Preparing an Effective Résumé

Before you write, take time to do a self-assessment on paper.  Outline your skills and abilities as well as your work experience and extracurricular activities.  This will make it easier to prepare a thorough résumé.  Include:

  • Your title, employer, dates of employment, and basic responsibilities for all your past and current jobs, co-ops, and internships.
  • The degree, major, minor, actual or anticipated graduation date, and institution you attended for any formal educational endeavor.
  • The certification or program title, training company/organization, and date of any continuing education or training you have received.
  • All awards or recognition of accomplishments you have received.
  • Your role or level of participation in any community service, social organization, or athletics.
  • Any computer or technology competencies you possess.
  • When and where you developed all special skills or talents (e.g., leadership, teamwork, creativity, initiative, etc.)

The next step is to organize the information from your self-assessment in a visually pleasing, easy to read format.  Emphasize information that supports your claim that you are qualified for the position to which you're applying.

Remember that most employers spend between 15 and 20 seconds reading a résumé for the first time, so it is vital that important information catches their attention.

Additional assistance with résumé preparation is available in our Online Tutorials!