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Communicate your skills in writing.

Employers may review hundreds of resumes before selecting candidates to interview. How do you stand out?

A compelling resume highlights the knowledge, skills and accomplishments you've gained that match what the employer seeks. It should be well organized and error free and typically shouldn't be longer than one or two pages.

  • Resume Organization

    The format you choose depends on your professional goal, your background and what will best highlight your qualifications.

    Chronological
    • the most widely used resume format and the format preferred by most recruiters
    • items are arranged from most recent to least recent
    • use when your experience and education are related to the type of work you seek
    • include strong accomplishment statements about your experience relative to your professional goal
    Functional
    • stresses skills and abilities regardless of when they were developed
    • list primary skills related to target position without chronology (actual work history should be briefly listed at end)
    • use when changing careers or re-entering the job market
    Combination
    • emphasizes functional skills and chronological work history
    • a more flexible format useful for those with diverse experiences
  • Resume Sections

    Identifying information: Your name, address, email and phone number(s). If appropriate, you may want to include your social media or portfolio addresses. If your resume is longer than one page, make sure your name and the page number appears on any additional pages.

    Objective: There is much debate about including an objective on your resume. The objective is a “theme” statement that sets the tone for the rest of your resume. It is recommended for those who are clear about their career direction. If you are unclear or hope to use your resume for several types of positions, it is better to state your objective in the cover letter. An alternative is to include a targeted objective on each resume so it reflects a theme for each position. An objective may include the type of position you are seeking, either by field or position title, and a phrase about the skills you wish to use. Convey what you bring to the job, not what you want from the job.

    Education: Include degree(s) awarded, major or area of concentration, educational institution(s) attended, and dates attended or date of graduation. May also include relevant courses completed, honors/awards, special research or other projects, GPA (if 3.0 or above) and/or percentage of college expenses earned. If you are a recent graduate or are about to graduate and if you have little experience related to your chosen field, your education section precedes your experience section.

    Professional Summary: Provides a high-level summary of your experience, talents, personal strengths and skills from different positions (employment, volunteer and as a student) as they relate to the job. The summary typically appears after your contact information and before your experience section. This arrangement allows the reader to see a connection between your summary and your experience.

    Experience: Includes full-time work, part-time work, internships, and practical and/or volunteer experience. Keep job descriptions brief, strong and clear. Detail the level of responsibility and the breadth of exposure. Specific accomplishments and positive results are key to the accomplishment-based resume. The goal is to help the employer understand the skills you possess, the level of responsibility you have held and the accomplishments you have achieved. Strong verbs suggest strong action and should be used to introduce each new experience.

    Special Categories: Publications, research, awards, certifications, professional memberships, military service, language proficiencies (both foreign and computer), special skills, extra-curricular activities and civic activities may enhance your resume if they serve to distinguish you or to support your career objective. If you have only one item, include it under your education section.

    References: Never include reference names on your resume. Prepare a typed list of your references including name, position, title, company name, company address and telephone to take with you to the interview, but do not offer it to the employer unless requested. Contact three to four people who know you well enough to speak positively about your abilities and who will agree to act as a reference. Assist them by discussing your professional goal with them and giving them a copy of your resume. Concentrate on professional references as opposed to personal references. Faculty members, employment supervisors, internship supervisors, advisers, etc., all make good choices.

  • Action Verbs
    Clerical or Detailed Skills Communication Skills Creative Skills
    approved
    arranged
    catalogued
    classified
    collected
    compiled
    dispatched
    executed
    generated
    implemented
    inspected
    monitored
    operated
    organized
    prepared
    organized
    prepared
    processed
    purchased
    recorded
    retrieved
    screened
    specified
    systematized
    tabulated
    validated
    addressed
    arbitrated
    arranged
    authored
    corresponded
    developed
    directed
    drafted
    edited
    enlisted
    formulated
    influenced
    interpreted
    lectured
    mediated
    moderated
    motivated
    negotiated
    persuaded
    promoted
    publicized
    reconciled
    recruited
    spoke
    translated
    wrote
    acted
    conceptualized
    created
    designed
    developed
    directed
    established
    fashioned
    founded
    illustrated
    instituted
    integrated
    introduced
    invented
    originated
    performed
    planned
    revitalized
    shaped
    Financial Skills Helping Skills Management Skills
    administered
    allocated
    analyzed
    appraised
    audited
    balanced
    budgeted
    calculated
    computed
    developed
    forecasted
    managed
    marketed
    planned
    projected
    researched
    assessed
    assisted
    clarified
    coached
    counseled
    demonstrated
    diagnosed
    educated
    expedited
    facilitated
    familiarized
    guided
    referred
    rehabilitated
    represented
    administered
    analyzed
    assigned
    attained
    chaired
    contracted
    consolidated
    coordinated
    delegated
    developed
    directed
    evaluated
    executed
    improved
    increased
    organized
    oversaw
    planned
    prioritized
    produced
    recommended
    reviewed
    scheduled
    strengthened
    supervised
    Research Skills Teaching Skills Technical Skills
    clarified
    collected
    critiqued
    diagnosed
    evaluated
    examined
    extracted
    identified
    inspected
    interpreted
    interviewed
    investigated
    organized
    reviewed
    summarized
    surveyed
    systematized
    adapted
    advised
    clarified
    coached
    communicated
    coordinated
    developed
    enabled
    encouraged
    evaluated
    explained
    facilitated
    guided
    informed
    initiated
    instructed
    persuaded
    set goals
    stimulated
    assembled
    built
    calculated
    computed
    designed
    devised
    engineered
    fabricated
    maintained
    operated
    overhauled
    programmed
    remodeled
    repair
    solved
    trained
    upgraded
  • Additional Tips
    • Be concise.
    • Keep your resume length from one to two pages. Be judicious about what you include.
    • Tailor your resume so it is relevant to the position you are applying for. Take time to incorporate items from the job announcement.
    • Focus on the results of your work (paid and unpaid) as well as significant achievements and recognition/honors received. Quantify results whenever possible.
    • Have many people read and provide feedback for content and spelling and grammatical errors–including a career counselor/coach (we're happy to help).
    • Use a consistent format throughout your resume so that it can be easily read and understood.
    • Provide adequate "white space" so your reader can make notes as needed in the margins or between sections.
    • Use a font-point size within 10.5-12 range and keep your margins between 0.5 and 1 inch.
    • Include current educational pursuits. If you are a student, don’t forget to add your school, the degree you are currently seeking and your anticipated completion date. Do not include transfer institutions unless a degree was earned.
    • Only include information relevant to the position. Leave out personal information such as marital status, number of children, etc.
    • If providing hard copies of your resume, ensure they are clean/clear of errant marks or smudges.
    • Include a cover letter when submitting your resume.
  • Sample Resumes by Major

    The resume samples below are real resumes that our students have worked on with UB career coaches and given us permission to publish. For some majors, we've provided alternative formats as examples, as each resume should be unique depending on your career goal. All identifying information has been changed to protect the student.

    Program Sample Resume(s)
    Applied Information Technology PDF
    Business Administration - Accounting PDF
    Business Administration - Computer Information Systems PDF
    Business Administration - Entrepreneurship
    PDF
    Business Administration - Finance PDF 
    Business Administration - General Business PDF | PDF
    Business Administration - Human Resource Management
    PDF
    Business Administration - International Business
    PDF
    Business Administration - Management
    PDF
    Business Administration - Marketing PDF
    Business Administration - Pre-Law PDF
    Community Studies and Civic Engagement PDF
    Criminal Justice PDF
    Digital Communications PDF
    English PDF
    Environmental Sustainability and Human Ecology
    PDF
    Forensic Document Analysis (CERT)
    PDF
    Government and Public Policy PDF
    Health Systems Management PDF 
    History PDF
    Human Services Administration PDF
    Information Systems and Technology Management PDF
    Integrated Arts PDF
    Interdisciplinary Studies PDF
    International Studies PDF
    Jurisprudence PDF | PDF
    Psychology PDF
    Publications Design (M.A.) PDF | PDF
    Philosophy, Society and Applied Ethics PDF
    Real Estate and Economic Development PDF
    Simulation and Digital Entertainment PDF | PDF

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Need help building your resume?

Start with the resume builder inside UBworks. You can choose from multiple templates and styles that are all customizable. To access the resume builder:

  1. Log in to MyUB and select the UBworks icon under "Tools."
  2. Select the resources tab and then select resume builder.

Once you're ready, our career coaches can review your resume virtually or in person and they can help you get your job search started.

UBworks Policy Change

Starting October 25, 2016 the FIRST resume posted in UBworks must be approved by a CPDC Career Coach before you can apply to jobs.  This will help ensure that you are presenting yourself professionally and with an eye towards succeeding in your job search now, and into the future. 

Career coaches will review the resumes within 3-4 business days of being uploaded to UBworks.  If your resume is approved, you will be able to begin applying to jobs in UBworks.  If your resume is not approved, you will be sent feedback to help improve your document.  Once you have addressed the areas of concern you can reload your resume.  In some cases, you may be asked to meet with a Career Coach to discuss the necessary edits before applying to jobs in UBworks.  

Last Published 10/25/16