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A Resume Is…

  • A summary of your skills and experiences that highlights your accomplishments.
  • An example of your writing, and therefore should be perfectly written and punctuated.
  • What shows the reader the skills you have, and generates enough curiosity on the part of potential employers, field sites or graduate schools to want to meet with you for an interview.

Contents of a Resume

Contact Information

  • Include name, address, phone number and professional email address.
  • If your present address is temporary, you need to include a permanent address. Don't forget to include zip codes and area codes.
  • Your name should be the most prominent text on your resume.
  • If necessary, print your name and "Page 2" on top of the second page.

Career Objective

  • If necessary, articulate your career interests or current interests and reference your skills for the specific position to which you are applying. An objective should be no more than one sentence.

Education/ Certification

  • Include name(s) and location(s) of colleges attended, dates of graduation (month/ year), degree(s) earned and major/concentration/specialty.
    Certification/licensure should also be mentioned in this section.
  • List your most recent degree or the program to which you are currently enrolled first. List other degrees or relevant education, including colleges from which
    you transferred from or study abroad experiences, in reverse chronological
    order.
  • Highlight your degree or college/university, i.e. bold, capitals, etc.
  • If you have not completed your degree, write "Anticipated" or "Expected"
    before the month/year of graduation.
  • If you would like to include your GPA, the correct format is: GPA: 4.0. Do not include coursework unless it is directly relevant and unusual, but do include any awards and/or honors.
  • If applicable, include your certification/licensure. Be certain that you list the title of your certification/licensure correctly and to include the certification/ licensure number and date completed. If you have not completed all requirements, list the name and date of each completed component.

Experience

  • Consider dividing your experience into sections: "Related Experience" and "Additional Experience" or "Professional Experience," "Leadership Experience" and/or "Activities."
  • List most recent experiences first.
  • For each experience, include your: job title, place of employment, location (city, state), dates of employment and description of responsibilities.
  • Summarize your field experiences, employment and volunteer work.
  • Use action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Do not use the word "I, me or my" in your resume. Avoid phrases like "Duties included" or "Responsible for."
  • Use quantitative information, e.g. "Developed and implemented curriculum for
    25 first grade students."

10 Steps to Create a Winning Resume

  • Compile the necessary information. Everything counts: work, volunteerism, HGD placements, field placements and class projects. You can create a master resume and then pull from that to create custom resumes for specific jobs.
  • Think about your goals and experiences. How can you use these to target a potential employer? What sets you apart? Choose experiences from your master resume that best fit your chosen field/job. (For example, if applying for a teaching job, be sure to include any commitments to children or education). Be sure you know what's on your resume so you can discuss it in an interview!
  • Look at examples of resumes - especially any that are related to your field of interest. Use samples from the Center for Career and Professional Development or use links on their website to look at other sources. You can borrow design or formatting ideas from a number of different resumes to create your own unique resume.
  • Draft your resume.
  • Avoid using templates because it can be difficult to move, change or add information in the future.
  • Begin each phrase of your description with an action verb and use strong, detailed phrasing.
  • Be to the point and positive.
  • Do not exceed 2 pages, use standard font and margins and be consistent with the look of the page (bold, italics, etc.).
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! Don't rely on the computer's spell check to catch any mistakes. Then take or e-mail your resume to the Center for Career and Professional Development for a professional critique.
  • Update your resume every six months or after every field experience or new job. Remember: your resume will forever be a work in progress.

Current Wheelock students are encouraged to use Wheelock's resume system, OptimalResume to create and store their resumes. OptimalResume allows you to create a first draft in 15 minutes, establish a resume web page, review samples and create a professionally formatted resume.

Resume Worksheet [pdf]

Checklist for a Job Winning Resume

150 Action Verbs

Visit the Online Resources page to see Sample Resumes

Your Resume Should...

  • Be professional in appearance
  • Quality bond/resume paper in white, ivory or light gray
  • Well-organized
  • Error-free
  • Be honest.
  • Be concise. This is just an summary of your past work experiences and education.
  • Be up-to-date.
  • Contain action verbs and phrases.
  • Use past tense action verbs for past experiences and present tense
    action verbs for anything that you are currently doing.
  • Use the official name or abbreviation of states.
  • Include a cover letter, unless it is being used at a career fair

Your Resume Should NOT...

  • Use gimmicks such as pictures, bright paper or creative fonts. They are distracting and they do not scan well.
  • Be poorly typed or copied.
  • Include salary requirements.
  • Include inappropriate personal information (race, religion, political affiliation, marital status, etc.) or other irrelevant information.
  • Include reasons for leaving previous jobs. However, be prepared to discuss them in the interview.
  • Be full of abbreviations or acronyms. Employers need to know exactly what you are trying to convey.

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