Your resume is a marketing tool created to market you. It may be your first contact with an employer, whether applying for an internship, co-op or job opportunity. Resumes may also be requested for leadership opportunities, graduate school, scholarship, fellowship applications, and more.
Employers often review resumes and cover letters in 10 seconds or less. This means your resume must be well-written, concise, extremely organized, and easy to read in order to be effective. When creating your resume, customize your resume for the reader; organize your accomplishments and interests to their needs. Tailoring your resume and cover letter to the specific employer is a key component of a successful resume and cover letter!
There is not one correct way to organize a resume. Design and content depend on your unique education, experiences, and skills. It is a good idea to have different versions of your resume depending on the job type/industry that you'd like to target.
Examples of Resume Sections
An objective tells the employer what you want to do, either by stating a job title or the type of job you currently seek. Often you will have more than one version of your resume with different objectives.
List the college/university name, city, state, your degree, major, concentration, and graduation date by month and year. List your most recent college first. Under the education section, you may include information about:
- GPA if over 3.0 (major GPA and/or overall GPA)
- Academic honors, Dean's List, and scholarships
- Study Abroad Programs/Experiences
List your career-related experience, including full-time or part-time jobs, summer jobs, volunteer experience, cooperative education, and internships. Large course projects can also go under this section! You may include experiences unrelated to your career area if you focus your job description on transferable skills, such as customer service, communication, problem solving, project management, teamwork, and leadership skills. You do not need to list every job you have held. The descriptions for your relevant experiences should be longer than those not directly related to the work you are seeking. Make sure you highlight your skills and accomplishments.
List your job title, the employer's name, city, state, and dates of employment by month and year. When describing your experiences, you will use bullet points that include keywords and strong action verbs that best describe your skills and experience. Avoid writing in full sentences and leave out pronouns (I, me, my). Pay close attention to verb tense in your descriptions, past experiences should be in the past tense.
Identify your accomplishments and successes from past experiences, and the skills that you used in each situation. In your resume, emphasize what your role was, focus on the skills you used, and describe how you benefited the organization or state the results of your work. Highlight what you achieved and the difference you made.
Accomplishments might include situations in which you created or built something, initiated a project, achieved a goal you set, saved time, saved money, demonstrated leadership, solved a problem or created a solution. Use numbers whenever you can! You want to paint a descriptive picture to the person who is reading your resume.
You may include a variety of activities and additional types of information on your resume, such as those listed hereunder other sections. These sections may be titled things such as Professional Activities, Leadership Roles, Extracurricular Activities - Be creative and title it what makes sense for you. Focus on positions you held, your level of involvement, accomplishments, projects, demonstrated leadership roles, committee work, communication skills, organizational skills, and any skills related to your stated career objective.
- Campus/student organizations
- Community service
- Volunteer experience
- Team and group projects
- Computer skills
- Foreign languages
- Leadership roles
- Professional membership