Digital Marketing
Effective Resume Writing

Effective Resume Writing

Your resume is an essential part of your job search, it’s your chance to make a good impression on employers. For this reason, the information on your resume should be relevant, easy to read, and attractively presented.


Your resume should provide the reader with a general review of your background. Don’t clutter your resume with frivolous details. Some critical areas to include are: data identification, education, work experience, and student/community activities.

Identification data: Your name, address and telephone number are required. An email address can also be included. Do not include information such as height, weight, and race, as these are not qualifications for the job. Information such as willingness to travel or date of availability could be included in an “Additional Information” category at the end of the resume.

Objective: Although there are different points of view on whether or not to include a professional objective, this information allows the reader to quickly understand your professional interests. Objective guidelines: too specific can be limiting, too broad is meaningless. If you include an objective, consider writing 2-3 versions of your resume, each with a different objective. If you choose to have a goal, it should not have more than two lines. You can also skip the objective and include it in the cover letter.

Sample objectives:

“Looking for an entry-level position as a bookkeeper at a public accounting firm.”

“To obtain a position as a financial and investment analyst at a major investment bank or large corporation.”

Education: This information should appear in reverse chronological order, with your most recent education first. Include the institution, degree title, major(s), and honors awarded. Include your GPA only if you are clearly an asset. If you have questions about including your GPA on your resume, please speak with a Career Services staff member. Publications, professional licenses, or special training may appear in this section. In general, high school information should not be included. Finally, the degree to which you financed your own education (for example, 80%) can also be included here.

Work Experience: Typically listed in reverse chronological order (present-past), information includes organization name, location, position held, dates of employment, and a description of your accomplishments. Focus on the areas that relate to the position you are seeking and provide evidence of your ability to take responsibility, deliver and work hard. IF you have had numerous part-time jobs, please highlight the most related experiences. Military experience may be included in this section or in its own category.

Student Organization/Community Activities: This is your opportunity to show your commitment to your core field and leadership positions outside of the classroom. This can include social organizations such as sororities, student clubs, and volunteer work. Additional categories may be included to emphasize specific achievements, such as “Honors” or “Activities.”

References: Do not include references on your resume. Rather, indicate on your resume that your references are “available upon request.” Prepare a separate list of professional references (3-5), including the name, title, address, and business phone number of each person who has agreed to be a reference for you. Remember to include your name at the top of the page. Take your list of references with you when you interview.

directed summaries

“Targeting your resume means you’re customizing your resume for a particular position, company, different goals, or career field. For example, you might be interested in both financial banking and accounting, but you don’t want to use the same resume for both areas of business This is when your resume targeting comes in handy You can tailor your resume to each industry, narrowing the focus of your resume If you download your resume in Microsoft Word, this is where you can create and save different resumes.


The appearance of your resume is critical.

Margins: Keep margins even, using the proper balance of white space for the printed word.

Style: Sentences do not need to be complete. Do not write in the first person, singular case (do not use “I”). Use 8.5″ x 11″ bond paper in a conservative shade.

Length: Try not to exceed three pages, unless you have significant and relevant experience.


There are two commonly used formats:

Chronological: Presents education, experience, extracurricular activities, skills, and achievements in reverse chronological order in each category. Advantages of this style:

Employers are comfortable with this style because it is used frequently

It is the easiest way to write.

Achievements can be shown as a direct result of work experiences.

Functional: Organizes skills and achievements into functional groupings that support your job objective, which must be stated. advantages:

Draw attention to your achievements.

Allows for greater flexibility in presenting skills gained through low-paying jobs or personal experience.

Useful when you have a short or scattered employment record or are changing career fields

Choosing a format: If the skills and achievements align with your most significant work experiences, opt for the chronological format. If you must bring together certain skills and achievements from a variety of experiences to show your strengths, the functional format may work better for you.

No two resumes are alike; the choice of format is personal. There are two basic questions to answer:

Am I communicating the skills I have acquired in a way that meets the needs of the employer?

Is the design I’ve chosen the best way to present those skills?


Use as persuasive and descriptive language as possible. The use of action words will aid in the development of a concise and professional resume.

scannable summaries

Many employers today use computerized scanning systems to review resumes. It’s a good idea when submitting your resume to a company to send two versions: your regular resume and one marked “Scannable” at the top. If you’re unsure or hesitant to submit two resumes, most employers’ human resources or college recruiting departments should be able to tell you if they use resume scanning programs. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when designing your “scannable” resume:

Use only plain white, letter size (8.5″ x 11″) paper

Keep your resume to one side

Laser-printed resumes scan best (not a dot-matrix printer)

Do not use underlining or italics as they do not scan well.

Try to keep a 12 pitch font

Send your resume in a large envelope – do not fold it as the words in the folds will not scan correctly

Limit the use of bullets and avoid the use of graphics

Scanning systems often look for keywords or descriptors, so review your resume to make sure you’ve correctly used keywords that are relevant to your field.

The electronic curriculum

An “electronic resume” can mean a number of things, but generally refers to a resume that is submitted to an employer electronically, either over the Internet or by email. The home pages of some companies will include a form that you can fill out online and submit, which is a type of electronic resume. Some websites, which are geared towards job search assistance, also include these types of resume services. Many students are also creating personal home pages that include a link to their resume. You can find more ideas on using technology with your resume in Joyce Lain Kennedy’s Electronic Resume Revolution.

Organize resume writing

Step 1 – Write a draft and set it aside for a day or two

Step 2 – Edit the draft, seek feedback from Career Services staff

Step 3 – Make changes to the final draft

Step 4 – Have Two People Check the Spelling

Step 5 – Take a laser printout to a printer to have copies made for you. Get extra paper and matching envelopes for cover letters

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