Help to Build a Resume
So- you are looking for a job. You have an idea of what you want
and where you want to look. But before you can convince an
employer that you are qualified for the job, you have to know
yourself first. The following section reviews some basic
questions that we recommend you answer to help you make the most
out of your resume.
Know your Personal Traits- describe yourself in your own
words. Think about how your personal traits may or may not
match job descriptions you read about.
Ex. You feel you are friendly. A job that requires you
to work with others will probably suit you.
Define your Personal Values- describe the principles that you
honor. Think about the values associated with various positions you
are interested in.
Ex. You value independence. Does the position you are interested
in foster or stifle your need for independence?
Evaluate your Skills-identify your basic and specific skills that
you have developed through your education, any work experience, or
any volunteer opportunities. Consider how your skills relate to
potential employers. Ask yourself how your skills transfer to areas
of interest as well as other potential career opportunities.
Ex. You worked at a restaurant as a waiter. While there- you
trained new hires. This skill demonstrates your supervisory
experience as well as your ability to work with others. Working
in a restaurant requires good customer service, the ability to
think quickly, and be responsible for several tasks at once.
These skills easily transfer to other positions.
The Resume-There are various styles of resumes, including Reverse
Chronological, Position-Oriented, Functional, and Combination. The
Reverse Chronological is most frequently used and provides a logical
and clear presentation. The following tips use the Reverse
Chronological as the reference for format.
Include your name, address, phone number, and email address. If
you desire the employer to reach you at either your local or
permanent address, you may put both. But if you do not intend to
actually be at one of those addresses, leave it off the heading. If
you include two addresses, always put your first choice for contact
on the left and be consistent with any abbreviations.
This focuses your resume and provides the employer a frame of
reference. In one or two short sentences you should either make a
statement that focuses on a specific position, a statement that
focuses on a specific industry, or a statement that summarizes your
qualifications. The objective should express your goals and career
focus and may demonstrate how you could immediately benefit the
organization. REMEMBER- your resume should support your objective by
demonstrating how you are qualified for the position you are
seeking. All the pieces of your resume should create a comprehensive
picture that relates to your objective. Your resume should tell your
Put your degree and major first (spelled out completely). Then
the title of the institution, location, and date of graduation.
Don't forget your GPA- they will ask if you don't have it! Be
prepared to discuss it. High school is not needed- you have a
college degree! If you have a minor, you may add this information as
well. Selected courses are not necessary unless they demonstrate an
emphasis outside of your major. The employer will assume the classes
you have taken in your major. If you financed 50% or more of your
college education through part-time work or scholarships, you may
desire to add this to the section since it is quite an
accomplishment. You may also list any honors related to your
education (e.g. scholarships, fellowships, President's list…).
Hopefully this represents the largest portion of your resume.
List your job title first (be descriptive!), location, and dates
(include month and year). Using action verbs in past tense, describe
your duties. Emphasize your major responsibilities, the skills you
developed, and the results of your work. These should be written in
Includes Activities, Affiliations, Skills (may include
computer/foreign language proficiency/fluency or
certification/license), Honors/Awards, Interests, References. We
recommend including a Skills section if you have knowledge that
promotes your objective (today- computer skills and languages are
valuable assets for any company!). We also recommend
Activities/Affiliations if you were highly involved with specific
organizations or activities that demonstrate support for your
objective (e.g. President of the Business College Council
demonstrates leadership and managerial skills). Honors/Awards
sections may be used as well. Interests and References do not need
to be printed on the resume; however, these may be discussed during