Create a resume

Create a resume

The following provides an example and an explanation for a combination resume. Adding the “Summary” section at the beginning places attention on your skills and can be useful if you have gaps in your employment history. Even if you don’t have gaps, the “Summary” section offers a way to highlight your specific skills. You may choose to do a combination resume, a traditional chronological resume or a functional/skills resume. Many people find the combination resume offers the most flexibility.

Notice how this example uses the white space effectively. The resume contains no large gaps of white space and uses the headings to draw the reader’s attention to the items that are most important. Here are some basic tips:

· Do not overspace your resume. Double space is sufficent between blocks of information.

· Try to get the resume to fit on one page unless you have a lot of degrees and work experience.

· Keep the design simple, but your name in the header should stand out–slightly larger font, different font, and/or in bold.

· Remember, a hiring manager needs to read this quickly and understand what makes you a candidate.

Your Name Address Phone Number Email

Summary of Background (optional)

You can also call this “Summary” or some other heading. You can use this to show your employer what kind of worker you are and what special skills you bring to the position. An example might state: “Self-starter with demonstrated achievements in sales and customer service. Dependable and reliable worker. Able to work under pressure and meet deadlines. Proficient in Microsoft Office.” Remember, “I” and “my” aren’t used. You can write this in paragraph form for use a bulleted list. Use plain bullets.

Education (required)

Sinclair Community CollegeDayton, Ohio2006-present

· Business Administration Major.

· Expected Graduation Date: June, 2010.

· Grade Point Average: 3.80. Dean’s List Every Quarter.

You can use something like the above example. List the most recent first. If you are five years or less out of of high school, you can list your high school. If it’s been more than five years, leave the high school out. You can vary the format of the information, but do start with the name of the institution and give the dates of attendance. Leave your grade point average out if it’s less than 3.00. If you don’t know your expected graduation date, you can leave that out. You can also state how many credit hours you’ve completed and even list courses that you’ve taken–especially if the courses are relevant to the job.

Work Experience (required)

You can also call this heading “Professional Experience,” “Job Experience,” or just “Experience.” Like the Education section above, begin with the most recent job first and work your way backwards. Generally, you don’t need to go back more than 10-15 years. Give the name of the place you worked, the location, and the dates. Then, list your accomplishments. Instead of saying “duties included…” and “responsible for…” use action verbs. You can use something similar to the following example:

Acme, Inc.Dayton, Ohio2005-present

Customer Service Representative

· Conduct customer satisfaction surveys.

· Coordinate reports.

· Organize comment cards.

The job title is listed after the company name, location, and employment dates. You can use bold or italics to make it stand out if you want, but don’t use bold and italics together as too much emphasis can overwhelm the reader. Notice how the job duties are listed as achievements and each bullet begins with an action verb. Use the job-seeker action verbs handout from the Career Services website to get ideas on verbs you can use. Since This person currently works at Acme, the verbs are written in present tense. When you list jobs you did the past, use past tense verbs.

Skills (recommended)

This section lists skills, talents, education, experiences, and other professional attributes that may not appear under education or work experience. Examples are foreign languages, technical or mechanical skills, computer knowledge, special projects, professional recognition, temporary projects, etc.

References (optional)

You do not need to list references here. Just write “Available upon request” or “Furnished upon request.” Do have a list of references available when you interview.

The correct use of these criteria will determine your grade on your final letter and resume:


· The letter is organized correctly:

1. The first paragraph states the job and where the writer viewed the job opening. It also provides a few summary statements that state why the writer is qualified. It is 4-6 lines in length.

2. The second paragraph provides specific details about the writer’s unique abilities. It is 5-7 lines in length.

3. The third paragraph refers to the resume and states when the writer is available to interview. It is 2-3 lines in length.

· The font is standard (Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri) and is 12 point. The font matches the resume.

· The letter emphasizes what the reader wants to know, although I, my, and me may be used. However, keep the emphasis on what the reader will receive.

· The letter uses positive words.

· The writing includes specific and accurate word choice and details and does NOT use the following words: thing, good, really, very, extremely, wonderful, outstanding, or any synonym of the above (refer to the online lesson).

· The writing uses active versus passive voice. The writing uses is, are, was, were, be, been, being, and am ONE time or less per paragraph, and does not use “There is, there are, there was, there were, there _____ be, and there ______ been” at all. Instead, the writing uses action verbs such as describes, shows, presents, writes, run, ran, talked, talk, and so forth (refer to the online lesson).

· The writing uses familiar words.

· The writing uses no slang, cliches, trite expressions or biased and/or sexist language. (Be sure the salutation goes to Ms. if the letter is addressed to a woman).

· The writing is free of typographical errors.

· Words are spelled and used correctly, with correct grammar and punctuation.


· The resume does not use “I” or “my” at all.

· The resume uses action words to describe accomplishments.

· The “Education” and “Work Experience” lists the most recent experience first.

· The resume is visually appealing; uses white space, bullets, and bold effectively. The format is consistent throughout the resume.

· The font is standard and is 12 point. The font matches the job application/cover letter font.

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