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Writing a Resume for the Growing Field of GIS
By Sayaka Seino
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A GIS resume often requires more specific information that relates to the professional field. This is in response to the variety of new technologies that can be used to discover new possibilities. When writing a resume for a GIS job you must provide information about your qualifications as they relate to the position for which you are applying. This field requires extensive training to be successful. Educational and professional information is needed as well as your experience and skills. In addition, specialize your resume to emphasize your achievements and your qualifications, and you will be more likely to get the career that you have been aiming for.

Writing a Resume for the Growing Field of GIS
A typical resume for a GIS job applicant starts with name, address, and contact email like usual, then have a section that shows preferences in terms of location if willing to relocate and the job preference, e.g. a GIS Technician or GIS analyst.
The United States Department of Labor has singled out geographic information technology as an important emerging field. Job opportunities in the GIS industry are growing and becoming varied as new areas where geospatial technology can be used continue to be discovered, such as in fighting fires, controlling SARS, and combating natural disasters. The emergence of new technology contributes to the growth of job opportunities, as well as the many global opportunities available due to the limited number of people specialized in this industry in other countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

A typical resume for a GIS job applicant starts with more specific information than resumes for most other industries. It should start with the name, address, and contact email like usual, then have a section that shows preferences in terms of location if willing to relocate and the job preference, e.g. a GIS Technician or GIS analyst. The preferred amount of salary should also be indicated on the resume.

The most prominent features of the GIS applicant's resume should be education and professional experience. These should both be in chronological format starting with the highest qualification earned and the most recent work experience. There should also be a skills section that lists all of the related skill sets, software, and programs with which the applicant is proficient.

Writing a Resume for the Growing Field of GIS
Most prominent features of the GIS applicant's resume should be education and professional experience.
When outlining educational qualifications, the name of the university along with the degree earned and year of graduation should be listed in chronological order. The basic requirement for those wishing to enter a GIS career is a bachelor's degree in computer science or geography, but any additional education is always a plus.

The experience section should also be detailed and thorough. Responsibilities held and the number of projects participated in should be outlined so the potential employer can clearly see the magnitude of the applicant's experience. The type of software used at each position may also be listed. If the applicant had an internship in the GIS field, the projects completed during this time may also be indicated.

Finally, it is important to have a skill sets section to list all of the skills and programs the applicant is proficient in. The qualities that need to be exuded by a GIS expert are: ability to think spatially and make visualizations in 3-D, ability to work under pressure, and capability of working independently. Other common job requirements for GIS professionals are strong skills in GIS packages like ESRI, ArcGIS, and AutoCAD, an understanding of programming languages like C++ and Visual basic, skills in database development and maintenance, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to think logically and solve problems.

The GIS industry is a highly disciplined field that requires a lot of training, so the GIS resume needs to clearly reflect all of the applicant's qualifications. By preparing a meticulously organized and thorough professional resume, one can take advantage of this rapidly growing industry and be a part of that growth. All of that schooling and training will have its reward if it can just be presented effectively in a great resume.


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