PURPOSE: A document used to convince employers to interview you for an internship, full-, part-time position, or work study or summer job. It highlights your education, skills, experience, and achievements. View the complete handout here.
• Basics to Include
Contact Information: Name, Mailing Address, Phone, and Email.
If applicable, consider listing two separate addresses:
♦Local – your on- or off-campus address in the D.C. area
♦Permanent Address – In most cases, it’s your family address.
Education: Degree in your major (if applicable, list your concentration), minor, graduation date.
•The official name of school and its location (City, State)
•G.P.A.: List if 3.0 and above
•Honors: List if you received Dean's List, scholarships, honors societies, special awards
♦List 4-5 upper level courses; course numbers should be removed; omit any introductory courses.
Study Abroad: (if applicable):
•List full name of institution, City, Country, Dates
Experience: Paid or unpaid. List internships, summer positions, on- and off-campus employment.
→Each entry will include job title, the name of the organization, the organization’s location (city, state), and dates of employment. When listing your job responsibilities and accomplishments, use action verbs.
Activities: Clubs/Organizations, Sports, etc. (List any leadership positions you held). Include dates of participation.
→Community Service (can also be called “Volunteer Work”): Name of Organization (List any leaderships positions you held), Location (City, State). Include dates of participation.
Skills: Computer, Language(s), Social Media (optional but can be helpful for certain fields and positions)
Other Sections To Consider:
• Types of Resumes
The most commonly used type of resume. Your information is arranged in reverse chronological order (i.e. most recent first). When in doubt, use the chronological resume.
Use if you:
♦are applying for an internship, an entry-level, mid-level, or executive level position.
♦are applying for graduate, medical, or law school.
♦are seeking a job in a career field where you have gained some experience.
♦want to highlight your last place of employment.
♦have little to no previous experience (work and/or internships).
Instead of arranging your information in date order, emphasis is placed on your skill set, qualifications and related achievements.
Use if you:
•are changing careers.
•want to highlight your abilities and transferable skills.
•have a variety of experiences that do not point to your target job or internship.
•have gaps in employment or frequently changed jobs.
•want to take the focus away from your places of employment.
This resume combines the chronological and functional resume formats. It emphasizes your skill set and draws attention away from your lack of experience in the field. At the same time, it maintains the chronological format that the majority of employers still prefer.
Use if you:
•are looking to change careers.
•want to immediately emphasize your strongest credentials.
•are an experienced professional with an extensive work history.
•are considering re-entry in the job market.
Your resume should be no more than 1-page. An employer spends an average of 20 seconds reviewing your resume. Helpful hints to stay within 1 page:
♦Margins should be set between 1” and .5” on all 4 sides of the page.
♦Font size: 12-, 11- or 10-point font. Do not go smaller than 10-point, or it becomes difficult for employers to read.
♦Font style: Use an easy-to-read font. Examples include Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial.
♦Keep it simple: Avoid using tables, lines, shading, or graphs.
• Do's & Don'ts of Resume Writing
Include your high school information through your sophomore year of college. Juniors and seniors should remove it.
Use the correct verb tense.
•If a position is current, use present tense. If it is a job or activity you completed, use past tense.
Use action verbs.
•An action verb packs a lot of information in one word. Also, do not use an action verb more than once. Use a variety to hold the reader’s interest. (See sample action verbs.)
Use a bulleted format.
•While it takes up more space, it’s easier for the employer to skim and review your information.
Take the time to create a targeted resume. Spend some time reading the position description, highlighting any keywords and phrases. Incorporate them into your resume to illustrate how your experience clearly lines up with their position.
Check for spelling and grammar errors. Spellcheck is not enough. Proofread it multiple times. A simple misspelling or grammar error can cost you an interview.
♦Contact Career Services for assistance on your resume. We offer 2 ways to assist you:
Schedule a 1-on-1 appointment to meet with a professional career counselor. No email requests, please. Call (202-319-5623) or drop by (102 McMahon Hall) the office.
>Do not simply use paid employment or work history to list your experiences. Instead, use the title “Experience” because it allows for more flexibility. Experiences can be paid or unpaid.
>Do not use personal pronouns (I or me) when describing your experiences.
>Do not use complete sentences when describing your job responsibilities. Concentrate on on using action verbs to emphasize your responsibilities/skills. A sample list is provided.
>Do not keep using the same action verb. Your reader will quickly grow disinterested.
>Do not use a resume template. It is difficult to work with if you want to change, move, or delete categories. It also gives a cookie cutter appearance.
>Do not include the line References Available Upon Request at the bottom of your resume. Instead, create a separate reference sheet. Instructions are provided.
• Writing a Winning Job Description
A winning job description goes into more detail to effectively highlight your accomplishments. Use ACTION WORDS ato create a concise statement that expands what you did and the results you achieved.
♦Updated Facebook Page
♦Organized charity event
♦Managed content of company's social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter feeds. Developed company's first mobile application.
♦Organized local charity event, raising $1,000 for new hospital wing.
• How To Write A Reference Page
References available upon request.
The line "References available upon request" is outdated and no longer used. Instead, create a separate reference page and submit it with your resume.
When do I ask?
Before you submit your resume to an employer or with your application to graduate school.
→First, obtain permission from your references before you list them on your resume. Do not assume they will say yes.
Whom do I ask?
Someone who knows & can speak knowledgeably about the quality of your work, i.e. your work performance, reliability, interaction with others, communication skills..
♦College Professors or High School Teachers (Do not use a high school teacher after your sophomore year of college).
♦Supervisors – from an internship, full- or part-time job, summer job, or work study
♦Coach or Club Advisor
—If someone is not listed above but you’d like to list this person as a reference, ask Career Services for guidance.
Typically, a family member, family friend, or neighbor should not be used as a reference. These individuals are referred to as character references, not professional references.
What Do I Include?
•Professional relationship to you
•Name of Organization
•Phone Number and Email Address
How many should I include?
Check the job announcement for instructions, but if none are given:
⇒A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 3, but no more than 5
Other Information To Know
•Take the time to develop a relationship with your professors, supervisors, coaches, etc.
•Include your contact information on the reference page so employers can reach you.
•Keep your references in the loop. Update them of your job-search process or the progress of your graduate school application.
References for Catherine Cardinal
128 Upshur Lane, Washington, DC 201XX
Professor Jane Doe, PhD
Relationship: Professor for 2 English classes, including senior seminar
English Department, Summit University
1228 Main Street
Springfield, NY 22211
Ms. Mary G. Smith
Relationship: Internships Supervisor
Lead Marketing Analyst, Time Warner, Inc.
825 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 100
New York, NY 11101
Father John Brown
Relationship: Advisor for Youth Parish Group
Associate Pastor, St. Michael's Parish
228 Elm Branch Way
Greenville, NJ 00808