Avoiding resume mistakes, Resume tips, Uncategorized

How to write your resume for right job

Nearly everyday, including today, I work with university students and recent graduates to help them reach their next greatest opportunities. Whether an internship, entry level job or entrepreneurial venture, your resumes MUST reflect the requirements of the opportunities.

That seems simple enough, yet usually it is not. We write our resumes or curricula vitae (for those published higher education folk) in a generic format and then try to match it to the opportunity descriptions. In short, it does not work with you at least tweaking your resume or LinkedIn profile to match what you are seeking in the marketplace.

Attached is a sample resume. It fits a format that has worked to secure assignments in most situations. Consider resume formats as a guide for adherence to style, grammar and other format “rules.”

Format tips:

1. Write a one-page resume in 11- or 12-point typeface. If it is a CV for education assignments, multiple pages do not count against you. If you are asked to provide references, do so on a separate page.

2. The “profile” or “summary” atop your resume is not needed. That is, unless you are applying for certain business-related assignments, jobs that have numerous requirements, and/or to fill the page. Instead, utilize the words in the profile or introduction section of your resume as a good start for your cover letter.

3. Unless you are applying for an education job, your academic accomplishments should be placed at the end of the resume.

4. Please do not use the phrase “professional experience” or segregate your volunteer and other valued assignments. Simply, “experience” will suffice as a heading. Some career advisors suggest a “technology” section on your resume (see below for inc. link).

Content tips:

1. Review and review again and again each word in the opportunity description to make sure that the key words in your resume closely resemble or match the advertised assignment.

2. Utilize active verbs to describe your experience. Past tense usage is allowed for former positions, yet action words should be incorporated. For example, your LinkedIn profile and resumes should emphasize “Collaborative, visionary manager with award-winning experience in digital television production” rather than “Experienced television producer with vast assignments as a field reporter and editor.”

3. Eliminate jargon that may relate to your university, your industry or everyday words used by my favorite Millienial or Z Generation folk. Keep in mind that your resume will likely be viewed by Baby Boomers who may not understand abbreviations and technology short cut words.

4. Keep sentences short and adhere to the same style in the writing and graphic design. For instance, do not omit the location of one job while including it for all other assignments. Another major flub is when the typeface styles are all over the place.

5. Spell check is free. Grammar software programs are inexpensive.

6. Read your resume aloud. Allow someone else to edit your resume. You will be surprised how many mistakes you can catch by following these final steps before hitting the send button to distribute your resume and cover letter.

I am including more tips for your to check out. Some of my favorite links include:



Cover letters, video and audio interviews and online application monitoring are among my future blogs.

Comedy life

What comedy classes taught me (a seasoned college educator)

Winters in Chicago can be grueling. Taking on new adventures is exciting.

Combine the two and walla — I enrolled in comedy classes at the world renowned Chicago-based The Second City.  The humor and great camaraderie warmed my soul.  Learning from the best comedic teachers reshaped my life, underlined my strongest beliefs and enhanced my multi-genre professional writing skills.

Here’s how:

  1. First-day group orientation leaders stressed the fun and serious sides of Second City comedic learning.  It is best expressed in the mission statement that is easy to remember and great to execute:
  2. The mission of Second City is to a) Show up. b) Take care of each other. c) Do stuff.  This mission is transferrable to every walk of life.
  3. My first class with Comedic Teacher @erinfield@secondcity.com yielded the obvious and not always remembered by students. “It’s more guts than talent,” she said of Stand Up Comedians who grace many stages across the world. Erin also urged us to write, write and write our stories. Yet, “don’t try to write to be funny. Tell the truth. The comedy will come.”
  4. Learning the background of comedy was thrilling. We learned the different styles of comedy (will share more in a future blog) and we had to perform. After all, the “final exam” was to perform on stage as a group of students before an audience of family, friends and other supporters. I loved it all.
  5. I enrolled in Stand Up 2. Enter Sydney Davis Jr. Jr. (yes two Jrs. for the Arkansas lady).  She is a rising star on Amazon’s Prime Video and is an in-demand hosts for comedy shows. She also holds down a full-time, non-comedic job.
  6. Sydney brought even more understanding of the fun world of comedy writing and staging. We performed in class in front of our classmates. Critiques dominated our growth. We learned where to practice our comedy and how to be civil comedians.
  7. Our final exam for Stand Up 2 was even more thrilling. I never forgot Second City’s mission as I toiled through what amount to 16 weeks of instruction, critiques, lots and lots of laughs.
  8. The best lessons for me as a college educator?  Strive to teach every course and conduct every meeting with the spirit of  inclusiveness, purpose,  bonding enhancers and learning without looking at the clock for the class to or meeting to end.  Also, it is important to guide folk to their next experiences such as Open Mic performances or Internet comedic stardom.
  9. What sticks with me in this comedic world as presented by Second City instructors and staff” Take care of one another and especially yourself.
  10. Amen to that!

I will present a lot more on this topic of comedy and its intersection in our lives. Check out future blogs.