Your resume is your marketing brochure for potential employers. It is not a laundry list of life events, but a targeted summary, which highlights your relevant strengths. Your strengths can be personality traits, past accomplishments, technical skills, special knowledge, or anything that could be seen as valuable in a potential employee.
Four Steps to a Winning Resume
Step 1: Brainstorm Your Strengths
- Emphasize your strengths you want to use going forward.
- Strengths are what you have a high interest level and high ability level in.
- If you have an ability to balance your checkbook every month to the penny, but have no interest in working with numbers, accounting isn't something you would consider a strength.
- Likewise, if you have a strong interest in acting, but are lacking ability in that area, acting would not be considered a strength.
- Use the Accomplishment Development Worksheet (available in the CUI Career Guide) to brainstorm past accomplishments that you may be overlooking.
Step 2: Choose Sections of Your Resume
- There are no right and wrong sections of a resume, but there are headings that market your employability better than others.
- "Heading"- includes your contact information.
- "Objective"- explains to the employer what you are seeking (optional if you will be personally delivering your resume to an employer).
- Unless you have some impressive professional experience, "Education" will be included next.
- Following your education can be any of the following: "Skills," "Experience," "Awards," "Activities," "Publications," "Community Service," or "Professional Associations."
- Organize your strengths and accomplishments under relevant headings in rank order of the most impressive.
NOTE: Education and employment should always be listed in reverse chronological order.
Step 3: Edit Your Resume
- Keep your resume to one page.
- Go through each section and ask yourself, "Is this relevant?" "Is this valuable to the employer?" "Is anything repetitive?".
- This will help you omit the superfluous information and keep the targeted information.
Step 4: Visit Career Services for a Resume Critique
- Have others look at your resume and ask for feedback on your information.
- People that know you well may remember something that you overlooked or forgot to include.
Resume, Cover Letter, Practice Interview Resources