Resumé Writing Tips

The key to writing a successful resumé is relevance. It is important that potential employers see what value you bring to the specific job for which you are applying, not just the skill set you possess. Submit a different resumé for each job to which you apply. There are small changes you can make to cater to what each employer is looking for.

Use the following tips to writing your resumé to maximize results.

- Note skills and qualifications you have that match the job description.

- Use the language from the job description in your resumé and cover letter.

- List the most related skills and experiences toward the top.

- Only list skills that you actually have – never lie on a resumé.

- Try writing your resumé as a group activity. Critique from others can be a valuable asset, as fresh eyes may spot errors that you don’t notice.

The following should be included in your resumé:

- Contact info (name, address, e-mail, phone numbers)
- Objective: Only use this for an unsolicited resumé, job fairs or networking events
- Related Experiences or Professional Experiences:
  • This is where you will include your volunteer experience.
  • Specific position or title in the organization, Organization name, City, State, Dates
  • Do not use “Volunteer” as job title. Only include that the position was a volunteer position in the description of the job.
  • Bullet points highlighting accomplishments with action verbs, skills gained

- Related Skills: Only include those that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. Examples may be bookkeeping for an event, writing press releases for the newspaper, contacting radio stations to solicit free advertising, recruiting and coordinating volunteers for an event and applying for city permits.

Include your ESA experience on your resumé
Describing your volunteer experience on your resumé can seem tricky. Keep in mind that the knowledge and experience you gain through your ESA positions are extremely valuable.

The following tips will help you list your volunteer experience on your resumé.

- Do not list “volunteer” as the position or job title. List the specific role you played such as:

    “Fundraiser Project Chair”
    “Project Planner”
    “Marketing Events Coordinator”

- Use specific numbers and results instead of making general statements. List amount of money raised and how it was raised under your guidance.

    “Managed marketing events with 2,000 in attendance.”
    “Coordinated registration, topics and speakers with 12
      committee members.”

- List detailed descriptions of tasks as they relate to the position for which you are applying. Emphasize the similarities between your experience and the prospective position.

- Focus your resumé on results and how you accomplished them, such as:

    “Raised 100 percent of necessary funds through effective
     marketing strategies”
You may even list what those “effective marketing strategies” were:
       • “Solicited free advertising through local radio station”
       • “Designed posters for event promotion”
       • “Wrote press release for local newspaper”

- List volunteer work the same way you would a paid position if it is relevant to the job for which you are applying.

- Use the word “volunteer” only under the bullet points to let potential employers know that the position was unpaid. Do not use in position or title.

- Make sure to note if the volunteer position was full time or ongoing. Many people assume that volunteer work is part time or sporadic. List how many hours you worked on a project if it is a significant number.

- List any honors, commendations, awards or certifications you have received that are based on performance.

- Highlight specific training or education you received from the organization or program.

- Emphasize special skills or qualifications that relate to the job position:

     “Proven motivational skills”
     “Easily adapt teaching style to reach diverse demographic
     “Excellent organizational and project coordination skills”