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WINNING RESUME TEMPLATEESPECIALLY FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS First and Last Name Street Address – City, State ZIP Telephone Number – Email Address Professional Summary (can incorporate your objective) Your professional summary is your persuasive sales pitch that introduces you to potential employers and allows them to place you in context based on their hiring needs. Compose three to five sentences touting your key abilities and unique experience, with an emphasis on results. This section focuses on a combination of hard and soft skills. Tie your qualifications to the type of position you’re seeking
EDUCATION University Name (bold) Ph.D. / M.A., degree focus YEAR University Name (bold) B.A., degree focus YEAR • Usually GPA only if it is above 3.5, Honors Received (e.g. magna cum laude or Dean’s List), impressive academic recognition Study Abroad YEAR SKILLS/QUALIFICATIONS • This optional section can be used to enhance your summary and experience (especially if you lack substantial or relevant experience) while highlighting specific qualifications that match the job’s posted requirements that are either required for a particular job or are unique about you
• (Note: If you’re in a technology field, this section should definitely appear near the top of your resume under your Education or under a “Technical Skills” summary)
EXPERIENCE or RESEARCH EXPERIENCE Most Recent Job Title (bold), Company/Institution name, City, State (Month/Year – Month/Year) Brief overview of the position’s responsibilities, including an explanation of the organization – if it is not well known • Outline your most impressive accomplishments using bullet points. Focus on the results of your actions, not just your responsibilities. Include industry buzzwords and tangible numbers to support your experience. The eye is drawn to figures, especially on a sales resume • Focus on leadership roles and demonstrate how you’ve found solutions to challenges • Start every bullet with an impressive action word, and vary words throughout your resume Previous Job Title, Company/Institution, City, State (Month/Year – Month/Year) • Keep position summaries short and relevant. A potential employer is scanning your resume to see if you merit an interview – clear and concise is ideal • Don’t try to include your whole life story. Outline your most important and impressive accomplishments, not a complete menu of every task you’ve ever performed • As a general rule, the amount of information – both summaries and bullets – beneath each position should decrease as you move toward older assignments --continued-- Last Name, page 2 of 2Earlier Job Title, another Company/Institution, City, State (Month/Year – Month/Year)• Earlier jobs require minimal information, though they are important to demonstrate career advancementMEMBERSHIP/AFFILIATIONS• Professional memberships and volunteer work show your commitment to your industry and community. Mention leadership positions and briefly note relevant achievements
• This is especially valuable for recent grads and career changers to demonstrate that you’re making an effort to establish yourself in a new field
Other possible headings that can set you apart form the competition:TEACHING EXPERIENCEPUBLICATIONSPRESENTATIONS/CONFERENCESCERTIFICATIONSASSOCIATIONSAWARDSCITIZENSHIPCONSULTINGVOLUNTEERPATENTSRELEVANT COURSEWORK (bulleted and usually follows EDUCATION) Pointers for Perfection: Don’t use silly names or inappropriate terms in the email address on your resume
Avoid generic or vague phrases such as “looking for a position at a well-known company with room for growth.” Use the space to tout specific goals and accomplishments, and to tout your desire to work in a specific field
Don’t rely on spell-check to proof your resume. While it is a great tool, it will not pick up mistakes such as “and” when you meant “an,” which is a very common resume error
Tailor your resume for each position by tweaking your QUALIFCATIONS, most relevant responsibilities and accomplishments based on the needs of the opening you’re seeking to fill
Don’t use your marketing-focused resume for an IT position. Have multiple versions if you’re pursuing several different options
Skip marbled, fancy paper. Plain white is still the best option
Try to limit your resume to one page: However, advanced degree holders, especially PhDs applying to positions that require a PhD (i.e. bench work, research & development positions), current graduate students and professionals with 8-10 years or more experience may expand to two pages. Beyond that, seek a second opinion to determine if your expertise justifies any more space
Ask friends and colleagues to thoroughly review your resume: They should easily be able to tell you what position you are looking for and a few of your most impressive qualifications. It may seem obvious to you, but are your goals clear to others?
• Start every bullet with an impressive action word, and vary words throughout your resume Previous Job Title, Company/Institution, City, State (Month/Year – Month/Year) • Keep …
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A USC student guide to effective resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles from the USC Career Center.
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