Career Center: Resume Writing
Resume writing can be a stressful and overwhelming task at times. Keep in mind the reader of your resume will ask four basic questions:
- What do you want?
- Why are you qualified to do it?
- Where have you done it?
- How well have you done it?
View and download sample résumés.
Here are some tips to remember that should make the resume writing process easier for everyone.
- There is no universal resume format. There are only guidelines. Employees prefer skill-based functional resumes. A selection of example resumes, divided by career field and situation, can be found here.
- Actively sell your qualifications by focusing on accomplishments and results rather than routine job descriptions.
- Final hiring decisions are rarely based on resumes. Keep resumes concise, factual and positive. List education, experience and accomplishments.
- Make sure your objective relates to the job you are applying for.
- The reader will be looking for reasons to eliminate as many resumes as possible. Resume with gaps of unaccountable time often reach the circular file. Readers rarely spend more than 30 seconds to 1 minute when screening resumes.
- Weigh your choice of words. Select strong action verbs, concrete nouns and positive modifiers. Use concise phrases and clauses rather than complete sentences. A list of strong action verbs can be found here.
- Try your resume; out on someone who knows you and who will be objective in his or her opinion.
- Keep a separate list of references and make them available only on request.
- Always send a cover letter on matching paper with specific reference to the company's needs and your qualifications for the job. A personal letter is always best, so make an effort to get the name and title of the individual making the hiring decision.
- Remember, your resume is only a door opener. You want a personal interview.