This guide is intended to help you construct the first draft of 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.
A resume is an individually designed document that summarizes your education, experiences, and qualifications as they relate to your career goal(s). The best resumes are those that reflect the skill set of your career field of interest. The primary purpose of a resume is to market you to a potential employer in hopes of securing an interview. It then gives structure to an interview and is often circulated to others within the organization. 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 most common resume format is "reverse chronological" in which one's education, jobs, and experiences are listed in chronological order, starting with the most recent and working backwards. However, there are different resume styles, including bullet and paragraph. A bullet-style resume, used frequently in business, highlights specific experiences and achievements using bullet points. A paragraph-style resume details tasks and accomplishments in sentence structure, with one sentence following after another. The career field for which you plan to use your resume will often determine the style; consult a Career Center counselor and someone in your chosen field to determine what style is best.
Make an appointment with a Peer Advisor by calling the Career Center Front Desk at 315-859-4346.
The Career Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. on certain evenings. Peer Advisors also accept walk-ins depending on availability.
Offered several times during each semester. Please check HamNET or call the Career Center for dates and times.
Resume Builder is a comprehensive, web-based application that allows you to create, present, and manage your resumes. You can create custom resumes (and cover letters) with a step-by-step interface that enables you to add and move around section headers; check spelling; change fonts, text size and alignment; and update margins. You can then save completed documents in various files: PDF, MS Word, and/or generate web URL for business cards. Your resume is then automatically stored in the HamNET system in your personal account, which makes it easier for you to apply for jobs later.
Access Resume Builder by logging into HamNET and clicking on "Resume Builder" on the right.
Resumes written by college students or recent graduates should be limited to one page. The following information might - or might not - be included on your resume. Keep the employer's objective in mind and include only those sections applicable to you. Devote more space and emphasis to those aspects of your experience which most qualify you for your field of interest.
Use your full name and set it apart from the body of the resume. If you are living on campus, include your current and permanent addresses (school and home) and list the telephone number(s) where you can be reached. Often it may be easier for an employer to reach you on your cell phone, but keep in mind that poor reception or calls received at an inconvenient time may result in a poor first impression. If you have an answering machine/voicemail, unusual greetings such as song lyrics or inappropriate humor should be avoided. Include an email address that you check regularly (every day or every other day).
The objective statement is a concise phrase which explains what type of work you want to do. Since the purpose of a cover letter is to state your objective in sending your resume, it is not necessary to include an objective on your resume if it is accompanied by a cover letter. If you choose to include an objective on a resume, it should include a job title and industry but NOT a specific organization name (ex: To obtain a position as a media planner in an advertising agency).
List the name(s) of college(s) attended (including terms spent studying off campus), location (city and state or country), degree or certificate received, projected date of completion, major/concentration, and minor. Consider including the name of your high school if you are an underclass student or if relevant to your career or geographic pursuits. You may include other educational training or activities which are pertinent to your objective (i.e., relevant courses at Hamilton and/or other institutions, senior thesis, professional certifications and/or licenses). Honors and awards may be included here or under a separate heading (see below).
This section can stand alone or be included as part of your education section. List academic honors (i.e., Dean's List), prizes for leadership, or any achievements which demonstrate academic excellence or special abilities. Give a brief description of the award. Include relevant dates.
This section shows how your work experience relates to your career or job choice and demonstrates 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 is important for liberal arts students. It often adds depth to your resume by showing commitment and involvement outside of academic coursework and employment and may help to establish common interests with employers. Include leadership positions and membership in clubs, organizations, and/or athletics. Illustrate how you progressed (i.e., member to president, writer to editor). You may choose to briefly elaborate on your role(s) and/or provide descriptions for those activities which require further explanation (i.e., HAVOC Site Coordinator or Trust Treat).
You may use this section to list or describe special skills which are applicable to the job type. These could include computer, technical, scientific and/or artistic skills, special certifications, or foreign languages.
List published articles, books, or manuscripts; identify the publisher and/or publication and include actual or expected date of publication.
Include dates of service, ranks, duties, and training.
Include any specific interests not otherwise noted on your resume that you want prospective employers to know about you (i.e., reading Faulkner, skiing, and bird watching). Personal data such as religious affiliation, marital status, date of birth, etc. should not be included on your resume. International students with legal permission to work in the U.S. and/or those with dual citizenship should include a sentence to that effect.
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.
To apply to opportunities listed in HamNET, resume approval is required once each year prior to submission through HamNET. However, resume approval merely means meeting the minimum standard required to guard against negative feedback from alumni and other employers that has been received in the past. An approved resume may be nothing more than a resume without typos or glaring grammatical errors. Approval does not necessarily mean that a resume is the best it can be or that it is good enough to land a job in your chosen field. Thus, the Career Center staff strongly recommends that you obtain a thorough review and critique of your resume to ensure that it is the best it can be.
Peer Advisors as well as professional staff can 1) approve resumes and 2) provide individualized feedback in consideration of your goals. Please plan ahead to allow yourself time to make the necessary changes for approval and/or the recommended changes for a professional/competitive resume.
The Career Center reserves the right to withhold from employers any resume that has not been approved.
Your resume must be flawless! When writing your resume: