Purpose of the Résumé
Your résumé should be a brief highlight of your experiences and education. The goal of your résumé is to effectively market yourself to potential employers, and to obtain an interview. There is no one right way to write a résumé.
Starting from scratch
Brainstorm ALL experiences. Think about all of the experiences you have had including work, volunteer, internship, co-curricular, and independent study experience. Most likely you will not include everything on each version of your résumé, but keeping a master copy of all of your experiences will help you in job searches in the future. Targeting your Résumé
Because you will probably be applying for more than one job, multiple versions of your résumé are necessary. You will tailor your résumé for each type of position. In each version of your résumé, you will emphasize the experiences you have had that most directly relate to the specific type of position for which you are applying.
Catch the reader's eye
Most readers will spend 20-30 seconds initially scanning your résumé. Using bullets, bolding, and indentations will make it easier for the reader to read relevant information. Use action words to describe your experience and skills.
Length of your Résumé
Students with or working toward a Bachelor's Degree should develop a one-page résumé unless you have had full-time work experience or significant internship or co-op experience. A two-page résumé is more acceptable for students with or working toward a Master's Degree. The information that is most relevant to your objective should always be included on the first page of your résumé.
Accentuate the positive
It is not the responsibility of the reader to figure out your career direction. Highlight accomplishments, not mere duties, and leave off questionable or negative statements.
Leave it off
Personal information, such as marital status, age, race, gender, religion, and birthplace is not necessary or appropriate for your résumé. In most cases, high school information should not be included.
Appearance of your Résumé
Your résumé should be printed on a neutral color, high quality résumé paper. Bright colors or graphics should not be used in most cases. The format of your résumé should be professional and eye-catching.
The most difficult part of résumé writing is describing your experiences. You know, the stuff that explains what you did at each of your jobs. The best approach is to begin each job description with a Power Verb. They stress results and impact, which are what employers care about. You can even string power verbs together. For example, "Designed, developed and implemented..." or "Established, cultivated and maintained..." Check out the power verbs listed below.
Management Skill Verbs:
Allocated, Determined, Directed, Elected, Enlisted, Formed, Founded, Governed, Hired, Initiated, Inspired, Instituted, Led, Managed, Moderated, Motivated, Operated, Oversaw, Pioneered, Presided, Produced, Recruited, Represented, Selected, Spearheaded, Sponsored, Staged, Started, Supervised, Trained
Organizational Skill Verbs:
Arranged, Assembled, Collected, Centralized, Coordinated, Catalogued, Distributed, Disseminated, Enforced, Executed, Formalized, Implemented, Installed, Maintained, Organized, Planned, Prepared, Processed, Routed, Recorded, Reorganized, Scheduled, Updated
Communication Skill Verbs:
Acquainted, Apprised, Answered, Briefed, Conducted, Contacted, Demonstrated, Drafted, Educated, Explained, Familiarized, Handled, Informed, Instructed, Introduced, Lectured, Listened, Presented, Reported, Responded, Spoke, Summarized, Taught, Trained, Translated, Wrote
Analytical Skill Verbs:
Analyzed, Assessed, Audited, Compiled, Consulted, Detected, Discovered, Documented, Edited, Evaluated, Examined, Gathered, Identified, Interpreted, Interviewed, Researched, Searched, Surveyed, Tested
Helping Skill Verbs:
Aided, Attended, Assisted, Collaborated, Contributed, Counseled, Comforted, Facilitated, Fostered, Guided, Helped, Instilled, Mentored, Provided, Settled, Supported, Tutored, Treated
Selling Skill Verbs:
Arbitrated, Convinced, Dissuaded, Encouraged, Marketed, Mediated, Negotiated, Persuaded, Promoted, Publicized, Resolved, Sold, Secured, Solicited
Creative Skill Verbs:
Authored, Conceived, Conceptualized, Created, Composed, Designed, Devised, Established, Invented, Originated, Revolutionized
Additional Power Verbs:
Adapted, Attained, Augmented, Awarded, Boosted, Broadened, Built, Calculated, Catered, Decreased, Developed, Ensured, Eliminated, Exceeded, Excelled, Expanded, Expedited, Fabricated, Financed, Gained, Generated, Improved, Increased, Launched, Mastered, Modernized, Published, Raised, Reconciled, Reduced, Revamped, Revitalized, Saved, Shopped, Strengthened, Supplemented, Tended, Utilized