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Résumé Overview Part 2

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What should I do if I am transitioning from the automotive industry?

It is important to create your résumé in a way that employers will understand. Creating an effective résumé for your new job outside the auto industry means you will have to use language people outside the industry can understand. For example, in the experience section of your résumé you will need to “translate” your auto industry terms:

Auto industry terms: Finished, prepared, and applied various materials, sub-finishes and final top coat paints to components, parts and complete vehicles in accordance with engineering drawings and manufacturer’s recommendations.

“Translated” terms: Worked in a team to apply paint to parts and complete vehicles following detailed engineering drawings and manufacturer’s recommendations.

If you remember specific details and achievements related to your responsibilities, you should include them:

Supervised and coordinated ten employees in automotive assembly and reviewed manufacturing processes and products for quality control. Maintained a 96% average delivery rate while focusing on lean manufacturing and continuous improvement.

What should I do about any times I was not working?

Short times in between jobs or work experience should not hurt your chances of getting an interview. But you should be prepared to talk about those breaks when you meet with the employer. If you were not working for pay but volunteered doing something in the community, talk about that experience to show you were busy doing something.

What should I do if I have been incarcerated?

If you were incarcerated, be honest with the employer and talk about what you did while you were serving your sentence that may contribute to your job skills. For example, many prison systems offer General Education Development (GED) programs so inmates can receive the equivalent of a high school diploma. Prison systems also offer vocational training in carpentry, plumbing, electronics, auto mechanics, etc. If you have received vocational training in prison, talk about this in your interview.

Also, people reentering the work force from prison may want to write a skills-based (also called a functional) résumé. Skills-based résumés focus on what you can do now rather than showing a specific work history.

What should my résumé look like?

You may design your résumé in a chronological format or a skills-based format. You may also use a combination of both. You should choose the format that best represents your situation. As mentioned above, if you have been incarcerated, you may want to choose the skills-based format. The example résumés available with this resource show all of these formats. Regardless of which format you choose, your résumé should follow some general guidelines.

Your résumé should be one page, and it should look professional. Your résumé should be easy to read and have no errors. Your résumé should not contain full sentences, but instead it should contain statements in bullet lists. Lastly, your résumé should include white space and a balanced format so it is easy to skim. For more information about résumé formatting, visit the Résumé Design pages.

What should my résumé include?

Depending on which résumé format you choose (chronological, skills-based, combination), your résumé could include these sections:

  • Contact information – phone number (home, cell), mailing address, email address
  • Objective – the name of the company and the job you want
  • Work history – jobs you have held (the order of the work history and education sections can be reversed depending on your situation)
  • Education – elementary, high school, college, technical school, certifications, vocational or trade schools
  • Summary of qualifications – list of skills that apply to the job you want

Optional sections include:

  • Professional or union affiliations – trade groups or labor relation organizations
  • Other experiences – volunteer work or hobbies that relate to the job you want

You may also do a separate page for your references. References are past employers or people you know who employers can contact to get more information about your job history.

Click here to download the PDF file containing sample résumés and employment letters.

The following pages explain each résumé section in detail.