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Important Elements of Your Resume

NAME and ADDRESS

Do not include labels such as ‘resume’, ‘personal data sheet’, or ‘vita’.

While you are in school, include both a permanent and local address, and telephone number where you can be reached easily.

Irrelevant in most cases: age, health, marital status.

JOB OBJECTIVE (also called career objective, position desired, etc.)

Restrict to one or two concise, easy-to-read sentences.

Focus it to a type of job; do not make it too general.

Avoid clichés or jargon, such as ‘ to contribute to the profitability of my employers,” or ‘challenging position’.

Examples:

GOOD: 

Entry level Industrial Engineering position. Areas of interest Include: numerical control systems, production planning and manufacturing engineering.

To use my statistical, programming and mathematical skills in a position Involving quantitative analysis and forecasting. 

To apply my business experience and training in a personnel management Position.

POOR: 

To work with people in a challenging career with large, growing firm. (too vague)

Sales, marketing or management position (unfocused; too many different positions listed.)

EDUCATION

High school and colleges you transferred from are usually not necessary; study abroad is usually relevant.

List degrees in reverse chronological order – most recent first

Grades are optional; use if to your benefit

Keep the information concise and easy to scan

Include details relevant to the job you are seeking, such as courses, special projects, minor, area of emphasis, etc., that the employer would not automatically know you’ve had

Examples:

GOOD:

B.S in Operations Management, May 19xx

The Pennsylvania State University

GPA 3.4/4.0

Relevant Courses:

Industrial Engineering Industrial Psychology

Industrial Economics Management Information Systems

Production Simulation Quantitative Business Analysis

M.S. in Marketing, 5/xx

The Pennsylvania State University

B.A. in English, writing emphasis, 6/xx

Florida State University

Special Projects:

Developed entire marketing analysis and strategy for new product line by Xerox

Won award for brochure and ads designed

POOR:

Bachelor of Arts Candidate in Speech Communication, I expect to receive my degree in May 19xx, from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa 16802. I have also been taking courses in business, with a special emphasis in marketing (not scannable).

EXPERIENCE

Do not limit to paid employment; also include relevant extracurricular and volunteer positions

Reverse chronological order is what most readers expect – most recent first

If necessary, you can break this into two major categories, such as Related Experience and Additional Experience. This allows you to put the most relevant items together.

Give details of your accomplishments and responsibilities rather than a general list of duties: “supervised 8 cashiers” or “staffed hotline at all hours, responding to many types of crisis, such as: drug overdose, suicide threats, domestic abuse, problem pregnancy.”

Utilize past – tense action verbs in the description of your accomplishments and responsibilities 

Include information and skills that relate to the position you are seeking; omit irrelevant facts.

Make the format scannable and put the most relevant words first.

Do not be discouraged if you have never had employment in your field, because most students lack this; instead focus on your strengths, skills, and accomplishments

Examples

GOOD:

Treasurer, Colloquy lecture Bureau 3/xx – 3/xx

Organized programs for a university funded lecture bureau that sponsors local and internationally acclaimed speakers

Presented budge proposals and guidelines before a college funding board

Controlled budgeting and disbursements for a $25,000 account

Negotiated speakers’ honoraria; arranged their travel and accommodations

Features Writer and Copy Editor Intern, Bucks Courier Times 5/xx – 8/xx

Assigned major stories and developed my own story ideas

Wrote more than 25 features, business, and in – depth articles

Edited copy, did layout 2 to 3 nights per week

GEOLOGIST – Dames and Moore Engineering Consultants, 1/xx – 3/xx

Worked on foundation engineering, groundwater evaluation, geological studies, environmental impact statements, borrow area location, and various field inspecting jobs

Familiar with drilling and sampling in soil and rock and with performance of many of the standard field tests

Have run, correlated, and interpreted downhole geophysical logs in foundation holes for subsurface mapping

Interpreted and ground checked aerial photos for geological problems.

POOR

STAFF GEOLOGIST, Dames and Moore Engineering Consultants.

My two years of experience with Dames and Moore include both field and office work doing site evaluations of nuclear power plants and of other commercial sites. During this time, my work concerned foundation engineering, ground – water evaluation, borrow area location, geological studies, environmental impact statements, and various field inspecting jobs. I am familiar with drilling and sampling operations in soil and rock and with the performance of many of the standard field tests, most of my work has been in eastern U.S., but I am familiar with and have worked in the mid- western U.S. and in Iran. (not scannable)

Gimbles Department Store Clerk May xx – August xx

(Too general) Responsibilities included waiting on customers, putting out merchandise, and operating the cash register. Occasionally called on to do managerial tasks.

ACTIVITIES

List the most relevant activities and offices held first

You can add brief explanatory details of the position and your accomplishments.

This section can add individuality and flavor to your resume, so you may want to include unusual, or interesting items.

Include college, community and, occasionally, outstanding high school activities that support your career goals.

Examples

GOOD:

Science, Technology and Society Interest House – Program Director

Integrated and helped implement 10 programs per semester for 65 members; arranged program for University President.

Accounting Club Intramural Basketball

University Choir Hiking Club

College of Business Administration, Student Advisor

Horizons Spring Festival, Treasurer

Student Foundation for the Performing Arts, Historian

Penn State Ballroom Dance Club, Dance Coordinator

HONORS

Optional; include only if you have several honors

Honors can be included in the Activities section