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 Post subject: Skill Sharing: Resumes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:12 pm
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Location: MKE
I saw a few people asking about resumes, and I thought I would share what I know. If you have specific questions or comments, want to add or change what I say, feel free!

My first step in resumes is pretty obvious: put together a list of everything you've done and categorize it by education, work experience, honors and scholarships, and other experience. If there is another category that works for you, or any of these would have nothing under them, then make appropriate substitutions.

Next, look at what the resume is going to be used for. For this, I look at what skills the potential employer/school/etc wants (as listed in the description, program name, type of job, etc), what they want you to be able to accomplish, and who they are affiliated with. These things tell me what is important to the person receiving the resume so I can focus on those things.

If the requirement is for a one page resume, which is common, and usually for general resumes, I go through my categorized lists and take out everything that does not apply in any way to the application. For example, when applying for legal internships and fellowships, I do not include my jobs in college where I worked in the cafeteria, doing maintenance, and as a night desk receptionist, but I do include clubs I was in that are related to my legal field (college ACLU chapter and LGBT clubs because I do family law and civil rights law).

If your resume would be well under a page if you edited like this, then I would include everything, but arrange it in a way that focuses on what is relevant by splitting categories to include things like related jobs, other work experiences, languages spoken, etc.

If you'd like, I can post a copy of my resume (with some info taken out for privacy purposes) before and after I edit. I'm also willing to help people make/edit resumes if they want to post or pm them to me.

I hope this helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Skill Sharing: Resumes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:00 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:26 pm
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Location: Denver
On one page resumes, how do you handle gaps in employment when you take irrelevant jobs out? I would prefer to list relevant work, but also know that employment gaps are generally frowned upon.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill Sharing: Resumes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:15 am 
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Has it on Blue Vinyl
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luckyklutz wrote:
On one page resumes, how do you handle gaps in employment when you take irrelevant jobs out? I would prefer to list relevant work, but also know that employment gaps are generally frowned upon.


I have had a wide variety of work experiences, and the way I handle that is to just entitle my work experience section Relevant [or Applicable] Work Experience. It hasn't been a problem for me, but you could always just have a separate section entitled Other Work Experience in addition to account for potential employers wondering about employment gaps.


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 Post subject: Re: Skill Sharing: Resumes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:53 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:12 pm
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Location: MKE
I would separate it into relevant and other employment/work experience, or only the 'relevant' section (and use that label to make sure they know this is only what applies to them), and either address the gap in the cover letter, or be prepared to tell them about it in the interview.

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"I think I am going to turn into a chickpea." ~Dakini
Love is like a pineapple, sweet and undefinable ~ Piet Hein


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 Post subject: Re: Skill Sharing: Resumes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:52 am 
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WRETCHED
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:54 pm
Posts: 8940
Location: Maryland/DC area
Some of the biggest mistakes I see with resumes are fairly simple things.
- Spellcheck, you have it, please use it
- Be concise, this isn't an essay. Use your cover letter for that
- Cover letter, if you have an option to provide one, do so
- Tell me why you are a good fit for the job. I've seen so many resumes, especially in this economy that make me wonder if you accidentally applied for the job. Your cover letter is one way to relate your job experiences, interests and goals to the job but your resume should convey that as well. Specific tips below.
- Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for if you are applying for a specific job. Your resume should map somewhat to the job description.
- if applying for a more generic job, search out a job description for the type of job you want and try to tailor your resume for that type of job.
- Your objective should let me know that the job you are applying for matches your career goals
- emphasize certain job experiences to match the job description. Even vastly different jobs could share some useful skills.
- if you've taken classes somewhat recently that match the job description, briefly describe those in the education portion of the resume
- include any volunteer work that might be relevant
- overall, try to sell yourself. This is a buyers market so be your own best advocate.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill Sharing: Resumes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 10650
Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Thanks for the tips, guys! I'm the queen of multi-page ridiculous resumes and overwritten, zealous cover letters.

For gaps in employment, I've always gotten away with saying I was freelancing. It's true, but people don't seem to care if it was one small gig over the course of a year or the equivalent of a full-time job. I know it doesn't necessarily work in everyone's field though.


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