Resume Tips and Tricks
LaFindra-McCall, Katherine Thompson
Applying for jobs is a long and arduous process that can be frustrating, especially when you spend four consecutive hours trying to get the ‘Indent’ function to work. Beyond the eccentricities of editing a document, there is no “right” way to put together a resume. It seems that every prospective interviewer looks for different styles, formats, and details. Our field is no exception, but with these tips for resumes concentrated for the laboratory field, you can surely put yourself on the path to employment!
- Know the difference between a resume and CV. Let’s start with the basics. Resumes are usually one page in length. They are meant to HIGHLIGHT what is pertinent to the job you are applying to. A curriculum vitae (CV) is a single document with everything that would qualify as experience or what you have accomplished as a whole. If you’re applying for a position in academia, your interviewer will almost certainly ask for a CV. It’s a summary of your credentials, whereas your resume’s purpose is to demonstrate your competency for the job you are applying for. Keeping a CV is a good thing to do, as you can use it as a “database” to generate a resume. You can edit your general resume to fit the specific job you are applying for, but this gives you a great foundation. When you do make a resume for a specific job, make sure to give it a very specific name. Example: Lab Technician Resume
- Always Keep A Running List Of All The Instrumentation That You Are Familiar With!!! It will help with any future jobs! When/if you have a long list, put the ones most relevant such as ‘Full list of instrumentation familiar with available upon request’. For example, if you are applying to a generalist position then make sure to include a little bit of everything. If you are applying for a chemistry position you can list the specific chemistry analyzers you have used. These are transferable skills and can highlight what would make you a valuable asset to your laboratory! Also, remember to notate the LIS/middleware you are familiar with!
- Organization and cleanliness are key! You want to make sure that the resume looks professional. This is their first impression of you. Think about your resume as a 30-second commercial: you are trying to differentiate yourself and grab the attention of the viewer (or in our case, the reader). You want this to act as an elevator pitch as to why they should hire you. Don’t elaborate too much as you can expand on ideas during the interview process!!! Your goal should be to draft a concise resume that fits on 1 piece of paper, front and back; long enough to get your point across, but short enough to be accessible to the reader.
- Save your job descriptions. Many people run into trouble when trying to update their resume, especially when you’re trying to find a way to describe your current position in a way that makes you sound professional. When you apply to a position, you should create a document and save the postings information and job description, as well as the employer, contact, and the date that you applied. Not only will it help you keep track of the positions you have applied for, but also help you in future job hunt. When updating your resume you can refer back to the original job posting and accurately describe your roles and responsibilities. This description of the position on your resume will be “straight from the company’s mouth”, and this helps alleviate stress. You can also lookup similar job descriptions, you can edit to fit your experiences.
Everyone has different ways of making a resume, but these are some good tricks to help!! Good luck!!!!