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Resume Workshop. Definition: A description of who you are: your competencies accomplishments future capabilities A marketing tool. Purpose: Applicant’s perspective- Get the attention of a prospective employer Get an interview Reviewer’s perspective: Communicate value

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What is a resume


A description of who you are:

your competencies


future capabilities

A marketing tool


Applicant’s perspective-

Get the attention of a prospective employer

Get an interview

Reviewer’s perspective:

Communicate value

Applicant screening

What is a Resume?

Quick question
Quick Question

  • An interviewer will spend, on average, ___________, screening any one individual resume.

    • A. 1 minute

    • B. 3 minutes

    • C. 5 minutes

    • D. none of the above

Do your research

Know yourself…





Future goals

Desired type of job

Know the employer

Mission or Vision

Distinctive services or features

Applicant “fit”


Target your resume.

Do Your Research!



The type of information you choose to

put on your resume.


The way you arrange this information.


How this information is presented aesthetically.

Content guidelines
Content: Guidelines

  • Think about the qualities, skills and experiences you want your audience to know about.

  • Relevant experiences can be both paid and unpaid.

  • You can make custom categories and headings to suit your needs.

Contact specifics:

  • One e-mail address

  • A phone number with professional voice-mail

  • Your current address


    Amanda Smith

    12234 Main St.

    Hometown, VA 00011

    [email protected]

    (540) 555-8989

Objective Statements – Yes or No?:

  • Writing Objective Statements:

    • Focus on how you would benefit employer or grad school- not how they can help you.

    • Don’t be vague.

    • Be concise and direct.

    • Target your objective to each specific employer.

  • Key ingredients to a successful objective statement:

    • Name the job/position for which you are applying.

    • Note how your skill set is a match.

What s wrong with this picture
What’s wrong with this picture?

Let’s look at the samples.

Educational Background:


Bachelor of Business Administration, May 2008

Hospitality & Tourism Management Major

Overall GPA – 3.1; Major GPA – 3.6

(Usually don’t need to list High School at all.)

  • Relevant Coursework

    • Bulleted list of 6-8 courses OR

    • Description of 2-3 major projects

  • Academic honors, special certifications, endorsements, etc.


  • Start with your title, the organization, location, and time frame.

  • Each relevant position should have a list of your accomplishments.

    • Start with a verb in the past tense.

    • Avoid “duties include” or “responsible for”.

    • Quantify, be descriptive, and identify strengths.

    • Example: “Edited a monthly newsletter for the department, streamlining office communication."


  • Technical Skills:

    • Computer programs/software/languages.

    • “Familiar” or “proficient”?

  • Foreign Language Skills:

    • “Basic understanding”, “conversant” or “fluent”?

  • Lab/Scientific Skills:

    • Equipment you can use, processes you can perform.


  • “References available upon request” at the bottom?

  • When to provide references

  • What to include for each reference

Chronological format
Chronological Format

  • Organizes information around dates, stating what you did and when.

  • Work history is typically related to the job objective.

  • Jobs/experiences are listed in reverse chronological order.

  • Titles and organizations are emphasized.

  • Accomplishments are highlighted.

Functional format
Functional Format

  • Organizes information around functional headings, highlighting major areas of accomplishments and strength.

  • Allows you to organize content in an order that most supports the objective; not bound by dates.

  • Titles and work history are secondary.

  • Draws on all sources of experience- volunteer, activities, courses, work and signifies each as equally important.

Combination format
Combination Format

  • Combines the best aspects of both the chronological and functional.

  • Emphasizes skills, accomplishments, interests, and work experience relative to the objective.

    When to use the Combination Format?

  • Use when you want to emphasize previous activities and or experience while also highlighting transferable skills.


Don’t use a template.

Print on a laser printer.

Be consistent with heading style and margins.

Font: no smaller than 10 point.

Margins: no smaller than 0.5 inches.

Paper choice matters.

Check for spelling and grammatical errors.

Use one font style and size (except for your name).

Fill the page.

Try to stick to 1 page in most cases.

Paragraphs vs. bullets.

Use bullets, not dashes.


A few final guidelines do s

Revise your resume often. Have a variety of people give you feedback.

If a position is still in progress, indicate so:

“Fall 2006-present”.

Vary your verbs.

Talk about the big picture, i.e. what impact your action had on the organization.

Proofread beyond spell check.

A Few Final Guidelines… Do’s

A few final guidelines

Don’t include hobbies. feedback.

Don’t use “I”.

Don’t describe duties in paragraph form - use bullets.

A Few Final Guidelines……


Key elements
Key Elements: feedback.

  • Contact Information

  • Content

    • Purpose of Letter

    • Special Skills

    • Follow-up Intent