Dow Resume Guide


How to Prepare a Resume

Barbara Keil
Recruiting & Development Manager
The Dow Chemical Company


Purpose of a Resume

Personal Information

Your name should be at the top of the resume. Your name should be clearly seen, so use all capital letters or a larger font. Typically your name should be in bold print.

List your address and phone number. If You have a campus address that is temporary, list both your current address (campus address) and your permanent (home) address.

Objective (Optional)

Listing a job objective is optional. If you decide to list a job objective, the recruiter will be looking to see if your objectives are a good fit with the job being offered.

Be somewhat specific about what type of job you are seeking. For example: "A summer internship in the field of production engineering". Stay away from extremely general objectives that show a lack of direction. For example: "A summer internship" or "A challenging position with a progressive company", does not provide recruiters with any useful information.

If you are interviewing for several different types of jobs, you should consider customizing versions of your resumes so the objectives listed are appropriate for each field you will be interviewing for. Or, do not list an objective.

Education

List the name of the university you attend and its location. Use the full name. Do not use abbreviations. If you have attended more than one institution, begin with the most recent information and list the others in reverse chronological order. List the degree you will receive and your major. List the month and year you expect to graduate. List your GPA. If your GPA is not listed, many recruiters may assume it is low, so if your GPA is close to or above a 3.0, it is in your best interest to include it.

For example:

  • Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, April 2001
  • GPA: 3.6

If you earned a significant portion of your college expenses, you may choose to list that. For example:

  • Earned 75% of college expenses.

Experience

Use this section to list any employment experiences you have had including full time, part time, internships or co-ops. If you have participated in any volunteer work experiences, you may either list them in this section or in the "Activities" section. List these experiences in reverse chronological order beginning with the most recent position.

For each work experience, list the organization you worked for, their location, your title, and the dates (using just month and year) you worked.

For example:

The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI May-August 1998
Intern--Multi-Product Pharma Plant

Provide bullet points of your key accomplishments. Begin each of these bullet points with an action verb (for example: analyzed, coordinated, created, developed, implemented, installed, managed, etc.) Do not use the word "I".

To best present your accomplishments, ask yourself three questions:

  1. What did I do?
  2. What did I change or impact?
  3. What was the value of that change or impact?

Most students simply list the responsibilities they had on their job. Determine if you can better differentiate yourself by determining the impact achieved through your work. Then ask yourself if it is possible to assign a value to that impact.

Here is a real-world example of how a chemical engineering co-op worked through the three questions to improve an accomplishment listed on his resume.

This simply listed his responsibility.

What did I change or impact?

Through his project work, he was able to improve the turnaround time (time needed from when batch reaction was complete, reactor emptied, and then reloaded again ready to process), by 3 minutes out of 100.

So, his bullet point could be enhanced by saying: "Improved batch reactor turnaround time by 3%."

This describes a significant accomplishment he achieved on the job rather than simply listing his general job responsibility.

What was the value of that change or impact?

In this case, there were 19 reactors being used. The reactors were turned around 220 times per year. 19 times 220 equals 4,180 turnarounds in the system per year.

3 minutes saved in each turnaround (3 times 4,180) means 12,540 total minutes saved per year, which translates to 209 more hours that the equipment is now available to make product per year.

He asked his management to help him understand the value of that equipment. They told him one reactor hour equals $1,200 worth of product. 209 hours times $1,200 equals $250,800.

So, he strengthened his accomplishment by quantifying the value of his work:

"Created $250,000 annual savings by improving reactor turnaround time by 3%."


Here is another example of the process involving a business major:

What did I do?--Acceptable key responsibility bullet point:

"Conducted market research on the opportunities for high-heat resistant plastics in medical applications."

What did I change or impact?--A better key responsibility bullet point:

"Identified 10 potential new customers for high-heat resistant plastics in medical applications."

What was the value of that change or impact?--If you can estimate the potential worth of those ten new customers you can write a higher caliber key responsibility bullet point:

"Identified $15 MM of potential new business within the medical market segment for high-heat resistant plastics."

Activities/Honors

Use this section to list any activities you have participated in, including college organizations, leadership activities in fraternities/sororities, community service, sports, honor societies, or professional organizations. You may also list any scholarships, honors or awards you have received. If you have several honors and activities you can split them into two separate categories to emphasize your achievements. List the most significant and most recent activities first.

Be certain to list any leadership positions or participation in committee work. Indicate your title and/or role in the organization or event. Many students simply list their title or roles, but as an option you may also list your key responsibilities or accomplishments as discussed in the "Experience" section.

Listing Your Mission

It is your choice whether or not you want to list your mission on your resume. By law, you are not required to list any activities which indicate your religion.

There are some advantages in including your mission as either an activity or work experience.

  • If you don't list your mission, two years/eighteen months of your life are unaccounted for. Any recruiters or interview panel members who are not familiar with the concept of missions may wonder what you were doing during that time.
  • You may choose to use your mission experiences as examples of positive traits during your interviews. For example, the ability to work well with people and work as a member of a team, initiative, tenacity, organization and planning skills, persuasiveness, etc. If you served a foreign mission, some companies may value that international experience.
  • If you were a district leader, zone leader or assistant to the President, you can list that as a leadership position.

Here is an example of how you might list your mission:

Voluntary Representative, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Nagoya, Japan 1997-1999

  • Conducted presentations for individuals and groups
  • Performed community service activities
  • Learned to speak, read, and write Japanese

Here are examples of how you might list leadership roles:

  • Aided in the supervision of the activities and finances of 180 volunteers as Assistant to the Mission President
  • Supervised 10 other volunteers as Zone Leader
  • Developed monthly mission plans
  • Planned and facilitated monthly meetings

Listing Church Leadership Roles

It is also your choice whether or not you want to list church leadership roles. By law, you are not required to list any activities which indicate your religion.

However, you might want to consider listing any church callings that showcase your leadership capabilities or other significant skills--particularly if you are going to eventually be competing with non-member candidates who will be listing their involvement and leadership roles in campus organizations.

If you elect to list church leadership roles, word your role and your responsibilities in a way that will make sense to a non-member. Be prepared to discuss your involvement in ways that focus on the relevant skill sets that you developed vs. the spiritual nature of the calling, if asked.

For example: If you were an Elder’s Quorum President, you could list that as, "President of Men’s Service Organization."

Additional Categories

You may list relevant courses you have taken specific to your job field if you believe that this will be of interest to recruiters in your field. This practice is more common in fields that require specific technical skills. However, in most cases recruiters are familiar with the courses required to graduate within your major, so it is less effective to invest resume space with this information as opposed to other material that will truly differentiate you from other candidates.

You may also list publications, presentations, performances, or special skills such as foreign language or computer capabilities if you believe they will be relevant.


Length of your Resume

In the past it was considered mandatory to limit resumes to one page. If possible you should target for no more than one page--one page is easy to read and you are certain that the recruiter is seeing all of your credentials without having to flip to a second page. However, it is now usually considered acceptable to use two pages if you truly have more relevant experiences than can be listed on the one page.

You may use a 10 point font to get more material on one page.


General Tips

  • Give priority to your major work experiences, campus/community involvement, and other accomplishments.
  • Design your resume for easy skimming. Emphasize major data by bolding. Bullet points are usually more effective than paragraphs.
  • Do not use space to list references. Either wait for the recruiter to ask for references or use the sentence, "References Available Upon Request", at the bottom of the resume.
  • Do not list any unnecessary personal information such as date of birth, marital status, height, weight, health, personal interests (unless they relate to relevant skill sets), etc.
  • Use 8 1/2" by 11" paper. Choose a conservative color such as cream or light gray or white.
  • Use conservative fonts that are easy to read.

For information on job opportunities at Dow Chemical, visit our web site at www.dow.com