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Resume Workshop

Purpose of a resume

  • Gain an interview
  • Your personal marketing tool
  • Outlining skills and abilities
  • Sneak preview of what you have to offer

Preparing Your Resume

  • Use Microsoft Word
  • Templates are not user friendly when needing to make changes
  • Set tabs for dates, etc. instead of using the space bar---you will have less problems when uploading your resume in BSUCareers

Elements of a resume

Personal Identification

  • Name
  • Address—without abbreviations.  Typically has both present and permanent address
  • Phone number with area code
  • E-mail address—make sure this is professional


  • States the type of employment you are seeking—can be job specific
  • Should be worded as clearly as possible—avoid vague over-generalizations
  • Do not use personal pronouns on your resume
  • The objective may be put in the cover letter instead of on the resume


  • List names, location, attendance dates and degrees from colleges and universities
  • Do not need to list if no degree obtained
  • Reverse chronological order
  • High school optional
  • Include honors and study abroad programs
  • With multiple honors, have a separate section
  • Can list GPA if over 3.0--(3.5 for certain majors)
  • Emphasize education if you have little experience


  • Work Experience
    • Include Job Title
    • Name and location of employer (city/state)
    • Dates of employment—starting with the most recent employment and going in reverse chronological order
    • Describe responsibilities using action oriented words
    • List skills developed and accomplishments
    • Important to list, even if it is not relevant to your present job goals
    • It is significant to an employer if you worked while going to school
    • Skills from employment transfer to new jobs (organizational skills, supervisory skills, communication skills, etc.)
  • Internship Experience
    • May have a separate category, or list under “Relevant Experience”
    • Include skills developed and accomplishments
    • Describe responsibilities using action oriented words
  • Related Experience
    • Volunteer Work in your field
    • Class projects that are related to your degree
    • Experience from practica related to your degree


  • Can have a separate section for skills such as:
  • Computer skills
  • foreign language skills
  • GPS, GIS
  • Use of equipment/tools in your field of study

Activities and Honors

  • List all involvement in clubs, on or off campus committees, dorm council, etc.
  • Employers do look closely at this—make assumptions regarding leadership, organizational skills, interpersonal communications, multi-tasking, etc.
  • For Honors—list scholarships, awards, Dean’s list, Student Achievement Conference, etc.


  • Be sure to have 3 to 5 references
  • Appropriate references for students are:
    • Faculty
    • Past or present employers
    • Coaches
    • Internship Supervisors
    • Volunteer Supervisors
  • Have a separate reference page
  • Include name, title, company, full address and phone number for each reference
  • Be sure to ask these people in advance
  • Usually do not need to say “References available upon request.”

Styles of Resumes

  • Vary according to your profession.  
    • Graphic Design resumes very different from Business Administration resumes
  • Most resumes should be 1 page
  • 2 page resumes acceptable in Education and Human Services fields
  • 2 page resumes need to be 2 full pages

Scannable Resume

  • Need key word summary to define your skills, experience, education, competencies, professional affiliations…
  • Use jargon and acronyms specific to your field
  • Incorporate words from a job description—most likely are key words
  • Use white or light-colored paper
  • Use fonts between 10 and 14 points
  • Avoid italics, script or underlines
  • Use standard typefaces (Helvetica, Times, etc.)
  • Omit parentheses, brackets, shading

Cover Letters

  • As important as the resume
  • Should be included whenever sending a resume—even when emailing a resume
  • Letters should be tailored to each position that you apply for—use the job description for reference
  • Should reflect your personality and your attitude toward life and work

Cover Letter—1st Paragraph

  • Why are you writing? 
  • Name the position and how you found out about it
  • Can name the person who referred you in the first paragraph

Cover Letter—2nd Paragraph

  • Why are you interested in this employer (shows that you have researched the employer)
  • What qualities do you have to bring to this position
  • List experience in the field and particular achievements you have accomplished

Cover Letter—3rd Paragraph

  • Refer to your resume
  • Summarize your qualifications
  • Can also refer to your references

Cover Letter—Closing

  • Pave the way to the interview—that you are available and offer to send additional info as needed
  • List how they best can reach you
  • Thank the employer for their time

Helpful Hints

  • Be Brief, Clear and Concise
  • A resume needs to be easily read, not confusing and well organized
  • Use active phrases instead of complete sentences
  • Avoid “I” statements