PART ONE OF THE ENGLISH FOR ECES SERIES
When's the last time you had to brush off your resume and get it out there again? Was child care strictly theme based at that time? Were nursery schools still the rage? Did people still call programs day nurseries? Daunting to just think about, eh?
If you have decided it's time to update your resume, there are some important things to consider while you engage in the process.
FIRST THING ….. REFORMAT IT FOR ONLINE READING
MAKE IT ONLINE FRIENDLY
Use Helvetica, Arial, or Times New Roman font for better online readability. Increase the line spacing to at least 1.5 and make the font at least 10, though 11 is better.
Keep white spaces between paragraphs.
Reduce your margins to give yourself space. Keep margins to 0.5 on the top and bottom, and 0.75 on the sides.
MAKE IT SKIM WORTHY
Readers will skim the content for the important parts. Make the process easier by using bulleted points, line dividers, bold titles and short quick sentences that are full of meaning.
REFRESH THE CONTENT
MAKE YOUR BENEFIT CLEAR
Clearly communicate how your qualities will benefit the program.
Highlight new skills you’ve gained and remove any information that is dated. Every ECE grad can organize activities for children. How many can develop outdoor play based activities that can be connected over a week of recesses and adhere to the FDK/ELECT/HDLH guidelines?
TAKE OUT THE 'RESUME OBJECTIVE' AREA. It's dated and obvious. The resume's objective is to obtain employment, no matter how cleverly written.
Commute time to and from work may not be an issue for you; however the reader may discount your resume if they feel the daily commute from your home to the program may be too long and lateness could become an issue. Remember you cannot control what another person may assume, and though you might not think twice about getting up at 5am to travel 40 minutes to open the centre, the reader might only see the potential pitfalls of the situation.
HIGH SCHOOL or GRADUATION YEAR
The general rule is once graduation is three years behind, take the graduation year out. People are more interested in if you have the degree, not necessarily when you obtained it. And, unless you're okay with someone counting backward and inadvertently basing a decision on your potential age, high school and graduation years should be avoided.
Chances are, if you've been in the field a while, you will have employment gaps: education updates, professional development breaks, parental leave, sick leave, sabbaticals …) If you want to avoid any yawing gaps, take out the specific start and end dates and just use years, e.g. XYZ School Age Child Care, 1991–1994.
REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. This too is obvious and dated. When and if they want references, they'll ask for them.
RENEW AND ADD THESE THREE THINGS
Resumes are now read online and are usually a part of an email introduction or initial pitch. Make it easy for the reader to learn more about you online with simple direct clicks.
Develop, if you haven't already, a LinkedIn profile and connect it with a live hyperlink (Using Word: highlight the word you want to use. Go to INSERT. Click HYPERLINK. Add the web address of where you want people to link to. Done.)
Link to other social media handles if you have them: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ to show your professional creative side. Avoid your Facebook page (unless you have a branded child care related page) for anything professional, even if you keep your personal page clean.
SHORT BULLET POINTS
The eye is naturally drawn to bulleted points, especially if they're in the middle of the page. Use no more than five points you'd like the reader to know right away. Make the points short, clear and fluent.
· Honours graduate, Early Childhood Education Diploma.
· Member in good standing with the College of ECEs.
· Reggio training certification, Italy.
· Employed five years, XYZ Reggio afterschool program.
· Developed Reggio of Beginners handbook.
Make sure all of the bulleted points directly line up with the job description or outline that the job post asks for.
REVIEW IT ALL TWICE!
Spell and grammar check everything. Twice. Grammarly is an awesome way to start the review process and is available online free.
READ IT BACK ~ OUT LOUD
Text to voice readers are a great way to have your computer read your work back to you. It allows you to hear your words as they'll sound to another person, and is an easy way to pick up strange sounding words (typos) and awkward sentences.
Or, read it out loud yourself, both forwards AND backwards. If you start at the end and go through the document, you are forced to read every word individually and will pick up on any misspelled words.
BETA READ IT
Email everything to a friend so they'll receive exactly what you plan to send out. Have the person go through and click all of your live links. Have them open the attachments to make sure they work.
TITLE and SAVE IT
Make the file title specific, so when the reader sees it again knows exactly what it is without having to open it, e.g. RESUMEYOURNAMEDATE. ResumeTKassotisMay2018.
Save the document in PDF format so everything stays the same when opened on a different computer. (When using Word click: FILE. SAVE AS. PDF or ADOBE PDF.)
Now, your resume is renewed, refreshed and ready to make things happen for you.
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