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Student Services Building
Suite 3050
1200 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60607
P: 312.996.2300
F: 312.413.0383

EMAIL:
ocs@uic.edu

HOURS:
M-F: 8:30am - 5:00pm

WEBSITE:
careerservices.uic.edu

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CREATING A RESUME THAT HIGHLIGHTS YOUR STRENGTHS


RESUME GUIDELINES

RESUME DO'S
RESUME DON'TS
RESUME FORMATS
STANDARD RESUME SECTIONS
OPTIONAL RESUME SECTIONS
SAMPLE RESUMES



 

RESUME GUIDELINES


  • Your resume is a marketing document in which you convey a specific message to a target audience. Think about yourself and your strengths - what do you want to highlight about yourself?
  • Think about the organizations and positions you seek - what is important to them? Read position descriptions carefully. What qualifications and skills are required and desired?
  • Begin bullet points with strong action verbs and "show" the employer what you did, how you did it, and why it was important.
  • Highlight your achievements and demonstrate how you can contribute to the company/organization, rather than simply listing your duties in previous jobs.
  • Construct a well-organized, neat, and professional document that is written in a clear and concise manner, typically but not always one page for undergraduates and two pages for graduate students.

RESUME DO'S


  • DO tailor the content, category headings, and organization for each position to emphasize your fit
  • DO quantify your accomplishments by including numbers, dollar values, and percentages
  • DO use boldface/italics/caps to highlight section headings and differentiate company name and position title
  • DO emphasize your transferable skills
  • DO incorporate industry-related key words and phrases
  • DO keep your formatting consistent throughout
  • DO edit and proofread multiple times for possible errors
  • DO use good quality bond paper in a neutral color

RESUME DON'TS


  • DON’T use a resume template which are hard to edit and unreadable by Resume Robots
  • DON’T use unusual font styles/colors
  • DON’T use personal pronouns such as "I" or "my," abbreviations, or acronyms
  • DON’T include confidential information such as social security number or marital status
  • DON’T embellish your experience or include information that is not accurate
  • DON’T describe experiences that are irrelevant
  • DON’T use vague descriptions such as "Responsible for" and "Duties included"
  • DON’T use passive verbs such as “learned” or “helped”

RESUME FORMATS


There is no such thing as the "right" format, and there are a number of ways to effectively organize your unique background on a piece of paper.


  • Chronological:
    The most common resume format used by recent graduates, and is often preferred by employers. Lists your education and experience in reverse chronological order (from most to least recent) under each category heading. Category headings may be arranged in any order and should be organized as to emphasize your most relevant experience.
  • Functional:
    Employers do not care much for this format, but it may be beneficial for career changers or those with large employment gaps. Focuses on skills and accomplishments over the course of all jobs held, emphasizing transferable skills over roles/companies. Employment history is usually labeled in a small section at the bottom, rather than within the section describing your skills.
  • Combination:
    A hybrid format for career changers usually more preferred by employers. Includes aspects of both chronological and functional formats. Highlights skill categories, but does include some description of employment history in a separate section.

STANDARD RESUME SECTIONS


  • Contact Information: Includes name, address, phone number (home and/or work), and e-mail address. Make sure email address and voicemail message are appropriate for professional correspondence.
  • Education: Includes the name of your college, the city, and state; the name of your degree, your major and minor (if you have one), your graduation date (or anticipated date), and your GPA (optional). Typically near the top of your resume for current students/recent graduates. If you attended more than one school, list the most recent first. Write out the full title of your degree, e.g. "Bachelor of Arts in History, May 2016." May supplement this section with "Relevant Coursework" or "Academic Accomplishments," if appropriate and related to desired position.
  • Experience: May include paid employment, volunteering, internships, military service, athletics, etc. Include the name of the organization, position title, and dates of the experience. Add bullet points that demonstrate specific relevant and transferable skills.
     

    Follow this formula to maximize impact:

    VERB + HOW/WHAT + RESULT or GOAL


    Customize your headings and organize your experiences to highlight first your strongest qualifications for the position (e.g. "Professional Experience," "Relevant Experience," "Leadership Experience," "Teaching Experience," etc.)
 

OPTIONAL RESUME SECTIONS


  • Objective: Communicates a clear but brief professional identity statement by identifying the position(s) you are applying for, your top 2-3 skills, and your career goal. Typically 1-2 statements only. Typically placed below your contact information on your resume.
  • Summary of Qualifications/Profile: For professionals who are more experienced, this may take the place of the objective, briefly summarizing and highlighting your strongest skills and qualifications for the position.
  • Relevant Coursework: Can be designated as its own section or included under education information. List the full course name rather than the course code.
  • Academic Projects: Included to expand upon relevant skills and knowledge gained through academic projects/research related to the desired position, especially helpful to supplement work experience/internships.
  • Certifications/Endorsements /Licenses: Write the full title and include the date issued. If desirable in your career field, place this section near the top of the resume (before or after your education information).
  • Leadership/Community Services: Include dates and any leadership/responsibility. Include bullet points to provide more detail if it demonstrates relevant strengths.
  • Affiliations/Memberships: Write out organization names (no acronyms). May include any offices held, conferences attended, related projects, etc.
  • Skills: Computer skills, foreign languages, laboratory techniques, or any other job-related skills worth highlighting. Include level of proficiency by stating "proficient in," "fluent in," "basic knowledge of," etc.
  • Honors/Awards: Can be designated as a separate section or included under “Education.” Include the honor/award name and date received. May include brief statement describing honor/award.
  • References: This section should not be included on your resume, but rather on a separate page. Includes the contact information (name, title, business name & address, phone number, and email address) for all your references. Ask for permission prior to using someone as a reference.

SAMPLE RESUMES


LAS W/ DOUBLE MAJOR

SCIENCE MAJOR

ENGINEERING MAJOR

MARKETING MAJOR

PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR

SOCIAL WORK MAJOR

 

 

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