How To Prepare a Great Patent Resume
While general rules for preparing a resume also apply to those in the IP field, there are some basic additions that can help you create a great patent resume.
Mention the USPTO….
…and other international patent offices. Are you registered? What kind of interactions have you had directly with the USPTO or other foreign patent offices? Be specific about frequency and type of interaction. Instead of saying, “coordinated with the CIPO on international search reports,” instead say something like, “spoke weekly with managers at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) regarding international search reports (ISRs).”
Don’t assume the resume reviewer knows Intellectual Property (IP) lingo….
The HR Director is a human resources specialist, not an engineer! Avoid using very specific jargon in your field without an explanation. Make sure to write out the long version of the abbreviation the first time it is written in the resume. Instead of “EE,” use “Electrical Engineering (EE).” That abbreviation in the parenthesis indicates to your reader that you will use the designation “EE” for the rest of your resume.
...as often as you can. Instead of writing, “performed patent research and analysis in a wide variety of fields,” write, “performed patent research and analysis for mechanical (electromechanical, surgical instruments, engine design technology) and electrical (integrated circuits, telecommunications) fields.”
Instead of using a header that says “Experienced Patent Agent” write “Registered Mechanical Patent Agent for 12 years.” Registered, 12 and Mechanical are important keywords and allow the HR Director to classify your resume more easily.
Weight your content…
Just like a newspaper article, the first few lines are the most crucial for keywords and ideas. Bolded headers should be weighted strongly as well. Put your biggest accomplishments and strongest skills into the headers and bulleted lists.
People tend to skim resumes instead of read them word-for-word. During an initial review, the HR Director may only consider the headers and first few lines before deciding which resumes to allow into the second round.
Instead of putting a summary at the top, try a short list of accomplishments. Summaries tend to use generic, unspecified language while a short, bulleted list of accomplishments gets specific right away. You can list accomplishments out of chronological order at the top and then re-insert them in the appropriate places throughout the rest of the resume. If you do use a summary, just make sure it provides specific information as to how you will add value to the employer.
Pay attention to the basics...
Writing, layout and design are important! One of the biggest mistakes in IP resumes is assuming writing doesn’t matter as much as technical experience. That’s not true! Excellent, non-technical writing and grammar are important because it they will give you a leg up on your competition.
Bolding, bulleted lists and proper spacing all invite the reader to spend more time on the document and can even give the reviewer a feel for your personality. A tightly organized resume indicates that you are a tightly organized person. A clear, readable resume with no spelling mistakes tells the reviewer you are easy to understand and pay attention to detail. Avoid long paragraphs and full sentences because they aren’t easy to organize or read. Bullet your lists. Use liberal spacing between chunks of information.
A few extra dos and don'ts….
• Skip long lists of coursework info, but do include degree specializations.
• Do include the databases you are familiar with searching/using.
• Do list relevant associations and memberships.
• Don’t list basic computer skills or software like Microsoft Office, but do list all relevant complex software proficiencies.
• Don’t list positions non-related to the IP field unless you’ve played significant managerial roles.
August 27, 2009
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Disclaimer: No information on this blog is intended as legal advice or to substitute for legal advice and is offered for informational purposes only.
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