(This blog article has been adapted for ASHASphere from the “PediaStaff New Graduate Guide.” Click here to download the entire guidebook.)
A resume is a “living” document that will grow with each new job and professional experience. That said, it should concisely and effectively describe and sell your most relevant credentials. An employer will spend very little time reviewing your resume, so it must be clear and targeted for the type of job you are applying for. You may have more than one resume with different objectives. Don’t be afraid to “toot your own horn” because if you don’t, nobody will! Beware of typos and grammar errors as these will leap right off the page. Remember, this may be the only time you get to make an impression on an employer!
Before Writing the Resume:
- Compile your educational experience. This will include all degrees you have completed or are in the process of completing, as well as relevant courses and seminars.
- Catalog all your work experience such as your clinicals, therapy-related jobs, and positions working with children (special needs as well as typical). Also include jobs which demonstrate your leadership and interpersonal skills whether they are speech related or not.
- Make a list of your honors, scholarships, academic and community achievements.
- Put together names of all of the professional and community organizations to which you belong.
- Choose three references who will speak highly of you (check with them first). Get their full names, titles, phone numbers, and email addresses. Also ask them how they prefer to be contacted.
- Create a record of publications and papers you have written and presentations you have given.
Writing the Resume
- At the top of the resume put your name, address, phone number(s) and email address. Only include references to blogs or social networking sites if they are exclusively used for work. We also recommend that you open a free account just for your job search. Gmail or Yahoo are great for this. Also, make sure the voicemail message on the phone number you have listed is clear, professional, and states your name.
- Declare your objective, the type of job you are looking for, and the population you wish to serve. This should be short and general. Do not close the door on any type of job you might have an interest in. Create a second resume if you find that your possible career objectives don’t work well in one document.
- Create your educational information section. Working with most recent first, list the schools, city, state, year of graduation and the degree earned (or expect to earn).
- Write your experience/work history. List this experience in reverse chronological order. Include title of job and use descriptive action words to describe your duties and responsibilities. Examples are “achieved,” “communicated,” “recommended,” “provided,” etc. Avoid passive verbs like “have written” or “was selected.”
- Add a section for publications or papers you have presented, if relevant.
- Create a section for any honors you have achieved. These honors should include academic, civic, and any other awards you may have received in the community.
After Writing the Resume
- Show the completed document to a trusted friend, professor, or peer who can proofread it, look for things you may have missed, and help you with any areas of confusion.
Heidi Kay is one of the founding partners of PediaStaff and is the editor-in-chief of the PediaStaff Blog, which delivers the latest news, articles, research updates, therapy ideas, and resources from the world of pediatric and school-based therapy. PediaStaff is a nationwide, niche oriented company focused on the placement and staffing of pediatric therapists including speech-language pathologists.