The résumé is meant to introduce you and your background to somebody who does not know you and barely has time to get to know you. It should present you in the best possible light, in a concise and well-structured manner. There are plenty of good résumé-writing guides on the Internet. Their regular problem is that they do not agree with each other when it comes to details. This guide has a number of generally agreed guidelines, plus some specific details that could help Moldovan students. A regular résumé for business purposes should definitely not go over one A4 page. If you intend to use it for academic purposes and not for a job, the résumé can pass that limit, on the condition that you use the extra space to describe your academic activities, such as conferences and seminars attended, publications, etc. A well-written résumé shows first what is most important, but contains all relevant information. To this goal, it should be adapted to your target (a specific type of job or scholarship). Cut information from your résumé only as a solution of last resort, but pay attention to the order in which you present it in your résumé. Have someone proofread your résumé. If there is a typo or grammatical error on your résumé, you may be eliminated as a candidate.
Print the résumé on plain-white A4 paper on a laser printer, save some of the same type for the cover letter - you should never send a résumé without a cover letter - and find matching A4 envelopes. If the announcement does not say anything about a cover letter, you still should send one. It introduces your résumé to the reader, attracts attention to certain parts of it that you want to bring to light, or mentions aspects that for some reason could not be listed in your résumé.
RÉSUMÉ vs. CURRICULUM VITAE
A curriculum vitae (loosely translated from Latin as "course of life"), or CV for short, provides an overview of a person's life and qualifications. It differs from a resume in that it is appropriate for academic or medical careers and is far more comprehensive. A CV elaborates on education to a greater degree than a resume. A resume is tailor-made according to the post applied for. It is job-oriented and goal specific. One of the key characteristics of a proper resume is conciseness. In the United States and Canada, a CV is expected to include a comprehensive listing of professional history including every term of employment, academic credential, publication, contribution or significant achievement. In certain professions, it may even include samples of the person's work and may run to many pages.
To make it look neat, you can use one of the Microsoft Word pre-made formats, unless you are a computer-savvy and feel confident that you can produce an even better-structured and easier-to-read format. You will be able to introduce your own headers in that format; below you can find a word of advice for those headers most-often met in a résumé.
HEADING / PERSONAL DETAILS
Here you should include your birth date, contact address, e-mail, telephone (both landline and cellphone) numbers and nationality (citizenship). In case you have both a permanent and study address, include both, with the dates when you can be contacted at each of them. If you want to save space, personal details can be written with smaller fonts than the rest of your résumé. They do not have to jump in the reader's attention - you will never convince somebody to hire you or to give you a scholarship because you have a nice e-mail alias! If your résumé manages to awaken the interest of the reader, the latter will look after contact details - it is important that they be there, but not that they are the first thing somebody reads in your résumé. You should write your name with a bigger font than the rest of the text so that the reader knows easily whose résumé is he or she reading. If you need to save space, you can delete the résumé line on the top of your résumé. After all, if you have done a good job writing it, it should be obvious that that piece of paper is a résumé, no need to spell it out loud.
This is a concise statement of what you actually want to do. It's not bad if it matches the thing (a job, scholarship, teaching or research assistantship, internship, ect.) you are applying for. Don't restrict it too much "to get this scholarship", but rather "to develop a career in..." the thing that you're going to study if you get the scholarship. If you are applying for a job, you can be even more specific - "to obtain a position in... , where I can use my skills in...". You can use a few lines to describe that specifically, but keep in mind that you should show what you can do for the company more than what the company can do for you. Writing a good objective can be tough; take some time to think about what exactly are you going to write there.
If you are a student or a person who has just graduated, you should start your résumé with your education. Very probably, at this age it is your most important asset. Use the reverse chronological order, since it is more important what bachelor's or master's degree you have rather than that, very probably, you finished high school in Chişinău or any other Moldovan population center. In any case, no matter for which order you decide - chronological or reverse - you should keep it the same throughout the rest of your résumé. Try to give an exact account of your accomplishments in school: grades (do not forget to write the scale if it may differ from the one the reader of your résumé is used to, e.g. 9.35 of 10), standing in class (in percentage terms), title of your thesis or dissertation, expected graduation date if you think this is an important aspect. There is no need to write all of the above, but only those details that put you in the best light. Are you not in the best 20% of your class? You had better not mention your ranking then; maybe you still have good grades, or your school is a renowned one. In any case, do not make your results better than in reality - you cannot know how this information may be checked and the whole application will lose credibility. Cheating is a very serious offense in Northern America and Western Europe.
RELEVANT COURSE WORK
Some résumé writers include a RELEVANT COURSE WORK section to list those undergraduate or graduate courses that they took and that gave them important knowledge and skills. Even though this section is optional, it is best to include it for those students who obtain their practical skills through hands-on experiences, such as laboratories or scene shops.
AWARDS / HONORS
You should introduce this header right after the education section, in order to outline all the scholarly or otherwise distinctions you have received. Another solution is to include these awards in the education section, but this might make the lecture difficult - the reader wants to get from that section an impression about the schools you have studied in and the overall results, not about every distinction you have been awarded. Still, these are important! Therefore, here is the place to mention them - scholarships, honors, studies abroad, diplomas, certificates, prizes in contests, and any other kind of distinction. Here, same as everywhere in your résumé, write a detailed account of what happened: do not just mention the year and "Prize in Environmental Science", but rather give the exact date (month, year), place (city, country), name and organizer of the competition. For a scholarship or studies abroad, write the time frame, name of the university, department, the subject of classes there (e.g., economics or business administration), name of the award-giving institution (e.g., IREX or ACCELS, if different from that of the host university.
Here you should include your previous and current positions (jobs) as well as internships. Don't feel ashamed with what you did, don't try to diminish your accomplishments! Nobody really expects you to have started a million-dollar business if you're still a student - even better if you did, though! Accountability is an important criterion for what you write in this section. The account should show what you improved, where, by how much, what your responsibilities were. The idea is that when you apply for a job, you have to show your potential for growth. That is, that you proved some kind of progress from one job to another and that especially at the last one you were so good that you could obviously do something that involves more responsibility - like the job you are applying for now. The overall result should portray you as a leader, a person with initiative and creativity - don't forget you have to convince the reader of your résumé that you are the best pick for that job.
Two popular formats include a chronological and functional résumé. Chronological is the most common format for students entering entry-level jobs. List jobs beginning with most recent first. Functional can be helpful if you have little relevant work experience or gaps in employment. Cluster your experience under headings that highlight your skills and talents (Leadership, Research, Information Technology, Communication Skills).
Include your job title, the name of the company/organization, city, state, and dates of employment (month/year - unless you are using a functional résumé). Under each position list your responsibilities starting with an action word (created, implemented, assisted, completed) and include the results of your actions. A bulleted list is generally preferred over paragraph form. Employers usually prefer not to read through entire paragraphs to find important information. Highlight increases in responsibility or promotions. When possible quantify your accomplishments, for example, "increased sales by $9,000" or "supervised 130 children ages three and four". If you have direct experience and unrelated work experience, you may divide your experience into those two separate sections.
If you're writing a professional, and not an academic résumé, this is the place to mention conferences or any other activities outside the school that for some reason did not fit in the résumé so far. A good section here can help a lot toward that goal of portraying you as a leader, a person with initiative, not just a nerd with good grades. Include university and community activities, organizations to which you belong, and activities closely tied to the needs of the employer or career field you are entering. Be sure to list the dates of your participation. Carefully consider which religious or political activities to include. Potential bias could be an issue.
List here all the languages you speak (including your native language), with a one-word description of your knowledge of that language. You can use the following scale: conversational, intermediate, advanced, fluent, and native. List any certificates and/or results, such as TOEFL scores, including dates.
TECHNICAL / COMPUTER SKILLS
Write everything you know, including Internet browsers and text editing skills. There is no absolute need to know C++ unless you want to be a programmer. Here you can list all related certificates and specialty studies.
HOBBIES / PERSONAL INTERESTS
You can list your hobbies and interests if space is left on the page. They look fine in a résumé, showing you are not a no-life workaholic, but a normal person. There is no need to have a 20,000 pieces stamp collection; you can mention reading or mountain tracking as well.
Identify the branch of service, locations, rank, and dates. Describe assignments, achievements and relevant skills. Avoid using technical terms.
You can also add a REFERENCES section, where you can list those people who are ready to recommend you. Ask each individual's permission before listing him/her as a reference. You may provide three to five names with title, organization, address, phone number, and e-mail address. If this section misses, the recruiters will assume that your references are available upon request.
You can add power to your résumé by using the following powerwords:
accelerated accomplished achieved addressed administered advised allocated answered appeared applied appointed appraised approved arranged assessed assigned assisted assumed assured audited awarded
bought briefed broadened brought budgeted built
cataloged caused changed chaired clarified classified closed collected combined commented communicated compared compiled completed computed conceived concluded conducted conceptualized considered consolidated constructed consulted continued contracted controlled converted coordinated corrected counseled counted created critiqued cut
dealt decided defined delegated delivered demonstrated described designed determined developed devised diagnosed directed discussed distributed documented doubled drafted
earned edited effected eliminated endorsed enlarged enlisted ensured entered established estimated evaluated examined executed expanded expedited experienced experimented explained explored expressed extended
filed filled financed focused forecast formulated found founded
gathered generated graded granted guided
halved handled helped
identified implemented improved incorporated increased indexed initiated influenced innovated inspected installed instituted instructed insured interpreted interviewed introduced invented invested investigated involved issued
launched learned leased lectured led licensed listed logged
made maintained managed matched measured mediated met modified monitored motivated moved
named navigated negotiated
observed opened operated ordered organized oversaw
participated perceived performed persuaded planned prepared presented processed procured programmed prohibited projected promoted proposed provided published purchased pursued
raised ranked rated realized received recommended reconciled recorded recruited redesigned reduced regulated rehabilitated related reorganized repaired replaced replied reported represented researched resolved responded restored revamped reviewed revise
saved scheduled selected served serviced set set up shaped shared showed simplified sold solved sorted sought sparked specified spoke staffed started streamlined strengthened stressed stretched structured studied submitted substituted succeeded suggested summarized superseded supervised surveyed systematized
tackled targeted taught terminated tested took toured traced tracked traded trained transferred transcribed transformed translated transported traveled treated trimmed tripled turned tutored
umpired uncovered understood understudied unified unraveled updated upgraded used utilized
verbalized verified visited
waged weighed widened won worked wrote
More powerword suggestions:
ability capable capability capacity competence competent complete completely consistent contributions demonstrated developing educated efficient effective effectiveness enlarging equipped excellent exceptional expanding experienced global increasing knowledgeable major mature maturity nationwide outstanding performance positive potential productive proficient profitable proven qualified record repeatedly resourceful responsible results significant significantly sound specialist substantial substantially successful stable thorough thoroughly versatile vigorous well-educated well-rounded worldwide
USEFUL INTERNET RESOURCES
RESUME WORKSHOP by the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University, IN, USA
WRITING YOUR RESUME by Office of Career Services, Manchester College, IN, USA
RESUMES by About, Inc., NY, USA
HOW TO WRITE A RESUME by Career Services, Capital University, OH, USA
CAREER DEVELOPMENT MANUAL by the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
RESUMES by the Center for Communication Practices at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA
RESUME & COVER LETTER INFORMATION by the Center for Career Services at Susquehanna University, PA, USA
RESUMES & INTERVIEWS by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, PA, USA