The reverse-chronological format resume allows employers to evaluate the candidate
from the most recent experience backward to past experience. When seeking positions,
the job seeker should tailor unique resumes that reflect the individual job posting.
When drafting a "generic" resume, the job seeker should focus on descriptive language
and strong action verbs to enable potential employers to understand the capabilities
of the candidate. Generic resumes should be avoided, if possible, and job seekers
should research positions fully and make the effort to draft tailored resumes.
One of the best online resources for resume writing is the Purdue Owl Writing Lab Resume Workshop. A brief overview of resume writing is as follows:
THE SECTIONS OF A RESUME
Gather information for the following sections on your resume:
The summary links the job seeker directly to the position and the company/organization
by specifically referencing desirable skills, interests, and behaviors (as outlined
in the job description and as evidenced in the details of the resume). A summary is
not required, and the job seeker should be able to write with specificity and relevance
if a summary is included.
University Junior majoring in English possessing relevant editing skills in both an
academic and business setting. Candidate for Media and Marketing Intern at ABC Company
with experience writing press releases, interviewing and reporting, and blogging.
This section should include degree, major, date of graduation, GPA, and study abroad
programs if applicable. Job seekers may also list merit-based scholarships and honors
earned during college. Other bullet points might include leadership titles and/or
membership status with the associated student organizations and a short list of coursework
that is directly related to the position sought.
A note about GPA: Do not include a GPA if under 3.0. Include a major-specific GPA
if it is stronger than the overall GPA. Always include a GPA if it is a requirement
of the employer.
University of Dallas, Irving, TX
Bachelor of Arts, History with a concentration in Spanish
GPA: 3.6, Recipient of Provost's and Rotary Scholarships
Study Abroad: Rome, Italy with educational travel through Eastern Europe
President: Student Foundation
Relevant Coursework: Reporting, Introduction to Marketing
This section typically includes computer, language, and science/laboratory skills
when applicable. If a professional summary is used (see above), the job seeker's skills
can be listed in columns at the end of the summary. The candidate should be able
to clearly discuss how they have used and developed their skills.
Examples of skills and aptitudes:
Research and analysis, Writing and editing, Social media analytics (reporting and
evaluating), Technical writing, Microsoft Excel / PowerPoint / Word, Presentation,
Negotiation, Leadership, Problem solving, Bilingual (list of languages)... The list
is determined by your experience!
This section includes employer, city/state, job title, and dates of employment (month/year
to month/year or season like - "Fall 2015"). Beneath each experience, the job seeker
should bullet the primary contributions he/she made, starting each bullet with a strong
action verb. This section should not be a list of job duties. Instead, the job seeker
should detail process-thinking and problem solving.
ABC Company, Dallas, TX 05/2015 to Present
- Research topics assigned by organizational leadership using resources from the ABC
archives and from external resources such as xxx, xxx, xxx
- Identified a topic with approval from ABC mentor, engaged in a 12 week research cycle,
and presented findings to organizational leadership.
- Proposed a modification to the record keeping process which would increase ease of
information retrieval. Proposal was accepted and changes were adopted by the ABC
In this section record volunteer work and community services you have done
Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer, 2013 to Present
The resume should not include full sentences of first-person pronouns.
Use Action Verbs
When creating statements for your resume it is recommended that you use action-packed
verbs to begin each description. The link below will give you a wide variety of verbs
to consider. One way to help you create these statements is to review what you did,
then put it into a strong statement to sell your skills and abilities.
Consider the impact you receive from the second statement versus the first:
Helped the company consolidate debt from customers
Example 2 (Improved):
Customized an online system identifying customer debt and consolidating multiple records
Sample List of Action Verbs to begin statements regarding your experiences.
- Keep it to one page by including brief but sufficient information. Can be longer if
an academic setting, if job experience exceeds 10 years, or in other instances.
- Write with consistency and clarity
- Tailor your resume to each position to which you apply
- Emphasize your unique skills
- Include results and accomplishments
- Save the resume as a PDF before emailing to preserve formatting
- Save each copy of your resume with an easily identifiable title. Example: Lastname_Firstname_Company
- Print your resume on high-quality paper
- Keep your resume up-to-date
- Have your resume reviewed by a career advisor