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In which we discuss how to write a resumé, how to get a job, and answer this question: How do you get a job if every job requires previous job experience?!

THE END GAMES paperback:

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Fast Company article on putting your address on a resumé:

Information on different types of resumés:
Karen Kavett's Resumé Design video:

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THE END GAMES paperback:


Co-written and co-hosted by:
Emma Mills

Co-written, co-hosted, directed, and edited by:
T. Michael (Mike) Martin
(Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including Amazon:

Executive Produced by:
Hank and John Green
Mike: Hey, so lets talk resume's. Now a resume is a very important document. It is a storytelling device and a marketing tool.

Today we're going to be looking at how to make a resume using the example of someone who is applying for a job, say, at the ministry of magic. A few important resume facts to remember before we begin:

    1. In general, a resume is not what gets you a job, it's what gets you in the door for a job interview.
    2. A resume is your first impression, and you have to keep your audience in mind. In this case, your audience is an employer who wants to be sure that you can help keep their business prosperous, which is a good thing.
    3. In most cases, before your resume actually gets to a person it's going to go through a computerized applicant tracking system, so we're gonna talk about some specific strategies to help you make peace with the machine.

So there are three main types of resumes: chronological, functional and combination. For most people in most situations, chronological is going to be more than sufficient, and it's actually the kind that most employers prefer, so that's what we're going to be talking about for the most part today. Lets go step-by-step through making your resume magical.

Before you actually write your resume, it's helpful to start with lists. These lists should include: Previous jobs (where you worked, your duties there, what skills you used), highest level of education, certificates, licenses, skills/talents/strengths, accomplishments or awards.

You're almost certainly never going to use this information all at once, but it can be very helpful to have as you customize your resume to each jobs particular needs.

Actual step number one: choose a resume format. While many people have a built in format in their word processor, there are actually a lot of wonderful, free templates online. For instance, Google docs offers a very good one for free.

Some general formatting guidelines: always use a very readable font such as Georgia. Times New Roman is actually a little bit harder to read on-screen. You always want to make sure that your resume is as readable and as skimmable as possible, because research suggests that your resume is probably going to get looked at for about six seconds before the person makes a decision, and that is kind of scary.

As far as the length of your resume goes, outside of academic or research settings, you really want to make sure that it doesn't go over two pages. One page is ideal, but not at the expense of really telling the story of why you're gonna be an awesome candidate.

There are a lot of people who want to make something more customized with their resume, and that is okay, as long as you don't do it at the expense of readability. If you would like to know more about designing your own resume, please be sure to check out this video by the wonderful Karen Kavett. We really love her, we think she's really smart, so please be sure to check her out.

Oh and also, one more thing, remember that applicant tracking systems, those robo-readers, they can't read info-graphics, so just keep that in mind.

Step two: once you've got your format selected, somewhere near the top of the resume be sure to put your personal information. Include your name, phone number and email address. You can also include your city and state, but there is actually a very interesting article in Fast Company Magazine recently, that talks about some possible disadvantages of including your full address. 

Basically, the article suggested that if you live a little bit further away than another candidate, the hiring manager might be less likely to hire you, even if you can obviously make the commute.

One quick side-note: if you have an email address like, you might wanna change it to a more professional address, also remember you're googleable, and you will be googled. So before you submit your resume you might wanna either make sure your social media is squeaky, squeaky clean, or private. 

Step three: objective? Now it used to be that every resume expert would advise putting an objective at the top of the resume. But most experts now say that objectives are kind of old hat. The thinking goes that if you're applying for the job, it's probably pretty clear your objective is to get the job. So, instead, what you can do is write a compelling summary of why you would be good at this very specific position.

"Energetic and persistent Hogwarts graduate with a successful history of high-stakes leadership and the destruction of dark wizards."

Part four: work experience. Here you're going to list in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent, where you worked, what you did there, and what skills you brought to the table. You don't need to list the exact dates, just the years will do.

This is maybe the most vital part of your resume, it's where you convince everyone you have the right stuff, so there are a few different things you can remember. 1. make every word count, this is the story of why you're going to be able to bring great skills from other jobs to this job. You want to make it as concise and specific as possible. 

For instance, rather than "worked with others to eliminate the dark lord," you could put "designed and implemented strategy to eliminate 5 separate Horcruxes (including one in my own head)" Or, for us muggles, you could say something like "increased monthly sales by 5%."

Second thing to remember: you're probably dealing, in the first part of this process, with a robot. So when you're thinking about how to word your previous work experience on your resume, you should look at the companies own description of the job you're applying for. Include specific phrases from their requirements on your resume.

Number three: toot your own horn! If you had any accomplishments or awards, or were singled out for praise at your previous job, be sure to mention that here.

But what if you don't actually have work experience? Well, that's okay! Remember, a resume is a story-telling device, and you can still make a great case for why you'd be a good fit for the job.

For instance, you can list different relevant activities and skills you might have. Maybe you picked up skills and experience at an internship, or volunteering, or from coursework, or from extra-curricular activities. It's not about making things up, it's just about looking at things in a way that demonstrates how those skills might transfer.

And again, if you're worried about this, you can just concentrate on making a really awesome summary at the top of the page.

Step five: education, and, if you are a relatively recent graduate, dates.

Step six: if you haven't already mentioned it, any skills, interests, volunteer work or hobbies that might be relevant.

Step seven: now it used to be that every resume would include the words "references available upon request," but it was used for so long that now it's just a given, so you can save yourself some space by simply not including it.

Step eight: proofread, proofread, proofread. You want to make actually sure that you don't have any grammatical or typographical errors. The best way to do this, of course, is to have someone you trust read your resume. But, if you can't do that, here is a neat trick.

Try reading the last sentence of the resume first, then go to the sentence before that, and the sentence before that. This will fool your brain into making sure that it reads what you actually wrote, rather than what you thought you wrote.

So that is it from us today- what are your guys resume best practices? What's worked for you? What hasn't worked for you? And this is this weeks catchphrase: "my book The End Games, which John Green said was one of his favorite books in People Magazine, just came out in paperback this week." That's it.