The resume is one of the most important aspects of a successful job search campaign and will many times determine whether or not you will receive an interview. It is an outline or summary of your background addressing your qualifications, skills, education, and activities. Its purpose is to stimulate the interest of an employer and show the value you would add to their organization if hired.
A general resume can be submitted for any position, but it is strongly suggested that you arrange the information on your resume so that it is targeted to a particular job, company, or industry. It is helpful to research the job you are applying for and the company or industry before you begin writing a resume.
Career Services Manager provides a variety of Resume formats, options and features if you need to develop a resume quickly or if this is your first resume. PLEASE NOTE: We highly recommend that you create your resume starting with a blank Word document. Resume templates can make it very difficult to make any changes and they also typically have formatting options that may not be best for your style. Use these templates to get your information down and chose a style you like and replicate it in a Word document.
There is no universal way to order your resume, meaning that each person’s resume will vary depending on the individual. The various sections described below are typically included no matter what format is chosen.
Click to view some resume tips: Resume Tips
The heading on your resume must include all of the following, your:
An objective is a strong statement that describes what you can do for the employer. Objectives are optional and are typically becoming unnecessary, especially if a Cover Letter is present. An objective format should include specific details on the position title or career goal and the main qualifications and skills you possess. Example below:
“A (career goal or special job title) position with the opportunity to utilize my ability in (list your primary skills or strengths) which will result in (an important expected employer outcome).”
Be as specific and to the point as possible.
List your education in reverse chronological order (most recent degree first) and include any honors or highlights that would support the position you are applying for. Items that need to be included are School Name, City & State, and dates of attendance (Month/Year) or date of graduation.
Other items that can be added are:
Related Coursework or Special Projects
These are optional sections that can be included with education. If you do not have much work experience, this can be an effective way to demonstrate accomplishments and experience to back up your objective.
***Be specific and use concrete examples.
Professional Experience or Relevant Experience
This section describes any full-time, part-time, or internship positions starting with the most recent. Remember to emphasize duties, responsibilities, skills, and abilities as related to the open position. These can be obtained using the job description for the position. Information should include Company Name, City & State, and dates (Month/Year) (some people may chose not to include dates depending on the resume format or other reasons, but this could raise a red flag to employers).
Relevant volunteer work can also be listed if it relates to the job.
NOTE: A great resource to obtain job tasks for many occupations is O*NET. Type in the job position/occupation you had and search. Then select the best option from the search list and browse below to the tasks section. O*NET has gathered information on all occupation from skills, abilities, wages & salaries, tasks, responsibilities, demand...etc.
Skills / Abilities
List skills and abilities that support your objective and are relevant to the job you are applying for including computer, language, specialized training, and experience with specific equipment. Critical thinking, multi-tasking, troubleshooting, active listening are some examples of skills.
Include any information on professional clubs, organizations, campus government, or community involvement that you are active in. For each activity, list the name of the organization, office held, and/or dates of membership.
Honors and Awards
If you have more than one of these, you can create a section to highlight them. Include name of award and date received.
When your resume is completed, have multiple people proofread it to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors.