How to Make a Resume
Because of the volume of resumes employers receive; most of them now use some kind of resume tracking or applicant tracking system. This automates many of the tasks necessary for tracking candidates, and also makes it possible for an employer to find a resume they received months or years later. As a result of the technologies used, its important to keep your resume in a certain format that will be correctly read and interpreted by the systems. This used to be referred to as a “scannable” resume because of the hardware that used to scan paper resumes into the computer. Now, career websites and resumes received via email are “parsed” and stored in a database.
Once your resume is stored electronically, employers use keywords to match the stored resumes with their open positions. In order to find the resumes, employers (and recruiters) use keyword searches, usually a boolean search.
Because of the technologies involved in parsing the resume, it is important to keep the format of your resume very simple and somewhat plain. This means that you should generally avoid fancy fonts, graphics and and other “special effects” that don’t always make it through the technologies correctly, at least for your electronic resume (you might want a more elaborate version to hand out at job fairs, but it really isn’t necessary). A resume that is not formatted correctly won’t appear in a search for matching keywords, which greatly reduces your chances of landing interviews. I have seen some resumes come through with “gibberish” as a result of the writer trying to use charts or pictures on their resume.
Resume Format >>>
Here are some practical tips for formatting your resume:
• Use a simple font. Do not use a decorate font. Times New Roman and Arial parse most accurately and are the “standard” fonts for business communication, which your resume is.
• Use a standard font size. For business communications, fonts of 10 and 12 points are the norm.
• Avoid using charts, pictures, tables or graphs in your resume. These rarely make it through. If you have information that needs to be in that format, consider an addendum to your resume or, perhaps, a web page that you have created that stores the information, with a link to the web page from your resume.
• If you are applying for a job where it’s important to show off your formatting or creative skills to land a job, such as a Web Designer or Graphic Artist position, distribute copies of your fancy paper resume at interviews. Better yet, send both a fancy and plain resume format, or create a fancy Web resume and portfolio, and include the URL in your emailed resume or cover letter
Technical Resumes – Tips, Samples, Examples and Templates
Your resume remains one of the most important components of your job search. A well written resume that gives the employer an accurate view of your skills will help you stand out from the crowd. Here are links to some of my favorite resume tips, resume samples and free resume templates. I have also included links to some actual resumes of employees I have hired in the past for various technical companies.
Resume Writing Tips – How Not To Write a Resume
A recent poll of technical recruiters and hiring managers asked for the top “pet peeves” – things they see on resumes and cover letters that make them less interested in speaking with a candidate. These make great examples of how not to write your resume.
• Use of the current “tense” in all jobs on the resume.
• Writing the resume or cover letter in the third person.
• Too many grammar and spelling mistakes.
• Use of tiny, tiny fonts (10 pt or less) so as to cram as much information into the resume as possible.
• Photos on resumes (this is a cultural preference).
• A listing of their personal interests and activities.
• Sending a resume attachment named 41808res.doc – use your name or descriptive label.
• Writing the resume using table formats (columns).
• Using a resume that is password protected (without sending the password).
• Including references – but not professional ones – just friends and co-workers.
• Having no contact information on the resume or including a phone number that is no longer valid.
• When a candidate’s email address is not appropriate for the work environment. Example: BigFoxyMama@.com
• Resumes that are too long. Most seem to feel that general descriptions pertaining to work history for the last 10 years is sufficient.
• Resume stuffing, for example, listing of every software application you’ve ever touched as a “skill”.
• Education written so its not clear if the degree was obtained.
• Job hopping, which could be contract positions but it’s not explained. (If you have been on short term contracts, make sure you clarify that they are contract jobs).
Top 7 Tips for Effective Resumes
Ever hear the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Your resume gives a potential employer a powerful message about what kind of employee you would be. With only a few seconds to capture the attention of the reader and showcase your extensive skills, you need to make the most of your resume. Read on for resume tips and tricks.
1. Resume Tip 1: Spell Check and “Reality Check”
Before you submit your resume, make sure you give it a spell check using your word processing software. After you spell check it, have someone else give it a quick “reality check” to make sure that the spell checker didn’t miss anything and to make sure that you didn’t make a mistake that your computer can’t catch. It is important that you get a second set of eyes to look over the document that could be responsible for your next job.
2. Resume Tip 2: Not Too Long, But Not Too Short
How long should your resume be? This is always a tough call. Some experts believe a one page resume is the perfect length. I would disagree, unless you really have few skills and experiences to share. Go into enough detail to give an accurate view of your skills, but not so long that the reader falls asleep. You do not need to list every project you have ever worked on. Summarize, but be inclusive.
3. Resume Tip 3: Formatting Counts
Have 2 versions of your resume available. One to be viewed online, and one to be handed out at in-person interviews and job fairs. Fancy formatting with pretty fonts, lines, boxes and bullet points just does not make it through on most computers. Anything you send or submit online should have very basic formatting (spacing and paragraph breaks, for example).
4. Resume Tip 4: Keywords are Key
When an employer searches a database, they use keywords. In general, they expect the results to be representative of what they are searching for. This should mean a couple of things to the resume writer:
• Include relevant keywords in your resume, because this is how you will be found.
• Don’t stuff your resume with keywords that are not relevant of your experience. A list of keywords that do not represent your expertise should be avoided.
Check out How to Make a Resume for more on keywords.
5. Resume Tip 5: Include the Basics
A technical resume should include the following information sections.
• An objective: 1-2 sentences describing what you want, customize this for the job you are applying for.
• Education: Any degrees you have completed or are working on, as well as relevant classes or certifications. Only include your GPA if it is very high.
• Experience: List your past employers and/or major projects you have worked on. Start with the most recent.
• Technology Summary: List only the technologies you know well.
6. Resume Tip 6: Have Multiple Versions
If you are in more than one role (or have skills that may fit more than one role) you should have multiple versions of your resume available that highlight those skills. For example, if you have years of experience as a software engineer, and also have project management expertise, have two resumes: one highlighting your software engineer experience and another highlighting your project management experience.
7. Resume Tip 7: Make Your Resume Viewable
Recruiters and hiring managers like to search and “source” for candidates. If your resume (or bio) is not someplace where an employer can find it, then they don’t know you exist. In addition to the regular job boards.
Resume Writing – Guidelines for New Grads
Resume Writing – A Guide for New Grads
Purpose of Resume Writing
When you are writing your resume, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of the resume. The resume is meant to spark interest in you as a candidate. Your resume writing should be with the intent to get an interview, not a job offer. It is not meant to list every single course, skill or accomplishment you have. Remember, resumes get interviews, not jobs.
The resume should do the following:
Create a positive first impression. This is done by showcasing your communication skills and making the resume easy to read. The resume should be succinct and easy to follow.
Tell who you are. When you are writing your resume, you are telling the reader who you are and why they should consider you for a position.
Describe what you have learned. Especially for a new grad, your resume should highlight the courses and projects that are applicable for the job you hope to be hired for.
List your accomplishments. Your resume should highlight any special accomplishments you have achieved. If you made a 4.0 while working full time, were awarded a special scholarship, or received special recognition of some kind, it should be listed under your accomplishments.
In order to make your resume pleasant and easy to read, you will want to follow some resume format guidelines. The resume format is important because you want to make sure to keep the reader’s interest and, ultimately, be called for the interview. A poorly formatted resume, one that is hard to read, contains many errors, or doesn’t flow well, is not likely to accomplish your goal.
Resume Format – General Guidelines
The following guidelines follow typical resume format and business letter writing standards. These a general resume format rules:
• Font size of 10 or 12
• Perfectly typed with about a 1 inch margin (even if sending via email, since it will likely be printed out)
• Use only one font. You may vary size for emphasis, if necessary.
• Do not use different font styles. If you need to call attention to something, you can bold it, but use this sparingly.
• Avoid all-capital letters and italics as they are difficult to read.
Resume Format – Section Titles
• Begin your resume with a heading which includes your name, address, phone number and email address. This is usually centered at the top or left justified.
• Omit personal information such as age, sex, or marital status.
• The resume objective states the position type you are seeking. It looks very professional if you tailor the objective to the position you are applying for. Other than that, don’t make this section too narrow.
• A well organized technical skills or career skills section can be placed after the objective. This should include skills in which you are at least proficient.
• The education section should identify your training by listing the university(s) attended with degree(s) conferred, major, and grade point average.
• The work experience section comes next and details the most recent positions or areas of expertise first and continues in reverse chronological order. Project experience can be listed here if you don’t have any formal work experience. I also see many graduates add internships and their larger projects in this section.
• The accomplishments section comes last and highlights specific areas in which you have excelled, including leadership activities, memberships, and honors or awards.
Before Writing Your Resume
Before you sit down to write your resume, it is helpful to think through a couple of points. The first is to think in keyword terms, because employers will use them to search for resumes.
Some general keyword examples:
• Ability to … (delegate, supervise, etc.), analytical ability, detail oriented, problem solving, results oriented, communication skills, team leader, lead
Some technology industry examples:
• Software, systems, UNIX, Linux, SQL, Oracle, java, .NET, Operating System, CAD, Mechanical systems, Design, OO Programming, SDLC, coded, programmed, administered, engineer, programmer, developer, network, Cisco, Microsoft
Tips for Resume Design
The following tips for resume design will help ensure that your resume is easy to read and can be parsed to a resume database properly.
• Keep the resume design simple. Using a standard resume template will help with this.
• Use standard font styles (Times New Roman and Arial are standard.
• Use a font size from 10 to 14. Font sizes of 10 and 12 are standard, with some titles and headings in a larger font.
• Avoid ‘fancy’ styles (italics, underline, bold, fancy fonts etc.).
• Do not use horizontal or vertical lines, graphics, charts, tables or boxes. They don’t parse well to resume databases and they often print out looking funky.
• Use bold fonts for section headings.
• Use common names for section headings (i.e., Education, Experience, Technical Sills, etc.)
• Put your name at the beginning of the resume, with contact information on separate lines, immediately following the name. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have to read through the entire resume to find an email or phone number.
• Avoid abbreviations, except for popular acronyms.
• Be concise in your descriptions of projects and work experience. Longer is not necessarily better!
After the Resume
After the resume is written, make sure to proofread. See these Resume Tips for more ideas that will help ensure your resume gives the best first impression possible!
Print the resume out, to see how it looks for a manager that might prefer hard copies. Adjust any spacing as necessary. You will want printed resume copies to take with you to job fairs and interviews.
Sample Resume – Experienced New Grad Resume Sample
Resume Sample – New Grad
This resume sample is from an experienced new grad. Use this resume sample as a guide for writing your own resume.
1255 University Avenue
Sacramento, CA -95825
jshah@email dot com
To obtain a challenging internship/full time position in the field of Computer Science and Software Engineering.
M.S. in Computer Science, California State University, Sacramento, CA, USA GPA- 3.7/4.0
B.E in Computer Engineering, C.U.Shah Engineering College, India GPA-3.8/4.0
Programming Languages: BASIC, C, C++, VB6.0, PROLOG, COBOL, VC++, HTML, DHTML, J2EE, JSP, JAVA, ASP, ASP.NET, C#.NET, PHP, XML,JCL
Communication/Network Protocols : TCP/IP, Mobile IP, VoIP, 802.11
Operating Systems: UNIX, Linux, SUN Solaris, Windows NT, Windows 2000 server, HP-UX ,Mainframe
Database: Oracle 8i, SQL, MS Access 2000, FoxPro, Microsoft SQL server 2000, MySql server 5.0, DB2
Intern Data Analyst, May 06-sep 06, Vision Service Plan (VSP):
Migration of Metadata web site:
Phase 1: Move the Old Web Site to new IIS server: Since the Metadata web site was running on old IIS box, we were facing the speed and crashing issues everyday. So the first phase of this project was to move the current structure of Metadata web site which is ASP pages and MS Access Database to new server.
Phase 2: Migrate the Database from Access to DB2: Due to the business need and reliability issues, Data base of Metadata was migrated from Access Data base to DB2 Database. I was responsible for designing the new database schema, conversion of all the queries into the DB2 compatible format, as well as change the ASP code to fetch correct data using DB2 database.
Phase 3: Change the Front end: To make the Metadata web site more user friendly, I have re design all the ASP pages and added some extra facilities which can help the user to find information easily. The new front end is more organized and meets all the standards of VSP intranet.
Data mart design and implementation for Engineering Dept of CSUS (M.S. Project): To maintain the quality education of CSUS, design the web site and accept the feed back from the users i.e. faculty, students and workers about the quality of education, current majors offered by CSUS, Courses offered, Lab facilities as well as the education level of faculty members using ASP.NET and store that data into data mart using OLAP facilities of Analysis Manager of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and generate useful reports using Pivot tables of MS Excel. The current statistics are on MS Access 2000.
Data link layer: Designed and implemented a data link layer services using UNIX and C – Socket utilities. The Project provides all the functionalities of the data link layer like flow control, error control using CRC-16 protocol, piggybacking, and compression using algorithm at client and server.
Execution of the Instruction Using Pipelining: Using Hardware Language, Verilog, implement the 5 stages of the pipeline with nop as a detection and correction of the data hazard between multiple instructions, which are executing simultaneously in the pipelining and also generate the corresponding control signal using hardwired and microcode logic.
Voice Recognition: Software that can recognize the voice identifies the pitch of the tone and makes a graph of the comparison, and telephony application to record your messages. Online Hotel Booking: Developing a 3-tier application for hotel booking using J2EE, JSP, JDBC, My SQL Server 4.1 and HTML, Tomcat Server.
Design basic Compiler Utilities Using SML: For a given source code and gral’s grammar definition, provide parsing which can convert the given source code into abstract syntax, provide static semantic to validate the given code, provide dynamic semantic to generate the desirable result for given source code.
Solve problem definition using various Algorithms: Develop various Algorithms such as Divide and Conquer, Backtracking, Dynamic Programming, Branch and Bound to solve given problem.
Design SRS for Iguana Vision Inc.: As a part of SDLC, Design the SRS document to specify the functional and non-functional requirements as they pertain to the intended product to be designed by Iguana Vision, Inc for Single Medical Provider Franchise. The scope of this document is to describe the proposed inputs, outputs, problems, proposed logical & technical solutions to those problems and project management aspects which can help to take design, development and validation related decisions. Here Client wishes to expand their medical practice by providing a single provider franchise license with turn key software to manage the business. One key portion of business management is the scheduling and management of client appointments for different types of services using Use case diagram, ERD, Data Dictionary, Class Diagram and UML modeling.
• Mobile Computing
• Programming Language Principles
• Advanced Computer Networks
• Database Design
• Data Model &Data Management System
• Data warehousing and Data Mining
• Software Engineering
• Telecommunication Network Management
• Algorithm and Paradigms
• Computer Architecture
• Data Mining and Data warehouse
Honors & Activities
Presented a National Level Paper on “Hacking” at C. U. Shah College of Engineering and Technology, Surendranagar, India.
Lead the Technical Committee in and organized Technophile State level symposium.
PROFILE: Sincere, Hardworking, Self Motivated, excellent written & oral communications skills, quick-learner, Team-Player, Able to adapt to new work environments & situations, possesses responsible leadership qualities.
Example of a Software Engineer Resume
555 Main Street
Sacramento, CA 95628
myname@myemail dot com
A results-driven, customer-focused, articulate and analytical Senior Software Engineer who can think “out of the box”. Strong in design and integration problem solving skills. Expert in Java, C#, .NET, and T-SQL with database analysis and design. Skilled in developing business plans, requirements specifications, user documentation, and architectural systems research. Strong written and verbal communications. Interested in a challenging technical track career in an application development environment.
• Engineering web development, all layers, from database to services to user interfaces
• Supporting legacy systems with backups of all cases to/from parallel systems
• Analysis and design of databases and user interfaces
• Managing requirements
• Implementing software development life cycle policies and procedures
• Managing and supporting multiple projects
• Highly adaptable in quickly changing technical environments with very strong organizational and analytical skills
E*Trade Financial, Sacramento, CA July 2002 – Present
Software Engineer (Customer Service Systems)
• Re-engineered customer account software systems used by brokerage teams. Web developer for user interfaces to trading inquiries, support parallel systems.
• Developed and implemented new feedback system for users concerns, bugs, and defect tracking regarding use and functionality of new interfaces.
• Coded web designed interfaces using Java, XML, XSL, AJAX, and JWS.
• Support system for existing intranet for employees, including designing and developing the Advantage@Work system company wide.
• Code and support provided through ASP.NET, T-SQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle 9i.
• Collaborated in the development of in-house development of new banking software interfaces. Supported existing legacy system to provide newly created cases and insured they were available in the systems in parallel until legacy systems were retired.
Intel Corporation, Folsom, CA Jan 2000 – Jul 2002
Systems Programmer (Remote Servers and SSL Product Analyst)
• Deployed and tested Remote Installation Services(RIS)-Server Installs on Windows XP.
• Focused deployment of Server builds and handled some client builds.
• Modified Visual Basic applications for use in post-server builds for customizing builds.
• Researched RIS and Active Directory for future deployment world-wide. Presented findings to both the Networking Operating System Network Technology Integration team and the Microsoft Joint Development Team (JDP) at Intel. Produced a document binder for RIS and Active Directory to follow the project to the next team representative.
• Wrote bi-monthly progress reports, participated in weekly staff meetings and JDP team meetings designed to develop white paper processing.
• Provide technical support to the SSL team, managing inventory.
• Participated in testing and use of new SAP system as it was integrated into Intel.
• Managed Chipset products for IO Business Units.
CSU Chico, Chico, CA 2000 – 2002
Business Department (Visual Basic Teaching Assistant)
Computer Science Department (Supervisor MS Office Suite Teaching Assistant)
• Supervised all lab assistants, guiding them with student project development.
• Provided one-to-one guidance with Visual Basic programming instruction techniques.
• Wrote small program projects for assignments.
• Presented structured learning labs where students could ask questions regarding Visual Basic Programming construct and syntax.
• Prepared structured teaching guides pertaining to chapter material that complimented the lectures by the professor.
• Provided customized software for tracking student progress throughout the semester. It included reporting for the professor on assessments, projects, homework, lab work, attendance, and overall grades.
• Databases: MySQL, Oracle, Access, SAP
• Software: Microsoft Office, Remedy, Microsoft SQL Server, DB Artisan, Eclipse, Visual Studio.NET, FrontPage
• Languages: C#, Java, Visual Basic, ASP, XML, XSL, JWS, SQL, and T-SQL
CALIFORINA STATE UNIVERSITY, Chico, CA
BS Computer Science/ Business Minor
COLLEGE OF THE SISKIYOUS, Weed, CA
AS Computer Science
3 sample of General resume
87 Washington Street
Hopedale, NY 11233
Hopedale, NY: BA, American Studies
Cumulative GPA: 3.93
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY STUDY ABROAD
University of Trier, Germany (Summer 2005)
Washington, DC: Washington Semester in American Politics (Spring 2004)
RESEARCH AND ANALYTICAL EXPERIENCE
U.S. Department of Education
Intern, Office of the Deputy Secretary (Spring 2005)
• Generated concise written synopses of current legislative action for use by the Department, Congress members, and the general public through the ED website.
• Researched and presented to policymakers several successful school design and construction projects to support the Administration Schools as Centers of Community proposal.
Washington Semester Independent Research Project
American University (Spring 2004)
• Examined how the increasing dependence of needy students on federal loans instead of grants for higher education has affected college access and enrollment; culminating in 65-page paper
Historical Society of Saratoga Springs
Research Assistant (Spring 2003)
• Researched archival materials, wrote text panels and selected objects for a historical exhibit on Saratoga in the 1930s
Vice President/Academic Affairs
Student Government Association, XYZ University (2003-2004)
• Chaired 60-member body representing each academic department and student perspectives on curricular issues
• Participated in college-wide policy decisions concerning such ethical issues as the sale of cigarettes on campus
• Made detailed oral and written presentations of curricular reform actions in public student fora
Presidential Search Committee
XYZ University (2002-2004)
• Served as one of two students on a college-wide committee to nominate the sixth President of XYZ University, through all stages including:
o A detailed self-study of institutional needs and goals to determine selection criteria
o Search for, and hire of, a higher-education specialty consultant
o Written evaluation of each applicant, interviews and final recommendation to the Board of Trustees
Honors Forum Council
Student Body Representative, XYZ University (2001-2002)
• Set goals and guidelines for the first two years of Skidmore?019s innovative, comprehensive honors program whose mission is to increase intellectual engagement and academic rigor in students?019 freshman and sophomore years
Student Alumni Society: Founding Member (2002-present)
Committee on Academic Freedoms: Student Representative (2002-present)
Skidmore Orchestra: French Horn (2001-present)
American Studies Club: Secretary (2001-present)
Proficient in written and spoken German
Extensive experience with Internet Explorer, HTML, Lexis-Nexis and Microsoft Office
Sample 2: Resume
67-61 75th Street
Any town, NY 00000
(555) 555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org 87 Washington Street
Hopedale, NY 11233
Bachelor of Arts, May 2000
Major: Psychology. Minor: Studio Art
BRITISH AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LONDON
Student during the semester of Spring 1999 London, ENGLAND
Fall 1999 AMERICA READS PROJECT
• Assisted children ages 6-7 with the fundamentals of reading
• Aided with capitalization, punctuation and printing
• Read stories aloud, entreating children to address content
• Helped with other activities, from math assignments to art projects
• Eased frustration by providing support and encouragement Hopedale, NY
1997-1999 XXX CAREER SERVICES
• Gathered alumni career surveys and updated hundreds of data files utilizing Microsoft Access
• Maintained employer literature and credential, counseling and recruiting information files
• Compiled materials needed for mailing of credential requests
• Performed various administrative duties Hopedale, NY
Summer 1999 CITYARTS, INC.
• Researched corporate and foundation funding sources, using resources at the Foundation Center
• Drafted preliminary correspondence with possible philanthropists
• Prepared grant applications and supporting materials
• Helped with fundraising events such as benefit auction
• Provided general office support New York, NY
Summer 1999 MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART
• Supervised young participants in painting workshop
• Aided children in the creative process by providing support with painting
• Assisted the lead artist in all phases of project implementation, from hanging canvases to cleaning workspace New York, NY
Fall 1995 NEW YORK PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP
• Collaborated with others to rebuild a brownstone in Brooklyn under the auspices of Habitat for Humanity
• Recruited others to participate in NYPIRG meetings and events
• Posted material around the Queens College campus which advocated public awareness of issues Flushing, NY
Microsoft Word, Microsoft Access, Netscape, and research databases, including PsychInfo. Travel throughout Europe.
Resume Sample 3: Resume/Student
Hopedale, NY 11233
(555) 555-5555 PERMANENT ADDRESS
155 Essex Street
Anytown, CT 00000
XYZ University, Hopedale, NY
Candidate for Bachelor of Arts, May 2000
Major: Government 3.83 GPA Minor: Business 3.87 GPA
The Williams School, New London, CT
High School Degree, June 1995
Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., New Haven CT, Summer 1999
Completed a rigorous internship working closely with retail and institutional brokers examining US markets and industries. Researched and analyzed equities, derivatives, and bonds utilizing Merrill Lynch computer systems.
Hartford Superior Court, Hartford CT, Summer 1998
Conducted in-depth project studying daily flow within the courthouse including data collection and analysis utilizing Microsoft Excel. Participated in data correction and filing in both criminal and civil case flow offices.
Social Integrity Board Chairman, XYZ University, Fall 1999 – Present
Appointed by Student Government Association Executive Committee and confirmed by Student Senate as member of Social Integrity Board. Adjudicate and sanction students in violation of the XXX Student Codes of Conduct. Lead board members in delivering opinions and sanctions to students in hearings and written form. Conduct cases in close collaboration with Head of Residential Life and examine XXX’s social policies and honor code.
Student Speakers Bureau Member, XYZ University, Fall 1998 – Present
Allocate funds to various organizations throughout the XXX community to bring speakers to campus.
• Microsoft Office 2000
• Microsoft Excel
• Microsoft Access • PowerPoint
• Lotus 1-2-3 • I.E. 4.0 and Netscape 4.6
• Adobe PhotoShop 5.0
• HTML/Web Publishing