Your resume needs to convey what you are capable of doing in the future by summarizing what you have done in the past. You can show your target audience what you can do by strategically selecting key action verbs and words that show transferable skills, as well as choosing eye-catching headings for the various sections of your resume.
As a unique individual with a distinct history all your own, you must
carefully select what information to include and leave out to present and promote the image you wish to convey.
organize categories, focusing attention on your special competencies and qualities.
determine the arrangement and sequence of material to best highlight your particular "fitness" for the position.
begin descriptions with verbs. Avoid starting your resume descriptions with "responsible for" and "duties included." Write in the active, rather than passive, tense!
Though you'll find many options for headings under major headings, listed below are some of the more common choices. You can see an example by clicking on the heading of choice:
- Identifying and Contact Information
- Off-Campus Study Programs
- Work and Internship Experience
- Volunteer and Community Activities
- Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Special Skills and Competencies
- Professional Affiliations and Activities
Identifying and Contact Information - Name, address, phone number, and email address should be formatted in a way to easily identify you and how to reach you. If you are currently enrolled in school, you may want to consider including both your school and permanent contact information.
Permanent: 1001 Far Court · St. Paul, MN 55555 · (651) 555-0000 · email@example.com
College: 1500 Olaf Avenue · Northfield, MN 55057 · (507) 786-2000 · firstname.lastname@example.org
1500 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057
College Address: Permanent Address: 1500 St. Olaf College 1312 4th Street West Northfield, MN 55057 Duluth, MN 55401 (507) 786-4000 (952) 555-5555 email@example.com
Objective - Include an objective statement if you can be specific about the type of position for which you are applying or the specific skills you wish to use in a position. If you are looking at several alternatives or are not sure which positions are a possibility for you, leave the objective off the resume; instead include a specifically written objective statement in your cover letter.
Objective: Science Teaching Position, grades 7 - 12, with involvement in extra-curricular activities.
OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position with the American Red Cross as a Volunteer Coordinator.
OBJECTIVE: To utilize written communication skills, editing abilities, and knowledge of computer programs with a local magazine.
Education - Include all institutions attended since high school. Include your high school if the position/program to which you are applying requires you to (typically teachers), or if you are a first year or sophomore student in college. Specify the name, location, degree held, majors and concentrations as well as areas of emphasis, and graduation date of each institution. You may want to include your GPA or the GPA in your major if it is above a 3.0. If there is specific coursework that relates directly to your objective or if you have taken courses that are not standard for your major/concentration, it may be beneficial to include the titles of those courses as well.
EDUCATION St. Olaf College, Northfield MN Bachelor of Arts to be awarded May 2008 Major: Spanish Concentration: Media Studies Cumulative GPA: 3.42
EDUCATION: St. Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota Majors: Family Studies and Sociology Graduation: May 2008 Overseas Studies: Aboriginal Culture in Australia Relevant Coursework: Social Deviance, Race and Class in American Culture, Crime and Delinquency: Sociological Views, Adolescent Development and Family Relationships
Off-Campus Study Programs - Off-campus study programs offer St. Olaf students a unique and rich opportunity to develop a variety of skills and interests. Potential employers and graduate schools see domestic and international travel as an indication of your ability to immerse yourself into another culture and develop skills otherwise not tested. Off-campus study programs can be highlighted in the education section of your resume or listed as a separate entity. A brief description is helpful in imparting the nature of the program.
ABROAD EXPERIENCE: University of Lancaster, Lancaster, England (Semester 1, 2007) Studied European economics and politics. Performed extensive research involving the beginning, the present, and the future of the European Union. Investigated the British economic crisis of the 1930's.
ABROAD EXPERIENCE: Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University, Perth, Australia (January 2008) Studied Aboriginal history, culture and lifestyle in six different Australian cities. Gained confidence in ability to relate and live independently in a different culture.
Work and Internship Experience - List all work, internship, practicum and student teaching experience in reverse chronological order, including the title of your position, name of organization, location of work (city, state) and dates. Describe your responsibilities, using skill-based statements to communicate what you did in each position. Emphasize achievements. Describe the most related experiences fully yet briefly and omit experiences that are irrelevant.
RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE: Research Assistant, St. Olaf Biology Department, Summer 2008 Investigated the surface properties of a Phosopholipid Bilayer fused to a glass surface. Under a grant from the National Science Foundation, worked under the close supervision of a highly trained faculty member. Throughout the summer presented information numerous times in front of as many as 50 people. Excellent opportunity to sharpen communication, team-work and problem-solving skills.
RELATED EXPERIENCE: Intern, Anoka County Courthouse, Anoka, Minnesota (Sept. - Dec. 2007) Studied drunk driving, juvenile crime and foster home placement recidivism. Researched, analyzed, processed and presented a study on these subjects to the county board. Provided further development in research, writing and presentation skills. Obtained valuable technical computer skills.
Marketable Experience: Tutor, Educational Talent Search & Upward Bound, St. Olaf College (Sept. 2007-May 2008)
- Selected and trained to tutor junior and senior high students in various subjects. Taught study skills, time management, organization, planning and prioritization skills.
- Coached students in personal and academic goal setting, dealing with peer pressure, communicating with others, and resolving conflicts.
- Oversaw self-assessment and career exploration components.
INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: Ordway Music Theater, Marketing Intern, January 2008. St. Paul, MN Assisted the marketing and public relations department in the preparation of marketing settlements for Broadway shows. Planned and orchestrated publicity events. Created and distributed press releases, fact sheets, and press kits.
Volunteer and Community Activities - Co-curricular activities often help demonstrate your abilities. Describe your responsibilities using action words if you believe the experience illustrates skills related to your objective. Indicate recognition received or a leadership role in an organization.
- News Editor, Manitou Messenger, St. Olaf Newspaper, 2005 - 08. Began as columnist and writer for special on-campus events. Within a year, supervised a staff of 30 assigning stories and overseeing deadlines. Designed innovative newspaper layout each week using Quark Xpress.
- Program Director, St. Olaf Political Science Honor Society, 2004-05. Facilitated programming on campus which emphasizes the contributions of political science to public discourse. Inducted to membership in May 08.
- Junior Counselor, St. Olaf College, 2003 - 04. Resided in a first year residence hall; counseled and assisted with adjustment to college life, designed and implemented both corridor and all-hall programs.
Extra-Curricular Activities: Senior Gift Committee Captain, Sept. 05 - May 07 Marketing Committee Co-Chair for campus nightclub, Sept. 05 - May 06 Student Activities Committee, Sept. 00 - May 05 Project Friendship, Sept. 03 - May 04 Cross Country Running Team, Sept. 02 - May 03 Manitou Singers, Sept. 01 - May 02
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions - Awards, honors and distinctions may be listed on your resume as a separate category or as part of other sections where they may be most relevant (Education, Professional Affiliations, Activities, etc.).
Academic Honors: St. Olaf College Buntrock Presidential Scholarship, 2005-present. Honors Day Recognition, each year 2004 - present. Psi Chi (National Psychology Honor Society), 2004 - present.
Special Skills and Competencies - Special skills that you've developed through classroom experiences, internships, volunteer work, and other experiences have the ability to show you're qualified for specific positions/programs. These skills can be presented in a "Special Skills" type section of your resume to show their significance.
Special Skills and Strengths: Technical Skills - Proficiency with PC computers and various software programs including Microsoft Word, Excel, Minitab (statistics program), Maple (mathematics program), and PowerPoint. Time Management Skills/Work Ethic - Completing a double major, while being a student athlete and working 10 - 15 hours per week has resulted in excellent time management skills. This type of co-curricular schedule requires a strong work ethic and strong desire to learn. Communication Skills - Excellent communication skills attained through working as a customer service representative at Target Stores and as a waitress. Presentation skills gained via classroom presentations and as president of the Sideburn Club. Strong writing skills developed in creative writing and research-based coursework.
Professional Affiliations - If you belong to a professional association or have participated in professional activities, listing the organization, your position and the nature of your involvement is another great way to illustrate your commitment to a particular field of work.
Professional Affiliations Student Minnesota Education Association (SMEA), Member, 2005-2007 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM), Member, 2004-2006 Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), Treasurer, 2004-2005 Mathematics Association of America (MAA), Presenter, 2003 Conference