Resume Sections and Content

Page Length

  • Students completing a bachelor’s degree rarely need a resume longer than one page. An exception might be for those who have extensive professional experience prior to finishing the degree or students pursuing a teaching degree. Resumes should be complete but concise. Keep it interesting and brief. If you are having difficulty fitting your resume on one page or want to know if you should go to two pages, make an appointment at Career Services to have your resume critiqued.

Contact Heading

  • Name. List your full name. Use the form of your name as it appears on academic records and other documents an employer may require you to provide. This will avoid any confusion when employers are looking at multiple documents. If you go be a middle name or nickname, you can emphasize or insert it. For example, Michael (Mike) Johnson or Katelyn (Katie) L. Johnson. Your name is typically bolded and larger in font. You want this to be the first thing employers see on your resume.
  • Address. You can list both your permanent address and current address or simply your current address. The choice is yours. Some employers like to see both and others do not. The advantage to listing both is that it makes it easier for the employer to find you. The disadvantage is that employers quickly see you are a student, which, depending on the competition, may take you out of the running for some positions.
  • Email Address. Make sure your email address is professional sounding. No funny, cute or inappropriate email addresses.

EXAMPLES Contact Heading-Click here

Objective Statement

  • Immediately below the contact heading there is an objective statement listed. An objective tells the employer what position you are applying for. An objective shows that you are a match for the position the employer is seeking. Employers don’t have time to determine where you would be a fit with the company so you need to let them know which position is of interest to you.
  • If you are using your resume to support an application for scholarship or apply to graduate school, you can state this in your objective. It is important to state your objective clearly and concisely—1-3 lines are long enough.

Examples of objective statements:

  • Seeking a Management Trainee Position with The Schwan Food Company.
  • Career Focus: Sales and Marketing Position
  • A position as copywriter within the creative department of an advertising firm.
  • A position as an Elementary School Teacher that will utilize strong teaching abilities to create a motivational and stimulating learning environment to help children achieve their potential.
  • To obtain a Human Resource Coordinator position within a public service organization utilizing my knowledge of recruitment, employee relations and benefits.

Profile or Qualification

  • This section is usually placed below the objective or in combination with the objective. Professional resumes are now combining this section with the objective. See examples below.
  • The profile or qualification section is important to have on your resume. The section allows you to globally match your skills, experiences and accomplishments to the needs of the employer. This section is typically a 4-8 sentence overview of professional experiences, education, skills and projects. Make sure to use action verbs when describing your experiences or skills. Click here for list of Action Verbs.

EXAMPLES Profile-Click here

Education

  • Your education section will most likely follow the objective and or profile. This is because your education is your most recent significant accomplishment and is usually related to your objective. However, if you have direct experience in the field you are applying, the education section can move to the end of the resume. Ask Career Services if you have questions on the placement of your education.
  • Typically you do not list your high school degree.  If you are in college, the employer knows you have a high school degree.

    Education should include:
  • Degree (s)-List the most recent degree you are pursuing or have earned. You begin with your highest degree first, as in a Master’s degree, followed by a bachelor’s degree.
  • On one line include the degree, major (and minor or concentration) and date of completion or expected graduation date by month and year. If your combination of major, minor and concentrations are too long to fit on one line, put the extra information on a second line. Don’t forget to list your graduation date. Employers want to know this information when they review your resume.
  • On another line include the name of the degree granting institution and city and state. Make sure to use the university’s full name.
  • You can list either the degree or university first. Either line can be bold, depending upon whether you want to call attention to your degree or your university.
  • List additional degrees in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

You may include in the Education Section, or in other sections of the resume:

  • Academic awards, scholarships, scholastic achievement are usually listed in an “Honors or Awards” section but could instead be listed in the education section. It is important to only list the information in one place on your resume, not in multiple sections.
  • Significant class projects or independent studies
  • Career related coursework
  • Publications

EXAMPLES Education-Click here

Certifications and Licensures

  • If you have a certification or licensure which is relevant to your career objective, include a “Certifications” or “Licensure” heading.
  • In ordering your resume, place this section higher on your resume than other less related information

Experience

  • Summarize your work experience. Highlight the most recent or most relevant experiences first to support your objective. This experience can be paid or unpaid, an internship or substantial class project, volunteer position or positions held in clubs or organizations.
  • Your experiences do not have to be paid to be relevant. This gives you the opportunity to include any experiences in which you demonstrated skills, knowledge or abilities that relate to the position or industry you are seeking.
  • If your experiences seem to break into distinct categories, you can use them to highlight your experiences to the employer. There are several ways you can approach this. For example, if you have accounting experience from an internship, part time job or class project, you can have an Accounting Experience heading. If you worked in the business field you can have a Business Experience heading or Related Experience heading. These different headings allow you to market your experiences to the employer in a more direct way. You might include a mixture of paid employment, volunteer work, and extracurricular leadership positions in one section.
  • If you have not had related experiences, you should still list your employment background. This shows the employer that you have learned basic work skills (i.e. communication, customer service, time management, etc.) that are important to any work environment. These transferrable skills can be used in any work setting.
  • Rule of thumb—list your experiences in reverse chronological order.
  • For each experience, give the title, name and location (city and state) of the organization, dates of employment (month and year) and a description of your accomplishments. Make sure to begin each bullet with an action verb. Click here for list of Action Verbs.

EXAMPLES Experience-Click here

Activities and Honors

  • Your accomplishments and extracurricular activities tell an employer about your skills, abilities, motivations and interests. This is a great section to demonstrate your leadership abilities and initiative to employers.
  • You can include scholarships, awards, recognitions (e.g. “Who’s Who of College Students), etc. in this section. Sometimes this section can be separated into two categories, depending on how many you have, the types your have and how you want to highlight them on your resume. For example, if you have several activities that are related to your objective, you might want to list them in a separate section and place it towards the top of your resume and leave the honors towards the bottom. If you have one significant honor or a high academic honor, you may wish to list it in your education section. This can be helpful if your GPA isn’t truly reflective of your achievements and abilities.
  • When listing organizations use the complete name instead of the abbreviation. If the purpose of the organization isn’t clear from the name, provide a brief one line explanation.
  • Bullet your accomplishments in each activity to add weight to your participation. This showcases your skills more effectively to the employer than just listing the club or organization.
  • You may indicate the dates of membership and leadership roles held.

References

On a Resume
It is not necessary to list “references available upon request.” Most employers assume this and will request references as they want them. Prepare a reference page separate from your resume. Click here for a Reference Page template.

On Curriculum Vitae
References are typically listed. Some graduate students and some career fields (mostly in academia) ask for references at the time of application. If you are developing a CV, it is common to include references.

Work Authorization
You may wish to include a statement of your work authorization on your resume if:

  • You are a US citizen or permanent resident and you believe your name or other aspect of your background may lead an employer to assume you might not be a US citizen or might not be authorized to work in the US on a permanent basis.
  • You want the employer to know you have an H-1B visa or you expect your work authorization to be change in the near future.
  • If you are not authorized to work in the US on a permanent basis, do not make any statements to that effect. Focus your job search on employers who are able to hire you based on your work authorization.

Possible Headings for Resume Sections
Objective
Career Objective
Career Focus
Summary
Profile
Qualifications
Highlights of Qualifications
Skills
Technical Skills
Education
Educational Background
Teaching Experience
Student Teaching
Practicum Experience
Internship Experience
Experience
Related Experience
Work Experience
Significant Projects
Related Projects
 

Last Modified: 1/19/17 3:25 PM