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There are three main types of resumes, listed below. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to know which one would best highlight your skills and experience.
Chronological - Example
A chronological resume is one of the most common types of resumes. It lists work experience in a chronological fashion, sorting qualifications and accomplishments by position held. It often lists education after work experience, but it's sometimes beneficial for a new graduate to list education first, emphasizing university accomplishments. A skills section is sometimes added to display specialized areas pertaining to the job of interest.
Since such a big emphasis is placed on work experience, chronological resumes often benefit those with strong work histories. This allows employers to quickly pick out qualifications that are pertinent to a position.
Functional - Example
A functional resume isn't quite as common as a chronological resume, but it can be just as useful. It focuses on skill sets rather than specific positions, and it lists experience sorted by skill. It can be helpful for a new graduate who doesn't have much professional work experience or for someone who is changing careers. However, some employers don't allow a functional resume to be submitted, so this should always be checked before applying for a job.
Combination - Example
According to a survey completed by SimplyHired, a combination resume is the most common type of resume. It's a hybrid of a chronological and functional resume, as it starts by listing skills and qualifications and lists positions and dates held after that. The work experience section is much shorter than a chronological resume's; it should only include the title held, company worked for, company location, and dates held for each position in reverse chronological order (most recent - oldest). All accomplishments should be listed in the skills section.
Cover Letters -
A cover letter can be a terrific supplement to a resume. It gives you a chance to introduce yourself more personally and describe your qualifications in more detail than a resume could. Even more so than a resume, a cover letter should be precisely tailored to the company and position you're applying for, as it gives you more freedom with word choice and qualification descriptions. Click here to learn more about how you can write a cover letter.
The following are components that should be included in a resume (not necessarily in this order):
- Telephone number
Brief statement of your employment-search goal. It should be 1-2 sentences and tailored to fit the job description of the position for which you are applying (changes whenever you apply for a different position).
- School Name
- School Location
- Month and year graduated
- GPA (cumulative if 3.0 or better and departmental if 3.5 or better)
- Honor roll
- Academic and/or social fraternities/sororities
- Leadership positions
- Student government
* This section should be deleted if you have not participated in extracurricular activities
Internships (practicums or co-op experiences)
- Employer name
- Dates of experience
- Job accomplishments
- Amount of academic credit awarded
- Job Title
- Employer name
- Employer location
- Dates of employment
- Major responsibilities/accomplishments (be specific)
- Competency level
Skills & Abilities
List any skills/abilities that are relevant to your major or the job for which you're applying (language skills, computer skills, etc)
- Military branch
- Span of time spent in the service
- Brief statement of assignment
- Highest level of security clearance (if applicable)
Depending on your amount of community involvement and relevance of service, you may choose to list responsibilities, accomplishments, dates of service, location, and organization name.
References should not be placed on a resume. Use statements such as "References available upon request" to indicate references. You should be prepared, however, to provide an employer during your interview with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three people who can answer questions about your work skills, attitude, and character.
1. Target and tailor your resume
Employers typically spend less than 30 seconds scanning your resume to determine if it's worth further consideration. Therefore, be sure your resume is organized and attractive enough to pass the test. Predict your target employer's needs, then tailor your resume to match those needs. Ask yourself: "Why should this employer hire me?" Yes, it takes extra work and time to revise your resume each time you apply for employment, but in the long run, the effort is well worth the results - getting the position you want.
2. Select a format that best suits your qualifications
Make sure the format you select is complete, containing all information relevant to your education, work experience, and career objectives.
3. Accomplishments and marketable skills
Successful job candidates are often those who have developed "marketable" skills relevant to the job for which they are applying, and who are able to present these skills and accomplishments effectively in their resume.
4. Be specific and offer proof
Set yourself apart from other job seekers by being a proof-giver, not just a claimer. Avoid generalities and try to include concrete, quantifiable data in your resume.
5. Be honest and accurate
Always be honest. Project the real you. Be confident with who you are and what you have to offer. Do not inflate your work experience. If you have to misrepresent your qualifications to get a job, you probably shouldn't be in that job anyway.
6. Omit personal pronouns and personal data
Avoid using personal pronouns (I, we, etc.) and personal information (date of birth, marital status, number of children, etc.) in your resume. Do not list controversial items.
7. Do not go beyond ONE PAGE unless absolutely necessary
Eliminate information that is not directly relevant to the job for which you are currently apply (it is not necessary to list every job you have ever had). Be specific and concise. Use phrases rather than prose and complete sentences. Minimize personal data. Do not list individual references.
8. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Be sure spelling, punctuation, and grammar are flawless. Even minor errors create a bad impression and may cost you the job. In addition to proofreading yourself, have other people proofread for you.
9. Use quality paper and reproduction services
The paper and reproduction services used for your resume should create a professional look and should never distract from its content. Use a high quality resume paper (at least 20 pound weight) in off-white, ivory, or a light tan color. Use the same paper for your resume and cover letter. Print your text using a laser printer.
10. Include a customized cover letter
A cover letter is used to introduce yourself to an employer and adds a personal touch to your resume.
Career Services has created a guide to help you write a great resume! Please click the link below to view the guide, and call our office if you have any questions.
View the following examples for information specific to your field.
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Health Administrative Services
- Medical Laboratory Science
- Nursing (RN)
- Health Promotion
If your field is not listed, please contact your career counselor to get a resume sample.
Our professional career counselors can help you with:
- Targeting your resume towards a specific position
- Word choice and grammar
- Formatting your resume in the right way
- Selecting the right accomplishments to include
- General resume writing tips
To schedule a resume review appointment, call our office at 801-626-6393. Be sure to bring in your in-progress resume to your appointment (printing services are not available in our office).
*This is an activity for our Super Cat Careers program.