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Writing an Effective Resume . Career Services 8 Kerr Administration Building 737-4085 http://oregonstate.edu/career. Individual Career Counseling Drop-ins Workshops Career Assessment Tools Computer Lab Mock Interviews Career Resource Library Career Fairs. Beaver Recruiting

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Writing an effective resume

Writing an Effective Resume

Career Services

8 Kerr Administration Building



Overview of career services

Individual Career Counseling



Career Assessment Tools

Computer Lab

Mock Interviews

Career Resource Library

Career Fairs

Beaver Recruiting

Job Listings

Resume Match

On-campus Interviews

Co-op and Internship Program

National Student Exchange

Peace Corps

Equipment/Classroom Usage


Flat Screen TV

Digital Video Camera

Overview of Career Services


  • Purpose of a resume

  • Resume formats

  • Sections of a resume

  • What not to include in a resume

  • References

Purpose of a resume
Purpose of a Resume

  • Introduction to employer

  • Personal advertisement

  • Get you an interview

Basic formats for resumes
Basic Formats for Resumes

  • Chronological

    • Reverse Date Order

  • Functional

    • Grouped by Skill Category

  • Combination

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Components of a resume


Course highlights


Computer skills

Foreign languages


Volunteer work / community service


Many more…

Components of a Resume

  • Necessary Information:

  • Contact information

  • Education

  • Experience (tasks, skills learned)

    Optional Information:

Contact information
Contact Information

  • Name

  • Address: Campus/Permanent

  • Telephone number

  • Email address


  • Convey a match between you and the position

  • Communicate what you have to offer

  • Identify skills that will benefit the organization/industry

  • Tailor your objective to the job/field


    “Seeking an internship with XYZ Corporation in which I can utilize my proven leadership abilities and recognized customer service skills.”


List formal education with the highest degree first

  • Include:

    • Institution

    • City, State

    • Degree

    • Major title

    • Graduation date

  • Optional Information:

    • Minor/Concentration

    • Dean’s List

    • Grade Point Average

    • Exchange programs*

    • Dissertation or Thesis*

    • Honors, awards, scholarships*


  • Full-time, part-time, volunteer, practicum, co-op, internship, clinical, and field experience

  • List in reverse chronological order

  • May use “Related Experience” section

  • Need to include:

    Name of employer

    City, State, and dates of employment/participation

    Position titles

    Position description

Position description
Position Description

  • Demonstrate achievements, knowledge, skills, highlights, and responsibilities related to the position

  • Use action verbs: use past and present tense consistently and accurately

  • Break up large blocks of texts with bullets

Accomplishment statements
Accomplishment Statements

Two parts:

  • The results or benefits that came as a result of your work. These results/benefits should be stated in terms of the value added, and in as tangible and quantified a manner as possible.

  • The action you took to achieve those benefits/results.  (What steps you took or what techniques you used)

Accomplishment statements1
Accomplishment Statements

  • Benefits

    • Much better awareness of the skills and abilities that will be the foundation for your job search.

    • Concrete credibility for everything you claim in the way of qualifications and abilities. You will have simple documentation of the value you can bring to an employer.

    • Greater confidence in presenting yourself to potential employers. You will understand better that you are not "asking for a job," but rather you are offering a contribution to an employer.

Accomplishment statements2

Increased profits

Reduced errors

Reduced losses

Improved teamwork

Made things easier

Sped things up

Foresaw a problem

Found an easier solution

Received an award

Found a new opportunity

Accomplished more with the same

Prevented a problem

Provided new resources

Developed a new procedure

Overcame obstacles

Accomplishment Statements


  • "Saved $60 a year in service charges by proposing and acquiring a checking account at a new bank for College Council."

  • " Instituted residence hall tutoring program that increased average overall GPA from a 2.9 to a 3.3."

  • " Increased membership in ABC student club by 50% through creative advertising."

  • "Presented training for new campus-wide email system to approximately 30% of the student body."

Special categories
Special Categories

  • Course highlights

  • Projects/research

  • Research awards

  • Certifications

  • Computer skills

  • Foreign language proficiency

  • Special skills

  • Volunteering / community involvement

  • Leadership activities

  • Honors, scholarships, awards

  • Activities, interests

Let s practice
Let’s Practice

  • Please take a minute and write an accomplishment statement using your own educational and/or professional experiences.

Interests and activities
Interests and Activities

  • Association memberships

  • Academic/social clubs

  • Athletic teams

  • Hobbies

    • Include offices elected to and contributions made to the organization

    • Select your interests and activities carefully

What not to include
What NOT to Include

  • Salary requirements or previous salaries

  • Name or contact information of supervisors

  • Personal information (e.g. birth date, marital status, health status, picture, etc.)

  • References - place them on a separate sheet

    Note: if applying for jobs outside of the US, these may not necessarily apply – do your research!

Points to remember
Points to Remember

  • Use vocabulary of your field or industry

  • Use concise phrases

  • Use numbers to quantify achievements

  • Avoid long paragraphs

  • Omit personal pronouns

  • Action verbs

Points to remember cont
Points to Remember (cont.)

  • Use bolding, italics, andunderliningto highlight or separate sections

  • Margins should be ½ inch to 1 inch

  • One page length is standard

  • Use only one side of the paper

  • Laser print on quality paper

  • http://oregonstate.edu/career/students/careerguide2005.pdf


  • Have at least three references

  • Ask before using someone as a reference

  • Give resumes to your references and keep them informed of your progress

  • Things to include on reference sheet:

    • Your contact information (same format as on resume is recommended)

    • Name of reference, company or organization, address, phone number, and email address

A strong cover letter
A Strong Cover Letter

  • Targeted to employers and specific jobs

  • Promotes your abilities

  • Looks organized and professional

  • Enthusiastic and conveys interest

  • Clear and concise articulation of skills

  • Error-free

Components of a cover letter

Your contact information


Employers’ contact information


Introductory paragraph

Components of a Cover Letter

  • Body of letter: one or more paragraphs connecting your skills to employer needs

  • Conclusion

  • Closing

  • Signature, if in paper format

Opening paragraph
Opening Paragraph

  • Why are you writing?

    • What position are you applying for?

    • How did you hear of the opening or organization?

      Example: Dr. Anderson in the Anthropology Department at Oregon State University recommended that I contact you. I would like to apply for the archaeology internship available in your office.

Writing an effective resume

Middle Paragraph(s)

  • Explain interest in working for this employer and reasons for desiring this position

  • Do NOT iterate entire resume; rather expand on one or two areas that reflect relevant skills learned

  • Emphasize skills or abilities that relate to the job

  • Express confidence and enthusiasm

Final paragraph
Final Paragraph

  • Persistent, businesslike closing statement

  • Indicate desire for a personal interview

  • Example: I will call you on [date] to discuss this career opportunity with [name of organization].

  • “Thank you” for consideration



    Sign name

    Type name


Cover letter tips
Cover Letter Tips

  • Address letter to a specific person if possible

  • One page only

  • Use industry “buzz words”

  • Follow through with employer

  • Let them know you have done your homework

    • Say something flattering about the organization

      (e.g.: “Energy Plus has an excellent reputation locally for customer satisfaction, and I would like to become part of your customer service team.”)

Good luck
Good Luck!

Let us know how else we can help you!

Career Services

8 Kerr Administration Building