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Résumé Structure

BUILDING YOUR RÉSUMÉ

What is a résumé?
 
A résumé is a tool used to market your skills, experiences, education and accomplishments to employers.  Your résumé will assist you in getting an interview and making the important first impression.  Tailor your résumé to the kind of job (s) you are seeking.  If the jobs are different, your résumé should be adapted to reflect the differences between employers and their requirements.  The qualifications listed in your résumé should match those listed in the job description of the position for which you are applying.
 
Traditional Sections
 
HEADING/CONTACT INFORMATION:  This section should include your name, address, telephone number and E-mail address.  It is very important to use an E-mail address that is professional and simple.  For example: first.lastname@xcompany.com. (Do NOT use an E-mail address that is unprofessional such as FantaZ@xcompany.com.  If you are applying for jobs away from campus, include both your campus and home address and contact information so that they can reach you at either location.
 
OBJECTIVE OR SUMMARY:  Include a statement which discusses your skills and how you can add value to the organization.  You may include what types of positions and fields interest you.  Overall there should be two sections if you choose to write an objective.  First, show how you can provide value to the employer.  Why should they be interested in you?  Second, you want to indicate what you are looking for.  Be precise if applying for a specific position.  For a job fair it is okay to be broader with the types of positions because you may not know what positions will present themselves.
 
OBJECTIVE EXAMPLE:
To obtain an internship in the financial services industry with a particular focus in investment banking and asset management where my excellent analytical and communication skills may be applied.
 
SUMMARY EXAMPLE:
Educator with over 5 years teaching experience with:

  • Creative, innovative and challenging lesson plans
  • Passionate, enriching instruction
  • Excellent classroom management skills
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Student-centered learning

 
EDUCATION:  All colleges and universities from which you attended and received a degree must be listed in this area in reverse chronological order - with most recent listed first.  If you have attended a higher education institution but did not graduate, you do not have to list it here.  This section should include the name of the college or university, the address of the college or university (city and state), your major and month and year of graduation.  The GPA can be included in this section if it is over 3.0/4.0 (on a 4.0 scale), if not you can omit it.  It is very important not to lie about your GPA or round up because employers often ask for a copy of your official transcript which includes your exact GPA.
 
EXPERIENCE:   List your work experience in reverse chronological order - most recent first.  For each position, list your employer's name, town or city and state.  Tab over and indicate the dates of employment to the right and on the next line write your job title.
 
EXAMPLE:
The Hartford Group, Hartford, CT 7/02- Present
Human Resource Consultant
   
Include clear and specific bullet or accomplishment statements of your responsibilities.  Describe the SKILLS you used, what you did and the RESULTS.  Start with your most responsible job duty using, and work down to the more routine part of your job.  Begin each sentence with a powerful action verb to catch the employer's attention.  Try to quantify if possible.  Be sure to use present tense verbs to describe your current employment or internship, and use past tense verbs when describing any past jobs/internships.

YOU MAY INCLUDE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES IN YOUR RÉSUMÉ IF THEY ADD VALUE:
 
HONORS: Includes any honor societies or special awards for academic or personal achievement (i.e. Dean's List, President's List, Eagle Scout, academic scholarships, etc.)
 
RELEVANT COURSES: List four or five courses by name (as they are listed in the course catalog) which are relevant to your major or the position for which you are applying. List these courses in order of interest or importance to the employer.  Do not use introductory courses if you have advanced coursework to offer.  However, if you have a lot of work experience, volunteer experience, or activities and space on your résumé is limited, this section may be excluded.
 
RELATED SKILLS:  Make sure to include skills that relate to the job to which you are applying.  Even if your previous jobs have not been directly related to your final career choice, you may have learned skills that are valuable.  Examples could include:

  • Computer Science or MIS major: list hardware and software skills, programming languages, operating systems, applications, networks, etc.
  •  Graphic Design major: graphic skills (typesetting, layout, photo and darkroom, desktop publishing, etc).
  •  Biology or Chemistry major: laboratory skills (histology, cell culture, staining, etc.) and equipment or instrumentation skills.
  •  Art major: exhibitions, prizes earned, independent projects (freelance experience), drawing and painting skills, etc.
  •  Music major: orchestral, chamber music, festivals, recordings, awards, etc.
  •  Language Skills: These are very important, especially if you know Spanish! List the level of ability: basic conversation, proficiency, near fluency or fluency. Also include sign language skills.

RELATED EXPERIENCE:  If you have specific work experience - an internship, co-op, or volunteer experience in your chosen field - highlight this in a separate category to make it stand out.  For example, if you worked at an advertising agency, you can call this ADVERTISING EXPERIENCE and list it separately from your other work experience.  You may also include a RELATED PROJECTS section in which you list any projects you are working on, or have worked on, in class which is related to the position you are seeking.
 
VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES/EXPERIENCE: This is an important section - it can highlight transferable skills directly related to a position you are seeking.

Tips for Resume Writing

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Here are some good tips to help you write an effective résumé. Stop by our office to have a career advisor professionally review your résumé before you submit it for a job or internship. Remember, we are here to help!


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