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Your Resume – Selling Yourself Using SAS
Rebecca Ottesen, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
Susan J. Slaughter, Avocet Solutions, Davis CA
These days selling yourself as the ideal candidate for a job is a tricky business. Your resume should demonstrate
strengths and skills, cite meaningful performance metrics, quantify contributions to the organization, and set you apart
from the competition, all while being concise and staying to the point. As a SAS user, it is likely that the skill set you
would like to showcase involves programming and data analysis, so it seems perfectly natural that you should use
these skills to create content for your resume. A well thought out SAS graphic or table might be the perfect selling
point to catch the attention of a hiring manager. This paper will provide some ideas for showcasing your SAS skills
no matter how much experience you have.
What makes a good resume? The answer to this can be found in thousands of websites written by professionals
offering advice about what to include in your resume. These days resume writing has become an art form and it is
easy to become inundated with information overload. This is compounded with the fact that there seems to be a
constant evolution in what content is relevant on a resume. Should an objective be included that describes the needs
of the job seeker, or should a positioning statement be included that describes what you have to offer the employer?
Should your job duties be described in terms of metrics that contributed to improved results for your company?
Should a profile section be included as a snapshot of your many years of relevant experience?
As a data analyst or programmer, who is most likely seeking a position involving these very analytic skills, it makes
sense that your resume should demonstrate an effective summary of your experience. Including an impressive
graphic or table to showcase your skill set might catch the eye of the hiring manager, and it would also show your
ability to condense meaningful information while creatively using your programming skills.
Hiring managers do not have an endless amount of time to read every line on the resumes that pass by their desks.
In fact, they are most likely subjecting each resume to a quick scan which results in either moving on to the next
round of review or the recycle bin. Therefore it is wise to include the most important information at the top of your
resume and in a way that is specific, relevant and unique. This is where you could consider adding a graphic or table
to showcase your skills ‘at a glance’. No matter your experience level, we each have information that can be
summarized and this is where your creativity can play a major role. There are four aspects of resumes that lend
themselves to utilizing and showcasing these analytic skills: profile, metrics, design and layout, and uniqueness.
Including a profile section at the beginning of your resume will assist speedy reviewers in their assessment. This
section could be critical for job seekers with a long resume due to years of experience, as well as academics with
lengthy CVs. Likewise a profile section could be important for a younger professional in that it will help set them apart
from other job applicants.
Traditionally resumes start with an objective statement, which would seem like a perfect fit for the profile section.
However, the day of the boring objective statement has faded and in its place are positional statements that
showcase what the job seeker has to offer the employer. The profile section could include this positional statement
followed-up quickly with a graphical summary of the skills that demonstrate the value that would be added to the
company if they were to hire you. While it is up to you how to create your bold and unique positioning statement, it
should be relevant to the skills that you plan to summarize in your profile section.
The most obvious information to quickly summarize for a data analyst or programmer would be the programming skill
set. A tile plot made using the Tile Chart task in SAS Enterprise Guide (figure 1) displays information about statistical
programming skills combined with years of experience. This plot is simple to create with the click and point interface
of Enterprise Guide, and there are many customization options including color, title and labels. The shading and size
of the boxes describe the years of experience with each programming product.
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