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Resume Fundamentals- A Quick Review

                                 Quick Resume Rules:

*No longer than 2 pages

*No more than 2 font types

*No smaller than 10pt

*Your name should be the largest

*Your name no larger than 16pt

*Margins no smaller than .5"

"References Available Upon Request" not needed

* PROOF, PFOOR and PROOF again

Resume Action Verbs

Action Verbs

Leadership & Management

administered guided organized attained headed performed conducted hired produced contracted implemented reduced controlled incorporated repositioned
coordinated initiated retained directed instituted revised employed maintained strengthened enacted managed supervised exceeded marketed trimmed executed monitored turned around
expanded motivated undertook grouped obtained

Promotion & Sales
accounted for influenced recommended convinced launched represented generated marketed secured improved persuaded sold increased promoted targeted Organization & Implementation advised decreased redesigned analyzed distributed reorganized arranged enlarged restructured budgeted examined reviewed catalogued expanded revised collaborated facilitated scheduled consulted generated sponsored compared improvised strengthened compiled increased synthesized completed indexed systematized computed leveraged verified
Research & Development analyzed differentiated researched automated equated searched classified experimented solved designed invented structured determined investigated synthesized
developed related theorized

assured eliminated pioneered accomplished evaluated proposed awarded handled recruited balanced identified resolved closed improved satisfied corrected investigated sorted
determined mediated strengthened diverted negotiated surpassed Interpersonal Communications approved facilitated prepared counseled instructed presented demonstrated interviewed presided disseminated moderated served as edited participated wrote

Initiative & Creativity

arranged enhanced prepared conceived formulated produced created initiated refined designed invented reshaped developed innovated resolved devised originated solved enabled packaged structured

Books at Hammermill

Books at the Ridge

Resume Styles

Resume Styles

Chronological Format

Used when you are seeking a position related to your education and experiences.

Information is listed in reverse chronological order within each major section with
descriptions of responsibilities and achievements listed under each experience.



Functional Format

Useful if you are seeking a position not directly related to your degree or work experiences.

Information is listed under major skill headings, while job titles, employers, and dates are listed separately.


Resume Elements

Resume Elements

Here are some categories or headings that are commonly expected in resumes. Different professions and industries may have particular conventions for resume composition, so look for examples or advice from professional websites or network contacts related to your field.  Although, courtesy, grammar, and professionalism are typically universal requirements.

Contact Information

Full name (as it appears on legal documents),

Permanent and current address and phone number with area code (do not use parentheses),

Appropriate email address (if needed create a new email account to use for your job search).



List degrees in reverse chronological order.

Include institution, city, state; degree, major, month and year of graduation; minor, area of concentration.

Some employers want to see your GPA (overall, major, or both). Be sure to include the GPA scale (X.X/4.0).

Relevant Coursework (optional)

Courses relevant to position you are seeking.

List titles, not course numbers.

Include Study Abroad and senior projects here.


Certifications (optional)

For relevant career fields only.

Field Experience or Clinical Experience (optional)

For relevant career fields only, such as teaching, health fields, etc.

Incorporate same information as below (see Related Experience).

Related Experience

Work experiences, paid and unpaid, that are related to your career filed.

Include internships/coop experiences and other related part-time or full-time jobs.

Include employer, city, state; job title, dates of employment.

Underneath this information, put a concise bulleted list of accomplishments, responsibilities, and skills utilized in the experience; start each bullet with an action verb (see list).

Other Work Experience

Work experiences, paid and unpaid, that are NOT related to your career field.

Be selective. While it is important to show a work history, it is not necessary to include every job you have ever had.

Incorporate same information as above (see Related Experience).


List of most relevant activities and offices first; may add hobbies and interests if they are relevant to job or reveal characteristics important to job or leadership experience.

May include brief explanatory details. Add dates.



May be a separate section (if you have several honors), or a combined section named Activities and Honors.

May include honor societies, awards, scholarships, Dean’s List, etc. Include dates.


Skills (optional)

Special skills relevant to job position, such as computer hardware or software, foreign languages, sign language, laboratory skills, or other skills important to your career field.


References (optional)

Do not list your references on your resume unless it is requested in the job posting.

You may write “Available Upon Request” or “Enclosed”.

Have a separate prepared list of 3-5 references available (including their name, title, organization, address, phone number, and e-mail address if possible).

Don’t forget to ask permission prior to listing individuals as references. Your name should be at the top of the list.





Miscellaneous tips

  • Put your name at the top of the second page of a two-page resume.
  • Do not staple pages together.
  • Do not include personal information such as marital status, age, ethnic origin, etc.
  • Avoid resume templates.
  • In general, do not include high school information after sophomore year of college.


Digital Resumes

It is likely that you may be required to submit your resume digitally by e-mail, posting to a website, or your resume may be scanned into the employer’s computer system. Digital submission is very common, although you may be asked to submit a formatted traditional resume through an online application system even though you'll also need to key in your resume's information into the online form. Have some common information like addresses, employers, schools, etc. on hand in a text file so that you can enter them accurately and quickly into form blanks.

To choose resumes to read, your prospective employer may use a search engine in their online application system to search for keywords that they want. Keywords are used by most electronic search and retrieval processes. Keywords are nouns and phrases that highlight areas of expertise, including industry buzz words and jargon, skills, projects, achievements, etc. Review the job description and include words within it. Keywords should replace action verbs on your resume.

When submitting a resume electronically the formatting used when creating your document may not translate well. To make sure that the presentation of your resume is preserved do the following:

  • Under Page Setup, save your margins so that you have 6.5 inches of text displayed (1” left and right margins).
  • Select all text and change the font to Courier 12-point font.
  • If the online application system supports .TXT files, save as file type Plain Text. This will eliminate all formatting, so replace underlining and bullets with asterisks, hyphens, or all caps.
  • Left-justify all text.
  • If you wish to retain formatting, save your resume in .PDF format but ensure that its text is selectable, not static as a flat image.

Basic Resume Categories

From CareerOnestop--The Basic Elements of a Resume

Resume section

What it tells the reader

Top portion of resume (first third to half)

If your resume is worth reading further. This opening “snapshot” should entice readers to read more.

Header (name and contact information)

Your preferred name and how to contact you. The reader shouldn’t have to think about this (e.g., wonder what name you go by).

Headline and Summary

What you’re looking for and why you’re qualified. Announces your job target and quickly sums up why you’re a good candidate. Note that experts recommend this approach to replace what used to be called "Objective" on many resumes. Read more in our FAQs.


Whether you have the required skills. Helps the reader quickly match your skills to the position requirements.

Work Experience
or Professional Experience
or Employment History

What you’ve accomplished that’s relevant. Explains what you’ve achieved that could also benefit the reader’s company.


Whether you meet the education requirements. Again, helps the reader quickly match you to the position requirements.

Continuing Education
or Professional Development
or Additional Training

What further training you’ve pursued. Matches you to job requirements and also illustrates initiative and commitment to learning.

Other Information

What other assets you offer. Provides additional information (professional memberships, awards, etc.) to support your candidacy.