request for an interview

Your big picture

Types of Resumes

A Paper/PDF Resume

A printed resume for use at job fairs, conferences, Should be clean, concise, professional, and pleasing to the eye Use bullets, bolding, and indentation Take this resume with you on job interviews, career breakfasts, A plain text resume for on-line submission onTypically must conform to employer specifications Use left-justified and space indented formatting leftIf desired, use +, *, and 0 to represent bullets Typically includes links to homepage, images, Avoid this type of resume Most people dont want an employer walking around in their homepage

An Electronic Resume

An HTML Resume

Resume Formats - Chronological

Highlight your work experience in reverse chronological order Be sure to not leave gaps The most widely used format for working professionals

Cut off

Resume Formats - Functional

Highlight specific skills for which the market has high demand Seldom used by new graduates Frequently used to change jobs or careers

Again, cut off

Resume Formats - Combinational

Highlight specific work experience Highlight marketable skills Use reverse chronological order The best resume style for most college studentsI would prefer bullets

The Silver Bullet

What Is Your Story?

What slant can you take on your resume? Do you want to emphasize internship experience? Do you want to emphasize work experience? Do you want to emphasize course work? Do you want to emphasize project experience? Do you want to emphasize research experience? Do you want to emphasize personal traits?

What is unique or interesting about your college experience? My Recommendation

If you have an interesting internship emphasize it if not get one! Most UW-EC graduates have interesting project experience UWBuild on your liberal arts education!!! Demonstrate leadership, communication, cultural awareness leadership, communication,

Standard Resume SectionsMove toward bottom

Header Objective Education Honors/Activities Work Experience Relevant Courses Skills ProjectsI prefer other order

The Header Section

The first line should be your name

Larger than the largest font used in body Avoid using decorative fonts Dont use black or gray shaded backgrounds Exclude titles Mr., Mrs., Ms., Permanent address Current address Use your UWEC email address Dont use BIGBOY@HOT_MAIL.COM BIGBOY@HOT_MAIL.COM Change the message machine to be appropriate

Include contact address

Include your email address

Include your phone number

The Objective Section

Considered optional but I strongly suggest including it Make statement clear, concise, and to the point

Bad: I want to get a job job Weak: To attain an internship in the computer industry. Good: To attain an internship in the computer industry working with database or network security. To attain a position at 3M Pharmaceuticals working on To attain a web application programming position where knowledge of Java and the Struts framework will add value the overall development process.

Avoid being overly specific to single company

I prefer objectives from the companys perspective

The Honors/Activities SectionThis section should scream I am a leader

Should only contain honors and awards earned during your time in college You can include academic or extracurricular items

I prefer only academic or service-related items serviceAward given to top performer on the capstone exam

Include a brief description if not self-evident from title self

Dont include hobbies or activities not related to the job or your story

Good to include leadership positions in CS-related organizations CSGood to list membership in CS-related organizations CS-

Dont include volunteer work unless there is a direct and positive link with the job or your story

The Work Experience Section

Dedicated to most recent and relevant employment Format

Employer and location on the first lineDont need name of supervisor, complete address, or contact information

Position and time-span on the second line timeUse only year, not month and year (avoids time gaps)

Each position should have at least two bullets

Explain role and contributions Dont emphasize duties but rather emphasize outcomesIncreased efficiency of by 20% Improved user navigation experience on

Descriptions should be consistent in wording Current job uses present tense Former jobs use past tense

Employers want problem solvers

Watch the tense

The Relevant Courses Section

The keyword is relevant courses

Dont include Foundations of Computing Dont include Algorithms and Data Structures Focus on courses the are either unique or would normally be considered electiveComputer Security Computer Graphics Artificial Intelligence Computer Networks Database Systems Data Mining

Employers will assume you have had the rest

The Skills Section

This is where you emphasize your technical skills

Programming LanguagesPut in order of familiarity Can use Exposure to: as the only modifier if you wish

PlatformsNice to list Windows and Linux

PackagesEclipse, Oracle 9i, MS SQL Server, ClearCase, Rational Rose, We make a concerted effort to use real products so make a concerted effort to list them

Development MethodologiesRational Unified Process, Extreme Programming, Agile Development

The Projects Section

Used correctly, this section can set you apart from other new graduates

Most new grads dont get the opportunity to use this section

Show any lengthy, impressive, or relevant projects to which you have made real contribution Each project should have at least two bullets (focus on outcomes)Market Basket Analysis SystemDesigned and implemented a Java application for predicting future purchases based on a probabilistic analysis of past purchase records Deployed system as a web service using XML and SOAP and an Oracle database on the backend Used synchronized threads to increase overall throughput of the system to handle up to 50 client requests per second

Supporting Documentation Cover Letter (1)

Why do I need to write a cover letter?

Use the cover letter to focus attention on elements of your background that are particularly relevant to the company Letter acts as your verbal introduction to the employer Avoid To Whom It May Concern, Worst case Dear Recruiter: I am writing in regard to your posting listed on Dr. Wagner at UW Eau Claire suggested that I As you may recall, I spoke with you briefly at If unsolicited, indicate why you are interested in the company

Send it to a person, not a place

First sentence should tell why you are writing

Supporting Documentation Cover Letter (2)

Highlight your skills

Use two to three paragraphs to given in-depth description of your inselling points Each paragraph should be stand alone (could be moved to different location in text) If possible, indicating that you will be contacting them in the near future to set up a mutually acceptable meeting time or to further discuss your qualifications Nice if you can say during my Winter Break, between December 28 and January 12, I will be in your Minneapolis. I will contact your office when I arrive to arrange a possible meeting time

Close with a promise of action

Supporting Documentation Cover Letter (3)

Supporting Documentation References

Prepare a separate reference sheet

Use same paper as the resume itself Bring reference sheet (and resume) with you to any interviews, job fairs, career breakfasts, Do not mail reference sheet with resume and cover letter Should include your Header from the resume Try to arrange contact information in pleasing fashion Pick individuals that think highly of you Pick individuals that are familiar with your work Be prepared to give supporting materials courses, projects, Ask again if it has been a while

Reference sheet is a stand-alone document stand

Use professional references only

Always ask your references before using their names

Scannable Resumes

Most large employers will scan your resume into a central database Tips to assist the scanning process

Dont use italics, underlining, or graphics Use bold only for headers Use scanner-friendly fonts (Serif or Sans Serif fonts) scannerTimes New Roman, Courier, Helvetica, or Arial are good examples Font sizes of between 9 and 12

Use black ink on white background Most lookup is keyword-based keywordSamples: Unix, C++, Java, hardware, networking, troubletroubleshooting, testing, security, data mining,

Tips to assist the retrieval process

Tips on Delivery o