The purpose of your resume is to capture a potential employer's interest by showing them that that you are the right person for the job. To do this, your resume should summarize your knowledge, skills, experience, and education that are relevant to the job you are seeking. If you capture a potential employer's interest with your resume, you'll likely be invited in for an interview. Keep in mind that your resume is generally the first contact you have with a potential employer, so it should be neat, organized, and comprehensive.
View our Resume & Interviewing Handout for more information on how to prepare your resume.
Information to Include
A resume generally includes the following basic parts:
Header – at the top of your resume and includes your name and contact information (a telephone number where you can be reached and your e-mail address). You may also include your mailing address.
Career summary (optional) – lists key achievements, skill sets, experience, personality traits and qualifications that are relevant to the job you are seeking.
Work experience – include work history and skills that are relevant to the job you are seeking. Communicate your skills, abilities and knowledge with bullet point statements. Use clear, descriptive action words to highlight work you are doing or have done.
Education – include all education received or in progress. You do not need to indicate that you have a high school diploma if you have completed a higher level of education. Include the name of the school, type and subject of degree received. Do not include the year you received your education.
Other relevant skills – list any skills, training, or professional membership that are relevant to the job you are seeking.
It is important to consider how you organize your resume. When organizing your resume, there are different resume styles which arrange your knowledge, education, skills and accomplishments.
- Chronological style lists work history (in date order, starting with the most recent) and includes a brief description of the work you did. This style is the most common and easy to follow. Sample
- Functional style highlights transferrable skills and abilities rather than your chronological wok history. This style is often used if you have large gaps in your work history, frequent job changes or if you are new to or are reentering the workforce. Sample
- Combination style a combination of the chronological and functional style. This style allows you to include both work history and skills to capture the employer's attention. Sample
View our Resume & Interviewing Handout for more information on types of resumes.
- Use a template and aim for a clean, uncluttered appearance.
- Use an 11pt or 12pt font such as Arial or Times New Roman for the text throughout the entire resume.
- Print only in black ink.
- Try to limit your resume to one page.
- Keep your resume concise and focused.
- Proofread for accuracy, relevance, spelling, grammar and other errors.
Don't forget to include a cover letter with your resume. A good cover letter introduces you to a potential employer and leads them to take a closer look at your resume to see if you are the right person for the job.
Visit our Resume and Interview Preparation Training page to learn more about our available training, including a recorded webinar.