Resume Writing

A resume is an essential part of any job application. It is your one-page advertisement, summarizing your potential to an employer. To be effective, your resume needs to be:

A resume is not a listing of everything you have done in college, but rather a summary of your experiences that relate to a particular job or career field. The standard resume is one page. For a resume to be two pages, all the information included should be relevant and both pages must be full. Remember, most employers review a resume for approximately 20 seconds, and will only read a second page if the relevance is obvious. (This rule, however, does not apply to CVs or resumes for graduate school.)

Your resume should highlight your skills and accomplishments most relevant to that job. If you are applying to jobs in more than one career field/industry, you should have more than one resume.

Easy to read and follow
Your resume should be organized so that an employer can quickly find your most relevant experiences. Your resume also needs to be free of grammatical or spelling errors.

Resumes vs. CVs

While a resume is typically what is used by current students or recent graduates when applying to jobs, sometimes a CV (curriculum vitae) is required instead. A resume is a concise one-page summary of your skills, experience, and education. A CV, on the other hand, is usually longer and focuses not just on education and experience, but on research, teaching, publications, presentations, awards, and professional affiliations. Some European and other foreign countries will require CVs of all applicants. In the United States, CVs are traditionally used only when applying for scientific, research, or academic positions, including fellowships. If you are unsure of which to use, check with your career counselor or someone in the career field to which you are applying.

CV (Curriculum Vitae) Sample

Sections of a Resume

Your name should go at the top of the resume and be highlighted in some way (bolded or in a larger font). It is usually centered. If you should happen to have a two-page resume, make sure your name is on both pages.

Contact information
Under your name, list your mailing address (both home and school or just the address where you will be living after graduation), your email, and your phone number. This can also be a good place to include the URL for your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio.

Although not a necessity, an objective statement can highlight both your career goals and your skills. If you choose to include one, be sure that it is succinct and directly relevant to each job to which you apply.

The education section is usually the first main section of the resume. Start by listing Centre College, Danville, Kentucky. Then list the degree being received. Spell out Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, as it looks more professional to avoid abbreviations, and which major(s) and minor(s) you are receiving. (Note that two majors does not mean two degrees; rather, just one degree in two majors.) Also list the month and year of graduation. Include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or above. If you choose to list your major GPA, be sure to include your overall GPA as well, even if less than a 3.0. Other information may also be included in the Education section, including:
• Relevant courses
• Study abroad
• Honors (scholarships, academic awards, athletic awards)

The experience category is the main section in which you highlight your accomplishments. This section can include all of your experiences or can be subdivided into categories such as Relevant Experience, Leadership Experience, Volunteer Experience, etc. It is important to categorize your resume so that the most relevant and important experiences are near the top. Each entry in a category needs to be in reverse chronological order, with the most recent experience listed first. When describing each experience, be sure to include dates, highlight your accomplishment and skills utilized or gained, and remember to avoid personal pronouns.

This section provides an opportunity to list any additional involvement not included in the Experience section. Items listed here are typically not as relevant to your career goals as those listed in the Experience section.

Volunteer work or community service is useful to include. Whether you describe these activities or simply list them depends upon their relevance to your career goals and the skills utilized or developed. If highly relevant, it is best to include these in your Experience section. If not, volunteer work can be listed with extracurricular activities.

It is important to include a skills section in your resume. This typically includes computer and language skills, but may also include laboratory skills for science resumes.

What NOT to include
A few things to not include on your resume are: • Age • Marital status • Social security number • A photo (unless specifically requested, as in the case of some international CVs)

A Few Tips for Writing Dynamic Descriptions on Your Resume

• Convey action – start each sentence with a dynamic action word. Typical description: “Was responsible for helping sorority raise funds for cancer research.” Remove the passive voice: “Helped sorority raise funds for cancer research.”
• Apply the ‘so what?’ test – “Played key role in establishing innovative fundraising events, resulting in the sorority consistently exceeding philanthropy goals.”
• Demonstrate and quantify results – “Developed innovative fundraising campaign that resulted in a 32% increase in donations to cancer research.”

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