Resume Design Principles

Subject: Resume Design Principles
From: "USA::MU17692" <MU17692%USA -dot- decnet -at- USAV01 -dot- GLAXO -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 15:59:00 EST

My esteemed colleagues,

I am planning to lead a resume writing workshop for the
Carolina Chapter of STC. I am the chapter's job bank
manager and thus receive many resumes from technical
communicators looking for jobs.

Among other characteristics, I have noticed two
important trends or patterns in the resumes I have on

(1) most tend to look alike, and
(2) the ones that stand out do so because
they're so awful, not because they're
better than the others.

I am surprised that technical communicators, as a
group, do not spend more time designing and creating
their resumes.

From the TECHWR-L subscribers, I would like suggestions
for a set of DOs and DON'Ts for technical communicators'
resumes. Let's brainstorm online.

I would like to start with these principles:

1. Do not state a career objective. Rather, place
a job title under your name, such as "Senior
Technical Communicator" or "Video Script Writer."
2. Use a summary at the beginning of your resume.
Keep it brief. A half page is way too long.
3. Be specific about who you are and what you do.
Vague resumes are forgettable resumes.
4. Make clear breaks in the categories, e.g. Education,
5. Use an information chunking design that is within
most readers' ability to quickly recognize.
6. Design your resume to stand out in a positive way;
design it to reflect your personality.
7. Design/write a resume you feel good about.

How's that for a start?

Thanks for any ideas y'all might provide.

-Mike Uhl (uhl~m -at- glaxo -dot- com)
Glaxo Inc. Research Institute
Research Triangle Park, NC

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