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Career Services

Resume Tips

The resume is not a substitute for effective marketing and interviewing. While the resume is your primary marketing tool, it alone does not result in a job offer. The purpose of the resume is to get your foot in the door and allow for dialogue and consideration by an interested employer.

There are many ways to develop your resume. Use your own intelligence and imagination when developing your resume. Do not use a resume wizard or builder program; it will not do your skills and qualifications justice.
 

Steps to Developing Your Resume

Step One: Gather Your Raw Material
Create an accomplishment history - Brainstorm and write down everything at this point that you feel may have merit. Temporary headings can help you brainstorm. Following are some headings to spark ideas and help you organize your information:
  • Personal Achievements (e.g., financing your education, overcoming obstacles)
  • Education (e.g., classes related to your career goal, certifications, special training)
  • Honors and Activities (e.g., student organizations, professional associations, scholarships, academic achievements)
  • Volunteer Experience (e.g., church, civic groups, hospitals, tutoring, schools)
  • Work Experience (e.g., paid/unpaid, part/full-time, internships, military)
  • Career Related Skills (e.g., computer proficiency, foreign languages)
Gather documents related to your experiences i.e. performance reviews, letters of appreciation, transcripts, records of workshops and conferences attended, job descriptions, previously completed job applications.
 
Step Two: Select The Information You Will Use - Focused and Clear
Identify the information you feel most positively represents your background relevant to the employer needs. Tailor your resume to best market yourself for the position. A clear crisp resume makes it easy to see who you are and what skills you posses. Your resume should not tell everything about you.
 
Step Three: Choose An Appropriate Resume Format
There are three formats for resumes: chronological, functional and combination. Following is a description of the different formats. Deciding what format to use is as important as what you put in your resume. Give this exercise time and thought.
 

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

This is the traditional style resume that lists your professional experience chronologically, starting with your most recent position. This is generally the recommended format. The majority of resumes are written in this format, and this is also the format most employers are accustomed to seeing.
 

Functional Resume Format

It summarizes your professional "functions" or experience and avoids or minimizes your employment history. Use this format if you want to emphasize skills that you haven't used in recent work. This format is often used in the following instances:
  • Older workers, since it minimizes dates.
  • Career changers, since it outlines transferable work skills.
  • Recent graduates who don't have a lot of professional experience in their field but do have relevant course work or training.
  • Returning employees, after an absence from the workforces, since it minimizes dates.

Combination Resume Format

The combination resume utilizes the best components of the chronological and functional styles. Accomplishments are included under each position or function rather than simply outlining duties and responsibilities. This style allows for flexibility in designing a strong sales tool.

Consider this style when:
  • Each position you held involved a different job description.
  • Have held internships/volunteer positions directly related to teaching.
  • We recommend the Reverse Chronological resume for most students.

Resume Do's and Don'ts

DO
  • Have someone proofread your resume
  • Give a copy of your resume to each of your references
  • Take a copy of your resume to the interview
  • Change the keywords to fit the job
  • Emphasize your positive points
  • Omit any negatives
  • Leave plenty of white space
DON'T
  • Include personal information i.e. sex, age, marital status, picture, etc.
  • Be wordy
  • Include false or "enhanced" information
TIPS AND SAMPLES

Your Resume'

Send your resume' to one of our career counselors for review, and please allow up to 5 business days for a reply. Please include the following in your email:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Student ID #

career@cwu.edu