Guide To Resume Writing

Adaped from MU Student Success Center Website:(http://career.missouri.edu/students/resumesInterviews/?menu=student&mainMenuItemToSlide=3)

The following are topics often included in resumes. These are typical headings, but not the only ones you can include. Use them as guidelines in developing a first draft of your resume. You’ll also want to choose between a functional or chronological resume, or use a combination of both. (There are examples of each on the Career Center Website). You want to choose the one that best highlights the experience you have that relates the most to the position for which you are applying.
 

  • Personal Data
    • Always include:
      • your name (should be the biggest thing on the page)
      • local and permanent address
      • local and permanent phone number(s)
      • your e-mail address (if you check it regularly)

  • Professional Objective (optional-Realize if you include this section, you may have to rewrite it for every job you apply for! If you are aiming at a diverse group of jobs, consider leaving the objective off the resume and explain your interests in the cover letter instead. )
    • Make a concise, positive statement about your work goals. Indicate:
      • job title,
      • place (geographic preference if there is one), and
      • type of job (part time, full time, summer, internship).

  • Education: Include the:
    • name of school, city, and state
    • your degree and major,
    • date of graduation (month & year) or expected date of   graduation
    • minor and/or area of concentration
    • GPA, cumulative and/or that of major, if it is a 3.0 or above.
    • relevant coursework that you feel will add to your qualifications and are not implied by your major or minor
    • other colleges you have attended (optional)
    • accomplishments (i.e., financed 80% of education through..., consistently worked 20-25 hours per week while full-time student, graduated in four years, etc.).  Do not include high school information if you have substantial post-secondary education or training

  • Work History: Include
    • job title,
    • place of employment,
    • city and state,
    • and dates of employment (list most recent jobs first and work backwards in time).
    • Describe job in a way that clearly highlights relevant skills This can be done through several short concise statements that begin with a past tense action verb and are set apart from the rest of the text by bullets. You should also use high impact adverbs and qualifying adjectives.  (See list of action verbs on http://www.bc.edu/offices/careers/skills/resumes/verbs.html)
    • Quantify when possible (i.e., supervised a staff of 10, increased sales by 15%, handled up to $15,000 daily, etc.)
    • Describe your experience as it relates to the position or field of interest.
    • Use alternative headings, if necessary, to separate experience that is most directly related to your objective.
      • Examples include:
        • Computer Experience,
        • Sales Experience,
        • Financial Experience,
        • Writing Experience,
        • Retail Experience,
        • Banking Experience,
        • Foreign Travel

  • Competencies or Career-Related Skills
    • Inclusion of this section on your resume can be very beneficial, especially if you do not have a lot of work experience.
    • Under this heading, you would have one to five subheadings that would describe skills that you acquired through any activities and/or jobs you have been involved with. Examples:
      • financial skills
      • communication skills
      • creative skills
      • computer skills
      • writing skills
      • leadership skills
      • foreign language skills

  • Related Professional Information
    • Any of the following can become a separate category if your background warrants:
      • licenses and certificates currently held
      • professional organization memberships and offices held
      • honors, scholarships, awards, and fellowships earned
      • publications
      • affiliations with civic and community groups/volunteer work
      • extracurricular activities/leadership
      • internship/externship experiences

  • References
    • References can be listed in a variety of ways.
      • Currently, the preferred method is listing your references’ names, addresses, and phone numbers on a separate sheet of paper.
      • Be sure to put your name and contact information at the top in case your reference sheet gets separated from the resume.
      • On your resume you may indicate that references are available upon request, but this is not necessary (it takes up space and references are expected; you are stating the obvious).
      • Make sure each of your references has agreed in advance to write reference letters or answer phone calls concerning your candidacy.
      • Professional references from work or school tend to carry more weight than personal character references.