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Critique my resume please?!

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  • Critique my resume please?!

    I am sure I am super bad at this since I have never made one! I dont know if I included enough or too much information!


    Objective
    To obtain a position as a working student.
    Riding History
    1992- began riding as a two year old
    1995- Began showing saddle club lead line
    1997- Began barrel racing and pole bending
    2001- Began English riding lessons. Started jumping.
    2002- Began a part-time working student position at a small lesson barn
    2003-Purchased my first foal to train myself
    2004- Left part-time working student position.
    2004- Began competing at local school hunter/jumper shows
    2006- Began eventing a starter level on self trained horse
    2009- Began competing at BN in schooling shows on self trained horse
    Also began competing in IHSA at Novice level.
    Relevant Skills
    I have been around horse my entire life. I have always been in charge of managing everything to do with them, as I am the only horseperson in my family. At 12 years of age, I began doing barn chores to pay for my lessons. It was a herd of 15 that I was in charge of feeding, cleaning stalls, blanketing/fly masking, bringing in and turning out, tacking and untacking of lesson horses, and even giving beginner lessons. At 16 my family bought acreage and I began full boarding my friends horse. Although it was a small barn of six, I was still in charge of everyday feeding, cleaning stalls, bringing in and turning out horses, scheduling of vet and farrier visits, etc, with no one looking over my shoulder to make sure things were getting done.
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

  • #2
    There are a lot of ways to do resumes, and none is right or wrong. And it's much harder to do riding ones than normal job ones.

    My suggestions are just that--really I don't think there is anything wrong with yours:

    I think the way I'd do it is move your Summary to the top (so under the objectives, but above the chronology), and in addition to stating the facts about what horse care you've done, discuss some personal qualities in there (reliable, hardworking, energetic, motivated--something along those lines) and also what it is you want to do (which I'm guessing is grander than what you list that you have done--learn to manage a professional event barn, groom at big events, learn to condition eventers, whatever).

    Your background is great, just maybe spin it a little more so they can see your energetic hardworking self in their bustling professional event barn or whatever it is. Answer their "why should I hire this one?" question.

    For your chronology, you generally start with most recent (so, 2009 at the top) since that's most important. You can probably also summarize a bit (like 2002-2004 was a working student, instead of having a separate line of leaving that job) and perhaps add more detail to the important stuff (the working student position, any show disciplines where you had notable results), maybe you can leave off began riding at 2 and showing leadline, etc., to focus more on the history that will help your job hunt.

    I don't know, we do a lot of work with resumes at work (like, work-work, not fun riding work) so I'll be interested in what others say.

    Good luck!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thank you and I totally forgot about having 2009 first! I learned that in high school! Shows you how much sticks!
      *Paige*
      ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
      R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

      Comment


      • #4
        I would highlight your barn management skills more. Working student employers are primarily going to be interested in how you can care for their barn, over your riding history.

        Highlight how many horses you have cared for (at one time), management skills (first aid, lounging, bandaging, etc. )
        tacking up, grooming, exercising horses (experience with green horses/difficult)

        Remember you have to make their life easier, so think about what things that includes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmm...I would probably toss the objective, actually--most resumes do not contain these nowadays. That type of information (stating what position you want, why you want to work for x farm, what you want to learn, and details as to why you would be ideal for the position) would be best put in a cover letter, IMO.

          As for the resume (which I agree...millions of way to format them!!) I would probably do a format where you first have an Education section (e.g. actual school completed, name of institution, dates, GPA--this is evidence of your work ethic, and employers may want to see this, even if it seems unrelated). Then, I like to put a section titled "Experience". Under here, I would put many of the items you placed under "Relevant Skills" but re-format them into short, bulleted statements underneath the name of the farm you worked at (even if was your family's farm). For instance, instead of writing out paragraphs on your resume, put things like:

          Experience:
          X Farm, X Location
          Farm Staff (or whatever the name of your position was), X date-X date
          -Taught beginner riding lessons
          -Responsible for feeding, turnout, and stall cleaning
          -Oversaw care of X horses (avoid statements like "with no one looking over my shoulder"...save this for an interview)
          Etc.

          Then, probably ditch the riding history section and put this data, bulleted, under "relevant skills" (for instance, a bullet stating "X years of riding experience" rather than a huge timeline stating what year you started riding in...you will lose your prospective employer's attention with that much detail, and they generally don't need to see info from that far back. Keep it simple, and just list your skills, such as communicating with clients, competition experience through X level (as opposed to saying something like "I went BN in 2003 then went T in 2005" and on and on..)

          Finally, avoid the temptation to make statements such as "I'm responsible" or "I work hard" or things of that nature...replace it with "Responsible for...x duty" under one of your jobs and as for the work ethic aspect, this will be obvious just through listing all of your duties. Show, don't just tell. (FYI you didn't seem to be guilty of this in your resume, just something to avoid!)
          You may also want to include a section of "Activities" if you have done any volunteer work, are/were a member of any school clubs, etc--format this in a way similar to the experience section.

          Anyway, there are tons of ways and orders of information that you can use...this is just one way to organize it in such a way that will make it easier to understand and highlight your experience and skills. Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            I would narrow your objective to reflect a more specific working student position. Otherwise, that big event rider may say, "We don't need you, but we know a cowboy down the street that could use help." The objective should reflect the type of barn you want to be a working student in and what you hope to get out of it. Something along the lines of "To gain training experience through a working student position at a competitive eventing facility."

            I, too, would simplify the timeline. Hit the major highlights. If you want to include it, the "I have been involved with horses since age 2" can be in the summary or cover letter, along with the fact that you've brought along your own event horse from birth. Narrative goes in the cover letter, but keep it brief. I'd simplify the timeline to the 2002-2004 working student position (list underneath what this involved, instead of in your paragraph), 2006-present managing a small family barn (again, list responsibilities underneath the position title), and 2006-present eventing "career." Make the info brief and easy to access, and let them ask you about the rest if they're interested. Listing every detail of your riding childhood is going to make you seem less of a serious prospective trainer and more of a horse crazy kid.


            ETA: While I don't *love* the resume templates on Microsoft Word (I ahve usually used InDesign myself because I'm a perfectionist), they should work just fine for you in this situation. They at least do a good job of showing the idea that I believe both Jesposito and I were getting at of listing a job and the responsibilties below.
            Last edited by archieflies; Jan. 15, 2010, 07:40 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rescue_Rider9 View Post
              I have always been in charge of managing everything to do with them, as I am the only horseperson in my family.
              I don't think this sentence makes sense... and it is contradicted by what you say before and go on to stay. If you have been around horses your entire life and "always been in charge of managing everything" you wouldn't have gone through the progression of responsibility you describe starting aged twelve. I also don't think being the only horseperson in your family is relevant, unless you are saying that your family had a barn of horses all through your childhood that you took care of alone. If the horses weren't the charge of your family (weren't on their land) it doesn't seem to matter whether they were non-horsey.

              When I see "in charge of everything to do with them," I think complete responsibility for feed, mucking, grooming, daily care, etc. Based on the rest of your post, it sounds like you mean that you took your own initiative and it was "your thing." You weren't in charge of everything to do with them until you were 16, it sounds like.

              Good luck with your job! Let us know how the search goes.
              <><

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by RoyalTRider View Post
                I don't think this sentence makes sense... and it is contradicted by what you say before and go on to stay. If you have been around horses your entire life and "always been in charge of managing everything" you wouldn't have gone through the progression of responsibility you describe starting aged twelve. I also don't think being the only horseperson in your family is relevant, unless you are saying that your family had a barn of horses all through your childhood that you took care of alone. If the horses weren't the charge of your family (weren't on their land) it doesn't seem to matter whether they were non-horsey.

                When I see "in charge of everything to do with them," I think complete responsibility for feed, mucking, grooming, daily care, etc. Based on the rest of your post, it sounds like you mean that you took your own initiative and it was "your thing." You weren't in charge of everything to do with them until you were 16, it sounds like.

                Good luck with your job! Let us know how the search goes.

                I should have stated that I am the only person in the household who does horses. My aunt was into horses which is how I started riding. I didnt get my first horse until I was 10, which I was in complete charge of. I am going to completely take that out though! Thank you!
                *Paige*
                ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would like to see your accomplishments, not when you "began" things. I personally have not finished many things I have "begun".

                  You should emphasize your successes and what you have actually done or completed. If you have worked with local trainers with good reputations mention that and maybe what you learned from them.

                  When you barrel raced and entered IHSA shows, did you place, or win any end of the year awards? How far did you progress in barrel racing, side saddle, hunters, jumpers, IHSA. Were you successful in training your foal? Did you use any particular training methods? How far did you go with training your foal? Your foal should be over seven years old now...did you sell it, is it being used as a lesson horse, have you shown it successfully? What did you learn from your experience that would make me want to hire you?

                  Have you gone through any programs such as 4-H or pony club and learned horse management? Convince me in one or two sentences that you would know how to handle a medical emergency with a horse.

                  Essentially, convince me to hire you by telling me what you know and what you have accomplished. And you had better name references, because their glowing recommendation is what is going to get you hired.

                  Oh, and don't forget your short term and long term goals that you would like to accomplish as a working student.

                  Good luck!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Here are the first two sections on my resume.. is this better? I still dont know were else to go, but I am working on it!

                    Education
                    2008-present: Attending TN Tech Universitymajoring in Agribusiness management with a current GPA of 3.2

                    2004-2008: Attended White House High School graduating with a GPA of 3.7

                    Riding History
                    2009-present: Currently competing in IHSA in hunt seat at novice level

                    2006-present: successfully competing self trained horse at Beginner Novice level

                    2004-present: Successfully competing many horses on the Local hunter jumper cicut

                    2002-2004: Successfully completed a working student position at Rainbow’s End Riding Academy

                    1997-2008: Competed at local saddle club in barrel racing and pole bending, qualifying
                    for state championships every year.


                    Experience
                    Dusty Acres Eventing, Cross Plains, TN
                    2006-Present: Farm owner and manager
                    -Teaching beginner riding lessons
                    -Responsible for feeding, turnout and stall cleaning
                    -schedule all vet and farrier visits
                    -Over see the care of 6 horses

                    Rainbows End Riding Academy, Goodlettsville, TN
                    2002-2004: Working Student
                    -Taught beginner riding lessons
                    -responsible for stall cleaning, turnout, and feeding
                    -assisted in the care of about 15 horses.


                    NOTE: Its more organized then that. I copied and pasted..
                    Last edited by Rescue_Rider9; Jan. 15, 2010, 11:40 PM.
                    *Paige*
                    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would not split things up so much. Beginning to ride at age two is cute, but completely irrelevant. (no offense)


                      I would summarize the whole first part in a sentence or two: "I have been around horses my entire life, and have taken lessons and been responsible for caring for my own animals since I was twelve. I have taken lessons and competed in numerous disciplines, including gymkhana games, jumping, and cross country."

                      You could also put this in "bullet" form, which might be nice. But I wouldn't list every little thing separately; rather, emphasize the experience you have from a young age.

                      Frankly, at this age, there isn't much to put on a resume unless you have had paid jobs with specific duties and responsibilities, with an employer who can give you a reference. But there's nothing wrong with a simple personal statement outlining your experiences IN GENERAL, providing a list of specific skills you have (such as clipping, braiding, long-lining, whatever) and also listing whatever organizations you have belonged to or volunteered with in a meaningful way.

                      ETA that your last post is very, very much more the thing. Good job!
                      Click here before you buy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some suggestions...

                        Education
                        2008-present: Attending TN Tech Universitymajoring in Agribusiness management with a current GPA of 3.2

                        2004-2008: Attended White House High School graduating with a GPA of 3.7
                        This is good and helpful because it lets prospective bosses know what else you are up to other than riding.

                        Riding History
                        2009-present: Currently competing in IHSA in hunt seat at novice level

                        2006-present: successfully competing self trained horse at Beginner Novice level

                        2004-present: Successfully competing many horses on the Local hunter jumper cicut
                        Instead of using the words "successfully", could you be more specific? I think you mentioned that you are eventing at unrecognized events and that is probably important to include in the interest of full disclosure but maybe you can add something like "dressage scores in the 20's" and "training 3'3" at home" or "Placed in top three at last 4 events." It might help to create a more accurate picture of where you are as a rider (as in ready to move up, etc.).

                        I think it would be advisable to add this type of info in each discipline. What is "novice level" in the IHSA and what levels are you competing in on the local h/j circuit (jumping? flat only? height of jumps?)? Not all trainers will know what certain divisions include so be specific (2'6" First Year Green Hunters instead of 1st Year Greens, etc.).

                        2002-2004: Successfully completed a working student position at Rainbow’s End Riding Academy
                        I wouldn't repeat this. It is better stated below.

                        1997-2008: Competed at local saddle club in barrel racing and pole bending, qualifying
                        for state championships every year.
                        This is closer to the specificity that I mention above.

                        Experience
                        Dusty Acres Eventing, Cross Plains, TN
                        2006-Present: Farm owner and manager
                        -Teaching beginner riding lessons
                        -Responsible for feeding, turnout and stall cleaning
                        -schedule all vet and farrier visits
                        -Over see the care of 6 horses

                        Rainbows End Riding Academy, Goodlettsville, TN
                        2002-2004: Working Student
                        -Taught beginner riding lessons
                        -responsible for stall cleaning, turnout, and feeding
                        -assisted in the care of about 15 horses.
                        What is "beginner"? Walk trot? (It's all relevative ).

                        And I am sure you know this but be SURE that there are NO spelling and grammar mistakes in your final draft. You may have to get someone else to look it over for you because you will become blind to them!

                        This is looking good! You'll have a great resume when you get it sorted out!
                        "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks everyone! I find it hard to word things with it being too wordy! Like I had no idea how to mention that it was schooling HT. I know I should, but idk how! Im working on it and keep progressing!
                          *Paige*
                          ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
                          R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jesposito View Post
                            Hmm...I would probably toss the objective, actually--most resumes do not contain these nowadays. That type of information (stating what position you want, why you want to work for x farm, what you want to learn, and details as to why you would be ideal for the position) would be best put in a cover letter, IMO.

                            As for the resume (which I agree...millions of way to format them!!) I would probably do a format where you first have an Education section (e.g. actual school completed, name of institution, dates, GPA--this is evidence of your work ethic, and employers may want to see this, even if it seems unrelated). Then, I like to put a section titled "Experience". Under here, I would put many of the items you placed under "Relevant Skills" but re-format them into short, bulleted statements underneath the name of the farm you worked at (even if was your family's farm). For instance, instead of writing out paragraphs on your resume, put things like:

                            Experience:
                            X Farm, X Location
                            Farm Staff (or whatever the name of your position was), X date-X date
                            -Taught beginner riding lessons
                            -Responsible for feeding, turnout, and stall cleaning
                            -Oversaw care of X horses (avoid statements like "with no one looking over my shoulder"...save this for an interview)
                            Etc.

                            Then, probably ditch the riding history section and put this data, bulleted, under "relevant skills" (for instance, a bullet stating "X years of riding experience" rather than a huge timeline stating what year you started riding in...you will lose your prospective employer's attention with that much detail, and they generally don't need to see info from that far back. Keep it simple, and just list your skills, such as communicating with clients, competition experience through X level (as opposed to saying something like "I went BN in 2003 then went T in 2005" and on and on..)

                            Finally, avoid the temptation to make statements such as "I'm responsible" or "I work hard" or things of that nature...replace it with "Responsible for...x duty" under one of your jobs and as for the work ethic aspect, this will be obvious just through listing all of your duties. Show, don't just tell. (FYI you didn't seem to be guilty of this in your resume, just something to avoid!)
                            You may also want to include a section of "Activities" if you have done any volunteer work, are/were a member of any school clubs, etc--format this in a way similar to the experience section.

                            Anyway, there are tons of ways and orders of information that you can use...this is just one way to organize it in such a way that will make it easier to understand and highlight your experience and skills. Good luck!
                            This. Good luck!
                            Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Your revised version is looking MUCH BETTER!! That's the kind of organization you want to go for...but I agree that you only need to list your working student position once, under experience--since you have all the detail of it there, you don't need to have it listed under your "Riding History" section (maybe think about renaming this to an "Equine Skills" or other type of heading to list your skills, i.e. competition through x level, braiding, hauling, etc--also, you would not necessarily need to list dates for your skills, just how many years you have been doing something ("5 years of grooming experience"--that way your employer won't have to do the math for themselves as to your skills). Just keep the dates to your experience section. And also watch that you aren't too repetitive with descriptive words--I see "Successfully" quite a bit, so try to change that up or add a different detail, such as "Competition experience through X level with consistent placings or x scores".

                              You are on the right track, though--good luck!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by VicariousRider View Post
                                And I am sure you know this but be SURE that there are NO spelling and grammar mistakes in your final draft. You may have to get someone else to look it over for you because you will become blind to them!
                                On this note, I noticed that in your bulleted lists some things are capitalized and some aren't... be uniform the whole way through. If you really want to be picky, lists should have a parallel structure (i.e., if one bullet starts with a verb, all do; if one verb is in past tense, all are; if one idea is a complete sentence, all are, etc.), but I'm not sure the average person will notice/be bothered by the same trivialties that get to us English teachers.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Rescue_Rider9 View Post
                                  Here are the first two sections on my resume.. is this better? I still dont know were else to go, but I am working on it!

                                  Education
                                  2008-present: Attending TN Tech Universitymajoring in Agribusiness management with a current GPA of 3.2

                                  2004-2008: Attended White House High School graduating with a GPA of 3.7
                                  This is good, but usually is last on a resume.

                                  Originally posted by Rescue_Rider9 View Post
                                  Riding History
                                  2009-present: Currently competing in IHSA in hunt seat at novice level

                                  2006-present: successfully competing self trained horse at Beginner Novice level

                                  2004-present: Successfully competing many horses on the Local hunter jumper cicut

                                  2002-2004: Successfully completed a working student position at Rainbow’s End Riding Academy

                                  1997-2008: Competed at local saddle club in barrel racing and pole bending, qualifying
                                  for state championships every year.
                                  Instead of seeing this, I would prefer to see it broken up into age ranges and accomplishments. Include your specific records in each section.

                                  EXAMPLE:
                                  Member of IHSA for Tennessee Tech University............2009-Present

                                  Competed at the Novice Level
                                  Was second highest point carrier each year
                                  Integral part of the team achieving year end awards

                                  Competed in Local Saddle Club...............................1997-2008

                                  Competed in Pole Bending and Barrel Racing
                                  Consistently in the top 4 riders
                                  Qualified for Championships every year

                                  Similar for your hunter and eventing experience - name the venue and any championships, blue ribbons or anything else of significance. I know you have only gone to schooling shows, but some are different. I can think of two schooling shows where I would put more weight on a first place from one than from the other - though both would look good.

                                  Originally posted by Rescue_Rider9 View Post
                                  Experience
                                  Dusty Acres Eventing, Cross Plains, TN
                                  2006-Present: Farm owner and manager
                                  -Teaching beginner riding lessons
                                  -Responsible for feeding, turnout and stall cleaning
                                  -schedule all vet and farrier visits
                                  -Over see the care of 6 horses

                                  Rainbows End Riding Academy, Goodlettsville, TN
                                  2002-2004: Working Student
                                  -Taught beginner riding lessons
                                  -responsible for stall cleaning, turnout, and feeding
                                  -assisted in the care of about 15 horses.


                                  NOTE: Its more organized then that. I copied and pasted..
                                  For Dust Acres...farm owner? Like you hold the deed and pay the mortgage for the place? If that is the case, how do you have time for a working student position? Take out that statement, it is not really correct. Even if your name is on the deed, any potential employer is going to look at that and think you do not have time to be a working student and toss the resume. You want to appear as unattached to anything as possible. I also echo what has been said about description of lessons taught. You can also go into more detail about the care of 15 horses. You do not mention riding anywhere - did you ride the 15 or the 6? I don't know...it doesn't say on the resume....

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                                  • #18
                                    I think all the suggestions thus far are great! I have never made a riding resume, but I have made one to get internships as a chemical engineer (I'm a sophomore in college). The one thing that I really tried to do was (in a concise way) show how my experiences made me better than other candidates. In my case, I have worked a lot of jobs in the restaurant industry which seems like it would have nothing to do with research work, but I highlighted the skills that I used that were specific to that job and made it different.

                                    Ex. I was a server at a Mexican restaurant that had 130 different tequilas. Instead of saying "served food to guests, customer service" I said something like "expanded my knowledge about 130 different tequilas and the process through which they are made in order increase sales and enhance each customers experience"

                                    I got picked for one of 20 interviews for a paid internship out of the hundreds of engineering students that talked and gave their resumes to the recruiters (and I'm a sophomore with no experience in field!).

                                    Maybe try to add in something special about each of your barn positions because a lot of people that are applying for the same jobs as you have mucked out stalls.

                                    Good luck!

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                                    • #19
                                      Your timeline doesnt show any of your capabilities. I cannot tell based on your resume if you've spent 15 years with idiots, or getting a valid educational experience.
                                      Do some name dropping for the people you trained under worth name dropping. List your goals at those times, how you accomplished them. Current goals and your discipline philosophies you follow.
                                      The biggest thing I look for is how your head is screwed on. Who are your equestrian heros, and why.
                                      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                      chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                                      • #20
                                        Just a thought.....

                                        For people who don't have a lot of specific, job-related experience (which you do, but you might consider "pitching" it a different way), I often suggest a "skills resume".

                                        Here's the first example I got when I googled it:

                                        http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article..._skills_resume

                                        :-) You might google the term and see if you can find better/more helpful examples.

                                        I like it because you can customize it. If, for instance, you know that your potential employer wants lots of experience managing a barn, you can list "Barn Management" as a skill heading, then explain WHY you have these skills beneath. Similarly, you can use "Riding Experience" and highlight your diverse experiences, making them into a related, unified whole. "Training Experience" can be approached similarly.

                                        Good luck!
                                        --Becky in TX
                                        Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                                        She who throws dirt is losing ground.

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