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A free service that will enable you to create a powerful resume in minutes is Resume Companion.

A resume is a tool to help you sell yourself. The goal of writing a resume is to get an interview. There is not just one “right” format when creating a resume – there are hundreds of ways to create a resume. However, there are basic elements that should be included in all resumes. 

  • Your name, complete mailing address and phone numbers - If possible, also include a work or cell phone number and/or an e-mail address. Be sure your answering machine message and e-mail address are appropriate. Your answering machine’s message and e-mail address should be professional. Also, make anyone aware, who may be answering your phone, to conduct themselves in a professional matter. You never know when an employer may try to contact you and having someone answer your apartment phone with an inappropriate greeting will not get you off to a good start.
  • Summary - A summary is used to outline or highlight your qualifications, skills and experience. The summary is often titled: Summary of Qualifications, Highlights of Qualifications, Professional Profile, Career Summary, among others. This section that demonstrates to employers how your qualifications match their job requirements can appear in a short paragraph or a quick “bullet” format. It focuses on describing your related work experience, areas of expertise or specializations, and your strongest skills, abilities and proficiencies.
  • Education - As a graduate of Mitchell Technical Institute, there is no need to include your high school information. By providing your high school information, you are giving away your age to the potential employer. It also will free up space for more relevant information. However, if you feel providing your alma mater will give you an advantage over other candidates, by all means feel free to use it.
    • Include your level of education (Associates of Applied Science or Diploma), city and state the school is located in (Mitchell, SD), title of your program (Electrical Construction and Maintenance), date of graduation (May, 2002), if you have not yet graduated, you may indicate this by stating (pending, May 2002). Also, include under Education, any academic honors such as making the Director’s List or your GPA is over 3.0.
    • Relevant Course Work or Related Course Work may be another area you want to include on your resume. This highlights for the employer the skills you were taught. This may be especially important for a recent graduate with little work experience or for a program where the program title may not be a good descriptor of what occupations a graduate has been trained to perform.
  • Employer-related training, additional courses or workshops, certifications, or licenses - Include any industry related training such as workshops, certifications or licenses.
  • Work Experience – Include your job title (Cable Splicer), name of company (Splicing XYZ, Inc.) and city and state company is located (Mitchell, SD), dates of employment (April 2000 – September 2000) and state skills and achievements, not just responsibilities or duties. Use action verbs and short sentences when describing your skills and achievements. (For example: Managed personnel office; Provided patient care, counseling and support; Conducted training; Increased net profit in excess of 350% within 2-year period). List the most recent work experience first and continue back. Be sure to include any internships or on-the-job training.
  • Specific Skills – Stress those skills related to your career goal such as computer languages, software, hardware, equipment, etc.

Optional Elements

  • References - If you have space on your resume you may include a Reference Section that simply states, “References available by request”, References available upon request”, References available”. Because employers usually know that applicants can provide references, this statement is probably unnecessary. If you would like to include references or if references have been requested along with resume, it is best to include your references on a separate sheet that matches your resume. Copy and paste your resume heading onto a separate sheet with the title “References” and include 3 - 5 professional references. Include the reference’s name, job title, company/organization name, address, and phone number. It is best to use MTI instructors and former or current employers for your references. Personal references are not encouraged unless specifically requested, so leave off your best friend or your neighbor of 20 years. Be sure to get permission from the person before using him/her as a reference.
  • Hobbies and interests - Unless you have had unusual accomplishments in hobbies and interests, don’t include them. Do use this item if your hobby or interest is tied into the position or if you have had great accomplishments.
  • Personal data – Why offer information that would give someone the opportunity to discriminate or that has no that has nothing to do with your ability to do the job?
  • Career Objective - A career objective indicates the kind of job you are seeking. It should be specific enough to imply that you know what type of job you are seeking, but not so specific that an employer wouldn’t consider you for other related positions. Many individuals prefer to use a summary instead of a career objective.

Resumes Styles

  • Chronological resume – covers your work history from your earliest, pertinent job to your most recent one. It gives employers a quick fix on you, especially if you’ve stayed in one or two industries.
  • Functional resume – details your work history by skills and functions. This style is good if you have a wide range of skills and work experiences. It also helps you hid gaps in your employment.
  • Combination resume – blends elements of both styles.

Additional Tips on Resume Writing

  • Pay special attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar and style.
  • Proofread your resume carefully and have several other people review it.
  • Use a dictionary, thesaurus and even a resource such as the SD Occupational Outlook Handbook (available online or in MTI Instructional Services or Career Services) when writing a resume. These are great resources to help with word selection.
  • Tailor your information to the job you are seeking.
  • Try to keep your resume to one page, never more than two pages. Usually a recent graduate will not have difficulty limiting their resume to one page. A veteran employee, however, may have enough relevant accomplishments and experiences to warrant two pages. Create visual interest by using short paragraphs, bullets and white space. Bullets are eye-catching.
  • Use an 11 or 12-point font for text to ensure readability. Use a slightly larger font for headings so they stand out.
  • Use action verbs and short sentences.
  • Tenses should all agree. The summary or objective should be in the present tense, present experiences in the present tense, and past experiences in the past tense.
  • Quantify whenever possible. It makes a difference if you managed a staff of 2 or 20.
  • Edit your resume many times to improve word choice and eliminate redundancy.
  • Avoid using jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations.
  • Make your resume easy to read. Avoid overcrowding. Underline, capitalize and use bold print for emphasis. Use a simple, easy to read font.
  • Use good-quality white or off-white bond paper.
  • Use a laser printer.
  • Use a 9” X 12” envelope so your resume will arrive unwrinkled. Include a return address on the front of the envelope.
  • When mailing a resume, include a cover letter. If you are distributing resumes at a job fair, you do not need to include a cover letter.
  • Don’t send copies, only originals. If you fax or e-mail a copy, follow-up with an original using the postal service.
  • Helpful resources, which include hundreds of sample resumes, are available in the MTI Career Services Office.

There are several resources, including samples, available in the MTI Career Services Office on resume writing. Students are encouraged to utilize these resources. Individual assistance is also available upon request. For more information on or assistance with preparing a resume, visit the MTI Career Services Office.

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