Writing Effective Resumes

1. Resume Essentials

Before you write, take time to do a self-assessment on paper. Outline your skills and abilities as well as your work experience and extracurricular activities. This will make it easier to prepare a thorough resume.

2. The Content of Your Resume

Name, address, telephone, e-mail address, web site address

All your contact information should go at the top of your resume.

An objective tells potential employers the sort of work you're hoping to do.

Education

New graduates without a lot of work experience should list their educational information first. Alumni can list it after the work experience section.

Briefly give the employer an overview of work that has taught you skills. Use action words to describe your job duties. Include your work experience in reverse chronological order—that is, put your last job first and work backward to your first, relevant job. Include:

Other information

A staff member at your career services office can advise you on other information to add to your resume. You may want to add:

References

Ask people if they are willing to serve as references before you give their names to a potential employer.

Do not include your reference information on your resume. You may note at the bottom of your resume: "References furnished on request."

3. Resume Checkup

You've written your resume. It's time to have it reviewed and critiqued by a career counselor. You can also take the following steps to ensure quality:

Content:

The more people who see your resume, the more likely that misspelled words and awkward phrases will be seen and corrected.

Design:

These tips will make your resume easier to read and/or scan into an employer's data base.

Today most employers accept resumes via e-mail. The standard has become Microsoft Word compatible documents for resumes. If you choose to e-mail your resume be sure to ask which format the employer would like it in.