Start your resume by creating a list of all the experiences, education, and activities you have been involved in from which you have developed or discovered skills and strengths. Organize and present your education and experiences in a way that will appeal to employers. Be creative, unique, concise, organized, and error free.
Rules of Thumb
- Don’t use MS Word templates
- Don’t be modest!
- Assure consistent format and font
- Have your résumé reviewed
- No longer than 2 pages, 1 page for recent graduates
- Set margins to at least .75”
- Bold important information
- Don’t use “I” statements
- Spell out acronyms
- Keep it organized!
- Print on quality résumé paper
- Use a common font, 10-12 pt.
- No spelling mistakes
- Target to a specific job/occupation
Headings are a good way to organize the information in your resume and make it easier to read. Think about what experiences will be important to the employer.
- Your name should be the first and largest.
- Be creative with your name block, but not so creative that it dominates the page.
- Be sure that information is readable and easy to find.
- List only the number where you can easily be reached and have a brief, professional voicemail message.
- Your email or web address should be short and professional.
- Include name, address, phone number, email address, and website (if you have one).
Objective, Profile, and Summary Statements
- Start your resume with a strong Objective, Profile, or Summary statement as a good way to summarize your qualifications.
- This is not a substitute for a cover letter but an addition to it.
- You can combine a summary statement with a profile or an objective, but you would not use all three at the same time.
An objective lets the employer know what type of work you would like to do and what strengths you bring to the job. It should be concise, non-generic, and address the employer’s needs.
Profile statements are a way of introducing yourself professionally and what strengths and experience you have specific to a profession, such as teaching, coaching, human resource development, etc. Profile statements are a good alternative to an objective when there is not a specific job to apply for, or for job fair purposes.
A summary statement highlights the specific skills and experience you have that an employer is or may be looking for. It is a good strategy for drawing in the readers’ attention and also makes it easier to find the qualifications or skills that you have relevant to the position you are looking for. If you have had multiple positions similar in nature a summary statement can reduce the need for repetition of skills under each position heading. If you are responding to a job posting, assure that all qualifying information is in the summary statement—don’t make the employer search for it.
Name of School, College, City, State
Date of Graduation
- List your current or most recent education first. Do not include your high school education now that you have college experience or your transfer school if you transferred.
- If you have a master's or are pursuing a master's, you should list your bachelor's degree.
- List the correct degree (bachelor of science vs. bachelor of arts) and spell it out fully as opposed to B.A. or B.S.
- Your expected graduation date is important if you are graduating soon and looking for a position to start.
Optional headings: Licenses (if not required – separate heading if it is), Certifications, Intercollegiate Athletics, Study Abroad, Relevant Coursework, Honors, Awards, Achievements, GPA, Additional Training, Professional Development, Professional Associations (if you’ve had training)
Position title, Dates
Name of Organization (Company, School, Club, etc.)
- A bulleted list of your position responsibilities and accomplishments
- The most important information, with the most detail, should be listed first
- Write strong skills statements which are brief
Strong Skills Statements = Action Verb + Details + Outcome/Result
Start skills statements with strong action verb—avoid repetition and vague words like “Worked,” “Taught,” and “Responsible for.”
The situation, problem, or need that you fulfilled. Quantifying and qualifying your work is important. Examples:
- "Managed 40 internal accounts…"
- "Communicated to management daily…"
What happened as a result of your action on the problem, situation, or need? How did the result contribute to the organization or company? How did you gain skills or discover strengths?
Emphasize your accomplishments and achievements rather than focusing on your responsibilities.
|Responsibility Statement||Strong Skills Statement|
|Managed front-desk duties||Fielded calls from 4 incoming telephone lines (average of 100 calls/hour)|
|Maintained control of classroom||Applied low-profile intervention techniques to effectively maintain classroom control|
Other Common Headings (Optional)
Related Activities, Professional Associations and Organizations, Service Experience, Computer Skills, Language Skills, Mentoring Experience, Career Development, Extra-Curricular Activities, Licenses, Certifications