Resume Writing

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A resume is an advertising tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview for a prospective job. This course is divided into three units that will collectively help you develop your resume writing skills, provide you with tools to create an impressive resume (or to improve the one you already have), and give you suggestions on developing an effective cover letter. (For more detailed information regarding cover letters, see Drive's Cover Letters course).

You will study different types of resume and cover letter formats that can be applied to various prospective employment situations and your own personal career goals.  You will undertake a critical assessment of the professional skills you already possess, brainstorm and apply the best ways to market these skills in your resume and cover letter, and enhance your application materials by using specific tips and techniques to make you more competitive for the job you seek.  By the end of this course, you will combine effective language and design elements to produce a polished resume and cover letter that can be tailored to each specific job application.

  


Unit 1: An Introduction to the Resume  

In this introductory unit, you will learn about the function of a professional resume and the different types of resumes typically presented in today's job market. These different types of resume formats can be applied to various prospective employment situations and your own personal career goals. Also, you will learn about various formats in which to present a resume (e.g. a conventional resume, a functional or skills-based resume, a chronological resume, etc.).  Finally, you will collect information about your own professional skills and accomplishments in order to prepare for building your own resume later in this course.

Course Goals/Objectives

  • Explain the purpose of a professional resume, and discuss the benefits and disadvantages of resumes.
  • Describe different types of professional resumes and their functions.
  • Identify and describe different modes of resume presentation as well as best-practice techniques for creating a professional resume.
  • Summarize the personal information needed to create a resume.

 

 


Lesson 1: The Purpose of a Resume
This chapter describes an effective resume as "...principally an objective summary of your skills and achievements, secondly a subtly clever argument that you are worth hiring, and finally a reflection of your individuality." Click on the link below to access "Chapter 8: Resumes" and read through the introduction. Select the green "I'm Done" button in the top, right-hand corner to acknowledge that you have completed this section and to return to the course menu.

Lesson 2: Conventional Resumes
Click on the lesson link below to access "Writing the Conventional Resume." This section discusses how a conventional resume is organized and highlights key elements of each. Select the green "I'm Done" button in the top, right-hand corner to acknowledge that you have completed this section and to return to the course menu.

Lesson 3: Job Search Success
Please click on the link below and read sections 4.1-4.9 of chapter 4 (pages 93-128).  This chapter provides helpful instructions to construct various parts of the resume and an accompanying sample of each part. Please note the exercises are not required. Click the green "I'm Done" button in the top, right-hand corner to acknowledge that you have completed this section and to return to the course menu.

Lesson 4: Writing an Effective Resume
For this lesson, read the presented article, which explains common mistakes in resume writing and teaches how to format resumes for web-based and paper-based applications. One common mistake is to assume that there is only one correct layout or format for a resume. A chronological resume is more traditional and lists job titles and dates in reverse chronology (most recent/current job first). A skills resume emphasizes your strengths by combining activities from various sources of experience, for example, school, paid jobs, volunteer work, etc. Your decision as to what format to use for a given target job will depend on your work history and the nature of your desired position. The article also specifies information to include in various parts of your resume. Click the green "I'm Done" button in the top, right-hand corner to acknowledge that you have completed this section and to return to the course menu.

Lesson 5: Federal Resumes
Click on the link below to study the lesson resource. For this lesson, navigate to page 6 titled Module 2: What is a Federal Resume? This section contains detailed information about how to ensure that your resume and cover letter meet the formatting and style requirements when applying for a federal job. Additionally, this module provides many examples of federal resumes and cover letters for reference. (NOTE: Modules 3 - 7 are optional and are not required for the purposes of this course.) Click the green "I'm Done" button in the top, right-hand corner to acknowledge that you have completed this section and to return to the course menu.

Lesson 6: Cover Letters
Click on the lesson link below and read about how to create an audience-friendly cover letter.  As an optional supplement to this reading, you may also choose to enroll in Drive's Cover Letters course. Click the green "I'm Done" button in the top, right-hand corner to acknowledge that you have completed this section. This is the last lesson of the unit. Please return to the course menu to review any of the course's lesson material and then proceed on to the course quiz.

Publisher Website: www.saylor.org