Creating Your Dream Job Résumé

May 04, 2015

By Carol Crosby

resume writingIn my role as a career counselor, I have been editing résumés for over 12 years. Whether you are new to creating professional résumés or are a seasoned professional hoping to create an exceptional résumé, here are my recommendations.

1. Pull out a piece of paper (or open up a document on your computer or tablet) and create several categories that describe your professional experiences. These categories may include:

  • Degrees
  • Work Experience
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Research
  • Honors and Awards
  • Languages
  • Global Experiences
  • Professional Development (Workshops, Trainings, and Programs Attended)
  • Certifications
  • Computer Skills
  • Volunteer Work
  • Community Engagement
  • Professional Membership

2. In each category, write or type your past and current information, and if relevant, titles, organizations, locations, and dates.

3. Whether you are in job search mode or not, find your perfect job(s) on the NAFSA Job Registry and print out copies of the job description. Underline all words, statements, or skills that you can cite on your own résumé, based on your experiences. For example:

Assistant Director, International Student Services, CYB College, Jacob, MS Job Responsibilities

  • Oversee preparation and submission of departmental reports.
  • Draft letters for students on behalf of ISS office and SEVIS.
  • Work effectively in collaboration with university administrators, department chairs, and staff.
  • Create, promote, and implement cultural student activities on and off campus
  • Advertise campus activities, events, and other important information.

4. Try to insert all of the underlined language into the action statements on your résumé. In other words, create a résumé that sells to your next job.

5. Add numbers to your action statements as well. How many staff or student staff members have you managed? How large is your budget? How many workshops did you present this year? How many international students does your office serve?

6. Add identifying information to the action statements that might interest a potential employer. How many countries do your international students represent? What types of students are they? What types of programs have you developed? What workshops have you presented?

7. Last but not least, what successes have you had? Did your last marketing flier double the numbers of participants at International Week? Did you receive Staff Member of the Year for a project? Be sure to include your successes in your action statements; you need to show off what makes you better than anyone else!

Based on the above recommendations and the listed dream job, a great example of one work experience could look like this:

Assistant, Office for International Students, XYZ University, Centerville, KS, 2013-Present

  • Team up with assistant director to prepare quarterly department reports. Gather statistics on student population in Excel, collect documents, and edit reports.
  • Draft letter templates regarding student admittance, orientation, and SEVIS policies and procedures. Prepare and mail merge letters for all incoming and outgoing students, and correspond with up to 180 international students yearly via mail and the internet.
  • Worked collaboratively with the campus community, including the director of global engagement, the chair of the foreign language department, and the Office of International Students staff to create and implement International Week, a week-long program for students to highlight global engagement. Over 200 students attended; the highest number of attendees in the program's 4-year history.
  • Created three online advertising campaigns for upcoming activities, events, and other information of interest to international students using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Campaigns added 300 followers to office's social media accounts in academic year 2014-2015.

Do you see how I used the underlined words as well as numbers, types, and successes to create action statements that mirror the dream job?

Do this and you will be creating a résumé that prepares you for your next career move!

Interested in getting your résumé reviewed? There will be walk-in appointments available Tuesday, May 26 through Thursday, May 28 at the Career Center located in the Expo Hall. Please bring a copy of your most up-to-date résumé with you.