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Resume

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Your resume communicates your brand in writing just as your Professional Pitch communicates your brand through a short speech. The key is to demonstrate to a networking contact or a prospective employer why he/she should consider you an excellent candidate for an opportunity. Since employers may review hundreds of resumes before selecting the candidates to interview, your document needs to stand out as compelling, not to mention well-organized and error-free. The compelling resume supports your professional goal by highlighting knowledge, skills and accomplishments that match those the employer seeks. Typically, you will need to make your points in one to two pages.

  • Resume Types

    The format you choose (chronological, functional or combination) primarily depends on your professional goal, your particular background and what will best highlight your qualifications.

    Chronological: The most widely used resume format and preferred by most recruiters. Arrange items in reverse chronological order—most recent to least recent—and organize by traditional categories. Use when experience and education are related to the type of work you seek. Strong accomplishment statements (see Celebrate Accomplishments) about your experience relative to your Professional Goal make the chronological resume compelling.

    Functional: Stresses skills/abilities regardless of where they were developed. List primary skills related to target position and without chronology (actual work history is briefly listed at end). Useful for those changing careers, entering or re-entering the job market.

    Combination: Emphasizes functional skills and chronological work history. A more flexible format useful for those with diverse experience.

  • Resume Sections

    Indentifying information: Your name, address, e-mail and phone number(s) and sometimes your facebook, linked in or personal homepage addresses. Your name and page number appear at the top of 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. 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, 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. Experience may be separated into two sections: Career- Related Experience and Additional Experience—for those who want to highlight experiences that directly relate to their field. 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 Category: Publications, research, awards, certifications, professional memberships, military service, language proficiencies (both foreign and computer), special skills, extra-curricular 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

    Management skills

    Communication skills

    Clerical or detailed skills

    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

    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

    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

    Research skills

    Technical skills

    Teaching skills

    clarified
      collected
      critiqued
      diagnosed
      evaluated
      examined
      extracted
      identified
      inspected
      interpreted
      interviewed
      investigated
      organized
      reviewed
      summarized
      surveyed
      systematized

    assembled
      built
      calculated
      computed
      designed
      devised
      engineered
      fabricated
      maintained
      operated
      overhauled
      programmed
      remodeled
      repair
      solved
      trained
      upgraded

    adapted
      advised
      clarified
      coached
      communicated
      coordinated
      developed
      enabled
      encouraged
      evaluated
      explained
      facilitated
      guided
      informed
      initiated
      instructed
      persuaded
      set goals
      stimulated

    Financial skills

    Creative skills

    Helping skills

    administered
      allocated
      analyzed
      appraised
      audited
      balanced
      budgeted
      calculated
      computed
      developed
      forecasted
      managed
      marketed
      planned
      projected
      researched

    acted
      conceptualized
      created
      designed
      developed
      directed
      established
      fashioned
      founded
      illustrated
      instituted
      integrated
      introduced
      invented
      originated
      performed
      planned
      revitalized
      shaped

    assessed
      assisted
      clarified
      coached
      counseled
      demonstrated
      diagnosed
      educated
      expedited
      facilitated
      familiarized
      guided
      referred
      rehabilitated
      represented

    .

  • Tips

    • Tailor your professional summary and resume so that it is relevant to the position you are applying for, and be concise.
    • 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.
    • Keep your resume length from one to two pages. Be judicious about what you include.
    • Use a consistent format throughout your resume so that it can be easily read and understood.
    • Focus on your potential employer’s interests by incorporating items from the job announcement.
    • 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 .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 high school graduation/GED or 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.

Learn how to upload documents into UBworks, our online job database:
(Also see "Getting Started in UBworks" and "Searching for a Job in UBworks.")