An important part of today’s African woman is her career. With more women attending rigorous academic curriculum, many of us strive to put our academic knowledge into practice by landing jobs that will pave way for more career opportunities. As career oriented women, it is crucial to address topics and offer tips on how to be successful in our respective fields. Today we will be discussing how to build that amazing resume/ CV to land your dream job.
First thing is first. Start on a blank sheet of paper. When I was in my 2nd year of college, I was still using my secondary school CV. It was shameful and time consuming because I always had to edit out “helped set up for prom” and “member of student council” experiences. And one day, I cleared the whole page and started over.
The reason why it’s important to start over is to basically to rid you of the temptation of going back to the old resume and piggybacking off what you were not successful with. It gives you clarity and opportunity to incorporate these new resume writing skills I have for you. Starting from the top.
Top and center, make sure to include your name and accurate contact information. You’ll be surprised how many people do not put in the correct contact information. This is a critical part of your resume because, say your content is perfect, there is no way to contact you.
1234 River Oaks Drive, San Diego CA 99999 | firstname.lastname@example.org | (916)-444-8666
Following the contact information, you want to include your goal for seeking this opportunity. This part should not be more than a sentence long. It should be short, sweet and straight to the point. For example:
Seeking an internship position to grow my career in pediatric nursing that will put my interpersonal skills and previous experience into practice.
Seeking a full time opportunity to expand my experience in food processing and technology that will utilize my technical and interpersonal skills.
It should state the kind of position you are looking for, what the company can offer you and what you can offer the company. 3 things.
In this part, you should include your course of study, GPA (if any), school name and graduation date. I know many people are reluctant to put their lower grades on their resume but most companies require it. While GPA is not the determining factor for doing a great job at work, it does help a bit when trying to land that job. You must understand that your grade point average is only a reflection of how well you can learn in school. Jobs are looking for those who can LEARN!
Howard University Graduation: June, 2015
Bachelors of Science in Food Science and Technology
At the point, you can add any certifications that may be relevant to the job you are applying to. This may range from certifications by national accredited organization to class room certifications. It is important that you get certifications in certain areas pertaining to your field. If you are in the health care field, visit sources like vcn.org, hrsa.gov or mhadegree.org for free/ paid training to get informed in your industry. For more technical courses, visit government sites specific to your field of study for information on certifications. In future posts, I will be offering some resources on where to look for jobs and complete these training. Completing training is definitely a plus because it gives insight to how things are done outside of school and how proactive you are with gaining experience.
For skills, make sure to include any technical skills such as Microsoft Office and computer programs used during course work. It is also common to include your interpersonal skills and lingual abilities with your proficiency in each. Make sure you actually know the languages you put on their. I have been told to know the translation of “I speak a little bit of [insert language]” in any language you put on there. Chances are, you may run into an interviewer that speaks German. If you are not comfortable with this, I advise to take it out your resume.
Technical Skills: C++ programing, Microsoft Office, Python
Certifications/ Training: Food safety, Food Storage and Handling, OSHA30
I think we can all agree that everything I said up to this point constitute a small section of the resume. It is crucial that this section is well written and clearly describes what you have completed to qualify you for this position. Make sure to include your position and highlight your accomplishments. Many of us struggle in this section simply because you don’t have any experience to include here. Before we get to that, I would like to address a few things.
- All experience are important. But what you learn from it is even more important. I say this because people tend to down play their “irrelevant” job experience simply because they think it’s not what recruiters want to hear. I personally experienced this. I am a chemical engineer and when I was looking for internships in my field, it was nearly impossible simply because I thought I didn’t have the experience. Health care internships were easier to obtain so I shadowed a doctor for about 6 months and added it to my resume. It was almost like I had real engineering experience on there, you know why? Because I emphasized on what I learned and not where I interned.
- Use power words! You can simply search resume power words or click on this link to use on your resume. Make sure your diction is clear and concise. I strongly encourage you add any accomplishments while completing the experience.
Kroger, Houston TX Associate Stocker June 2013 – Dec, 2013
- Managed product inventory by retrieving merchandise in appropriate manner.
- Developed inventory management system for restocking frozen foods that aided in easy retrieval without compromising the integrity of food.
- Performed protection and cleaning, for instance keeping floors dry and clean defrosting frozen and dairy sales floor cases.
- Replenished rapidly selling merchandise to the shelves, racks, stack bases, and end caps throughout the peak selling times.
If you have run out of job experiences to add, adding any relevant projects, community service or leadership assignments you have accomplished will suffice. Make sure everything you add to your resume describes your work ethic, ability to work in a team setting, communication skills and interests.
Leadership/ Extracurricular Activities/ Awards
This section pretty much answers the question, “Outside of school, what do you do?” I like this part of my resume because I can show off my personal interests. If you love to play soccer or cook or dance, you can include it here.
Boys and Girls Club, San Juan, PR Soccer Coach Summer, 2014
- Coached and led a coed team of 15 players to victory at the local finals.
I don’t usually add a description of what I did, but if you are looking to fill your resume up, by all means. At this point, I am usually tight on space and list just a couple.
Formatting helps with organization, clarity and simplicity of your experiences. To be safe, keep your font at no less than 9 pt (depending on the font), Times New Roman and no less than ½” margins. Make sure your resume is only one page long unless told otherwise.
I know today’s post was a little longer than usual but this is definitely a really important topic for us ladies to be career ready. Make sure to follow the steps and look up sample resumes online to extra help. Be sure to leave any questions in the comments or shoot us an email at email@example.com to get some personal feedback. We are all here to succeed. Lets help each other do that by making sure that CV is on fleek.
– Ivery Arie