Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How To Create An Effective Social Service Résumé

Developing a concise well-written résumé is the key to landing that great job you’ve always wanted. Your résumé is the only real way to sell yourself, especially nowadays when most résumés are submitted electronically. Hopefully this entry will provide several important tips to make sure that your résumé stands out amongst the rest.

Your résumé must clearly indicate your qualifications and abilities that you have gained through work experience and education. These must demonstrate how they make you the number one candidate. Your abilities and experience should include your licenses, certifications, special training courses, projects, internships, field placements, educational degrees or diplomas, volunteer experiences, and professional activities. Your résumé will not be complete without mention of your level of computer and language skills. In a competitive society a secondary language or knowledge of certain computer software may be just the edge you need to set yourself apart from the other applicants.

When submitting your electronic résumé you should make note of any special directions in the job advertisement. For example, some employers will request that your résumé be sent via attachment in MS Word Format, Rich Text Format, or even within the text body of the email itself. It would be a shame to be disqualified for a position based solely on the fact that the potential employer could not access your résumé properly.

Your résumé should include the following sections:

Personal Data: Name, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address.

Career Objective: In one or two statements clearly indicate the field or position you are seeking.

Summary of Qualifications: Last level of completed education, number of years of experience, field of specialization, associations, memberships, computer and technical skills, written and spoken languages.

Awards, Achievements and/or Publications: accomplishments that will differentiate you from other candidates with the achievement dates.

Work Experience: Precise title of position held, name of organization, period of employment, city and province of organization. (List jobs in inverse chronological order.) If you decide to describe your responsibilities in this section, make sure to use an action verb at the past tense for past employment and present tense for actual employment

Professional Skills: Group skills into categories and give examples by constructing brief statements starting with an action verb.

Community Involvement and Volunteer Experience: Describe your volunteer activities in order to underline your personality, interests and qualifications. Include the title of the position held, organization name and geographical location. Again, list your responsibilities by starting with an action verb.

Education: List educational degrees, diplomas and/or certificates in an inverse chronological order. Include the title of the degree, diploma or certificate, the educational institution and its geographical location. Add any academic awards or merits received to show success and recognition.

Personal Interests: This information is not necessarily related to the position sought. You are demonstrating that you are good at different things and as someone who is outgoing, interested in learning, dedicated and focused. Group personal interests together.

References: Call references prior to adding their names to your résumé. Send your references a copy of your résumé for their reference purposes and specify to them what kind of job you are seeking. References are not always required upon application, but rather for post-interview purposes. However, references accelerate the staffing process. References should include past employers, colleagues or professors. References should NOT include relatives, parents or friends. Your reference list should be a minimum three. Résumé samples will put all of this into perspective.

Résumé Samples:
Sample 1
Sample 2
Sample 3
Sample 4
Sample 5
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