Tag Archives: Resumes

Resume Tips and Tricks Program Recap

Your resume is your brand and it is important that your resume effectively communicates the most relevant information possible related to the position you are applying for.  Your resume is a living and breathing document and it should change for each position you apply for as well as every time you learn a new skill, take on additional responsibilities, or complete a major project.

There are three types of resumes:

  1. Chronological – This is the most common type of resume and focuses on your work history.  It is used to emphasize continuous employment as well as highlight the major duties and accomplishments for each job.  You should use this format if you are applying for a job in your current field or if your experiences and skills are intimately linked.
  2. Functional – The least common format, yet it does have its purpose, especially if you are transitioning careers or have long gaps in your employment history.  This format emphasizes the skills and knowledge you learned throughout our education/work/volunteering, including job/field specific skills (software) and soft/transferable skills (communication, problem solving).  Use this format if the profession or job cares more about your skill set rather than strictly work experience.
  3. Hybrid – A more popular format, it allows you to combine the best elements of your skill set and work history, allowing you to showcase how your skills were used in your job duties/responsibilities.  Additionally, you can include any professional experience such as coursework and volunteering within a Professional Experience section, focusing on relevant experience rather than just all of your past employment.  This format allows for much more flexibility and customization which can be useful when applying to multiple jobs, especially across different fields.

Once you have your general resume written, it is important to tailor it to each specific job you apply for.  It is recommended to go through the job description and highlight keywords, skills, and other important requirements, including numerical qualifiers – years of experience, number of people supervised, etc.  Once you have finished this, go back to your resume and see how much of your resume matches what is in the job description.  The more overlap you have, the more likely your resume will pass through the Application Tracking System many organizations use to filter out electronic applications.  You may need to rewrite major portions of your resume, especially your job duties and responsibilities, to better reflect what is stated in the job description, but the extra will pay off with a more professional and better targeted resume that will impress.

Some other general tips include:

  • Keep your resume to 1 page, 2 at most if everything is related to the requirements of the job
  • Use san serif fonts, such as Courier, Times New Roman, or Helvitica – these fonts are easier on the eyes and allow Applicant Tracking Systems to more accurately pull information from your resume
  • Keep font sizes between 10 – 12, except for major headings which can be up to 14
  • Adjust your margins as needed to fit all of your information on 1 page, but be aware that some programs will not print out anything beyond the standard .5 inch margins
  • While graphic resumes are eye-catching and allow you to express yourself in bold and impressive ways, there is a higher chance that they will be unreadable or significantly altered if opened in a different software program or uploaded to an Applicant Tracking System.

You can download a copy of the presentation at https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Resume.pdf.  You can download a copy of the handouts at https://www.njstatelib.org/assets/ResumeHandouts.pdf.

Resume Tips and Tricks

Your resume is the most powerful tool when getting a job.  It is your brand and defines who you are as a person as well as a job candidate.  Powerful resumes compel readers to want to know more about you while succinctly demonstrating what value you bring to any potential job.  Please join us as we discuss:

  • The different types of resumes and when to use them
  • How to create powerful words and phrases
  • How to tailor and transform resumes
  • How to beat the online application system

 

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Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 1 Program Recap

Resumes and cover letters serve as your introduction to and first impression on potential employers.  As a result, it is critical that your resume and cover letter are polished and effectively communicate your strengths, skills, and accomplishments.  Your resume is essentially Your Brand and represents everything that you are.  Therefore, it is important to make sure your resume, and by extension your cover letter, are tailored specifically to the job you are applying for and complement each other with being exact duplicates of each other.  Here are some important tips to remember when drafting and submitting your resume:

  • A functional resume, while less common, focuses more on your skills, proficiency, and objectives rather than your work history.  This can be a great way to structure your resume if you are changing careers, unemployed or in a single job for a long time, or fresh out of school.
  • A chronological resume is the most common type of resumes and focuses more on your work history to show an upward or lateral progression in a certain career or profession as well as highlight continuous employment.  Always list your current or most recent job first and then work backwards in time.  Listing the last 10 years of employment is generally sufficient if you have held multiple jobs; if you are looking to advance in a particular field or career, it is worthwhile to list more than the last 10 years as long as those jobs relate to the skills or profession you are in.
  • Use bullet-points to list your skills, job duties, and responsibilities rather than paragraphs.  This will make it easier for employers to find the skills they are looking for and it will make your resume easier to read.  In the same vein, when using bullet-points, also list the most important or impactful skills and job duties first, especially those that are related to the job for which you are applying.
  • Be Consistent!  Whether it is punctuating at the end of your bullet-points or choosing the tense of the verbs in your description, always be consistent in both your resume and cover letter.
  • Use ACTION VERBS when describing your skills and job duties and try to link your duties, responsibilities, and accomplishment to certain goals or results, whether they can be measured or not.

For much more information on resumes, please visit the Prepare tab on the Career Connections website available at www.careerconnections.nj.gov.   For more information on careers and occupations, including summaries and required/desired skills, visit CareerOneStop at www.CareerOneStop.org.

Top-Notch Resumes I: The Basics Class Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended our Lunchtime Learning class today Top Notch Resumes: The Basics.  In our class today, we learned how to create an effective resume, craft a cover letter, and navigate the New Jersey Civil Service website.

A reminder that we are offering 1:1 or small group sessions on building a resume.  This session will be based on what we learned in class and will give you time and space to construct your resume with assistance.  Please contact me at 609-278-2640 x162 or rfitzpatrick@njstatelib.org to set up an appointment.

Here are some of the online resources we reviewed in class:

Career Connections-remember Resume writing resources are grouped under the “Prepare” section.

Career One Stop-this is a Federal site which hosts Occupational Profiles, useful for mining keywords to use in your resume.

Job and Career Accelerator-this database can either be accessed remotely through the New Jersey State Library by State Employees and TESU community members with a State Library Card.   New Jersey residents may access via Jersey Clicks with a local public library card.  You may also use J&CA on the public access computers at the State Library.

Get Help: Employment Research Guide-has links to resume templates, cover letter advice, job hunting sites and more.

New Jersey State Library Test Book collection-the Library is pleased to offer study guides produced by the National Learning Corporation for those taking a Civil Service Exam.  Test Books can be searched in the Library catalog.  For best results, use the advanced search and restrict the NJSL Collection field to “Test Books”.

In addition, please see below for the two worksheets that were distributed.  If you have questions or need assistance with any of the resources described above, please contact the Reference Department at 609-278-2640 x103 or refdesk@njstatelib.org.

Our next class in the Career Connection series will be LinkedIn 101 on September 27th, 2017.

Resume Prep Worksheet – SLIC developed

Navigating the Civil Service Website to view and apply for jobs