Tips for Creating a Resume
Tailor the resume to match a specific job descriptions – As you compose your resume, have a copy of the job description (hard copy
or online) for which you are applying and match your resume with the knowledge,
skills, and experiences required for the job.
For example, if the job requires previous work experience in customer service positions, it
is a good idea to include similar job experiences. In this case, highlight your
communication and interpersonal skills.
Choose three to five skills from the actual job description and include them
in your resume – Choose the skills that you feel are your strengths. When in doubt, ask trusted
friends, former employers, or teachers to help identify your best traits. Oftentimes,
skills you have cultivated as a student and employee will transfer to a specific
Decide what type of experiences are pre-requisites for the job – Determine whether professional or academic skills are more important for the
job requirements and focus your resume on those experiences, skills, and successes.
For example, if you are applying for an administrative assistant position, you would want to highlight your previous professional experiences in similar positions
and perhaps any related computer and customer services skills.
If, however, you are applying for an entry level social work position, you might want to highlight your previous academic experience within the field,
including any related psychology, sociology or English coursework: let the job description
dictate what you include in the resume.
Always revise for mechanical and punctuation errors – Similar to writing any academic paper, you want to be certain that your resume
and cover letter are grammatically perfect. Once you have revised the resume
yourself, ask others, such as friends and family members, to proofread as well.
You can never be too cautious. Hint: bring your resume to the Aims Writing Center for review; the tutors are available
and willing to help with this type of writing, too.
Include professional, eye-catching, and specific verbs – For example, instead of using words like completed, finished, or oversaw, choose words like collaborated, managed, organized, and initiated. Choose a few dynamic verbs and rotate them throughout the resume.
- For example, replace “began new company project” with “initiated new company project”
Choose the resume format that best sells your skills and experience- The two main types of resumes are functional and chronological. Both of these are
equally valued by employers. However, it is important to select the format that best
sells your unique skills, abilities, and experiences.
Choose a functional resume if you are a recent graduate with minimal work experience, in the middle of changing
careers, or have a variety of professional experiences that represent a variety of
Choose a chronological resume if you have skills and professional experience that are industry specific and are
seeking employment within a similar field.
View the Types of Resumes Page for more information on functional and chronological resumes