Job Prep

Request Information. Visit a Campus.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Job Database.
Project Hire Website.


Get interview and resume tips, and learn how to market yourself to employers!

Project Hire is a good employment resource...
 
 

Resume Help

WHAT IS A RESUME?

Your resume is a personalized listing of information about you, your achievements, education, employment history and current objective. There is no "right" way to create a resume, however there are some general guidelines to follow.

  • Resume Categories
  • Why Do I Need a Resume
  • Resume Do's and Don'ts
  • Resume Styles and Formats
    • Chronological
    • Functional

ACTION VERBS

To assist you further in your resume vocabulary, please consider the following action verbs:

  • Accomplishments

    achievement       
    completed
    expanded
    exceeded
    improved

    pioneered        
    reduced
    resolved
    restored
    spearheaded

    succeeded       
    surpassed
    transformed
    won

  • Communication/People Skills
    communication/people skills

    activated
    addressed
    advertised
    arbitrated
    arranged
    articulated
    authored
    clarified
    collaborated
    communicated
    composed
    condensed
    conferred
    consulted
    contacted
    conveyed
    convinced
    corresponded
    debated
    deferred
    defined
    demonstrated
    described
    developed
    directed
    discussed
    drafted

    edited
    elicited
    enlisted
    explained
    expressed
    formulated
    furnished
    incorporated
    influenced
    instituted
    interacted
    interpreted
    interviewed
    involved
    joined
    judged
    lectured
    listened
    marketed
    mediated
    moderated
    negotiated
    observed
    outlined

    participated
    persuaded
    presented
    promoted
    proposed
    publicized
    reconciled
    recruited
    referred
    reinforced
    reported
    resolved
    responded
    solicited
    specified
    suggested
    synthesized
    talked
    transcribed
    translated
    unified
    wrote

  • Creative Skills
    Creative Skills
    acted
    adapted
    began
    combined
    composed
    conceptualized
    condensed
    created
    customized
    designed
    developed
    directed
    displayed
    drew
    entertained
    established
    fashioned
    formulated
    founded
    illustrated
    initiated
    instituted
    integrated
    introduced
    invented
    modeled
    modified
    originated
    performed
    planned
    projected
    purchased
    raised
    revised
    revitalized
    shaped
    solved
    tabulate
  • Financial Data Skills
    Financial Data Skills
    administered
    adjusted
    allocated
    analyzed
    appraised
    assessed
    audited
    balanced
    budgeted
    calculated
    computed
    conserved
    corrected
    determined
    developed
    estimated
    forecaster
    managed marketed
    measured
    planned
    prepared
    programmed
    projected
    reconciled
    reduced
    researched
    retrieved
  • Helping Skills
    Helping Skills
    adapted
    advocated
    aided
    answered
    arranged
    assessed
    assisted
    cared for
    clarified
    coached
    collaborated
    contributed cooperated
    counseled
    demonstrated
    diagnosed
    educated
    encouraged
    ensured
    expedited
    facilitated
    familiarized
    furthered
    guided
    helped
    insured
    intervened
    motivated
    prevented
    provided
    reasoned
    referred
    rehabilitated
    represented
    resolved
    simplified
    supported
    volunteered
  • Management/Leadership Skills
    Management/Leadership Skills
    administered      
    analyzed
    appointed
    approved
    assigned
    attained
    authorized
    chaired
    considered
    consolidated
    contracted
    controlled
    converted
    coordinated
    decided
    delegated
    developed
    directed
    distributed
    eliminated
    emphasized
    enforced       
    enhanced
    established
    executed
    expedited
    generated
    handled
    headed
    hired
    hosted
    improved
    incorporated
    increased
    initiated
    inspected
    instituted
    led
    managed
    merged
    motivated
    organized
    overhauled      
    oversaw
    planned
    persuaded
    presided
    prioritized
    produced
    recommended
    reorganized
    replaced
    restored
    reviewed
    scheduled
    secured
    selected
    streamlined
    strengthened
    sold
    supervised
    terminated
    timed
  • Organization/Detail Skills
    Organization/Detail Skills
    approved      
    arranged
    catalogued
    charted
    classified
    coded
    collected
    compiled
    corrected
    corresponded
    distributed
    executed
    filed
    generated
    implemented
    incorporated      
    inspected
    logged
    maintained
    monitored
    obtained
    operated
    ordered
    organized
    prepared
    processed
    provided
    purchased
    recorded
    registered
    reserved      
    responded
    reviewed
    routed
    schedule
    screened
    set up
    submitted
    supplied
    standardized
    straightened
    systematized
    updated
    validated
    verified
  • Research Skills
    Research Skills
    analyzed      
    clarified
    collected
    compared
    conducted
    critiqued
    detected
    determined
    diagnosed
    evaluated
    examined
    experimented      
    explored
    extracted
    formulated
    gathered
    identified
    inspected
    interpreted
    interviewed
    invented
    investigated
    located
    measured      
    organized
    researched
    reviewed
    searched
    solved
    summarized
    surveyed
    systematized
    tested
  • Teaching Skills
    Teaching Skills
    adapted      
    advised
    clarified
    coached
    communicated
    conducted
    coordinated
    critiqued
    developed
    enabled
    encouraged
    evaluated       
    explained
    facilitated
    focused
    guided
    individualized
    informed
    instilled
    instructed
    motivated
    persuaded
    planned      
    programmed
    set goals
    simulated
    stimulated
    taught
    tested
    trained
    transmitted
    tutored
    vitalized
  • Technical Skills
    Technical Skills
     adapted      
    applied
    appraised
    assembled
    built
    calculated
    classified
    compared
    computed
    conserved
    constructed
    converted
    created
    debugged
    designed
    determined
    developed
    documented       
    engineered
    fabricated
    fortified
    formulated
    generated
    handled
    identified
    initiated
    inspected
    installed
    introduced
    investigated
    maintained
    operated
    overhauled
    printed      
    processed
    programmed
    rectified
    regulated
    remodeled
    repaired
    replaced
    restored
    solved
    specialized
    standardized
    studied
    tested
    upgraded
    utilized

Information for this Resume Guide was compiled using resources and guides from several colleges in the Kansas City area: Park College Career Development Center, Johnson County Community College Counseling and Career Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City Career Services, and The Metropolitan Community Colleges Student Employment Services Centers.

close window

Resume Categories

CURRENT INFORMATION

Name, address, and phone number should always be included at the top of the page. An employer will not know how to contact you if you do not provide this information. Leave phone numbers where you can be contacted, or a number that is connected to an answering machine. Employers will only call back so many times, so make sure that others who answer your phone are taking messages, and make sure you return any calls promptly.

It is against the law for employers to base hiring decisions on age, height, weight, marital status, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or anything that relates to your personal lifestyle. A photograph is unnecessary and is illegal for an employer to request prior to employment unless it is somehow job-related. DO NOT INCLUDE ANY INFORMATION THAT IS NOT JOB RELATED IN YOUR RESUME.

JOB OBJECTIVE

Make a concise, positive statement about the type of work you are seeking. Include the exact job title if you know it, but do not guess. The objective is sometimes used as a screening device. If you apply for a job that does not exist, your resume can be eliminated. Make the objective meaningful. Everything else in the resume should support and reflect what is said in the objective. Be specific and to the point. Broad objective are often misinterpreted and come across as saying nothing. If you have several different job objectives, you should have several different resumes.

EDUCATION

List the highest level of formal education first: institution, major/minor, degree earned, GPA (if 3.0 or above) followed by all other levels of education (not including high school). If you are a new graduate or completer with little practical experience, the section on education should appear at the beginning of your resume. You may also list special course work related to the job objective. As you gain more experience, your academic credentials generally will become less important than employment.

WORK HISTORY

When describing work experience, explain more than just the job title and company name. Be specific about responsibilities, achievements, accomplishments, and promotions. Cite experiences that relate to the job you are seeking. As with the education section, list jobs in reverse chronological order if you are doing a chronological resume. Be sure to include dates of employment, month and year are sufficient. There is no need to list the address and phone number of past employers.

For each job listed, describe:

  • Duties: tasks performed, emphasizing those requiring the highest degree of skill and judgment. Each task phrase should begin with a strong action verb like those listed on the following pages. Indicate specialization and duties beyond your regular assignment.
  • Scope of responsibility: Did you hold a supervisory position? How many people did you supervise? Describe the position.
  • Accomplishments/Achievements: Outline any outstanding results achieved. Give specific examples, figures, or percentages where possible, rather than writing "in general." How did you demonstrate initiative, make improvements, save time/money, or increase business?
  • Volunteer work, internships, practicum experience can also be included.

SPECIAL SKILLS/FOREIGN LANGUAGE

These should be highlighted in a special section, if you possess these skills. This would include such items as computer skills, operation of business machines, and fluency in a foreign language.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

The following areas can become separate categories if your background mandates this sort of distinction. Employers often look for this kind of information, especially as your experience increases. For entry-level positions, employers very often make decisions based on a student’s leadership roles in college.

  • Licenses, certifications currently held
  • Honors, scholarships, award, fellowships earned
  • Professional organizations memberships and offices held
  • Publications
  • Affiliations with civic and community groups
  • Extracurricular activities/leadership roles

REFERENCES

The best way to list references is to list names, titles, addresses, and phone numbers on a separate sheet. You may state "References available upon request," but this is unnecessary since providing references is a normal part of the job search.

Make sure each of your references has agreed in ADVANCE to serve as a reference. Keep in touch with your references. Provide them with a copy of your resume, and let them know what skills and goals you are sharing with potential employers so they can verify. Utilize professors, supervisors, or co-workers as references. Employers prefer people who can give specific reference to your work performance.

close window

WHY DO I NEED A RESUME?

It is essential to understand the importance of a resume in your job search process. Your resume is a marketing tool--not a personnel document. The primary thing to understand is that a resume will not result in a job; it is a key to help you get a job interview. When well written, your resume may generate enough interest to make an employer want to meet you. For those jobs, which mandate good written communication skills, your resume and cover letter serve as your first sample. A good resume is about the job hunter, not about the job hunter’s work history. A good resume focuses on the future, not on the past. A good resume focuses on achievements and accomplishments, not on job descriptions. A good resume documents and prioritizes skills the hunter enjoys using, not abilities they used in the past just because they had to. Choose your words very carefully! Your resume can create an impressive "first impression" and is an important introduction to who you are.

Your resume should highlight:

  • What you are seeking

  • The essential skills that you possess that will allow you to perform the essential functions of the job

  • Your accomplishments, described with action words, and telling how you achieved the accomplishment

  • The positions that you’ve held, where, and when

  • Background training or education

Resume Tips

  1. Your objective should relate to both the type of position you are seeking and the skills that you have that would interest a company.

  2. The information in your resume should be relevant, support your job or career objective, or support your character in general. If you have no definite purpose for including something, leave it out.

  3. Weigh your words carefully. Select concrete nouns and strong action verbs. Use concise phrases and clauses rather than complete sentences.

  4. Let someone who knows you well and will be objective in his or her opinion review your resume.

  5. Keep references on a separate sheet of paper in the same font, with the same heading as your resume, and on the same type of paper, and make them available upon request.

  6. Remember that your resume is a door opener to get you a personal interview.

  7. You should always send a cover letter on matching paper with specific reference to the company’s need and your qualifications for the job. A personal letter is always best, so make an effort to get the name and the title of the individual making the hiring decision.

close window

RESUME DO'S AND DON'TS

 

DO

  • DO use action verbs to begin statements

  • DO use clear and concise wording

  • DO reinforce points with facts and figures

  • DO be truthful

  • DO emphasize your assets

  • DO have others critique your resume

  • DO plan to write and re-write several times

  • DO use high quality paper (24 lb. bond paper) and laser printer

  • DO choose the format/style that is best for you

DON'T

  • DON’T use paragraph style or lengthy explanations

  • DON’T use "I" statements

  • DON’T abbreviate words or use acronyms

  • DON’T put in personal information (marital status, age, health)

  • DON’T include a picture

  • DON’T cram too much information into a small space

  • DON’T have any typographical errors or grammatical mistakes

  • DON’T include irrelevant information (non-job related or very old information)

  • DON’T include references on your resume

  • DON’T include salary information

close window

RESUME STYLES AND FORMATS

Your resume should reflect the best of what you have to offer an employer. The "you" that you are trying to present is shown by the style and format you choose along with the color and weight of the paper your resume is printed on. Make sure that your resume margins are balanced on either side and top and bottom. You may want to leave enough space around the information on your resume to create a border. The information should not appear to be overcrowded, nor should it be too spread apart. The font that you select can make a big difference in the appearance of your resume. Try several fonts to see which has the look that best describes "you."

Many companies are now looking for "scannable" resumes. They scan the resumes into their computer systems and get rid of the original hard copy. A scannable resume maximizes the computer’s ability to "read" your resume. Resumes are also often faxed, copied, and passed along to others who may serve on a selection committee. Some tips for maximizing scannability are:

  • Use white or light-colored 8 1/2 x 11 paper, printed on one side only.

  • Provide a laser printed original if possible. A typewritten original or a high quality photocopy is O.K. Avoid dot matrix print-ours and low quality copies.
  • Do not fold or staple.

  • Use standard fonts such as Helvetica, Futura, Optima, Univers, Times, Palatino, New Century Schoolbook, and Courier.

  • Use a font size of 10-14 points. (Avoid Times 10 point.)

  • Don’t condense spacing between letters.

  • Use boldface and/or all capital letters for section headings ONLY if the letter don’t touch each other.

  • Avoid fancy treatments such as italics, underline, shadows, and reverses.

  • Avoid vertical and horizontal lines, graphics, and boxes.

You may want to have two versions of your resume: One for the computer to read (with a scannable format and detailed information--send this one,) AND one for people to read (with a more creative layout, enhanced typography, and summarized information--carry this one to the interview.)

Many people encourage the use of different paper and fonts to make your resume stand out from the rest, but what your resume says is far more important than how it looks. Make the content of your resume stand out.

There are several formats available to use on your resume:

A CHRONOLOGICAL resume lists your positions in reverse order, most recent first. It highlights accomplishments within each position. The advantage of the chronological resume is that it presents your background in a straight-forward, easy-to-read manner. This format is a good choice when you want to call attention to a very stable work history; you want to call attention to consistent upward mobility and promotions in your chosen career; you are applying for a job in a very conservative field; or you think your next employer would be more comfortable with a traditional resume.

A FUNCTIONAL resume focuses on your accomplishments in each functional or technical area. This type of resume is a good choice when you are making a career change; when your past job titles don’t do justice to your accomplishments or responsibilities; when you want to focus on skills useful to the future job, rather than on past job content; when the best and most impressive accomplishments are not from the most recent jobs; or the most impressive skills came out of volunteer work. This type of resume is particularly useful when completing your education or changing career fields.

A COMBINATION resume utilizes the best of both types of formats listed above. It is useful if you have a long work history you wish to highlight along with allowing you to summarize your career history.

close window

CHRONOLOGICAL RESUME SAMPLE

Your name

Your street address

Your City, State, Zip code

Phone:

Youremail@Address.com

Objective
To effectively market your skills and interests in an effort to obtain a job interview.

    Summary of Qualifications
  • Number of years experience in the field or line of work in which you want to work.

  • Relevant credentials or training or education.

  • An accomplishment that directly relates to your objective.

  • A quality or characteristic of yours that supports this goal.

Education
Name of the Institution/School, City & State, degree or classes taken that might be of interest to an employer, honors and awards received while in school.

Experience

January 1997-Present  Company Name, City, State

Job Title
· An accomplishment/job responsibility that was held at the job listed above. (This should be your current or most recent job.)

· An additional accomplishment/job responsibility that was held at the job listed above.



May 1993- December 1996  


Company Name, City, State

Job Title
· An accomplishment/job responsibility that was held at the job listed above. (This should be the job held prior to your current job.)

· An additional accomplishment/job responsibility that was held at the job listed above.



May 1989 - April 1993


Company Name, City, State

Job Title

· An accomplishment/job responsibility that was held at the job listed above.

· An additional accomplishment/job responsibility that was held at the job listed above.

close window

FUNCTIONAL RESUME SAMPLE

Your name

Your street address

Your City, State, Zip code

Phone:

Youremail@Address.com

Objective
To effectively market your skills and interests in an effort to obtain a job interview.

    Summary of Qualifications
  • Number of years experience in the field or line of work in which you want to work.

  • Relevant credentials or training or education.

  • An accomplishment that directly relates to your objective.

  • A quality or characteristic of yours that supports this goal.

Education
Name of the Institution/School, City & State, degree or classes taken that might be of interest to an employer, honors and awards received while in school.

Work Experience

    One Major Skill (that is directly related to your career objective listed.)
  • An accomplishment that shows this skill.

  • Another accomplishment that shows this skill

    Another Major Skill (that is directly related to your career objective listed.)
  • An accomplishment that serves as an example of this skill.

  • Another accomplishment that serves as an example of this skill

    A Third Major Skill (that is directly related to your career objective listed.)
  • An accomplishment that serves as an example of this skill.

  • Another accomplishment that serves as an example of this skill

    A Special Knowledge Area
  • A list of equipment (computer programs, etc.) or processes you are familiar with that is relevant to jobs in this area.

  • A list of courses or training you have taken that show you are familiar with this area.

Work History

January 1997-Present  Job Title, Company Name, City, State

May 1993- December 1996   Job Title, Company Name, City, State

May 1989 - April 1993 Job Title, Company Name, City, State

Last Modified: 12/2/13