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Polishing Your Resume: Presenting Your Best Self

So you’ve decided to explore your career options. Maybe you want to take advantage of the new transfer plan and apply for a position in a different school, or maybe you want to apply for a position in another field altogether. Whichever it is, the first thing you have to do is prepare a resume that emphasizes your accomplishments and helps you stand out from the crowd. Remember, your resume is a marketing tool, not a personnel history. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

By Linda Pinzon

  • Keep your resume short, crisp and to the point. Start out with a concise objective tailored to the job you are seeking. Initially, most resumes are not read, they are skimmed.
  • State your objective clearly. Organizations and schools want resumes demonstrating clear, strong organization including easy to read font size and space to provide the reader with an opportunity to absorb what is presented. If you are including too much information in order to produce an organized resume, more editing is necessary. A rule of thumb: a resume should be no longer than two pages.
  • Provide detail, but using out-dated information such as your college G.P.A. will just clutter your resume. Prospective employers want relevant, up to date information about you such as your involvement in professional organizations and training in current practices.
  • If you are seeking employment similar to what you are doing now and a license is a requirement, placing the Education section first is the way to go!
  • Changing careers? Also list your education first since you may have no experience in the field you are trying to enter.
  • When listing your experience, present your work experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with your current or most recent employer. By omitting the months, you’ll be able to conceal any gaps that may exist in your employment history.
  • Showcase your unique accomplishments, especially ones that will enhance your skills in the position you wish to obtain. For example, publications, volunteer work and outside interests can make a resume more interesting. Employers are looking for exciting accomplishments. When you don’t list them, your resume will pale in the face of the competition. Inventory your work experience and state the most important achievements as they relate to the position you are seeking.
  • Review your resume. Don’t forget to check for grammatical and spelling errors. Have someone experienced review your resume, especially if you are not having success.
  • Submitting your resume can be done by regular and overnight mail, fax and e-mail. However, many companies and school districts may request submission of electronic resumes. This can be an excellent way to get your resume into the system quickly. Print out a copy to proofread before hitting “submit!”