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   My CA
 Tips For Success -- The Resume
   Preparing To Write      Resume Tips      Resume Types      Cover Letter      Action Words      Internet Sources

IMPORTANT NOTE:  California Unemployment Insurance claimants must go to CalJOBS to create a resume that can be seen by employers.

A resume is a brief, written summary of your skills and experience. It is an overview of who you are and a tool to present yourself to employers. The goal of a well-written resume is to gain a job interview. Job interviews may lead to employment!

Employers and personnel managers are very busy and tend to rapidly review resumes. Therefore, your resume must quickly catch the employer's attention. Writing a brief, to the point description of your experience and skills can do this. Tell the truth on your resume. Write your resume to describe how your skills will meet the employer's needs.

When applying for a job, read the job advertisement or announcement very carefully. Then customize your resume by writing up your skills to describe and match what the employer is looking for. It is helpful to describe your experience and skills by using some of the same words the employer used in the job advertisement.

Read each of the WorkSmart resume sections for helpful suggestions, before getting started on writing your resume.

Preparing to Write Your Resume

Writing a resume requires a little time and planning. However, it is well worth the effort. It is a good idea to begin by writing a master resume. Having an attractive resume on hand that stresses your strongest skills, better prepares you to attend job fairs and respond to a large number of jobs advertised in newspapers and on the Internet.

Get organized! Before beginning to write your resume:

  1. Gather information on your past employment: employer names and addresses, and dates of employment.
  2. Gather information for personal references: names and addresses.
  3. Research information on the employer. (See "Research the Employer" under "How to Find a Job.")
  4. Select a quiet area to gather your thoughts and begin working on your resume.
  5. Decide what type of resume suits you best: chronological, functional, or automated. (See "Resume Types" below.)
 Resume Tips
  1. Make your resume short (one page, if possible, two pages at most).
  2. Use white or ivory paper.
  3. Type your resume on a computer, when possible. (If you do not have access to a computer visit your local Job Service office, One-Stop Career Center, or local public library for help.)
  4. Use action words to describe your work skills. (See "Action Words" below.)
  5. Stress skills, knowledge, and abilities that fulfill the job requirements.
  6. Be specific about accomplishments, but do not stretch the truth.
  7. Provide information about career goals.
  8. Make it attractive.
  9. Emphasize most recent jobs.
  10. Proofread it for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors.
  11. If possible, have someone else check your resume for errors.
  12. Save references and personal data for the interview.
  13. Avoid date of birth.
  14. Avoid salaries or the reason for leaving the last job.
  15. Ask yourself "Would I interview this person?"
  16. Keep your resume current.
  17. Finally, prepare a cover letter to introduce your resume. (See "Cover Letter" below.)
 Resume Types

When preparing to write your resume, it is very important to select the type of resume that best suits your past work history, and presents your experience and skills in the best light.

Review the resume types listed below to choose the resume type that will work the best for you.

Chronological Resume

A chronological resume lists your most recent job duties and employment dates first. This type of resume tends to be fact-based and may be easily skimmed. It works for those with experience and a steady job history. It is difficult for career changers and those who lack on-the-job experience.

Employers tend to prefer a chronological resume because it is easier to read and review the work history dates and work experience. However, this resume type displays flaws more easily, such as employment gaps.

For specific instructions, go to:  Writing the Chronological Resume

Functional Resume

A functional resume focuses on skills, experience, and accomplishments. A functional resume works best for the following conditions:

  • Your work history is not related to the job
  • Your related experience is not your most recent job
  • You have gaps in your work history
  • You have not worked recently
  • You are just entering the job market

In a functional resume you are advertising your specific qualifications, not the order in which you obtained them. Functional resumes let you emphasize volunteer or civic experience, training, or education.

The functional resume is not usually the favorite resume type among employers, as it is a little more difficult to read. The work history and career paths are not as clear. However, it is important to select the resume type that displays your special qualities to the best advantage.

For specific instructions, go to:  Writing the Functional Resume

Automated Resume (Keyword, or Scannable)

An automated, keyword, or scannable resume is formatted to read well when scanned by a computer system. The resume is scanned and entered in a database that can then be searched by keywords so that the applicant's qualifications are matched with the employer's needs. (Keywords describe skills that are commonly used in the career field.) Generally, it is the larger employers (with 100 or more employees) who scan resumes to retain information in databases for future use.

For specific instructions, go to:  Writing the Automated Resume

 Cover Letter

A cover letter is a short introduction letter that accompanies your resume. The cover letter should persuade the employer to read your resume. It is especially important to use a cover letter when mailing a resume to an employer.

For specific instructions, go to:  Writing the Cover Letter

Resume Action Words

When writing a resume it is a good idea to describe your skills and responsibilities with action words. Write up your skills in brief bulleted lists that begin with action words that emphasize your strong points.

The following list provides a small sampling of common action words to get you started:

 Various Skills
Achieved
Arranged
Built
Collected
Contributed
Delivered
Designed
Dispatched
Examined
Improved
Increased
Informed
Maintained
Organized
Performed
Purchased
Prepared
Scheduled
Supervised
Trained
Technical Skills
Assembled
Balanced
Built
Calculated
Cut
Designed
Detected
Developed
Formed
Generated
Inspected
Installed
Maintained
Molded
Operated
Packaged
Processed
Remodeled
Sales Skills
Accomplished
Arbitrated
Budgeted
Computed
Consulted
Demonstrated
Dissuaded
Exceeded
Forecasted
Generated
Increased
Influenced
Marketed
Ordered
Persuaded
Produced
Projected
Promoted
Realized
Saved
Sold

 Communication Skills
Addressed
Authored
Clarified
Created
Demonstrated
Drafted
Presented
Persuaded
Proofread
Reported

Clerical Skills
Assigned
Balanced
Catalogued
Charted
Compiled
Composed
Distributed
Edited
Followed up
Identified
Ordered
Planned
Prepared
Recorded

Helping Skills
Assisted
Attended
Comforted
Consoled
Encouraged
Facilitated
Guided
Helped
Nursed
Reassured
Served
Supported
Tutored

 Additional Resume Resources on the Internet

Refer to the Internet sites below for additional information on writing a resume. These links are provided for the convenience of our users. The EDD is not responsible for content of these sites and no endorsement is implied.

 JobStar "Resumes"   http://www.jobstar.org/tools/resume/index.htm
 The Resume Shop   http://www.cyber-north.com/resume/

IMPORTANT NOTE:  California Unemployment Insurance claimants must go to CalJOBS to create a resume that can be seen by employers.

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