Job Search Strategies
Resumes! Resumes! Resumes! Editors of Career Press.
To begin, recall and gather information about yourself. Write down the most salient details of your experiences including pertinent coursework, paid and volunteer work experiences, awards, clubs, research projects, and special skills. You can always delete those experiences and activities that are not relevant to the position you are seeking.
SECTIONS OF A RESUME
The top of the resume should include:
Current address & telephone number, including area code.
Permanent address and phone number if pertinent.
Email address, if available.
Although the objective is optional, it has the advantage of telling the recruiter or hiring manager, at a glance, the type of position you are seeking.
The resume objective can take
many forms. It can state: 1) the specific position you are seeking, 2)
the skills you wish to use on the job, 3) the field or organization type
by which you wish to be employed, or very often, a combination of all of
the above. It is important to strike a balance between too much and too
little information. It is also important to provide enough specific information
for the reader to determine where to direct your resume. Your in-depth
employment objective is reserved for the cover letter. Avoid phrases like
". . . a position in public relations or advertising." If you are applying
in different fields, use a separate resume with an objective appropriate
for each field.
Seeking a position as an entry level electrical engineer.
Media Relations Manager.
Seeking a position as an electrical engineer in research and design.
A program coordinator position in a community organization working with youth.
An entry level computer programming position leading to program design.
To obtain a position in investment banking using excellent quantitative and analytical skills.
A summer internship preparing cell cultures in the biotechnology industry.
To apply decision and systems analysis to strategic planning in telecommunications.
As a current student or recent graduate of Stanford University, you will probably want to highlight your education by placing this section near the top of your resume. This section must include the first three items listed below. The other entries are optional.
Experience Names of the degree granting institutions, listing first the most recent degree earned.
When describing your experiences, include:
Name of organization and location with city and state.
Dates of employment/involvement.
Description of responsibilities
beginning with action verbs. (Avoid phrases such as "Duties included .
Be action oriented. Begin each sentence with an action verb (organized, developed, directed, etc.) See p.8 for more examples of action verbs.
Use nouns that convey key skills or knowledge areas (e.g., familiar with C++, proficient with Excel, fluent in Spanish).
Keep personal pronouns out of your descriptions
. Quantify your experience whenever possible to demonstrate the scope of your responsibilities. For example, "planned and managed a budget of $10,000" or "supervised a crew of four."
Include paid jobs, internships,
volunteer community service, extracurricular projects involving leadership
or teamwork, special academic research or honors projects, etc.
Additional Information (Optional)
This section can include languages,
computer skills, interests, sports, extracurricular activities, volunteer
experiences, etc. However, if one of these areas is especially relevant
to your objective, you may choose to put it into a separate section (see
Choose your headings based
on your background and the qualifications you believe will be important
or of interest to the employer. Be descriptive in your selection of a heading.
Sample headings may include:
Sample Reference Sheet
Professor Department of Biological Sciences
Stanford, CA 94305
1204 Lloyd Street South
San Francisco, CA 94080
1999 Main Street
Hometown, XX 12345
RESUME FORMAT AND LAYOUT
Suggestions for Success with Scanning Technology
The Importance of Keywords Use laser printing, with black ink on white or light-colored 8.5 X 11 paper. Clear contrast improves recognition.
The scanner searches your credentials for keywords which describe your education, experience, skills, knowledge areas, and professional affiliations. Every occupation and career field has its own jargon, acronyms and buzzwords. You can compile a list of keywords for your field using the Occupational Outlook Handbook (on CDC Reserve), job announcements and organizations' Web sites. Also remember there are general keywords that apply to transferrable skills important in many jobs, such as: teamwork, writing, planning, coordinating, designing, etc. If you are responding to a job listing, use words from the job listing in your resume and cover letter. In addition, conducting information interviews with people in the field can be highly effective in "learning the language" of your intended field. (See Networking: The Most Effective Job Search Technique guide and access Stanford's Alumni Contact Service at http://sunsite.stanford.org/SOLAR.)
SAMPLE GENERAL RESUME
Street name & number or PO BOX
City, State ZIP
Phone, including area code
999 Main Street
Peoria, IL 55555
Optional, but must be brief and show focus. Can include employment goals, position interest, skills to be used or industry you are seeking.
List most recent first. State name of university, degree received, major, minor or special focus areas. You may want to include your GPA (X.X/4.0), Honors Project and list any relevant coursework.
List most recent experience first. Include dates, job title, name of organization, and description of responsibilities. Be action oriented, including skills and verbs that are transferable to the work you are seeking. Use numbers to show scope of responsibility. Include both paid and unpaid work, class projects if relevant to the position sought, varsity athletic experience which required significant commitment, etc.
Include special skills or relevant talents showing initiative, resourcefulness, leadership - something youd like the employer to know about you. Language fluency, computer knowledge, lab skills, etc.
State professional associations, organizations, offices held, honors or awards received.
Community Service or Extracurricular Activities
SAMPLE CHRONOLOGICAL RESUME
Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a focus on the European Union, degree anticipated June, 199X.
Coursework: economics, statistics, computer science, organizational behavior. GPA 3.7/4.0.
Stanford in Washington, Washington, D.C.
Completed intensive tutorial and internship on international trade.
Oxford University, Oxford, England. Studied monetary policy of European Union.
Resident Assistant, Madera House, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 9/9X-present.
Work with a staff of four resident assistants in an 88-student dorm. Create, plan and organize activities for the students. Encourage and facilitate social, political and ethical student discussions. Coordinator for "Madera Makes Music," a weekly educational program. Schedule performances, develop and monitor budget and create publicity.
Research Assistant, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, D.C., 1/9X-5/9X.
Researched Latin American trading blocs. Analyzed trade patterns and produced summary briefs on trade developments. Maintained database using FileMaker.
Goalie, Women's Water Polo Team, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 9/9X-present.
Practice 15 hours/week. Participate in team drills and coordinate defensive team strategies. Assist team captain with travel arrangements. Have developed ability to work with a team under pressure.
(Could alternatively be placed in the Additional Information section.)
Vice President, Delta Gamma Sorority, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 9/9X-6/9X.
Directed, planned and implemented activities for 95 chapter members. Planned and managed budget of $5000. Increased member participation through innovative motivational techniques. Created prototype for annual chapter retreat and member recognition program. Organized rush activities.
Legal Assistant, Law Offices of Garcia, Hernandez, and Harrison, Sacramento, CA, 6/9X-9/9X.
Sorted and catalogued proceedings, correspondence, and information related to race discrimination cases. Conducted document research and initial intake interviews with prospective clients. Summarized depositions, produced correspondence, answered phones. Gained proficiency with MSWord and FileMaker Pro.
Student Operator, Stanford Instructional Television Network, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 199X-9X.
Taped classroom instruction, operated camera and audio equipment as a work-study position during academic year.
Entrepreneur, The Sewing Studio, Durham, CA, summers, 199X-9X.
Created successful business offering fashion design and clothing construction courses to home-sewers. Averaged $5000 revenue each summer. Developed advertising strategies, coordinated class schedules, and taught classes.
Proficient in French.
Member: Haas Public Service Advisory Board, 199X-199X.
Staff Member, Stanford Quad Yearbook, 199X-199X.
Have financed a significant portion of educational expenses through scholarships, loans, and summer/academic year employment.
SAMPLE CHRONOLOGICAL RESUME 2
9/9X-Present Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Expected Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, 6/9X
Pursuing a minor in English [optional]. Coursework includes: economics, statistics, computer science.
GPA 3.7/4.0 [GPA is optional]
3/9X-6/9X Stanford-in-Washington Program, Washington, DC
[Might also mention: Overseas programs, summer school coursework, other universities attended, etc.]
9/9X-Present Resident Assistant, Casa Zapata, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Work with a team of 4 resident assistants in a 90-student, four-class dorm. Create, plan, and organize academic, cultural, and social activities for student residents. Enhance community spirit and guide residents in assuming responsibility for their personal and communal lives. Position attained through competitive selection process.
6/9X-9/9X Legal Assistant, Law Offices of Garcia, Hernandez & Harrison, Sacramento, CA
Sorted and catalogued proceedings, correspondence, and information related to race discrimination cases. Performed document research and conducted initial intake interviews with prospective clients. Summarized depositions, composed correspondence, answered phones. Gained knowledge of Microsoft Word and Filemaker Pro.
1/9X-6/9X Studio Operator, Stanford Instructional Television Network, Stanford, CA
9/9X-6/9X Taped classroom instruction, operated camera and audio equipment.
6/9X-9/9X Research Assistant, United States Trade Council, Washington, DC
Researched Latin American trading blocs. Analyzed trade patterns and produced summary briefs on trade developments. Maintained various internal databases.
6/9X-9/9X Community Service Intern, Second Harvest Food Bank, San Jose, CA
Led adult volunteers
in procuring over 60,000 pounds of fresh produce from farms in the Central
Valley. Assisted with food distribution to low-income residents. Analyzed
participation in volunteer programs using Excel spreadsheets. Designed
and conducted volunteer orientation programs; contributed articles to organizations
Computer skills: MSWord, Excel, PageMaker, Filemaker Pro. Avid Internet surfer.
Language skills: Fluent in Spanish, working knowledge of French.
Trained in making presentations, conducting research, writing and editing.
Other work experience includes: camp counselor, math tutor, retail sales clerk, teachers aide.
Member, Haas Public Service Center Advisory Board, 199X-199X.
Staff Member, Stanford Quad Yearbook, 199X-199X.
Have financed substantial portion of educational expenses through scholarships, loans, and summer/academic year employment.
SAMPLE FUNCTIONAL RESUME
TERRY Q. CHANPresent Address
PO BOX 12345
Stanford, CA 94305
1444 Walnut Drive
Home Town, CA 94086
OBJECTIVE To work for an advertising agency or magazine in the area of graphic art/photography.
EDUCATION Stanford University, Stanford, CA. B.A. degree in Art, expected 6/9X
Elective coursework includes math, psychology, and computer science.
SKILLS Conceptualizing - Conceived designs for various publications including newsletters, brochures, booklets and university publications.
Initiating - Assisted with educational costs through self-initiated money-making projects. Designed and printed silk-screen T-shirts for University residence halls; machine-engraved name plaques and key chains; displayed and sold at student bookstore; made framed photographs sold at University crafts fair. Studio art portfolio completed containing 40 slides of recent work.
Printing - Coursework in publications production. Experience in preparing layouts, using copy camera, making plates, and running printing press. Familiar with typesetting, running various machines and collating.
Photography - Coursework and self-acquired knowledge in black and white, and color photography. Shoot both indoor and outdoor candids, groups, nature, and sports pictures. Strong interest in darkroom work, especially darkroom graphics. Familiar with drymounting and matting. Knowledge of photo silk-screen techniques.
Computer - Proficient with Macintosh; familiar with Excel, PageMaker, and MSWord.
9/9X to present Library Assistant - Meyer Library, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
Summers-199X & 199X Sales Associate - Franklin Frame Shop, Sunnyvale, CA.
9/9X - 6/9X Clerical Assistant - William Carpenter & Associates (Architectural Firm) Palo Alto, CA.
9/9X - 6/9x Food Service Worker - Central Food Service, Stanford, CA.
Tutor, Teachers Aide, Lifeguard
SAMPLE COMBINATION RESUME
Dana JacksonPO BOX 12345
Stanford, CA 94309
Black Student Union, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 9/9X-6/9X.OFFICER'S COREWorked with a team to plan, organize, and publicize a range of activities and programs designed to bond, motivate and educate Stanford's African-American community. Established alumni contacts via newsletter to secure financial and mentoring support.
Human Biology Theme House, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 9/9X-6/9X.FOCUS ASSISTANTParticipated on a team of five to recruit speakers and develop well organized, thought-provoking programs.
Working knowledge of Spanish. Interests include ultimate frisbee, skiing, and jazz.
SAMPLE ELECTRONIC RESUME
3 Sandalwood Terrace
Los Altos, CA 94040
Member of a software development team in the areas of operating systems, compilers, graphics, or user interfaces.
* Extensive programming experience in OS and VM/CMS on IBM 360/370 and 3090 mainframe computer systems as well as Pascal, Fortran, PL/1, IBM TSO CLIST, SPF and JCL languages.
* Detailed training and moderate experience in programming with Macintosh, IBM AS/400, Unix on VAX 8800 computer as well as C, C++, MC68000 Assembler, Ada, LISP, Scheme, Prolog and SmallTalk languages.
* 5 years experience in software development, requirements analysis, testing and verification of small, medium and very large scientific applications.
* 2 years experience in budget analysis and planning.
* 4 years of practical teamwork and leadership experience in management training in Naval ROTC.
* Strong analytical and teaching skills.
STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Stanford, CA.
M.S. Computer Science expected, 6/9X.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles, CA.
Completed 7 courses in Artificial Intelligence Program, 2/9X-6/9X.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles, CA.
B.S. Aerospace Engineering, 6/9X.
COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Stanford, CA, 9/9X-present.
TEACHING ASSISTANT: Assisted professor in teaching Macintosh 68000 Assembly Language class. Designed, created and graded assembly language programming assignments.
ROLM SYSTEMS, Santa Clara, CA 6/9X-9/9X.
SOFTWARE TEST ENGINEER: Worked with a team to create and execute system error recovery test plan for AS/400 to CBX application. Prepared requirements and coordinated setup of lab equipment.
ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL, Downey, CA 2/9X-9/9X.
TECHNICAL STAFF: Created and maintained simulation, data analysis and software evaluation tools. Tested and verified requirements for Space Shuttle Navigation System.
Listed are additional guides also available with resume advice for specific situations.
- Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letters (for academic job searchers)
- PhD Pathways: Exploring Your Career Options
- Resumes and Cover Letters for Master's Level Students
- Teaching K-12
- Be Your Own Headhunter Online, Dixon and Tiersten.
- Electronic Resume Revolution, Kennedy.
- Electronic Resumes for the New Job Market, Weddle.
- Encyclopedia of Job-Winning Resumes, Fourier and Spin.
- From College to Career, Asher.
- Heart & Soul Resumes, Cochran and Peerce.
- Hook Up, Get Hired! The Internet Job Search Revolution, Kennedy.
- Internet Resumes, Weddle.
- Resumes, National Business Employment Weekly.
- Resumes That Knock 'Em Dead, Yate.
- Resumes That Mean Business, Eyler.
- The Smart Woman's Guide to Resumes and Job Hunting, King and Sheldon.
-Trashproof Resumes, Princeton Review.
- Use the Internet to Land Your Dream Job!, Goodwin, Cohn, and Spivey.