What is a Resume?
Resumes are 1-2 page summaries of your work experience, education qualifications, skills and achievements.
Chances are universities requesting resumes would spend around 1-2 minutes scanning your resume to get a brief idea of your profile. To cater to this expectation, your resume needs to be concise with sufficient white space to allow comfortable reading.
Guidelines for Preparing a Resume
- Do not exceed two pages.
- Re-evaluate your experience. Consequently, think creatively about how your academic experience can be translated into the necessary skills for a non-academic environment.
- Consider mentioning skills such as project management, leadership, teamwork, effective communication, and meeting deadlines.
- Choose action verbs to describe your experience. Practical examples of how to tell your experience would be: "Responsible for handling 50+ client calls per day …", "Exceeded sales goal by 7% …" or "Trained 5 junior team members on compliance procedures …". This not only tells the reader about your experiences but highlights the outcome of each experience.
- Listing your experiences in descending order, with the latest knowledge on top, makes the most sense, as the admission committee would want to see your most recent qualifications first.
- Include a well-written objective; state the type of position and work setting you seek, your skills or abilities, and your long-term goals.
- Ensure that your resume supports your objective.
- Emphasize skills and accomplishments.
- List some relevant presentations, publications, and papers, but not all of them.
- Tailor your resume to the role you are seeking. First, look at the job description and highlight the experience and skills that seem essential. Then, look at your resume with fresh eyes, and consider how you can better incorporate the skills you've noticed in the job description.
- Create several versions of your resume: a hard copy (ready to print and hand out to your network or interviewers), a version that can be scanned (limit the italics and other word processing treatments), and a plain text version (a plain text file or Text-Only document that can be copied and pasted into online applications).
- Have someone proofread it.
Skeleton of a Resume
Name | Phone | Email Address
STATEMENT OF PROFESSIONAL OBJECTIVE
Describe clearly and succinctly in one sentence why you are applying for the position, summarizing the type of position you are seeking, where you want to work, and what aspect of the field you are interested in.
Employers use summary statements to weed out the clueless from the savvy. Here are some examples that strike the right balance between breadth and specifics:
- Seeking a challenging position as a computer programmer, incorporating skills in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining
- Desire a role in a management-consulting organization requiring outstanding verbal, analytical, and teamwork skills
- Looking for a position as an analytical chemist in a semiconductor manufacturing company specializing in transmission electron microscopy
QUALIFICATION AND SUMMARY
In 2-3 bullet points, describe your most important capabilities that, usually include the essential skills for the job you are applying to, years of experience, credentials or areas of specialization.
Mention in reverse chronological order the Name of the institution (PhD, master's, bachelor's), location of institution and year of graduation, department or significant and academic honours (i.e., distinction), and any professional certificates or accreditation or minors.
Don't mention the titles of your theses (that might go into work experience but only if applicable), the Name of your adviser, or your GPA (if it is requested, often along with GRE/SAT scores; list it/them separately), and your high school's Name.
List three to five internships or jobs that highlight the skill set that is most desirable to the employer, highlighting how you made a difference by citing specifics and using quantifiable measures of what you did. For example, don't just say you TA'd a lab section; tell employers that you "taught introductory laboratory chemistry to 23 students.
You should use action verbs in active past or present tense. For example, rather than saying, "I was responsible for the operation, maintenance, student training, and certification of users for x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 1992-1995," say, "I maintained and operated x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. I trained and certified 44 students over 3 years."
If you are just out of college with little work experience, you can write about Something particularly notable in college. For example, I was the technical director of a theatre on campus.
To write your experiences, follow this format: Job title | Name of the organization | Location (city, state) of the organization, and year of employment (nobody cares about months)
Something which is not covered already. For example, computer skills and foreign-language skills can be included here.
WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE
Your hobbies, Date of birth, marital status, number of children you have, and salary requirements.
While this is optional, including some excellent references can help your case. Mention the person's full Name, job title, place of employment, relationship to you, complete address, phone number, and email address