What is a Resume?
A Resume is your "personality on a page," your "personal advertisement" used to sell you to an employer. It must be flawless (no typos, perfect formatting). You have 4 seconds to tell the person reviewing your resume that you are qualified for the position they are offering and attract them enough for a longer look.
Your resume works in partnership with your cover letter to present a meaningful picture to the employer of who you are, what you can bring to the job, and how you are qualified to handle it.
If your Resume looks professional and communicates it can save you time and effort in getting an interview. If it is sloppy and thrown together without much thought, it will be ineffective, waste your time and the employers time, and probably not result in much. Writing a good resume takes time, planning and lots of rewriting.
Resumes are culturally sensitive. Presented in the following information are Resumes primarily for an American Audience. While this style is often accepted outside of the USA, I encourage you to be culturally aware and educated. See the section on cultural factors to consider in writing for a different audience. Also, see the section on Japanese Rirekisho - a completely different document from an English Language Resume.
How to write a Resume
The following information will help you write your first resume or adapt and improve on your existing one. No matter what, be sure to have at least 3 people review your resume each time you submit it. Gretchen in the CC&S is happy to review and critique resumes (but she does not want to proof read them - they should have no typos before she seems them - THANK You). If you are too shy to show your resume to a friend or colleague here at IUJ, how can you be confident to show it to a potential employer?
Resumes use dates, locations, titles, and verb phrases to describe your transferable skills AS THEY RELATE TO YOUR CURRENT job application. It is your chance to tell a potential employer what they need to hear about you (as long as it is true) in order for you to get their attention, and thus an interview.
Resumes should be organized by topic: Educational Background, Work History (Employment), Memberships or Affiliations, Skills (such as languages, computer skills, certifications, etc.), and on occasion your Hobbies and Interests (though not always advised). Under each topic, your experiences should be presented in REVERSE chronological order (most recent activity first).
Information on Resumes should be easy to find. Highlights should stand out. You have 4 seconds to make an impression, so ask yourself what it is on your resume that you want the reader to know. And make sure that is visible. Don't hide the good information by putting irrelevant information on it - the reader cannot decipher what you want to emphasize if everything is on it. IUJ
recommends this format to get started.
Formatting should be consistent. There are a number of ways to format your Resume; we provide a recommended example below. Please refer to the books in the CC&S library for other examples. Whatever way you choose, be consistent. For example, if you present your school or place of employment in bold once, ALL listings of the same nature should be bold. If you bullet the description of your responsibilities under your employment once, you should bullet them all.
Try to make your Resume come alive. Everyone at IUJ will state that they are in an MA or MBA program, but what makes your education here different? What have you done that is unique and makes your education special? For example, what special research projects have you conducted? What is the topic of your thesis or senior paper going to be? On what area did you focus your education - US-Japan relations, Marketing, Environmental studies, Finance? This information can be noted in the "feature" line shown below.
For a recommended format (required for Resume Book): Please use this
format , or see the Network folder from on-campus -> iuj-home -> cc&s folder for templates for the Resume Book.
Career Library Resources
Some of the titles available in the CC&S library for your reference on Resume Writing are:
- IUJ Resume Books
- Resumes for Dummies
- Trashproof resumes
- Global Resumes
- WOW! Resumes for Finance Careers
- RESUMES: Real Sample Resumes and Proven Advice from Successful Job Hunters and Career Counselors
- High Impact Resumes and Letters
- Resumes for First-time Job Hunters
- Resumes for Careers in the Environment
- Resumes for Careers in Communications
- Best Resumes for Accounting and Finance professions
- Resume and Rirekisho advice from the OSS (See Career Web Page)
For information on Cover Letters, the companion tool of Resumes, see theCover
Letter Writing Guidelines offered by the OSS.
For more information check out these other links:
Japanese Resume (Rirekisho) assistance pages and examples.
Recommended Template for a Rirekisho from IUJ.