Creating a Professional Presence
Writing Your Résumé
- Skill: Writing Your Résumé
- Contains: Scenario
- Publication year: 2021
- Online pub date:
- Discipline: Recruitment & Retention
- Keywords: employers, personality, résumé
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Shwom, B., (2021). Organizational Communication: Writing Your Résumé. In SAGE Skills: Business. , [https://
Shwom, Barbara. "Organizational Communication: Writing Your Résumé." In SAGE Skills: Business. : , 2021, [https://
Shwom, B., 2021. Organizational Communication: Writing Your Résumé in SAGE Skills: Business. : Available at: <[https://
doi. org/10.4135/9781071865477]>[Accessed 26 Mar 2023]
Shwom, Barbara. "Organizational Communication: Writing Your Résumé." SAGE Skills: Business. : , 26 Mar 2023, doi:[https://
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Although Brian is currently team captain of his university soccer team, he has no plans to pursue professional sports as a career. Instead, he plans eventually to earn an MBA and start his own business. In the meantime, he’d like a job in either sales or consulting in order to build his business experience and take advantage of his extroverted personality. He has written a résumé that incorporates all the typical advice. He lists his work experience chronologically, focuses on accomplishments, lists honors and awards, and identifies his skills. But with little business experience, he wonders how he can catch the attention and interest of the innovative sales organizations where he wants to work. Below are some questions on Brian’s mind. How would you recommend he answer them?
Should I include an objective statement?
Feedback: Employers look at objective statements to learn what you are looking for and to determine if you will be a good fit for the job they have to offer.
Feedback: An effective résumé will present Brian as a good candidate for the jobs he is applying for. If Brian is applying to two industries, he needs at least two core versions of his résumé, one for each industry. While much of the content in each résumé should be the same, the objective for each should be different. For example, the objective for a sales job could be: “Energetic and enthusiastic college athlete ready to join a team of equally enthusiastic sales people focusing on increasing your company’s market share.” For a consulting résumé, the objective might be “Successful college athlete with teamwork, quantitative, communication, and problem-solving skills, seeks to use those skills in an entry-level position in management consulting.”
Feedback: If an objective is too broad, it does not paint a memorable picture of you. An employer will not see how you will add value to the organization.
How can I take advantage of my soccer experience?
Feedback: Brian’s experience as a competitive athlete will be an important selling point to some employers, so it would not be wise to bury that experience.
Feedback: Brian might think about all the skills a top-level athlete must have that are relevant to sales and consulting. In addition to obvious choices such as leadership and teamwork skills, Brian might also mention coachability and time management.
Feedback: This is not the best choice. Athletic experience is not what an employer would be looking for under Work Experience. Instead, compose a résumé that highlights the skills gained from sports.
Does everything have to be in bullets? Is there any way for me to show my personality?
Feedback: Although a graphically enhanced résumé may look attractive, it will not function well if an employer uses an automated Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to sort through résumés. ATS systems typically read text only from one text block in a document. A graphically enhanced résumé works best for people applying to graphic design jobs.
Feedback: This may be a safe answer. However, if Brian does not have a lot of accomplishments, his bullets may not represent what he has to offer. Writing brief paragraphs that summarize points may give Brian an opportunity to show his personality and enthusiasm.
Feedback: If Brian wants his résumé to stand out to employers, he might try a human-voiced résumé, one that relates his experience using full sentences and paints a picture of himself as a contributor and a leader. For example, he might include his position as a team captain under experience, and write something like this:
“As the captain of my varsity soccer team, I contributed to our winning record by setting and meeting performance goals and helping my teammates meet their goals.”
Consult the Experts
Business communication scholars routinely perform research to assess what works best in résumés. This article will help you make wise decisions about what to include in your résumé: Diaz, C. S. (2013). Updating best practices: Applying on-screen reading strategies to résumé writing. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 76(4), 427–445. And this article will help you avoid making a mistake that will jeopardize your chances at an interview: Martin-Lacroux, C., & Lacroux, A. (2016). Do employers forgive applicants’ bad spelling in résumés?. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 80(3), 321–335.