Writing a Resume
Writing a resume can be a daunting task. The Wellesley Free Library has books and online resources to help you. Check out the online tools Optimal Resume and LearningExpress Library for the most up to date information on resume best practices as well as great tips on landing the interview. For the latest in print, check out the Careers section on the second floor of the Main Branch, located next to the Reference Desk.
- Helpful videos on using the databases and interview tips: http://www.atozdatabases.com/introvideos
- Under “Find a Job”, use the “Cover Letters, Resumes & Tips” link for helpful resources.
- Common Good Careers – “Resumes 2.0 – A Round Up of Web-Based Resume Creation Tools”
- Harvard Business Review – “How to Write a Resume That Stands Out”
- Quint Careers – Resume builder, templates and examples
- Resume Baking – Resume builder, templates, examples
- Resume Help – Free resume tips, examples and templates
- Resumes & Vitas – Resources from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Avoid the Top 10 Resume Mistakes – Peter Vogt
It’s deceptively easy to make mistakes on your resume and exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer receives it. Prevention is critical, so use the guide below to avoid pitfalls.
1. Typos and Grammatical Errors – Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. No exceptions.
2. Lack of Specifics – Employers need to understand what you’ve done and accomplished. Be specific and give detail by quantifying your items. Review the examples below and take note of ‘b’.
- Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.
- Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more then 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales.
3. Attempting One Size Fits All – Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them and the position you want. they expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.
4. Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments – It’s easy to list job duties on your resume, but employers are looking for what you accomplished in your past positions. They are looking for statements like these:
- Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Word-based file for organizational reference.
- Developed three daily activities for pre-school children and prepared them for a 10-minute holiday program.
- Reorganized 10 years worth of unwieldy files, making them easily accessible to department members.
5. Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short – Usually you need to limit your resume to two pages, but don’t feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don’t cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard.
6. A Bad Objective – Give employers something specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own. Example: “A challenging entry-level marketing position that allows me to contribute my skills and experience in fund-raising for nonprofits.”
7. No Action Verbs – Use action verbs as opposed to “responsible for”. For example:
- “Resolved user questions as part of an IT help desk for 4,000 students and staff.”
8. Leaving Off Important Information – You may be tempted to eliminate mention of jobs you had to earn extra money for school. However, the soft skills you gained in those positions can be very valuable.
9. Visually Too Busy – If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise.
10. Incorrect Contact Information – Double-check even the most minute details.