Resume Preparation:

Before you begin your résumé, do some brainstorming and self-reflection. Brainstorming and self-reflection are very important steps in preparing your résumé.  Think about the following:

  • Tasks performed
  • Skills and abilities used
  • Accomplishments gained
  • Your interests and activities (or co-curricular)
  • Volunteer, internship, campus jobs

A resume is a summary of your education, experience and skills that relate to your career goal or job objective. The primary purpose of a resume is to obtain interviews with potential employers. Therefore, a résumé should:

  • Present a positive image
  • Describe qualifications
  • Detail what you have done
  • Provide framework for an interview
  • Entice an employer to want to learn more about you

A résumé should outline your:

  • Educational background
  • Organizations and activities
  • Internship experiences
  • Paid or volunteer work experiences

Pop-up Resume (To see this in Chrome or Firefox you will need to download the document)


Choose a résumé that best fits your goals and experience.

  • The CHRONOLOGICAL RÉSUMÉ is best used when moving from one position to another in a similar field.
    • Education and experience are listed with the most recent first.
    • Information is typically divided into sections and listed under headings such as personal summary, education, experience, skills, co-curricular activities and interests. Titles, organizations, and dates are emphasized and duties and accomplishments are briefly described.
    • Accomplishments should be quantified wherever possible in your resume.
  • The COMBINATION RÉSUMÉ emphasizes major areas of accomplishment and skills and allows you to organize them in a way that supports your career objective.
    • A combination résumé is recommended to be used when looking to move from one career field to another, or when entering a field for the first time.
    • If, in creating descriptions for your résumé, you notice patterns of skills emerging from your various experiences, the combination type of resume may work best for you.
    • Only include descriptions for experiences that are relevant to the position to which you are currently applying.
    • Organize your skills under relevant headings such as administrative and management, human relations, research and analytical (see Transferable Skills). Beneath these headings you can describe your experiences comprehensively, whether the experiences were paid, volunteer, or co-curricular.
    • Dates, actual titles, and places of employment are in a subordinate position, usually at the bottom of the document.
  • The FUNCTIONAL RÉSUMÉ is a variation on the combination resume. It focuses on a clear, specific job target (you would have a different résumé for each type of position for which you are applying). It lists only capabilities and supporting accomplishments that relate to the job target listed at the top. This format is best for those individuals looking to re-enter the workforce after a period of absence.

Your résumé needs to be concise and appealing as the average time spent on a résumé by a future employer is 8 seconds.


Basic Tips:

  • Be honest, positive and stick to your facts and don’t be afraid to “toot your own horn”
  • Avoid using pronouns such as “I”, “me” and unnecessary words such as, “a”, “an”, “the”
  • Avoid using abbreviations, write out different clubs or organizations
  • Don’t include demographic or personal information such as, marital status, age, height, weight, citizenship, race, gender
  • Don’t forget name, e-mail, phone number, address (both home and school), and make sure e-mail address is appropriate
  • Avoid references to specific religious or political organizations unless your affiliation with a particular group is relevant to the position you are seeking
  • Create a master resume that includes everything you have ever done for record purposes; your master resume should NOT be used to apply for positions
  • Do not clutter your page a resume should be clear cut. Generally, 0.5” - 1” margins are used.  Appearance is important. Use bold print and capital letters to emphasize important items
  • References
    • Should not be included on your resume, but should appear in a separate document.
    • It is not necessary to say “References available upon request” on your résumé; employers know to ask for references and will likely do so during or shortly after an interview.
  • The resume you submit should be saved in either PDF, .docx or .doc format. Employer applicant tracking systems differ in their ability to render electronic files and may jumble the contents of your resume if it is saved in an incompatible format. If you are not sure which format the organization uses, ask for their preference.


  • Contact Information:
    • List your full name (middle initial can be used), temporary school and/or permanent address, telephone number and e-mail address at the top of the page
  • Summary of Qualifications:
    • ​Replacing where the objective once was. It is a summary of your most pertinent experience and qualifications that is customized for the position in which you are applying. This is also a place where attributes, such as punctuality and honesty, can be conveyed that would otherwise not be appropriate under work experience.
      • Caring, sensitive and approachable personality
      • Experience working with clinically depressed populations
      • Fluent in written and spoken Spanish
  • Education:
    • List all entries in reverse chronological order. If you are a recent graduate or will be graduating soon, list your Lawrence education first. Emphasize names of institutions, degree(s) and month/year received, major(s), minor(s), interdisciplinary areas, independent studies, study abroad, and GPA if above 3.0
  • Experience:
    • You should list your work experience, generally citing your most recent and relevant experience first. Expand on those positions pertinent to the work you are seeking. Include job title, organization for which you worked, city, state, dates of employment, and a brief action-oriented description that shows the skills you used.
  • Co-curricular/Volunteer Activities:
    • You will want to list leadership positions and perhaps provide a brief description of your accomplishments; if you were a member of a number of organizations, you may simply want to list them.
  • Skills:
    • This section allows you to emphasize skills you feel will contribute to attaining your career goal. For example, you may have a number of management skills, technology, communication, language or you want to list. If you choose to include a skills section, there is no specific order in which this section should be placed.
    • Example:
    • This should be a separate section on your résumé. It is a brief, specific explanation of your job search goal. Once you have defined your Summary of Qualifications: the information you provide on your resume should support this goal.
    • Education
      • Time at that institution and feel it is important to note. The following information should be included regarding your educational
      • Bachelor of Arts Degree, Psychology May 2015
      • History Minor GPA: 3.5
      • Lawrence University – Appleton, WI
      • Dean’s List
    • Experience
      • Position title
      • Employer
      • Location (city, state)
      • Dates: from _______ to_________
      • Accomplishments/Responsibilities (USE past tense action words):___________
      • Skills
      • TECHNICAL Software: MS Office, SPSS, Adobe Photoshop, MS Project, MS Visio, MS Publisher SKILLS Languages: Java, Python, HTML, C, C++, Data Structures, ASP.NET, PHP, XML, JavaScript
      • Operating Systems: Windows 98/2000/2003/XP/Win7, Mac, Unix, MS-DOS
  • Your final product should be printed on résumé paper using a laser-quality printer. When choosing the paper color for your résumé, be as conservative as the position for which you are applying. White, tan, gray, beige, or off-white colors are appropriate for most positions and pastel shades are sometimes acceptable when applying for positions involving creativity

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