Writing an effective Geomatics Resume – [part 2]
Create a Skills Summary
A skills summary section is a good place in your resume to quickly sell your strongest qualifications by summarizing skills and also provides you a way to show you match the employers desired skills with key words (remember not everybody will read your resume all the way through, some just glance at first, so you want to ensure you have key strengths right up front to make them want to read on).
Emphasize Education & Work Experience
When you are a student there is a good chance that you will need to stress your education and research projects more then your work experience because in most cases your experience may not be directly related to Geomatics or you may not have enough to compete with others applying for the same job. Therefore place your education above your experience to demonstrate the program and school that you got it from, and some key points about it.
Do not just list the school and the program, how will that separate you from the others who took the same program? Add a few key points about your program, specialties you took, awards, key points etc. If you finished top of your class, did something a little different then the others or was in charge of some certain aspect then here you can add a brief note about it and keep the employers interest (then elaborate more about it in your cover letter or portfolio).
As time goes on and you accumulate more work experiences then you will want to emphasize that aspect over your education and you can reverse the order of these sections on your resume. It is important to have your key strengths on the up front on the main page, if you’re a student then it will most likely be your education, if you have worked in the industry for a few years then it shouldn’t be your education anymore.
Most often you will want to put your work experience in chronological order; include your job titles with the names of the employer, general work location and approximate dates. You do not need to have the exact address or date of when you started and ended unless the company explicitly asks for those details. Your work experience should focus on skills and achievements but most often will be the general tasks performed. This section is a great place to insert the desired skills that you found on the job description. Employers are not looking for exact details of every single thing task you did at a particular past job but they do want to get a general concept of what you would have been doing that will allow them to envision you performing similar ones for them.
Add the Extras to Give You a Competitive Advantage
The key to writing your geomatics resume is to include what makes you stand apart from the competition, because most often you will not be the only ideal candidate applying for the job. Include any information that can make you stand out from the rest, mention awards that you have won, special courses you took, presentations that you gave, professional memberships that you obtain, promote your online portfolio info etc. the possibilities are endless here but you have to remember there are many others with your same skills so you need to out sell them and make your resume stand out among the rest.
Format, Edit, and Polish the Draft
Now that you finally have done all the brain storming, made your lists, and gathered all the information that you need, you can start actually writing that resume. Do not spend too much time and worry about the formatting at first; just get all the important information in there. Once it is all gathered and written then you can start to format it and clean it up to make it more presentable.
Start with name and contact info at the top (include the URL to your online portfolio or website as well), next add your quick skills section. Your education would come next followed by your experience if you’re a student or have little relative experience; other info (publications / professional memberships etc.) can follow that. Keep things under two pages if you’re just starting off and make sure it flows clearly and is not confusing or cluttered. Do not get too over worked on fonts and other minor details. You want to stand out and be a little different but it is the content that you want to work for you not the layout.
Proofread Your Final Resume
Now make sure that you do not just spell check your resume, you must fully proof read it, does it make sense when you read it? Spell check will spell the words correctly but not ensure that you have the correct words or have them in the correct order. Have someone else read it over as well, because often you have looked at it so many times, that it can be really easy for you to over look even the smallest details.
Nothing looks worse then reading a poorly written resume from someone with higher education who should know better.
Convert Your Resume to other Formats
When you are happy with your product then you should have it converted into PDF format (It is easy to do and often there are free software that you can use if you can not afford the paid Adobe version). A PDF version of your resume will hide any formatting that may be used in a word processor to make the layout look good and it will ensure that anybody can open it because not everyone uses Microsoft Office products after all. However keep in mind that you deliver your resume in what ever desired format the employer asks for, if they request a word document then do not send them PDF version (you could send both versions though, as they may not have thought of PDF versions).
If you are applying to online jobs (and I am sure most of you will), then it is always a good idea to create a text version of your resume for when you have to enter the info into an online web form, copying word processing data from a formatted document can often have all kinds of strange formatting that will make a plain text resume look pretty awful. Having multiple versions of your resume will keep you prepared for all situations.
And Finally Make that Resume work for you
Well this part does not have so much to do with writing a Geomatics resume, but it does help provide some help into what to do with it now that you have made it. You should always have a digital copy of your resume available online (the internet is almost always available 24 hours a day 7 days a week) especially in this day and age where is so easy and affordable to have a little web space and your own domain.
You can have your resume available to anybody in the world for less then fifty dollars, a wise investment if you consider the job that it can help you get. Chances are you will not always be carrying your resume around with you, should you come across a time where you meet someone who you wish you could have given a copy to; instead provide them with your domain name. This will show you have initiative and skills to succeed, and while they are checking out your resume online they can also see your portfolio and other pertinent information.
Another great idea is to create a business card that includes who you are, what you do, your contact info and the URL to your resume and online portfolio, after all it is much easier to carry around a few business cards then a pile of resumes and you never know when you will run into a potential employer.
Get out and meet people who are also in Geomatics, attend events or conferences, presentation etc. It doesn’t always have to be formal events, there are many casual things planned for people to socially interact with others of the same interests. Check websites like GoGeomatics & LinkedIn.com and you will find many groups and events like these providing you with amble opportunity to meet others and many potential employers.
When you network, you never know who is connected to who or who has the power to hire people but make sure you never come right out and ask for a job, that can make some people uncomfortable and most people do not have the power to provide you a job without going through some sort of process. However do make sure that you mention your job searching status in conservation, and still talk about it but instead ask for advice or suggestions (that way if they are looking to hire someone, then they may ask you instead).