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The art of crafting an effective resume should be taught in school since it's so meaningful in our working lives. Most of us learned how to create our resumes from online samples and campus career-counseling handbooks, but those basic examples can only help us so much. While I'm not a professional career counselor or resume builder, I have a keen eye for resume blunders and have been helping my friends with their resumes for years. Think your resume could use a second opinion? Upload your resume without your personal information (or private message me) and I'll offer my advice on how to polish it to perfection.

Moving to LA Résumé, Remedied

Posted By Smart Living on May 9, 2008 at 6:44AM

TeamSugar member ErieIndiana is moving to LA and will need a new job in her new city, so she submitted her résumé to my Resume Remedy group to get it ready for her job search. She's concerned about what's appropriate to include and what isn't and said, "I have research experience from college but I am unsure whether or not I should keep it. I am also published... but should I include that as well? It pushes my resume to 2 pages and it might not be important to the jobs that I apply for. I imagine that I will only be able to apply for assistant/entry level jobs because I don't have a masters."

  1. Order, order! She has a lot of varied experience and manages to pack it all into one page, but we're getting quantity and not quality. Instead of focusing on certain experiences and highlighting them with specific examples of her accomplishments, it shows her range of experience without telling us much about what she got out of all of that work. You're trying to sell yourself with your résumé, and can't do a good sales job if your means to an end isn't put together well. Tailoring résumés is always a good idea, and it's especially important if you have varied experience. Only include your vast research experience if it's relevant to the position for which you're applying; otherwise, choose one or two of the research gigs and place them after your work experience. Also, in general it's a good idea to list your experiences from most recent to oldest.

To see my other suggestions just

  1. Just include the good stuff. She's worried that including she's published will put her over one page, but I can spy a few things that seem less important than her in-print accomplishment. For example, I find it unnecessary for her to include that she worked at her college's bookstore and is able to use a register. Unless she's applying for a job that would require relevant skills she should get rid of it. Also, she should nix the line at the end of her resume that says "Less recent work experience and community service locations and dates are available upon request."
  2. If you're highly involved with the community, include a section titled Affiliations: Community service surely has a place on professional résumés because it shows that you're well-rounded. Instead of disregarding them or trying to lump them in where they don't really belong, create a special section at the end of your résumé for other affiliations.
  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again, punctuate! It may seem nit-picky, but it's important that your résumé is a complete and well polished package for it to be as effective as possible. And by effective I mean getting an interview! Be sure to add periods at the end of each sentence.
  4. Bella said it best: Bella commented that ErieIndiana should "do more showing rather than telling." I personally think her comment is the most important thing to remember about your résumé — prospective employers want to see that you've learned from your experiences and what you could contribute to their company based on your acquired skills. If you're simply stating what happened, and not demonstrating with specific accomplishments, they're not getting a good idea of what you can bring to the table.