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The resume is a marketing tool that clearly states what skills you have to offer based on the needs of the employer.  You need to sell your skills, abilities, and experiences to the employer with the goal of convincing the employer that you can fulfill his/her need.  Presenting examples of results in your resume will "sell" you better than just listing job responsibilities.  Demonstrating a record of achievement or performance will also convey future ability.  Your resume should also be targeted to relate directly to the requirements of the job, so you may need more than one resume depending upon your career goals.

View a presentation, “Writing a Resume”, with presenter's notes included.

Get a copy of our Cover Letters and Resumes guide.

Some highlights of writing an effective resume are listed below:

Resume Types

  • Chronological:  Used to demonstrate consistent growth in the same career field.  Emphasis is on where you worked, positions you held, dates of employment, and corresponding job duties.
  • Hybrid functional:  Focused on broad areas of expertise that draw from life and work experiences.  Emphasis is on three to four skill areas that collectively represent job duties.

Resume Content

  • Heading:  Contains your name, address, phone number, and email.
  • Qualifications summary:  A brief summary to market the skills and experiences that you would bring to an organization.
  • Education:  A listing of degrees, institutions attended, majors, and dates earned beginning with your most recent degree first.
  • Work experience:  Includes action statements that describe what you have accomplished in your positions.  It will be oriented by places of employment or functional skill areas, depending on the resume type.
  • Additional information:  Includes relevant professional memberships, additional training, and volunteer experience.

General Tips

  • Keep your resume brief and concise.  It should not be more than two pages in length.
  • Use action words to demonstrate what you have accomplished and the results associated with your efforts.
  • List the most important information closest to the beginning of each section.
  • Be aware of electronic resume format requirements involving font size and style along with placement of text.
  • Do not include salary histories or personal information.
  • Proofread!  Never send out a resume with mistakes.
  • When sending out your resume, use a high-quality bond paper of a neutral color.  Match your cover letters as well.

Visit our resource page for more resume writing tips. Additionally, Counseling and Career Services offers a resume review service.  You may drop off your resume and have it reviewed by an expert.    Appointments are also available by calling 443-518-1340.


Counseling and Career Services RCF 302
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