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Resumes

Find out how to craft an attention-getting resume with tips from career advisors.

Before you apply for your next job, you'll want to be sure that you have a top-quality resume that reflects your professional experience and gains the attention of prospective employers. Career Services has created this tutorial to help get you on the right track.

The resume is one of the most important items in your job search toolkit. Think of yourself as the brand and your resume as a powerful marketing piece that sells your most important qualifications and how they relate to the position you want.

Resume Writing Rules

There are no absolute rules or required format when it comes to resume writing aside from the requirement that your document be error free and truthful. Beyond that all rules are more like guidelines or customary practices that may be broken if you have a compelling reason.

What is most important in resume writing is that you strategically represent yourself in a clear, concise, professional manner. Present your most important qualifications relevant to the needs of the marketplace and the desired position.

A great resume:

  • Provides a summary of your most relevant accomplishments, experiences, education and training; it's not just a history of your previous jobs and education
  • Lets potential employers know what you have to offer and how you can make a significant contribution to their company or team
  • Clearly shows how your experiences and qualities will benefit the employer

TIP: Avoid this resume mistake!

A resume is not a biography and need not include details about everything you have done. Be strategic in deciding what to include and what to leave out. 

Some job hunters hope that by listing all of their skills, education, and experiences, that the employer will find the perfect fit and offer them the perfect job. It is quite the opposite. Employers expect you to communicate what you can do for them, to help them achieve their hiring needs and objectives.

As you create your resume, keep in mind that the purpose is to:

  • Stimulate employer interest and open the door for an interview
  • Showcase your relevant qualifications, skills, experience and personal qualities that you have developed through your life/work experience
  • Provide a framework to keep the interview on track

Style Guidelines

  • Avoid personal pronouns (I, my, me, etc.)
  • Begin statements with an action verb
  • Preferred length is one or two pages unless writing a federal resume
  • Use a standard professional font (Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, Tahoma, etc.)
  • Font size between 10 - 12 pts. (your name can be larger)
  • Margins between 1/2" and 1" all around
  • Don't be an "over-formatter." Use bold, italics, CAPITALIZATION, and underlining sparingly
  • Be consistent with your formatting throughout your whole document. For example, if you choose to bold your job title for one of your jobs, use bold for all of your job titles

Before you embark on your job search or begin to write your resume, you must first identify a focused job goal.

Effective resumes are best written with a specific position or type of position in mind. You must be clear about what you have to offer relative to the needs of the marketplace and of the desired position. While you don't need to lock yourself into a particular career path, if searching for varying types of position you may need several resume versions.

  • The type of work you ideally want to do
  • The geographical location where you want to work
  • The type of organization or specific organization for which you wish to work

By choosing a specific job goal:

  • Your job search will be focused and productive
  • You will be able to look deeper into a narrow focus area and possibly uncover many unadvertised opportunities
  • Your chance of finding what you really want is greater because you are only looking at companies and positions that really interest you

TIP: To stand out, be focused!

Employers want candidates who want their job, not just a job.

If you are too flexible and open to anything, you will not stand out as the most qualified candidate. Targeting your job search will help you to be competitive.

The Chronological Resume

The chronological resume is best used when your career direction is clear and your work history matches or supports your job target. This type of resume:

  • Is the most popular and recognizable type
  • Is experience-focused with jobs listed in reverse chronological order

The Functional Resume

The functional resume is best used for career changers, re-entry or entry-level job seekers. This type of resume:

  • Focuses more on what you can do rather than what you have done
  • Emphasizes your skills, capabilities and accomplishments
  • Helps to shift the emphasis away from positions and titles that do not support your job goal

The Federal Resume

The Federal Resume is distinctly different from a private sector resume. This type of resume:

  • Is highly detailed, chronological and usually requires more personal information than the traditional chronological resume
  • Templates for the federal resume can be found on USAjobs.gov

Five Things to Remember

Keep the following pointers in mind when writing the Employment Experience section of your resume:

  1. Use bulleted sentences. This format makes it easier for your potential employer to quickly scan your resume while still absorbing the content.
  2. Use action words. This gives your statements strength and power and helps the resume to pop! Examples include: developed, prepared, managed, created and presented.
  3. Use numbers, dollars, and percentages whenever possible.  This really helps your resume to stand out.
  4. Lead with your strengths. Resumes are typically reviewed in 30 seconds, so put your best qualities first!
  5. Match the company language. Use keywords and phrases that match the company and industry. Many times resumes are reviewed by a "gate keeper" or a computer that is not familiar with the position requirements.  They will scan the resume for key words and phrases that match the description.  In order to get called for the interview you must get past the gate keeper!

TIP:

  • Don't forget that your volunteer experience counts!

Resume Dos and Don'ts

Resume Dos

Keep the following in mind as you prepare your resume:

  • Do customize your resume to each job
  • Do be concise; use brief, powerful statements vs. paragraphs
  • Do pay attention to verb tense (Use past tense for prior jobs and present tense for current jobs)
  • Do use valid phone number with a professional greeting
  • Do include a valid professional email address
  • Do use a professional font such as Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, etc.
  • Do be consistent in your formatting throughout your resume including punctuation
  • Do make sure your resume looks good both on a computer screen and when printed
  • Do include a short header (name, email address, and page number) if your resume is longer than one page

 

Resume Don'ts

Avoid these to strengthen the quality of your resume:

  • Don't lie, exaggerate or include something that you would not feel comfortable discussing in an interview
  • Don't rely on spell check alone! Have someone read over your resume for typos
  • Don't use the word "I" or other first or third person pronouns
  • Don't include personal data such as your social security number, marital status, date of birth, photo, etc.
  • Don't use exact dates on your employment; month and year are sufficient
  • Don't include employer phone, salary info, or work hours (except when writing a federal resume)
  • Don't include your reason for leaving a previous job or any other potentially negative information
  • Don't over-format -- be judicious in your use of bold, italics, underlining and other formatting devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about how to write the most effective resume? View the Q&As below to learn more.

  1. How many pages should my resume be?
    As a general rule try to keep your resume between 1-2 pages.

  2. Should I include personal information on my resume?
    Personal information such as marital status, height, weight, or photos should not be included on your resume.

  3. What size font and type should I use?
    General type should stay between 9-12pt. Your name should not be larger than 16pt.

  4. Do I include references on my resume?
    No, references should be written on a separate document and taken to the interview or provided when asked.
    You do not need to waste valuable space stating "References available upon request" It goes without saying.

  5. Do I need to include an objective Professional Profile on my resume?
    Yes. You must be clear on what you what you are looking for and have to offer relative to that position type. An objective or a career profile/summary on provides focus and helps the reader understand what you are looking for. As a general rule, entry level job seekers tend to use the objective, while the more experienced job seekers choose the career profile/summary.

  6. Which comes first, my education or my work experience?
    Lead with your strongest information. If your education is your main qualifier for the position it should go first.

  7. Should I include my GPA on my resume?
    Only consider including it if you are a recent grad or entry-level candidate and if it demonstrates high achievement (3.0 or higher).

  8. How many years of employment experience should I include on my resume?
    Employers are interested in information that is recent and relevant. The older a position is the less information is needed. Focus on the last 10-12 years of relevant experience. If you chose to provide earlier work history, make sure you are including for a strategic reason.

  9. Do I need to put my name on each page of my resume?
    Yes, at a minimum you should include your name and page number on each page.

Action Verbs

When crafting your resume, you'll want to lead with strong action verbs. Below are a few examples to help you get started.

SAMPLE ACTION VERBS

If You Led or Managed a Group, Initiative, or Project

  • Aligned
  • Chaired
  • Controlled
  • Coordinated
  • Cultivated
  • Directed
  • Enabled
  • Executed
  • Facilitated
  • Fostered
  • Guided
  • Headed
  • Hired
  • Inspired
  • Mentored
  • Mobilized
  • Motivated
  • Operated
  • Orchestrated
  • Organized
  • Oversaw
  • Planned
  • Produced
  • Programmed
  • Recruited
  • Regulated
  • Shaped
  • Shepherded
  • Supervised
  • Taught
  • Trained
  • Unified
  • United

If You Envisioned and Brought to Life a Project

  • Administered
  • Built
  • Charted
  • Created
  • Designed
  • Developed
  • Devised
  • Founded
  • Engineered
  • Established
  • Formalized
  • Formed
  • Formulated
  • Implemented
  • Incorporated
  • Initiated
  • Instituted
  • Introduced
  • Launched
  • Pioneered
  • Spearheaded

If You Saved the Company Time or Money

  • Conserved
  • Consolidated
  • Decreased
  • Deducted
  • Diagnosed
  • Lessened
  • Reconciled
  • Reduced
  • Yielded

If You Increased Efficiency, Sales, Revenue, or Customer Satisfaction

  • Accelerated
  • Achieved
  • Advanced
  • Amplified
  • Capitalized
  • Delivered
  • Enhanced
  • Expanded
  • Expedited
  • Furthered
  • Gained
  • Generated
  • Improved
  • Lifted
  • Maximized
  • Outpaced
  • Stimulated
  • Sustained

If You Changed or Improved Something

  • Centralized
  • Clarified
  • Converted
  • Customized
  • Designed
  • Influenced
  • Enhanced
  • Integrated
  • Merged
  • Modified
  • Overhauled
  • Redesigned
  • Refined
  • Refocused
  • Remodeled
  • Reorganized
  • Replaced
  • Restructured
  • Revamped
  • Revitalized
  • Simplified
  • Standardized
  • Streamlined
  • Strengthened
  • Upgraded

If You Managed a Project or Team

  • Aligned
  • Cultivated
  • Directed
  • Enabled
  • Facilitated
  • Fostered
  • Inspired
  • Mobilized
  • Motivated
  • Recruited
  • Regulated
  • Shepherded
  • Supervised
  • Trained
  • Unified
  • United

If You Brought in Partners, Funding, or Resources

  • Acquired
  • Forged
  • Navigated
  • Negotiated
  • Partnered
  • Secured

If You Supported Customers or Others

  • Advised
  • Advocated
  • Arbitrated
  • Coached
  • Counseled
  • Consulted
  • Educated
  • Encouraged
  • Fielded
  • Informed
  • Resolved
  • Sustained

If You Used Research and Analytical Skills

  • Analyzed
  • Assessed
  • Audited
  • Calculated
  • Discovered
  • Evaluated
  • Examined
  • Forecasted
  • Identified
  • Interpreted
  • Investigated
  • Mapped
  • Measured
  • Qualified
  • Quantified
  • Tested
  • Tracked

If You Wrote or Communicated

  • Authored
  • Briefed
  • Campaigned
  • Composed
  • Conveyed
  • Convinced
  • Corresponded
  • Critiqued
  • Documented
  • Edited
  • Illustrated
  • Lobbied
  • Persuaded
  • Promoted
  • Publicized
  • Reviewed

If You Oversaw or Regulated

  • Authorized
  • Delegated
  • Dispatched
  • Enforced
  • Ensured
  • Inspected
  • Itemized
  • Monitored
  • Screened
  • Scrutinized
  • Verified

If You Achieved Something:

  • Attained
  • Awarded
  • Completed
  • Demonstrated
  • Exceeded
  • Outperformed
  • Reached
  • Recognized
  • Showcased
  • Succeeded
  • Surpassed
 

The Chronological Resume

The Basics

When creating a chronological resume, the basic components to include are your:

  • Contact Information
  • Opening section which could be an objective or a professional profile
  • Optional Additional opening section - Technical Skills or Qualification Highlights
  • Experience (note: new grads may choose to present education before employment)
  • Education and Training
  • Other sections as needed - Career-Related Awards, Memberships, Languages, etc.

Formatting Your Contact Information

Here is a line-by-line approach to including your contact information on your chronological resume:

  • Line 1: Begin with your full name, first and last
  • Line 2: Address - Full mailing address is traditional but you may choose to list only your city and state.
  • Line 3: Include one phone number and a professional-sounding email address

 

Alex B. Student
123 Any Street, City, ST 12345
(123) 456-7890
alex.b.student@email.com

 

TIP: One reliable phone number with a professional sounding voicemail greeting is sufficient. No one wants to have to call multiple numbers.

The Opening Section/s

There are many options for the beginning of a resume. It may include:

  • Objective
  • Professional profile or career summary
  • Keyword or core competencies section
  • Technical summary or technical skills list
  • Career highlights
  • Or some combination thereof

As a rule of thumb, the opening portion of the resume should not exceed 1/3 of the page (but it may go longer if including a technical skills section). Limit your opening to no more than 2 of these opening sections.

The most important functions of the opening section are to provide focus by specifying the area or position of interest and providing targeted skills, attributes or qualifications.

Any highlights or key qualifications listed in the opening section must be fully supported by your resume content.

Think of this section like a sign in a store window meant to draw in customers,  it is easy to read at a glance and offers a few quick highlights of what is inside. Provide quickly relatable information to draw the reader into your document.

TIPS for the opening portion of your resume:

As a rule of thumb the opening portion of the resume should not exceed 1/3 if the page (but it may go longer if including a tech skills section)

Limit your opening to no more than 2 sections. For example an objective and skills summary, a professional summary and core competency list, an objective and a key word list.

Any highlights or key qualifications listed in the opening section must be fully supported by your resume content.

Writing Your Objective

The Objective is popular for entry-level job-seekers or career changers. It should be a clear, concise statement identifying a position or area of interest. If embellished, be employer focused mentioning what skills and attributes you bring to the company, not what the company can do for you.

When writing your Objective, remember to

  • Keep it simple, direct and clear
  • If you do not have a job title in mind include a list the job title, type of position, field or industry - anything to narrow the focus and help the reader connect you to organizational hiring needs.
  • Avoid ambiguous statements that don't tell your reader anything, such as: To utilize my organizational time management and technical skills in a challenging career with a progressive company

Samples:

  • Accounting internship with ABC Accounting Firm, Inc.
  • Pursuing an entry-level position in cybersecurity located near Baltimore, MD
  • Research and development position in applied mathematics
  • Social-services position with an emphasis on community mental health
  • To leverage strong quantitative background in an accounting/finance capacity
  • To create, produce, inspire, and excel by designing Web sites that capture clients' unique identities through creative imagery and comprehensive interactivity.

TIPS:

The Objective is best used when you cannot readily "profile" or describe yourself in light of the desired position.

Be as specific as possible - Give the prospective employer something he/she can connect to hiring needs.

Writing Your Career Profile

The trend for resumes is leaning more towards the Career Profile or Career Summary. The purpose of this section is not to summarize your resume or career but rather to "hook" the reader. With these high-impact statements, the writer describes him/herself relative to the position requirements, sometimes implying rather than stating a desired position. Highlight your skills and achievements in a compelling statement that shows employers how they will benefits by hiring you.

Alternate names for this section could include Career Highlights, Key Achievements, Core Competencies, or something similar. It may be formatted as text, bullets, keyword lists, or some combination thereof. Don't make the mistake of providing multiple redundant sections with different names.

  • Example of Text profile: Auditing Professional with... [Then go on to provide a few career highlights or core skill areas]
  • Example: Entry-level Cybersecurity Professional offering a strong academic background and solid military experience as an Information Assurance Officer for the United States Air Force. Monitored 75 classified network accounts, verified credentials and required training with zero security violations identified by third party inspectors. Controlled LAN 650 user/group privileges through directory services.

Or a profile might imply a position type without actually naming a specific position:

  • Example: Extensive involvement in all levels of relationship building, marketing, and program development within the nonprofit sector.
  • Example of text plus keyword list: Over 7 years of account management and sales experience in telecom services and solutions, both nationally and abroad. Demonstrated ability to discover, grow and maintain major accounts worldwide. Core competencies include:
    • Technology Consulting Sales
    • Large Account Management
    • Government Sales
    • Relationship Building
    • Project Management
    • Foreign Languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese
    • Highlighting your most important skills and achievements which align with the position's needs.
    • Keep it brief. No more than a few lines, a couple of bullets, a short keyword/core competency list, or some combination thereof.
    • Although sometimes called a summary, the purpose of this section is not to summarize your resume or career. Focus on experiences and skills that you have that are important to the employer.
    • Try to avoid empty or generalized statements such as "excellent communication skills."
    • Avoid using personal pronouns (I, my, me, etc.) whenever possible.
  • TIPS: Creating Your Career Summary/Profile

Technical Skills / Technical Summary

If the position you are applying for requires strong technical skills then you could insert this section immediately after the objective or professional profile.

This section could include:

  • Operating Systems
  • Languages
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Technical Certification (alternately, you might choose to list the technical certifications with the education section)

TIP:

Focus on your most important technical proficiencies as they pertain to your desired position. If your technical information is extensive, just list the highlights or most applicable skills with the heading "Technical Highlights." The remainder of the information can be included in a comprehensive technical skills section toward the end of the resume.

If all of your technical skills are derived primarily through education with little or no work experience, consider positioning the technical skills section as a subsection under your Education section. Consider using qualifiers such as "academic knowledge of...," "understanding of...," "hands-on experience with..." proficient, or novice as appropriate.

NOTE: If you are in a field that is unrelated to technology, the technical skills may not warrant their own section at the top of your resume. Instead they could be mentioned as part of a profile section, or in a skills section near the end of the resume.

Example: Proficient with Microsoft Word, Access, Excel and PeopleSoft.

WAIT!

Before continuing with your experience or work history section consider whether you want to present your education section first.

Lead with your strongest information. If you are a new graduate or and experienced worker looking to leverage your degree for career advancement or transition, list your education first.

Chronological Resume

Experience

This section is the most important part of your resume and will take the most time to write. An effective format for writing your experience is to list your accomplishments and describe your contributions using short bulleted phrases that begin with strong action verbs.

This section could be called employment, work history employment history, experience, professional experience with some variation thereof. In addition to formal employment, it could also include internships or significant unpaid experience if not listed elsewhere on your resume.

For each experience on a chronological resume, include the following:

  • Job title
  • Company Name, City, and State (exact street address is not necessary)
  • Dates of employment (include month and year)
  • Next, list your experience using short bulleted phrases that focus on your accomplishments and skills. (This format makes it easier for your potential employer to quickly scan your resume while still absorbing the content.)

Example:

Project Manager, ABX Corp., Washington, D.C.           06/20XX-07/20XX

  • Successfully managed upgrade from XYZ 6.30 to XYZ 8.1, completing the transition seamlessly, on-schedule, under budget, and with negligible disruption to users.
  • Created policies and procedures of project management for corporate services group.
  • Spearheaded and directed data clean- up efforts ultimately leading to the successful conversion of base records.

TIPS:

  • Lead with your relevant strengths.
  • Use keywords and phrases that match the company's position description and industry terminology.
  • It is not necessary to include information about everything you did. Be thoughtful and strategic about your content.
  • Begin bulleted statements with a strong, specific action verb.
  • Use present tense for your current position, past tense for all other.
  • Refrain from using pronouns such as "I" or phrases that begin with "Responsible for" or "Duties included."
  • Provide quantifiable information, details and context which demonstrate your contribution (for example: Managed a team of 6, Exceeded standards by 35%, Held sales loss to 2% in a market where average decline was 7%.)
  • Too many bullet points dilute your most important information (and discourage the reader). Concentrate on presenting only your most important information.
  • Typically, your most recent position is the most important. The older the position, the less info is needed.

Education and Training

Use these guidelines when developing the education section of your chronological resume:

  • Always list your education in reverse chronological order (most recent first). List academic degrees first, and then follow with trainings.
  • Do not list your high school diploma once you have attended college (except when writing a federal resume)
  • If you have a bachelor's degree and an associate's degree, listing your associate's is optional (it is only recommended if the subject matter adds to your qualifications)
  • Be sure to list the full name of your degree(s) and the school you attended. Do not include institutions where you attended but did not complete a program.
  • Relevant coursework and highlighted projects can be used to demonstrate knowledge and experience, and enhance your academic information

Education Example:

Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice, expected 20XX
University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD

  • Additional info may be bulleted underneath. It might include GPA, key courses, significant projects, or acquired areas of knowledge

Certificate Example:

Certificate, Security Management, expected 20XX
University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD

Other Training or Professional Development Example:

(use a format similar to that of the education items)
Certificate or course name, date
School or training organization

  • Consider adding explanatory information such as length or training or relevance of course
  • Military training could be listed here, in its own section, or in the Experience section directly under the corresponding item.

TIPS

  • If you have more than one degree per school, consider listing the school first with the degrees "stacked" underneath
  • If including key or specialized courses, keep it to what is really special and relevant - assume the reader already knows what the basic curriculum entails; tell about things that are advanced or different
  • List course names only - no course numbers

Note: If you have an extensive number of trainings you might choose to create a separate section immediately following the education section or toward the end of the resume.

Other Sections as needed

The other sections on your resume will vary according to your information. Choose section headings to suit the information you wish to include. Section headings might include:

  • Technical Skills (If not already listed as a separate section above)
  • Volunteer Activities (If not already included in the Experience section)
  • Awards
    Only list awards that support your objective. If the awards are work-related, consider including these awards in the Experience section rather than in a separate awards section. If you have military honors/awards, you may list them here or in your Experience section
  • Professional Organizations
    List your membership in organizations that support your job goal
  • Languages
    List fluency in languages; this section may give you a leg up on the competition
  • Hobbies/Interests
    Do you run marathons? Are you into skydiving, or building/restoring your own cars? Certain activities are rather challenging -- physically, psychologically and emotionally -- and can show self-motivation, goal-orientation, persistence and other business-relevant qualities. If your hobby or interest falls into this category (and space allows), including it could peak interest.

The Functional Resume

The Basics

The functional resume is sometimes used by career changers, re-entry or entry-level job seekers.

The Functional style resume focuses on transferable and overall skills, while downplaying employment history and industry specific accomplishments. It also allows you to more readily incorporate skills gained outside traditional employment.

You highlight relevant career-related skills and experiences by grouping them into skillsets. Your reverse-chronological employment history is than collapsed to include only position names, employers and dates.

When creating a functional resume, the basic components to include are your:

  • Contact Information
  • Opening section which could an objective or professional profile
  • Career Summary, Profile or Highlights
  • Technical Skills (optional)
  • Experience (The Functionally grouped skills section)
  • Employer information
  • Education and Training (note: new grads may choose to present education following the opening or technical skills section)
  • Other sections as needed - Career-Related Awards, Memberships, Languages, etc.

Formatting Your Contact Information

Here is a line-by-line approach to including your contact information on your chronological resume:

  • Line 1: Begin with your full name, first and last
  • Line 2: Address - Full mailing address is traditional but you may choose to list only your city and state.
  • Line 3: Include one phone number and a professional-sounding email address

 

Alex B. Student
123 Any Street, City, ST 12345
(123) 456-7890
alex.b.student@email.com

 

TIP: One reliable phone number with a professional sounding voicemail greeting is sufficient. No one wants to have to call multiple numbers.

Writing Your Objective or Career Profile

There are many options for the beginning of a resume. It may include:

  • Objective
  • Professional profile or career summary
  • Keyword or core competencies section
  • Technical summary or technical skills list
  • Career highlights
  • Or some combination thereof

As a rule of thumb, the opening portion of the resume should not exceed 1/3 of the page (but it may go longer if including a technical skills section). Limit your opening to no more than 2 of these opening sections.

The most important functions of the opening section are to provide focus by specifying the area or position of interest and providing targeted skills, attributes or qualifications.

Any highlights or key qualifications listed in the opening section must be fully supported by your resume content.

Think of this section like a sign in a store window meant to draw in customers—it is easy to read at a glance and offers a few quick highlights of what is inside. Provide quickly relatable information to draw the reader into your document.

TIPS for the opening portion of your resume:

As a rule of thumb the opening portion of the resume should not exceed 1/3 if the page (but it may go longer if including a tech skills section)

Limit your opening to no more than 2 sections. For example an objective and skills summary, a professional summary and core competency list, an objective and a key word list.

Any highlights or key qualifications listed in the opening section must be fully supported by your resume content.

Writing Your Objective

The Objective is popular for entry-level job-seekers or career changers. It should be a clear, concise statement identifying a position or area of interest. If embellished, be employer focused mentioning what skills and attributes you bring to the company, not what the company can do for you.

When writing your Objective, remember to

  • Keep it simple, direct and clear
  • If you do not have a job title in mind include a list the job title, type of position, field or industry - anything to narrow the focus and help the reader connect you to organizational hiring needs.
  • Avoid ambiguous statements that don't tell your reader anything, such as: To utilize my organizational time management and technical skills in a challenging career with a progressive company

Samples:

  • Accounting internship with ABC Accounting Firm, Inc.
  • Pursuing an entry-level position in cybersecurity located near Baltimore, MD
  • Research and development position in applied mathematics
  • Social-services position with an emphasis on community mental health
  • To leverage strong quantitative background in an accounting/finance capacity
  • To create, produce, inspire, and excel by designing Web sites that capture clients' unique identities through creative imagery and comprehensive interactivity.

TIPS:

The Objective is best used when you cannot readily "profile" or describe yourself in light of the desired position.

Be as specific as possible - Give the prospective employer something he/she can connect to hiring needs.


Writing Your Career Profile

The trend for resumes is leaning more towards the Career Profile or Career Summary. The purpose of this section is not to summarize your resume or career but rather to "hook" the reader. With these high-impact statements, the writer describes him/herself relative to the position requirements, sometimes implying rather than stating a desired position. Highlight your skills and achievements in a compelling statement that shows employers how they will benefits by hiring you.

Alternate names for this section could include Career Highlights, Key Achievements, Core Competencies, or something similar. It may be formatted as text, bullets, keyword lists, or some combination thereof. Don't make the mistake of providing multiple redundant sections with different names.

  • Example of Text profile: Auditing Professional with... [Then go on to provide a few career highlights or core skill areas]
  •  Example: Entry-level Cybersecurity Professional offering a strong academic background and solid military experience as an Information Assurance Officer for the United States Air Force. Monitored 75 classified network accounts, verified credentials and required training with zero security violations identified by third party inspectors. Controlled LAN 650 user/group privileges through directory services.
  •  Or a profile might imply a position type without actually naming a specific position:
  • Example: Extensive involvement in all levels of relationship building, marketing, and program development within the nonprofit sector.
  •  Example of text plus keyword list: Over 7 years of account management and sales experience in telecom services and solutions, both nationally and abroad. Demonstrated ability to discover, grow and maintain major accounts worldwide. Core competencies include:
    • Technology Consulting Sales
    • Large Account Management
    • Government Sales
    • Relationship Building
    • Project Management
    • Foreign Languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese

    TIPS: Creating Your Career Summary/Profile

    • Highlighting your most important skills and achievements which align with the position's needs.
    • Keep it brief. No more than a few lines, a couple of bullets, a short keyword/core competency list, or some combination thereof.
    • Although sometimes called a summary, the purpose of this section is not to summarize your resume or career. Focus on experiences and skills that you have that are important to the employer.
    • Try to avoid empty or generalized statements such as "excellent communication skills."
    • Avoid using personal pronouns (I, my, me, etc.) whenever possible.

    Technical Skills / Technical Summary

    If the position you are applying for requires strong technical skills then you could insert this section immediately after the objective or professional profile.

    This section could include:

    • Operating Systems
    • Languages
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • Technical Certification (alternately, you might choose to list the technical certifications with the education section)

    TIP:

    Focus on your most important technical proficiencies as they pertain to your desired position. If your technical information is extensive, just list the highlights or most applicable skills with the heading "Technical Highlights." The remainder of the information can be included in a comprehensive technical skills section toward the end of the resume.

    If all of your technical skills are derived primarily through education with little or no work experience, consider positioning the technical skills section as a subsection under your Education section. Consider using qualifiers such as "academic knowledge of...," "understanding of...," "hands-on experience with..." proficient, or novice as appropriate.

    NOTE: If you are in a field that is unrelated to technology, the technical skills may not warrant their own section at the top of your resume. Instead they could be mentioned as part of a profile section, or in a skills section near the end of the resume.

    Example: Proficient with Microsoft Word, Access, Excel and PeopleSoft.

    The Experience / Professional Experience Section

    This is the most important part of the functional resume. This section gives you the opportunity to share the information, experiences and skills that you want the employer to know.

    Here are some tips on developing this section.

    • Name 2-4 skill areas which you possess that are directly support your employment objective. These are your subheading or functional skill areas. (If you are not sure what skill areas to use, they can usually be found by examining the job description)
    • Provide 3-6 bullets under each heading demonstrating your skills and experience in that area.
    • Remember to begin each phrase with a strong action verb, and provide quantifiable information when appropriate.

    Example:

    Management

    • Developed $1 million budget covering unit's personnel, supplies and equipment
    • Audited and analyzed unit-level needs for supplies and equipment, resulting in a 4% savings
    • Interviewed and hired personnel, both clinical and support staff
    • Facilitated staff planning meetings attended by over 50 individuals to strategize monthly sales goals

    Digital Communication

    • Developed the employee newsletter and distributed on a monthly basis
    • Created the "Employee News Now" blog with bi-weekly news updates
    • Edited department'’'s intranet site on a daily basis
    • Oversaw Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts with an average of 10,000 followers

    Employment History

    To include your work history on a functional resume, list the following:

    • Job title
    • Company Name, City, and State
    • Dates of employment

    Example:

    Project Manager, ABX Corp., Washington, D.C. 05/20XX-06/20XX

    Operations Specialist, ABX Corp., Washington, D.C. 05/20XX-06/20XX

    Logistics Supervisor, US Air Force, Charleston AFB, SC 05/20XX-06/20XX

    Education and Training

    Use these guidelines when developing the education section of your chronological resume:

    • Always list your education in reverse chronological order (most recent first). List academic degrees first, and then follow with trainings.
    • Do not list your high school diploma once you have attended college (except when writing a federal resume)
    • If you have a bachelor's degree and an associate's degree, listing your associate's is optional (it is only recommended if the subject matter adds to your qualifications)
    • Be sure to list the full name of your degree(s) and the school you attended. Do not include institutions where you attended but did not complete a program.
    • Relevant coursework and highlighted projects can be used to demonstrate knowledge and experience, and enhance your academic information

    Education Example:

    Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice, expected 20XX
    University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD

    • Additional info may be bulleted underneath. It might include GPA, key courses, significant projects, or acquired areas of knowledge

    Certificate Example:

    Certificate, Security Management, expected 20XX
    University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD

    Other Training or Professional Development Example:

    (use a format similar to that of the education items)
    Certificate or course name, date
    School or training organization

    • Consider adding explanatory information such as length or training or relevance of course
    • Military training could be listed here, in its own section, or in the Experience section directly under the corresponding item.

    TIPS

    • If you have more than one degree per school, consider listing the school first with the degrees "stacked" underneath
    • If including key or specialized courses, keep it to what is really special and relevant - assume the reader already knows what the basic curriculum entails; tell about things that are advanced or different
    • List course names only - no course numbers

    Note: If you have an extensive number of trainings you might choose to create a separate section immediately following the education section or toward the end of the resume.

    Other Sections as needed

    The other sections on your resume will vary according to your information. Choose section headings to suit the information you wish to include. Section headings might include:

    • Technical Skills (If not already listed as a separate section above)
    • Volunteer Activities (If not already included in the Experience section)
    • Awards
      Only list awards that support your objective. If the awards are work-related, consider including these awards in the Experience section rather than in a separate awards section. If you have military honors/awards, you may list them here or in your Experience section
    • Professional Organizations
      List your membership in organizations that support your job goal
    • Languages
      List fluency in languages; this section may give you a leg up on the competition
    • Hobbies/Interests
      Do you run marathons? Are you into skydiving, or building/restoring your own cars? Certain activities are rather challenging -- physically, psychologically and emotionally -- and can show self-motivation, goal-orientation, persistence and other business-relevant qualities. If your hobby or interest falls into this category (and space allows), including it could peak interest.

    Resume Tutorial - Federal Resume

    When constructing a federal resume, be prepared to include the following:

    Personal Information

    • Full name, address, phone, e-mail
    • Veteran status/reinstatement status

    Education

    • High school name, city, state and date of diploma
    • All colleges, universities or trade schools attended (List the name, city, state and type of degree earned. If no degree was earned, indicate total credits earned.)

    Work Experience

    • Each employer's name and address, your job title (include grade and series for federal jobs)
    • Duties and accomplishments
    • Hours worked per week and salary

    Other Items

    • Job-related training courses, languages, computer skills, certificates, licenses, awards, special accomplishments and memberships for professional organizations and security clearances

    TIP: Templates for the federal resume can be found on USAjobs.gov

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