Along with the cover letter, the résumé is the first document that a prospective employer or graduate program typically sees. Accordingly, the résumé you submit should contain information which summarizes your different experiences, activities, and interests efficiently and effectively.
As always, it is important to receive input on your résumé. At any point in the process, you should feel free to set up an appointment online with a counselor, who can help you begin the process of writing the résumé or provide suggestions and revisions to a draft. You can review and download the Résumé Writing Guide in Adobe PDF Format.
Begin your résumé with identifying information: your name, address, phone number, and email address. You might include both your campus and home contact information if you are a current student. If you wish to include your LinkedIn URL, or a link to your own website or portfolio, make sure it contains only professional information and images for a positive first impression. Your voicemail message should also be appropriate for a potential employer. Don’t answer the phone during a job search unless you are in an appropriate environment.
This section should include the name of the college/university, location (city and state), your degree and major(s), and when it was earned or is expected (month and year).
Other optional information may include: minors, concentrations, GPA, relevant coursework, academic honors/awards/scholarships, off-campus study information, etc. Generally, it is not necessary to list your high school diploma under the education category. Exceptions may be for individuals who attended a private school and are seeking a teaching position in the same environment or underclass students seeking summer jobs/internships. In this case, list your education institutions in reverse chronological order.
Paid and unpaid work qualify as experience. Include the name of the organization, location (city and state), dates of involvement, your title, and two or three action statements describing what you did.
Start with your most recent and work backwards. This category may include your summer jobs, internships, on-campus jobs, and volunteer work . Start each phrase with an action verb (refer to the résumé action verb list on page 3 of our guide). Avoid using personal pronouns, such as “I,” “me,” or “my.” If you have several experiences related to the position you are seeking, you could create a more tailored category heading. For example, your category heading for a teaching position could be Teaching Experience or Youth-Related Experience.
Include the name of the organization, location (city and state), dates of involvement, your title, and two or three action statements describing what you did on campus or in the community.
Include activities and interests that show leadership or initiative that pertain to your career focus. If the organization is politically or religiously affiliated, you need to focus on the accomplishments and skills utilized and not emphasize the cause. If substantial, these experiences may be listed under “Experience.”
Here you can include foreign languages, computer skills, office skills, lab techniques, or transferable skills not mentioned elsewhere in your résumé.
Market your uniqueness and valuable transferable skills, and provide specific examples of your abilities for the recruiters. The skills mentioned here can be combined under one heading or listed separately. If applicable, emphasize your level of proficiency.
Include the name, title, organization, address, phone number, and email address for each of your references.
Do not waste valuable space on your résumé by including your references, or even the simple line of “References Available Upon Request.” Create a separate document, using the same contact header on your résumé. Be sure you have obtained their consent to release each piece of their information. Check out our sample on Page 7 of our résumé guide.