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Portfolio Task: Your résumé

 

Background

All majors in the Department of Biomolecular Sciences are required to maintain a Student Portfolio. The structure of the Student Portfolio will be formally introduced to students in BMS 190, Introduction to Research I, and further developed in BMS 290, Introduction to Research II.

What Is a résumé?

résumés are what people use to get jobs, right? Wrong! A résumé is a one or two page summary of your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience. Your résumé's purpose is to get your foot in the door. A résumé does its job successfully if it does not exclude you from consideration. To prepare a successful résumé, you need to know how to review, summarize, and present your experiences and achievements on one page. Unless you have considerable experience, you don't need two pages. Outline your achievements briefly and concisely. Your résumé is your ticket to an interview where you can sell yourself!

(http://www.psgi.net/résuméTips.htm)

In other words, a completed résumé is aimed specifically at one job (e. g., Lab Technician at Curagen, Inc) or at one job field (Clinical Testing). For this Portfolio Task, you don’t have a specific job you’re aiming for. Instead, you will assemble a résumé that includes all parts of your experience, skills, and training, and you’ll add to it as you continue your academic career here at CCSU. When you want to send your résumé to a prospective employer, before or after you graduate, you will modify it to emphasize those items of particular interest to that employer.

résumé Content

You can find lots of advice on what to put into, and what to leave out of, a résumé. The lower part of this sheet lists some Web sites you may want to consult. To some extent, the content does depend on your current career level, that of college student. Include the following sections:

  • Name, College Address and Permanent Address
  • Professional/Career Objective(s) (you can find this in your Narrative Statement!)
  • Significant College Coursework (include all science, math and computer courses; emphasize courses with labs)
  • Independent Research Projects (with a short description of what you did)
  • Work Experience (include self-employment, volunteer, and unpaid positions)
  • College Activities, Clubs, Teams, Committees
  • Three References, Names and Contact Information (ask them if they will be your references)

You may have nothing to enter in the Independent Research section, or you may have significant experience or skills that don’t fit into one of these categories. Modify your résumé as necessary, but try to stay as close as you can to the foregoing structure. In the section on Work Experience, list positions in reverse chronological order, and include dates (month and year), company names and addresses and the titles of positions held.

Format

Though both major word processing programs (Word and WordPerfect) provide résumé templates into which you can just plug your personal data, I strongly advise you not to use them. They tend to force you into a format that may not fit your current status, and they tend to be embedded with dozens of fancy formatting commands that make them very difficult for you to modify and update later.

Your résumé must be typed or computer-printed on plain white paper, and must be no more than two pages long. Use a legible, proportional font like Times New Roman or Arial at 10-12 pt size. Though you probably will not be sending this exact document out to potential employers without fine-tuning, you should endeavor to create a polished, functional résumé that you would feel comfortable showing to anyone.

A Final Note

Your résumé is a "living document." As you progress through your academic career you will gain experience and insight into what you will want to do with your major. Incorporate these into your résumé. Feel free to ask any faculty member for advice.

Useful Sources of Information on résumé Writing

These web sites offer general advice and step-by-step procedures for crafting a great résumé. You may not need to consult any of them to complete this particular portfolio task, but you should seek their advice before trying to use your résumé to actually get a job.

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