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Resume and CV

Once you’ve found a few jobs or internships that interest you, it’s time to dust off your resume, roll up your sleeves and begin the editing process. Resumes can be the first impression that you make on a potential employer. With that in mind, there are some simple techniques to creating a document that is engaging and speaks to your skills and experience. 

Design

First, consider reviewing the format of other resumes online (try searching "sample resume" or "resume examples"). Sometimes seeing different layouts can spark new ideas that you can implement into your own design. Each resume is different, however, and at the end of the day, your resume should be in a clean, clear format that reflects your own personal style. If you are using a resume template, make sure all fields are completed. Design your resume to look well-organized at first glance and double check for any spelling or errors in grammar.

Content

Be sure to include all of the necessary elements for your resume:

  • Name and contact information:This section is similar to your letterhead, and your name should be the first thing that draws the eye of the reader. Be thoughtful about the typeface and line elements you choose. You want your name to standout, without appearing overdone or cluttered.
  • Experience:Employers may read only the first few lines of your resume. For this reason, it is best to place the most relevant and most recent information at the top. For some this is education, for others it may be field experience. Highlight work experience relevant to the job or opportunity listing. You may find it is necessary to tailor the description of your skills and experiences to specifically align with the job requirements . For example, if you are applying to be a music teacher, be sure that your skills and experiences highlight past teaching opportunities as well as performances that may demonstrate a proven competency in the craft.
  • Education:List the school(s) attended, graduation dates and any major or focus of study. Include degrees earned and post graduate work as well. It is best to include all high school or college coursework that applies to the position.
  • Certifications, experiences or specializations specific to the job: These are tailored to your own work and history and are accomplishments or experiences that can help to set you apart from other applicants.

Be thoughtful about how much information you include. It is best to keep your resume to one page if possible. Some professionals suggest excluding high school experiences after you’ve completed college. Others may suggest including at least three entries for work experience regardless of when they occurred. This is a personal choice and you should decide what is best for your situation. Also, pay attention to legibility. It may be better to add a page than to decrease the font size. Potential employers will most likely be reading many resumes at one time and you should not create any additional barriers for them.

Target Your Resume

If you are planning to apply to multiple positions, tailor your resume for each one. In some cases this might not be necessary (for example, if you are applying to several similar teaching positions). Although this may be a bit time consuming, it is a way to guarantee that your resume is appropriate for each job posting and most employers appreciate this extra step.

Finally, reach out to friends and family to ask their opinion on how your resume looks and reads. After spending a few hours writing, it’s easy to overlook punctuation, spelling and the overall design of your resume. For this reason, it is always best to have at least one other person proofread your work.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) 

Where a resume is usually a 1-2 page description of your skills and experiences, a curriculum vitae (CV) is a detailed synopsis and includes four main sections:

  • A summary of your educational and academic backgrounds
  • Your previous teaching and research experiences
  • A list of publications, presentations, awards, or honors
  • Affiliations and other details

A CV is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions. It is also used when applying for fellowships or grants. When creating a CV, consider doing an online search to gather ideas about accepted formats and designs. 

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