A resume is a personal marketing piece created to show your accomplishment and skill. This document is a continual “work in progress” that builds over time as you continue to collect new experience and skills. Before writing a resume, you need to identify the type of career field and potential industries that you want to target your resume toward.

If you already have a resume together, we recommend you to visit the Career Services Office to have your resume reviewed. We work directly with employers and can pass on industry or resume ideas that have been learned over time.

If you are just getting started, the following information will be helpful.

Two Common Formats:  Chronological and Functional

  1. Chronological resumes—These list your work history by date, or in a “chronological” order. The chronological format is preferred by most employers because it demonstrates responsibility, maturity, and growth over time and should reflect increasingly higher levels of responsibility in each subsequent position listed. Sections headers may include Objective, Education, Work Experience, Project Work, Activities, Awards, and Honors. For those who have 5 to 10 or more years of experience within a career field, a Summary of Qualifications or Professional Profile section may be added.
  2. Functional resumes—These center on the requirements of the job and lists skills accordingly. This format is mostly used by anyone who does not have work history, who may need to concentrate on skills rather than listing positions, or who may have a poor work history. If you feel you may be a candidate for a functional style resume, please make an appointment with the Career Services Office.

Basic Resume Writing Rules

  • Don’t use personal pronouns. Stay away from using I, me, we, they, our, your, their, etc.
  • Don’t use abbreviations—spell everything out. However, state abbreviations are okay.
  • Employers prefer a one-page resume for college students and no more than two pages for college students or professionals with experience.
  • Do not use resume wizards or resume building software programs—these may make your resume look like many other resumes out there. Make yourself stand apart and create your own layout.
  • Use bullet points to illustrate skills and accomplishments under positions as needed. No paragraphs—use two lines maximum. Bullet points should be short and to the point. Further explanation can be given in the interview. You do not have to include bullet points for positions that have no relevance to what you are applying for.
  • Showing work while in college is expected until you gain experience. This is highly recommended if you already have career-related project work or freelancing experience to show.
  • Start bullet points with action verbs—you can find good examples in the descriptions of jobs you want to apply for—then show accomplishments or skills related to the position.
  • Create more than one resume when targeting different career positions. Each resume should target a type of position and illustrate skills for that particular career field.
  • Visit the Career Services Office to have someone review your resume. The Career Services Office hears directly from employers on what they are looking for in good candidates and can provide helpful feedback.

Example Action Verbs

Accelerated Conducted Estimated Investigated Provided Streamlined
Accomplished Confronted Evaluated Involved Publicized Strengthened
Accounted Consolidated Examined Judged Published Stressed
Achieved Constructed Exhibited Launched Purchased Structured
Acquired Consulted Expanded Learned Pushed Studied
Acted Contributed Expedited Lectured Questioned Succeeded
Actively Controlled Experimental Led Raised Summarized
Adapted Coordinated Explained Lobbied Read Supervised
Addressed Corresponded Expressed Located Received Supplied
Administered Counseled Facilitated Made Recommended Supported
Adopted Created Fashioned Maintained Reconciled Surveyed
Advised Critiqued Filled Managed Recorded Systemized
Advocated Cut Financed Manipulated Recruited Tackled
Aided Dealt Forecasted Mastered Reduced Talked
Allocated Debated Formulated Measured Referred Taught
Analyzed Defined Found Mediated Reinforced Tested
Applied Delegated Gathered Motivated Reorganized Touched
Appraised Delivered Generated Negotiated Repaired Tracked
Approved Demonstrated Guided Observed Reported Traded
Arbitrated Described Headed Operated Represented Trained
Arranged Designed Hired Organized Researched Transferred
Assembled Detected Hypothesized Originated Resolved Transformed
Assessed Determined Identified Oversaw Responded Translated
Assigned Developed Illustrated Participated Retrieved Traveled
Assisted Devised Implemented Performed Revamped Treated
Attained Diagnosed Improved Persuaded Reviewed Trimmed
Audited Directed Improvised Pinpointed Revised Troubleshot
Based Discovered Increased Planned Scheduled Tutored
Budgeted Dispatched Influenced Predicted Secured Uncovered
Built Displayed Initiated Prepared Selected Updated
Calculated Distributed Innovated Presented Served Upgraded
Checked Documented Inspected Presided Serviced Utilized
Classified Drafted Inspired Printed Set up Verified
Coached Drew Installed Prioritized Significantly Visualized
Collated Earned Instituted Processed Simplified Won
Collected Edited Instructed Produced Sketched Wrote
Communicated Educated Integrated Programmed Sold Alert
Competed Effected Interpreted Projected Solved Ambitious
Compiled Eliminated Interviewed Promoted Spoke Analytical
Completed Encouraged Introduced Proof-read Staffed Conscientious
Composed Enforced Invented Proposed Started Constructive
Conceived Established Invested Proved Strategy Imaginative

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