The Airman and Family Readiness Center offers resume writing classes: Resumes and Job Search (taught by WorkSource Spokane) and Resumes for Federal Jobs. Sign up for either by calling 509-247-2246.  We have resume reference books that you may borrow and resume self-help booklets that you may take. Resume review/critique of your draft resume is available by appointment

More Resume Resources:

  • State Employment Agency websites are a good resource, with the added bonus that you may post your resume on their job search website. Most also have numerous links to good resources and information 
  • There are many excellent books - go online, to a library or bookstore, or review at the Airman and Family Readiness Center
  • Military One Source Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) offers individualized assistance
  • WorkSource Spokane offers Job Search classes, which include sections on Resume Writing and Cover Letters. This office will also help you write your resume; with an office on base and at headquarters, 130 S. Arthur in Spokane
  • There is a Resume Tutorial at Career One Stop

A resume is not designed to get you a job - it is designed to get you an interview. It is often the first impression you make. The job you eventually get may not equire a resume, but if you are in the job market and are asked to produce a resume, you should have it ready! 

Employers often receive hundreds of resumes for every job opening, and do not have time to read them all. They will quickly look over most of the resumes, trashing the majority of them. Your resume needs to stand out! Make sure it is easy to read, not too long, is written in a language they will understand (not acronyms or military terminology), and highlights your skills and accomplishments. Humility is a wonderful quality - but not in a resume or interview! Your resume has only a few seconds to impress - or to end up in the trash

You may have more than one resume. If you will be applying for different types of positions, you will want to have a resume which focuses on your strengths and experiences in each type of job. If you have access to the job description for the position you are seeking, you may want to revise your basic resume, to ensure that your resume matches what the employer wants

Traditionally, there are six parts to a resume - Contact Information, Objective, Experience, Skills, Education, and References. Today, most resume-writing experts recommend omitting References on the resume, leaving you with 5 parts to complete.  An Objective is optional and many employers skip over it, so now we're down to four mandatory parts

Three main styles of resumes:
 - Chronological - Used when you have years of experience in the same type of job you are seeking
 - Functional (also called Skills) - Used to hide a gap in work experience
 - Combination - Used when you are changing careers or when you have held several different types of jobs

All three styles will have the same information in Contact Information, Objective, and Education. Where they differ is how you organize and place your Experience and Skills.  For information on how to present your Experience and Skills for a Functional Resume or a Combination Resume, please scroll down

Chronological Resume - Use a Chronological Resume when you have several years of experience in the same type of job you are currently seeking

Contact Information: List your contact information at the top of the resume. Include your full name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address. If you have a personal website or LinkedIn account, include the URL only if the site shows off your skills or applies to your career goals

Objective: (Optional) This section gives recruiters an immediate sense of who you are and what you're looking for, without forcing them to read through the entire resume. If you decide to include an objective, stress what you'll add to the company, not what you're looking to take away

Experience: List your experience in reverse chronological order (with your most recent job first). Include the company name, location, your title and dates of employment.  Also, give a brief description of your accomplishments
Remember these tips:
 - Emphasize your most important responsibilities, even if they weren't your primary duties. A good resource is O*NET Online; it provides comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations
 - Use active voice. Strong sentences are those in which a subject performs an action, as opposed to an action being performed on the subject (passive voice).  List of Resume Action Words; Longer List of Resume Verbs (from ResumeWritingAcademy)
 - Use descriptions to highlight your sense of initiative. Paint yourself as a "go-getter" with strong verbs like "proposed," "launched" and "managed"
- Impress employers with tangible results. Quantify your achievements with percentages and numbers like "increased enrollment 20 percent" and "supervised three-person staff"
 - Unpaid experience (i.e. volunteer) is valuable, and is appropriate to list here

Skills/Interests: If relevant to the position, mention your technical and computer skills. List programming languages, software programs and operating systems you've used as well as certifications you have. Include memberships in professional organizations, because it shows you're serious about your career. Mentioning your interests, activities and hobbies is optional - they can portray you as a well-rounded person, but could raise eyebrows, too. Be careful what you list - maintain professionalism

Education: List your most recent education first and work backward. State your degree, major, dates of attendance (optional - this may indicate your age) and the school's name and location. You may add your GPA (if 3.5 or higher)

Functional Resume (Skills Resume) - Use a Functional Resume to hide a gap in work experience. Because this type of resume leaves off employment details such as dates, many potential employers do not like this type of resume.  It is acceptable, however, for recent high school graduates. Instead of listing your experience chronologically, this style clusters your experiences under major skill areas. You will select 3-5 skill areas and list examples of your strengths/accomplishments for each.  (Examples: Managing Budgets, Instructing Others, Organizing, Record Keeping)

Combination Resume -
Use a Combination Resume when you are changing careers or when you have held several different types of jobs 

In this type of resume, elements of the Chronological and Functional Resumes are combined. As with the Functional Resume, 3-5 major skill areas are identified and experiences in each are listed.  Beneath this are listed employers, job titles and dates - in reverse chronological order (most recent is listed first)   

Finishing Touches

  • Create several versions of your resume, each tailored to the type of position you're applying for
  • There is probably no need to pay someone to write your resume. You know yourself and your previous work better than anyone else. It is worth it to invest your time into your resume, rather than to invest hundreds of dollars into what is often an inferior, inflexible product
  • If you're applying for a specific job, research the position and company. Pay attention to the job requirements, and highlight your qualifications as they reflect the hiring company's needs
  • Be concise. Stick to one page if possible - maximum of two pages. Make sure every word is meaningful
  • Choose fonts that are easy-to-read, clean and consistent. Don't use non-traditional or overly creative fonts
  • Read, edit and re-read your resume to make sure it's well written, clear and typo-free. Do it again. Then, ask your friends and family to do the same
  • Use good quality paper, and good copying or printing
  • If you use an online resume, consider saving a text version that will look good on any computer - be aware that bullets, symbols, and some fonts may not appear the same in the program used by the website. Send your resume as an attachment and also paste the text into the body of the e-mail just to be safe. Online resumes should also include plenty of keywords, since they may be reviewed by a computer-reader
  • For security reasons, especially if posting your resume on-line, consider a post office box
  • Think of all the ways that a potential employer may contact you, and ensure that their first impression will be positive and professional. Your e-mail name should be suitable for business use. Your telephone message should be professional. Anyone answering the telephone should be courteous, and able to take and deliver a message
  • Be honest. Misleading and dishonest statements on a resume, in an interview, and on a job application or contract can get you fired, with no recourse. There could be additional consequences

Helpful Handouts:
Resume Component Samples
The Down and Dirty Resume Guide

Sample Pilot Resume, provided by an airline which recruits military pilots 
Sample Pilot Resume, successfully used by a military member for a commercial airline 

Cover Letter
If at all possible, you will want to include a Cover Letter. The cover letter is an additional way of introducing yourself to a potential employer. What it says about you can be the difference between getting in the door ... or missing your chance

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