Social Services and Education Resumes

by Carolyn Osborne
(Columbus, OH)

I was the director of a social services organization and currently am an education professor. I hired staff for my social service and I have reviewed many student-written resumes in the process of helping my students get jobs.

While you can get good templates for your resume, make sure you are not using a font that is too small. Many people who are in charge of hiring are middle-aged and an 8 point font is hard for them to read. Don't use anything less than 10 points.

Be sure to describe the positions you have held using vivid verbs. I don't know what an "assistant manager" does--that's such a generic term.

I think if you have held any people-oriented jobs (e.g., waiter, receptionist, etc.), focus your job description on the people-skills you used or developed. Even if you are applying for a job that is not related to these areas, you can mention in your cover letter that you have skills in dealing with people (being on a team, etc.) that you have learned in this job.

Note from Lisa: I personally prefer to see an objective or professional profile on a resume. In my opinion, it helps give the resume focus. However, you will find differing opinions on the topic, and objectives can be very lame if they are not well written.

Following are several articles that show how to write a good resume objective or profile.
Features of a good resume job objective
Sample resume objectives
More sample resume objectives
Resume profiles
While some people think the "objective" at the top of a resume is important, I think it's kind of lame. That's my opinion, your mileage will vary.

While I believe in saving trees, the resume is one document that should probably not be copied double-sided. The reason is that if you are being hired by a committee, some person may have copied your resume and may not have copied the backside. Therefore the committee may be missing information about you.

I think of the resume as the general source of information and the cover letter as a place to focus on the specifics you want noticed for a particular job opening.

One thing that used to really irritate me was cover letters that were "me" centered. In other words, the person wants the job because the location is near to home or some other convenience to the job seeker. When I hire, I want to know that the job seeker really wants to work at my place, knows something about my place, and can be specific about how he or she can help.

Finally, take it through spell check and then get a couple of friends to check it again for you. If you can't spell things correctly on the resume, you are not detail-oriented enough to work for me.

Comments for Social Services and Education Resumes

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Thank You for Your Comment
by: Lisa McGrimmon

Thank you for adding such helpful tips. Your comment:

"One thing that used to really irritate me was cover letters that were "me" centered. In other words, the person wants the job because the location is near to home or some other convenience to the job seeker."

is absolutely crucial for job seekers to remember.

When you're job searching, you're probably thinking about all of the ways a new job will benefit you. Those ideas, however, are not what you need to promote to employers. As Carolyn noted, employers want to know how your skills and experience will benefit their company; that's what you need to promote to employers.

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