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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Write a Resume - Job Applications - Resume Template

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Hello my Socratica Friends!

Were here to help you be a GREAT student.

I know we mostly talk about STUDYING in this series, but today were going to discuss

what happens at the end of all that studying.

Youre going to have to get a JOB.

And to do that, you have to APPLY for a job.

And to do THAT, youre going to need a RESUME.

Your resume doesnt have to be -

actually, it SHOULDNT be -

your complete life story.

Its just intended to get you an interview.

You want enough targeted detail that will get the attention of a potential employer.

Your resume should be ONE simple page thats FAST to read.

Because honestly, theyll probably only look at it for a few seconds before they decide

whether youre amaybeor your resume goes right in the trash.

So before you start, create a separate document that is just for you.

This is where youll keep track of ALL your experience.

Every bit of volunteering, all the little silly one-off jobs youve done, internships,

class projects - ALL of it.

Youre not going to put it all on your resume, but its great to have this resource

to look back on when you write the real deal.

A TARGETED RESUME focuses on a specific job opening.

It highlights the skills and experiences relevant to this ONE particular position.

So this means youre going to edit - or even rewrite -

your resume for each specific job.

I know that sounds like a lot of work, but this kind of resume will set you apart.

It makes it clear to the hiring manager that

you are taking this application process seriously.

Now Im not suggesting you do this for every.

single.

job opening you see.

Id save it for the positions where you really are a good fit.

Start by reviewing the job description carefully.

Make a list of the qualifications and skills theyre looking for.

This will tell you what to emphasize in your edited resume.

The ad for the job should list Responsibilities -

take a look at what youd be expected to do.

Consider, carefully, if you really want to do these things.

For instance, one of my friends turned down a job as a forensic scientist

because she was expected to be on call and to drive to crime scenes all hours of the

day and night.

The list of responsibilities can also help you decide if youre even qualified to apply.

If all the tasks look unfamiliar, its probably not a good fit.

Having said that - dont talk yourself out of a job because

you dont meet 100 percent of the qualifications.

You can learn on the job, after all.

Did you know that women often hold themselves back in this area?

A recent study by Hewlett Packard showed that while on average, men will

apply for a job if they have 60 percent of the qualifications,

the average woman will only apply

if she has 100 percent of the qualifications.

A follow up study was performed to see if that was

because of a lack of faith in their abilities -

it turns out it wasnt that, but rather women thought it

would be a waste of time to apply, that they

wouldnt be considered if they didnt meet 100% of the qualifications.

This is *mostly* not true!

This also may stem from a desire to follow the rules, but it turns out, this isnt

really a rule.

Youre not being a senseless rebel applying for these jobs.

Youre just putting yourself out there for consideration.

If youre not picked, thats okay.

Whats that saying aboutyou miss 100% of the shots you dont take.”

Its true!

Speaking of giving it a shot - Im going to put this out there:

Did you know Socratica has a Patreon?

If you love our content, consider sponsoring our work.

Every single gift makes a huge difference for us.

Basically, it allows us to keep making our educational videos free for the world.

So all you job seekers, keep us in mind once you land that job.

But first - lets get back to making you a killer resume.

Pay close attention to the language of the job listing.

Do you see the termself-starter?”

Thats code for being able to work independently, without someone giving you

a detailed daily task list.

If thats not you, thats okay.

Its not a sin to be the kind of person who likes to follow instructions rather than

strike out on their own every day.

But it IS important to know this about yourself, so you dont take a job that will

make you miserable.

What are some other phrases we can decode?

Multi-tasking” - that means there are going to be a lot of different tasks to juggle.

Do you see the termdeadline-driven?”

Thats code for - this is a job that gets stressful when things are down to the wire.

If you crumble in this situation, dont apply.

There are some people who thrive in that environment.

And there are other jobs that just dont work that way.

Remember, you are choosing to apply for jobs, just as much as they are choosing whether

or not to hire you.

Sometimes, honestly, the job listings arent written very well, and they dont tell you

a lot about the company or the job.

Thats when you have to use your Googly skills.

(We have a video all about getting better search results, by the way).

Do your research about the company.

Visit their website, and read theirAbout Ussection.

You may even see short biographies of their employees, and, hopefully,

more thorough job descriptions.

If youre still not sure what the job would entail, try googling the job title.

What is aMarketing Coordinator,” anyway?

GoogleMarketing Coordinator Job Description” - and read up about it.

This step is essential.

You must be very clear about the Job Title.

For instance, if youre a Biologist:

LabTechnician, Lab Manager, Research Assistant, Research Associate...

these titles are all distinct, and give you a clue about how much

experience is needed and what your duties would be.

If you have doubts, ask someone you know with this job title to explain what the job entails.

Lets say youre applying to be a computer programmer.

With a little research youll figure out that computer programmers have to:

Know one or more computer languages (they should be specified in the job listing - for

example, C++,Python, Java)

They have to: Write computer programs;

Update computer programs;

Troubleshoot programs;

Test software

and More general skills would include:

Analytical thinking; Attention to detail; Collaboration; and Focus

This brings up the difference between hard and soft skills, and different jobs will require

different sets of both of these.

Hard skills are teachable and can be quantified.

If you hold a degree in electrical engineering, or received a certificate that you program

in C, thats a hard skill.

Soft skills are more subjective and more difficult to quantify, and for the most part you acquire

them indirectly, gradually, through experience.

For example, you might say you have excellent interpersonal skills, or

youre a strong leader, but its not like you have a degree in leadership.

Now that youve done your research, make a list of Keywords youre going to use in

your resume that are specific to this job listing.

For a computer programmer, these may include:

Applications, Certifications, Configuration, Debugging,

Design, Implementation, Infrastructure, Maintenance,

Network Architecture, Restoration, Solution Delivery, Usability.

Do you see Project Management in the job requirements?

this involves attention to detail, leadership skills, benchmarking, budget planning,

performance reviews, task delegation, scheduling, quality control, and more.

Were paying a lot of attention here to keywords because -

and this is kind of a dirty little secret -

your resume might be read by a computer before a person ever gets the chance to see it.

If you dont have the right terms and keywords, your resume wont pass that first software

scan and {pfft sound, tossing away} - into the trash it goes.

This is another reason why its SO important to write a targeted resume.

We found this great site when we were googling around that listed specific skills required

for each job.

Well include the link below.

Remember this may change because some fields are rapidly evolving.

Make sure you know what is the current terminology.

Has it changed recently?

There has been a lot of disruption in various fields.

You dont want to come off like a dinosaur who would need a lot of retraining.

Now lets talk specifics.

Were going to have just a few sections on ONE page:

Name and Contact info - those are easy.

Qualifications

Education

and Experience Highlights.

Think clear, easy to read.

Wherever you can, use a bulleted list rather than writing paragraphs.

Dont make the font too small - 12 point font will ensure that no one has to squint.

Section headers can be a little larger or make them bold.

Your name at the top can also be a little larger.

Pick a simple, standard font like Arial or Times New Roman.

I could see making an exception if youre applying for a design job.

In that case, feel free to play around a little bit.

Maybe even consider an infographic type resume.

Thats not our specialty here at Socratica, but if you ARE a design specialist, youll

know what Im talking about.

Everyone else - now is not the time to be playful or showy.

Contact information: get a gmail account and make sure it is neutral and professional.

Hacker Ninja Boy @ aol DOT com is not going to inspire a lot of confidence.

If possible, use first name DOT last name @ gmail DOT com.

If thats too long (I get it, it is for me), pick a simplified version of your name.

First initial last name or...something along those lines.

The Qualifications section is a CONCISE summary.

This is where you should focus on how you are a good match for this specific position.

Make sure to work in the keywords from the job posting.

In fact, we recommend you start with the actual job listing, and just rewrite it as a bulleted

list of all the qualifications you meet.

It should be almost laughably obvious that you are a good match, based on this summary.

Dont include anything extraneous here.

Trim your Education section to the bare bones.

Listing your degree is sufficient, unless it somehow adds to your qualifications.

For instance, if youre applying to teach at a prep school, by all means include the

name of your preppy high school.

If you havent received your degree yet, write the anticipated date when youll graduate.

This last section - Experience Highlights - is where you will draw from that

master list of ALL your experience.

Be EXTREMELY choosy here - were looking for 4 or 5 entries in a bulleted list.

Focus on your accomplishments, not your daily responsibilities.

Try to put yourself in the mindset of your would-be employer - what problem is the recruiter

trying to solve.

Dont organize it chronologically or in terms of how long you were at a job - rather,

put the most relevant experience at the top.

This might mean listing a very brief position from your past at the top of the list.

Thats okay.

Include ACTION words at the start of each line in your bulleted list.

These should give examples of how you have performed in the past, and will continue to

perform if you get the job.

Here are some of our favourites, in no particular order:

Created/ Developed/ Established/ Launched - in other words,

what new piece of work did you contribute.

Improved/ Increased (as in Increased Sales)/ or Decreased (as in Decreased waste) -

how did you make things that were already in place better

Negotiated/ Resolved/ Solved -

how did you face challenges

Managed/ Trained/ Mentored -

how did you contribute to a functional workplace by taking on some of the leadership tasks

Dont bother with vague positive statements likehighly motivatedora real go-getter

or evenhard worker.”

Its pretty much a given that an employer expects you to be a hard worker

who will get the job done.

These kinds of cliches make people tune out because they dont offer any real information

about you.

Remember to USE NUMBERS to quantify your experience, when you can.

You assisted 40 people in library searches each day, you were responsible for the $20,000

budget for the school events committee.

You led a team of 6 on the expedition, you created a portfolio of 10 unique paintings

that were exhibited in the arts gallery.

What if youre a college student and you think you dont HAVE any relevant experience?

OK, Id be really surprised if you have ZERO experience.

Think creatively here.

You may not think your job at the bookstore is relevant, but you developed customer service

skills there.

Were you a Boy Scout?

Think about the leadership opportunities you had, leading younger scouts.

You can also have a little more leeway as a current student, to focus more on relevant

experience from your education.

You can list the courses that are relevant to the job youre applying for.

Include appropriate academic awards, internships, and extracurricular activities that can help

you write about your special skills.

Were you in the theatre group?

Did you get experience with sales - selling tickets, working with sponsors?

Did you get experience meeting deadlines on the school paper?

Again, be specific - twenty issues, always on time.

Dont list references.

Its understood that references areavailable upon request” - BUT.

Make sure you have at least a couple people lined up ahead of time who

have good things to say about you.

If you find yourself having to chase after them, or theyre not returning your calls,

that person may not be a good choice.

Ask someone else.

Finally, print out a copy to check how it looks.

Edit and Proofread VERY carefully.

Typos on a resume just make you look bad.

Pay special attention to spelling names correctly and getting the dates right.

If youre handing out your resume at job fairs or conferences, its even more important

to make sure it fits on one page.

You can always make a second version that is longer, for different circumstances.

For instance, a CV (curriculum vitae) that you see in academia is often much longer,

especially because it will include a list of publications.

Thats a story for another day.

Do you have a mentor at your current job?

Ask for feedback.

You dont have to take every piece of advice you get, but its valuable to hear how people

respond to your resume.

Even if youre not applying for a job right now, its a smart idea to write a resume

and keep it updated.

Just writing your experience down can be a good exercise.

It should make you reflect back on what youve learned, and if there are gaps in your training

you want to fill.

For instance, if youve never had the chance to lead a team, thats going to become obvious

to you when you start writing your resume.

Thats a sign that it's time to look for that kind of experience.

Were not saying you have to aspire to be a leader, its more that experience in various

areas will help you understand what kinds of jobs you are well-suited for.

We hope you see that building your resume is as much for you as for potential employers.

Its all part of being a GREAT STUDENT...and eventually, getting a GREAT JOB.

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