Your resume is a document that communicates your relevant experiences, skills and strengths to an employer. It’s an effective and efficient way to tell your story and highlight your unique qualifications. While each resume is distinct and should reflect your personal brand, here are essential components that create the foundation of a strong resume. These components are your Name Block, Education, and Experience.
Your name block is an effective way to communicate your personal brand to employers, make you stand out and add visual appeal to your resume. Use the same name block on all of your marketing materials (cover letter, resume, reference page) for consistency and to create brand recognition. Be creative with your name block and use elements (fonts and design) that reflect your brand, but that are also fitting for your career field.
A summary statement draws in the reader’s attention and highlights the specific skills and experiences you have that an employer is looking for. A summary statement is optional, but can be a great way to tailor your resume, incorporate your personal brand, and make it easier for an employer to see your relevant qualifications and skills. Summary statements can have various titles including Summary of Skills, Professional Highlights or Career Profile. Check out the resume guide for examples.
Your education section lists your academic degrees and institutions. Focus on your college level education. List your most recent institution and degree first. Include the date you received your degree or your expected graduation date. It is not necessary to include your high school degree.
Your experience section is an opportunity to tell employers about your relevant work and volunteer history. Include both paid and unpaid experiences where you gained relevant and transferable skills. You can differentiate between relevant and non-relevant experience by grouping them under separate headings. For example, “Relevant Experience” and “Additional Experience.”
Strong Skills Statements = Action Verb + Details + Outcome/Result
Start skill statements with a strong action verb—avoid repetition and vague words like "Worked," "Taught," and "Responsible for" and stay away from personal pronouns (I, we, me).
The situation, problem, or need that you fulfilled. Quantifying and qualifying your work is important. Examples:
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.