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Résumé Guide

  1. What is a Résumé?
  2. Preparing to Write Your Résumé
  3. Résumé Dos
  4. Do NOT Include on Résumés
  5. Résumé Formats
  6. Create a Draft
  7. Sections of a Résumé
    1. Contact Information
    2. Objective
    3. Education
    4. Relevant Coursework
    5. Research/Senior Project
    6. Experience
    7. Skills
    8. Additional Categories
  8. Additional Resources

What is a Résumé?

A résumé is a professional introduction of yourself (to prospective employers or graduate schools) that clearly and concisely describes your skills and qualifications as they relate to the position you are trying to obtain. You may customize your résumé to appeal to a particular employer, but in each case be sure to place the most significant information on the first page. A résumé will not get you a job, but a well-written résumé is key in securing an interview. Remember: a résumé is a tool to market and promote yourself!

Preparing to Write Your Résumé

Identify one or more career directions (Academic and Career Advising staff can help you do this). It is easier to write a résumé when you have knowledge of the needs of employers in your fields of interest. Become aware of the skills required to be successful in these fields.

Identify your skills, strengths, interests, and accomplishments as they relate to a job search. In order to write your résumé you must think about your past experiences, the skills you gained, what you accomplished, and how these skills and accomplishments are transferrable to the job or internship you want to obtain.

Analyze job descriptions/advertisements. Identify the keywords that describe skills, abilities, and qualifications required for the job. Use these words in your résumé. This requires customizing your résumé for each job to which you apply.

Take time to create a résumé that is well-written, highlights your skills and accomplishments, and results in interviews. Start with a draft résumé, have the draft reviewed, and allow time to make several revisions.

Résumé Dos

  • Avoid using templates. Their formats are not ideal and do not allow for flexibility in highlighting your unique experiences and accomplishments.
  • Do not exceed 2 pages. Many students have one-page résumés, but if you have relevant experience be sure to include it. The key is for the most important and significant information to be found on the first page.
  • Print résumés on high quality résumé paper (usually ivory or white), which can be purchased at an office supply store.
  • Use a standard typeface (Times New Roman, Calibri, Garamond, Arial) in a font size no smaller than 10-11 pt. Do not incorporate graphics, borders, clip art, or fanciful fonts. Exception: Graphic Design and Art Majors
  • Add graphs to emphasize accomplishments.
  • Adjust margins to create space for text. Margins can be as small as .5". Even with narrow margins you must allow for white space so the résumé is easy to read and eye catching.
  • Emphasize achievements, accomplishments and abilities, and give specific measurable results when possible (ex: "increased membership by 50%"). Use Action Verbs to describe experiences and accomplishments.
  • Make the résumé highly skimmable - short paragraphs / bullet points, crisp descriptions, and use of bold, underline, and italics to emphasize important information.
  • Be consistent in how you format information within (and sometimes between) each section of your résumé.
  • Proofread - check spelling, punctuation, grammar, word usage, dates, etc. One mistake can make the difference in receiving an invitation for an interview!
  • Have Academic and Career Advising review your résumé.

Do NOT Include on Résumés

  • Personal information such as social security number, date of birth, marital status, height, weight, picture, religion, etc.
  • Name of high school (exception: 1st-year students)
  • High school activities (exception: 1st-year students or if they show additional experience relating to field of interest)
  • Personal pronouns or articles in describing experiences (I, my, the, etc.)
  • References or statement saying"References Available Upon Request." References should be listed on a separate page.

Résumé Formats

Chronological (reverse chronological): This résumé format is the one most preferred by employers. It lists experiences in reverse chronological order – from present to past.

Functional: This résumé format is organized by skills categories including leadership, communication, administrative, project management, and other categories unique to you and the job for which you are applying. Functional résumés do not focus on employers and job titles, but may contain a brief job history at the end of the résumé.

Create a Draft

For résumé samples and detailed information on creating a résumé go to KSC's Blackboard page and sign-in using the username guest_aca and password: career1909!.

Sections of a Résumé

The type of information included on a résumé varies from student to student based on the academic, co-curricular, and work experience of each student. Potential sections include:

  • Contact information
  • Objective
  • Education (including study abroad)
  • Certification/ Licensure or specialized training – can be included with education
  • Coursework
  • Research/Senior Project
  • Experience – you may have more than one experience section on your résumé (Internships, Exhibitions, Work Experience, Additional Experience). These sections should emphasize all paid and unpaid experiences, especially those related to your field of interest.
  • Skills – includes foreign languages spoken, computer skills, art skills, technical knowledge, specialized equipment
  • Honors, awards, scholarships, publications
  • Extracurricular involvement – athletics, clubs, organizations, and volunteer work.
  • Professional memberships

Contact Information

  • Name should be in bold and a font size larger than the text of your résumé
  • Make sure address, phone number and email are current. Email and voicemail must be professional.
  • Include professional social media sites (blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, E-Portfolio, YouTube, etc.). May also create a separate section for this information if relevant.


Jessica Smith
229 Main Street MS 0000, Keene, NH 03435
(603) 555-5555 -
Twitter: @jsmith * LinkedIn:
Jessica Smith
(603) 555-5555 -
College Address
229 Main Street, MS 0000
Keene, NH 03435
Permanent Address
299 River Street
Altoona, NY 12345


  • The objective must be customized to each job/internship to which you are applying. It focuses your résumé and tells employers what type of position you are seeking
  • Objectives are optional if you are applying for a specific job and the objective is stated in your cover letter.


OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position as a case manager in a public agency for at-risk children.

TEACHING OBJECTIVE: Teaching position in a public school, grades 1-5.

OBJECTIVE: To obtain an internship with Go Green America to apply my safety studies coursework and gain professional experience.


  • List your degree and major, college attended, college city and state, date or anticipated date of graduation.
  • Include specialization, option or minor. Education majors list both degrees and majors.
  • Include GPA (if at least 3.5), honors and/or Dean's list.
  • List degrees in reverse chronological order (Bachelor's Degree, Associate's Degree) and include study abroad experience.


Bachelor of Science, Health Science
Keene State College, Keene, NH
GPA: 3.8
Concentration: Nutrition
Anticipated May 2011
International Exchange: College of York, York, England, Spring 2006

Relevant Coursework

  • An optional section designed for students seeking internships or those who have taken coursework related to their job objective. Only list courses related to internship or career field.
  • If you have direct, relevant experience this section does not need to be included.


Course #1 Course #2 Course #3
Course #4 Course #5 Course #6

Research/Senior Project

  • Highlights a culminating project or research endeavor in your academic career and demonstrates transferrable skills including problem solving, research, analyzing data, communication, and teamwork.
  • For research-based positions, include all significant research projects and title this section "Research."
  • If you are not seeking a research position but know the skills used or knowledge gained would be useful, it is advisable to include this section as well.


Organization & Administration of Safety Programs: "Title." Conducted extensive research on the subject of fire extinguisher safety. Designed and developed a safety training manual with five separate sections for employer and employee use. Spring 2010.
Senior Project: "Title." Utilized professional literature to examine the effects of the media on teen body image. Researched topic, conducted a survey of 100 teens, ages 15-18, and evaluated results. Presented to class of peers and faculty. Fall 2010.


  • How your experience is organized and written largely depends on your goal or objective. This is a generalized look at experience. Have this section reviewed by a qualified person (ACA Career Advisor) to ensure that your résumé accurately reflects your strengths and skills.
  • Experience can be divided into general categories (Related Experience, Additional Experience) or by types of experience (Teaching Experience, Exhibitions, Sales/Marketing Experience, Internships).
  • Include job title, company name, city, state, and dates of employment. In addition, list what you did, skills used/learned, and what you accomplished.
  • Use action verbs, keywords and write short, crisp, descriptive sentences and/or bullet points.
  • Write in present tense if still in the position. Use past tense if you are no longer employed in the position.


Customer Services Representative
United Central Bank, Surry, NH
March 2007 to July 2009
  • Provided accurate, detailed information about financial services available.
  • Used excellent memorization skills to learn customer names and generate repeat business.
  • Earned reputation as a valuable and cooperative co-worker through attention to fairness and willingness to help when needed.
Recruitment and Staffing Intern
Cheshire Medical Center, Keene, NH, 2007-2009
  • Worked closely with department manager to maintain and update job openings for new cancer center; prepared job listings, position descriptions, and giveaways for weekly job fairs; attended job fairs and provided support for recruiters; and assisted staff with review of résumés.


  • List tangible skills such as computer (software and hardware), languages spoken, art mediums, equipment (ex: video editing equipment, radio sound board, machinery/equipment specific to job field) and other technical skills.
  • Location of this information depends on the job and relevance of the skill sets to that job.
  • Create a general skills section or create a section for each skills set.


  • Knowledge of: Adobe, Dreamweaver, CTT and Quark Express
  • Fluent in French and Spanish; proficient in Portuguese
  • CPR certified
Art Mediums:

Ceramics, graphite, egg tempura, pastels, technical drawing, figure sculpture, mosaics, metal sculpture, collage, black and white photography, stained glass, and watercolor.

Additional Categories

  • Other categories to include can be any or all of the following: Certifications/licensure, Leadership, Activities, Volunteer Experiences, Professional Memberships, Honors/Awards, and Athletics.
  • Depending on space, you can simply list the information or describe it in detail.



Biology Club, Keene State College, President (2008-2009) & member (2007-present)
Big Brother/Big Sisters, Volunteer, (2010)
Environmental Outing Club, Event Coordinator (2009-2010) & member (2006-present)

Volunteer Experience:

Soup Kitchen coordinator, Keene Lend a Helping Hand Society

  • add a description

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Participant

  • add a description

Alternative Spring Break

  • add a description

Additional Resources

Contact Academic and Career Advising

Academic and Career Advising Office
Elliot Center
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435