General Resources: Writing a Résumé
The résumé is a critical tool to help you get your
foot in the door. First impressions do count! Often your résumé
is the first contact the employer will have with you. You want it
to look professional, stand out, and highlight your skills and competencies.
There are computer programs that can help you set up your résumé
and often classes are offered in the career center. You can also
look at a sample résumé
for some hints on how to set up your résumé.
Your résumé should:
- be honest
- be error free
- be clear and concise
- use action words
- be printed on high quality paper
- focus on skills, achievements, and accomplishments
You can use various formats for your résumé. The following are
components that you will want to include in the contents of your
Write your name, address, and telephone number. If you have a temporary
or school address, you will want to include a permanent address
and phone number as well. Don't include other personal information
(marital status, height, weight, health, interests, picture, or
hobbies) unless you think it is relevant to the job. Keep it simple.
Adding unessential information only clutters up your résumé and
detracts from the essential information.
It is not essential that you include a job objective on your résumé.
The rule of thumb is to include a job objective if you will only
accept a specific job. You may be willing to accept various jobs
in a company, especially if you're a new graduate with little experience.
If you decide not to list your job objective, you can use the cover
letter to relate your résumé to the specific job you are applying
List your highest degree first, school attended, dates, and major
field of study. Include related educational experience that may
be relevant to the job, such as certification, licensure, advanced
training, intensive seminars, and summer study programs. Don't list
individual classes on your résumé. If you have special classes that
relate directly to the job you are applying for, list them in your
Awards and Honors
List awards and honors that are related to the job or indicate
excellence. In addition, you may want to list special qualifications
that relate to the job, such as fluency in a foreign language. Highlight
this information prominently, rather than as an afterthought. Pack
a persuasive punch by displaying your best qualifications out in
List the title of your last job first, dates worked, and a brief
description of your duties. Don't clutter your résumé with needless
detail or irrelevant jobs. You can elaborate on specific duties
in your cover letter and in the interview.
Campus and Community Activities
List activities that show leadership abilities and a willingness
to make a contribution.
Professional Memberships and Activities
List professional memberships, speeches or research project connected
with your profession. Always be honest. Don't exaggerate your educational
background or your work experience. Your integrity is the most important
quality you can bring to a job, and you want your résumé to reflect
your honesty. Follow up with a phone call in a week or two to make
certain that your résumé was received. This is also the time to
ask if additional information is needed and when a decision will
be made. Call or write in a month if you haven't heard.
References can be furnished upon request. However, make sure that
you have contacted the individuals you plan to use for references.
Include, if possible, former employers and instructors.
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