This guide is intended to help you construct and refine your resume. The sample resumes illustrate some of the different ways information can be presented to an employer, but do not include samples of all the available styles and formats. For additional guidance, make an appointment with either a Peer Advisor or a member of the professional staff at the Career Center.
The resume and the cover letter are considered to be the most significant correspondence during the job search because they provide the prospective employer with a first impression of you.
The career field for which you plan to use your resume will often determine the style; consult a Career Center Counselor and/or someone in your chosen field to determine which style is best.
The following sections may be included on your resume. Keep the employer’s objective in mind and include only those sections that are applicable to you. Devote more space and emphasis to those aspects of your experience which most qualify you for the CREs or jobs you will be applying for.
Show how your on-campus, internship and/or work experiences relate to your career or job choice and demonstrate to the employer that you have the skills necessary to do the work. Include relevant experiences and skills gained from any of the following: full-time, summer, and part-time work, internships, assistantships, field work, special research projects, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities. Consider the following as you work on this section:
This section can add depth to your resume by showing commitment and involvement outside of academic coursework and employment and may help to establish common interests with employers.
On the worksheet provided, list your jobs, major activities, educational experiences, and accomplishments during the last five years. Do not worry about the order.
To describe your experiences in the most relevant terms, research your career field of interest, specifically the responsibilities of entry-level positions.
Determine the best way to group your experiences and choose appropriate section headings. Do not be bound by the particular headings listed above. Choose a style using the samples as guides.
Think about the skills you used in each job/activity and choose action verbs (list of action verbs/skill words) which most accurately describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. An example might be: “Researched and wrote 12 articles. Produced and distributed weekly newsletter to shareholders in four countries.”
Decide how best to emphasize certain pieces of information (i.e., job title, employer) with the use of bold type, italics, and/or capitalization. Simplicity is, at times, most effective. Balance text with white space on the page and avoid wasting space with “orphans”/”widows” (a single word or two taking up an entire line). If you are submitting your resume electronically, avoid using any special features - plain text is best.
Initial review can be done by Peer Advisors as well as by professional staff. A review may result in approval and/or recommendations for improvement (see “Resume Review vs. Approval” below).
Meet with a career counselor and/or professional in your field of interest for an industry-specific critique.
Peer Advisors and professional staff can 1) approve resumes and 2) review resumes, providing individualized feedback in consideration of your goals.
You can make an appointment for a resume review by a Peer Advisor at any time during the school year. In your appointment, your PA will give you feedback on the format and content of your resume. He/or she will help you correct mistakes and bring your resume up to the next level.
You can also request to have your resume approved as part of an appointment. Resume approval is only required as part of a small number of Career Center programs. Resumes can be approved if they meet the “acceptable” standard as outlined by the resume rubric. But remember, approval does not necessarily mean that your resume is the best it can be – there are often steps you can take to bring your resume to the “goal” level. The Career Center is here to help and guide you, but ultimately it is your responsibility to make your resume as professional as possible for prospective employers and networking purposes.
In many cases, getting a resume ready for approval will take more than one appointment. Please plan ahead to allow yourself time to make the necessary changes for approval and/or the recommended changes for a professional/ competitive resume.
Although it is not a requirement, we recommend getting your resume approved once each year prior to submission through HamNET. The Career Center reserves the right to withhold from employers any resume that has not been approved.
Targeted resumes are different from general resumes in the way that they should effectively highlight your most relevant and impressive experiences in relation to the employer’s needs. Targeting your resume before submitting it to an employer not only builds your credibility, it also helps demonstrate the strength of your candidacy to the employer. The better you are able to target your resume, the higher your chances will be of securing an interview with the employer.
Two things to be careful of:
1) Be sure that you understand a term if you choose to use it in your resume, and
2) Never regurgitate the language of a job description or organizational mission statement word-for-word. Paraphrase in your own words and let your own voice shine through.