Critique my resume!

In preparation for the INS finally getting off their butts and giving me permission to make money, I’d like some help on my resume. It’s right here. I’ll be looking for jobs primarily in writing and editing, but I want a good general purpose resume too.

In the real version I will, of course, include more contact information. The layout and spacing, etc., will be the same. I usually can’t fit the activities section on the printed page so I leave it out.

So, what do you think?

It looks really, really nice. And I write/review resumes for a living. You did a good job for an entry level CV, seriously.

One nitpick:

“Familiar with issues in usability and human factors”

What does this mean? Would your audience be familiar with it?

Good luck in your job hunt.

I realize it’s traditional to list your most recent job first, and it was probably a great job working with horses, but if you’re looking for work as a writer or editor you might want to consider moving the Stable Assistant job down a bit, perhaps under a different heading (“Other work experience”). It’s kinda jarring–writing, editing, software this, OS that, horses. Horses???

Otherwise it looks great.

I love doing this kind of thing, Suo Na :slight_smile:
A few things…

  • “Member of University Choir,” etc…I would move these under “activities,” as it gets kind of “prime real estate” under “education” and isn’t directly related to your job search.
  • I would center your name and e-mail address and, for the Web verison, make your e-mail a link.
  • Maybe reorganize your skills so that they’re listed in this order: Editing, Computer and General.
  • I recommend writing out years and months fully (no abbreviations, including “Dept”)
  • “Proofreader, Master’s thesis for Pure Mathematics student, April - July, '98” <–no comma after the month
  • “Presented results to the Waterloo, Toronto, and Ulm sections of the group” <–no comma after “Toronto”
  • re: Editing Skills…Is there a particular style(book) you are familiar with? If so, it might be worth mentioning.

Re what others have said (I love preview):

Maybe “Familair with issues of usability and human factors”? It doesn’t get over the issue of whether your audience will understand these terms, I understand, but for some reason it sounds bett-ah to me?

This is a great recommendation.

Question: What’s your audience? Unless you’re applying for a music-related position this:

Has way too much prominence, it should probably go under activities or experience. Note that experience doesn’t always have to mean paid positions. Also FASS may not mean anything to your audience, you may wish to spell it out, or leave it out. You may wish to kick your Time Management Seminar up to Education; I note you have a workshop there already.

As far as your experience section, try to pick those duties that are more relevant to the position you’re applying to and make them more prominent. You may also consider reordering your experiences by relevance, rather than by chronologically. Remember that resumes often get skimmed and filed in the circular file if something doesn’t jump out at the reader.
Very good palete of skills, you should do well.

Exactly. My first thought was “Why hasn’t she been doing anything in her field for the last several years?” The short answer seems to be that you couldn’t get paid for doing anything because of INS, but the resume doesn’t reflect that. For all I know, as a reader of your resume, you’ve been in jail since October '99.

And when you have as much experience as you seem to have, not putting your college GPA on the resume is probably acceptable, but some people may assume that it means that you had a bad GPA. And a subset of those people will care about that.

Lord Vor

I’ve hired hundreds of people in the last 5 years and read at least 10 times that number of resumes. Other hiring folks read similar numbers. You need to grab them in the first paragraph, and keep them there. Think of it like writing an article. The first sentance is the most important, then the first paragraph, etc. The exclusive goal of the resume is to get you in the door for an interview. You wrote in your OP

But that didn’t come across very well in the first half of the resume. I can tell you that I’ve discarded tons of resumes because I couldn’t figure out what they were interested in doing after reading the first couple of sections. Interviewers are not interested in weeding through each word to find a gem; they want the applicant to say what they want to do and why they are right one to do it.

Start off with a one line objective. Consider putting a General Qualifications section, with 4 or 5 lines telling why you’re highly qualified to do this. Your current General, Editing, and Computer Skills have some good things in them, but don’t cohesively say “I’m the writer you want to hire.” For example, the “French, Italian, German” line should go at the bottom under an “Additional Skills” section. (Unless your goal is to get an Italian writing position.)

Also, Drop the Horse thing entirely. It sounds like a lot of fun and responsibility, but it won’t inspire someone to call you in for an interview as a writer. Same with Activities. Same with Choir and Vocal Coach. These are all cool things, and make you out to be an interesting person, but are really a distraction to what you really want to convey here, namely that you are the ideal writer/editor for the job.

For each job, you’ve listed your responsibilities. Far more important were your accomplishments. Think of things you did at those jobs, especially exceptional things. Same with education.

I would move Education to after Experience.

I disagree with others about the phrase ‘Familiar with issues in usability and human factors.’ If you’re applying for technical writing jobs, the employer will know what you mean, and this is a good bullet.

Personally I like to see things blocked out a bit more. Bullets on lists, jobs organized so you can see at a glance each of the places you’ve worked, positions you’ve held and dates (either with bolding or right justification, or other), but maybe that’s just me. Makes it a bit more organized for my eyes.

In general it looks very good. Best of luck!