Describing Your Qualifications

RESUMES

A vital step in looking for a job is preparing a resume, a brief presentation of your experience and qualifications that makes an employer want to interview you.

Students often have questions about how to assemble a resume. Here are some answers.

Above all, remember that a resume is not a life history. It is a presentation in outline form of your education, work and other experiences which highlights and describes those aspects which you think best portray your qualifications for employment. It is directed to a specific audience for a specific purpose.

The particular mix of qualifications that an employer prefers will depend on the job being filled. The more you know about what the employer is looking for, the better you can tailor your resume.

If you are an undergraduate, graduating senior, or graduate student seeking summer or part-time employment, your resume will be a presentation that documents your general qualifications:

Your ability to learn quickly;

to adapt to new environments;

to research, analyze, and solve problems;

to work with and/or lead a team;

to follow instructions;

to deal with ambiguity;

to make decisions; and

to communicate effectively.

Preparing to write your resume. Start by writing a comprehenseive outline of all the experiences and facts you might want to include in your resume. Keep this outline as a reference while you experiment with a variety of formats and styles and deletions of the information.

Understand what employers are looking for. Identify serveral prospective employers and gather information-ideally from visiting people at the place of work, or at least from company and vocational literature-about what qualifications that kind of job requires.