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April 19, 2014

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YOU in 50 Characters or Less

Sometimes it seems impossible to stand out from millions of résumés online. Now more than ever before – between Online Career Fairs, LinkedIn & other professional social media outlets – it’s so important to sell yourself quickly and effectively before a potential employer moves on to the next applicant.

When you’re connected one-on-one with employers at Women For Hire’s Online Career Fairs, your professional headline is their first impression of who you are as a candidate. This is your opportunity to say it in a just a sentence (50 characters or less, to be exact).
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Chronological Resume Template

Job Seeker’s First and Last Name

Street Address – City, State ZIP
Telephone Number – Email Address

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY AND OBJECTIVE

Your professional summary is your persuasive sales pitch that introduces you to potential employers and allows them to place you in context based on their hiring needs. Compose three to five sentences touting your key capabilities and unique experience, with an emphasis on results. This section focuses on a combination of hard and soft skills. Tie your qualifications to the type of position you’re seeking.

EXPERIENCE

Most Recent Job Title City, State
Employer (Month/Year to Month/Year)

Provide a brief overview of your successes relating to the position’s main responsibilities, including an explanation of the organization if it’s not well known.
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Functional Resume Template

Your First and Last Name

Street Address, City, State ZIP
Telephone Number – Email Address

CAREER OBJECTIVE

Clearly and concisely explain what you offer and what you seek. Focus on specific industries or lines of business but avoid listing job titles.

“Organized, enthusiastic quick study with great ability to multitask and problem-solve seeks an opportunity in sales and customer service.”

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

This section should support why you would be ideal for the objective. In bulleted form, emphasize your strengths such as key skills, capabilities, community service, and personality traits. If you are looking for a career in a field that you do not have specific qualifications in, highlight some transferable and marketable skills that you do have.

  • EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE: Strong communication skills to understand customer needs and provide exceptional results. Track record of successfully dealing with difficult personalities to resolve dissatisfaction.
  • HIGHLY RESPONSIBLE AND ETHICAL: Experienced in handling large amounts of cash, making bank deposits and maintaining records of transactions.
  • ADAPTABLE TO NEW TECHNOLOGY: Proficient in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and able to operate all major office equipment.
  • INDEPENDENT AND TEAM PLAYER: Enjoy collaborating with colleagues, clients, and customers, as well as completing tasks independently. Eager to motivate and inspire others to deliver their best.
  • ORGANIZED AND MOTIVATED: Skilled in maintaining order amidst chaos and ever-changing challenges. Able to seamlessly multi-task long and short-term priorities to generate desired results.

PROFESSIONAL (AND/OR) VOLUNTEER SERVICE
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The Top-to-Bottom Resume Guide for Chronological Resumes

There are countless resume styles and designs, but our experience shows that a simple, straightforward resume works every time. Perfection is the name of the game, so be sure to follow these step-by-step guidelines:

Objective or Professional Summary

One of the problems with some resumes is the absence of a clear objective. Way too many otherwise smart people plug in the old stand-by: “Seeking a position with a multi-faceted company that will put my talents to good use while enhancing my skills.” Huh? That’s a bunch of nonsense that does not impress recruiters. Use this valuable space to convey your key capabilities and how you’re ideally looking to apply them.

Narrow it Down

The recruiter wants an idea of what you want to do; be specific and indicate what you’re seeking. Don’t be scared of being pigeonholed into a dead-end job. You can target the industry, the specific job title, or both.
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General Cover Letter Template

Your first and last name
Mailing Address
City, State ZIP
Telephone Number(s)
Email Address

Current Date

Prospective Employer
Professional Title
company Name
Mailing Address

Dear (Address target formally-Mr., Mrs., Professor, etc. – unless you were instructed to use first name):

Introduce yourself by explaining briefly why you are interested in this person, company, or position. Do not begin with, “Hi. My name is ____.” Make a closer connection by stating how you heard about the person, company, or position by referencing a referral, an article, or an industry event, for example. For the body paragraph, give your background briefly. Make sure it applies to why you are interested in this person or company. State what you want from the recipient. For example, I would like fifteen minutes of your time to discuss _______. Explain that you’d be very appreciative of their valuable time and advice.

The closing paragraph should offer a specific action for following up. For example, “I will call your assistant to see if I can schedule an appointment with you.” If you state a specific action, make sure you follow through with it.
Thank the recipient for his or her time and attention.

Sincerely,

Your signature in blue or black ink

Your printed name

Extra Tips:
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Informational Interview Template

Your first and last name
Mailing Address
City, State ZIP
Telephone Number(s)
Email Address

Date

Prospect Name
Professional Title
Company Name
Mailing Address

Dear (Address target formally—Mr., Mrs., Professor, etc.—unless you were instructed to use first name):

Start with a brief introduction of yourself and reference a mutual contact if one exists. Explain why you are writing to this individual. For example, I am a junior-level marketer in the consumer goods industry and your firm has an outstanding reputation in this field. Be clear that you are not looking for a job—you are looking for no more than 15-30 minutes of time for an informational session to benefit from the recipient’s expertise.
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