Resumes summarize your relevant background information and qualifications. It does not describe everything you have done, but highlights what is most relevant to the opportunity you are seeking. Your goal is to make sure your resume best showcases your skills and abilities. Before broad distribution of your resume, get feedback from the Career Center on your college campus.
There are many right ways to write a resume; the key is to individualize your resume so your unique qualities stand out! Do not just copy a sample resume because it may not highlight your strengths. Organize and prioritize the information on your resume to support your current objective. Use the general guidelines below to help you.
Resumes are SCANNED, not read! Expect the reader to spend about 15 – 30 seconds doing a “power-scan” of a resume to determine if it ends up in the keep or toss pile. Design resumes so the readers’ eye is drawn to key information by paying attention to “white space”, font, bullets, layout and margins etc.
Prioritize your information. Place the most relevant information at the top and on the left margin. What qualities and skills are essential for your objective? What do you want to emphasize?
Focus on what you have to offer. Your resume must sell your strengths and positive qualities through your accomplishments and experiences. Prepare a summary of all your experiences so you can utilize those that relate to your objective.
Stay positive and action oriented. Describe your experiences in a positive way and begin sentences with action verbs.
Be prepared to support your resume! Know, understand and own everything on your resume. Use the interview to bring life to your skills and experiences through real stories that showcase behaviors you want to interviewer to know about.
Resumes will typically use one of the following formats, but can also be a combination of both.
Chronological Resumes– This resume format lists education and experience in chronological order, starting with the most recent first and working backwards. This is the most common format and the easiest to write.
Functional or Skill Based Resume– This resume format lets you list experience and abilities by skill areas. Choose relevant skills areas and highlight those experiences. The emphasis is on what you have done rather than on when and where you did it.
Versions of a Resume
Traditional Design– This version is typically mailed or presented at the interview
Scannable– This resume version is developed without bullets and the other design highlights. The goal is for the resume to be computer reader-friendly.
Plain Text Version– This version can be pasted into an email message or cut-and-pasted into online forms.
More on Resumes, Curriculum Vitae and Job Search Docs:
SampleResume20 – (2 pager)