Writing a Resume


A resume is a summary of your experiences, skills, achievements and successes which are relevant to the field of work you would like to enter. By highlighting your accomplishments, a resume “advertises” to a potential employer that you are qualified for the job you are seeking, and is a means of introducing yourself. Often, an employer will only spend 30-60 seconds scanning your resume to determine your qualifications and decide if they are interested in you. It is important to remember that a resume is not intended to be a biography or complete history of everything you have done.

A resume shows a perspective employer:

Who you are
What career/job you are seeking
What knowledge and skills you possess
What and where you gained your experience

A resume can, and should, reflect more than just your paid work experience. If relevant, it is important to detail your important volunteer and leadership experience, as well as relevant extracurricular experiences.

The main purpose of the resume is to help you move past the application screening process and on to the interview. If applicable, you should tailor separate resumes to fit each career field in which you are searching for a job. Some people even create a slightly different resume for each position. If you create different resumes for different careers and/or positions, make sure you note all of your substantive duties with each employer, focusing the reader’s attention on those duties which are most relevant to the career or job you are seeking. 

Here are some simple rules to follow when designing your resume:

  • State a specific career objective near the beginning of your resume.
  • Explain specific duties for each position listed-paid and unpaid.
  • Include individual accomplishments from each position.
  • Detail significant responsibilities for each position.
  • Keep your resume brief, but complete; correct spelling and use proper grammar.
  • Do not leave large, unexplained gaps in your employment history.
  • Make sure your resume is neat and professional.
  • Do not list salary requirements.
  • Do not include negative information or statements.
  • List references on a separate sheet of paper and only after obtaining approval from your references to use their names.

Identifying information

At the top of the resume type your name, address and telephone number(s), including area code.  Do not include information such as your age, height, weight, or physical description. Do not include a picture of yourself.

Statement of objective

The purpose of the statement of your objective is to help focus and direct your resume. The objective can be presented in a variety of ways, including a statement of:  a) the position you are interested in; b) the skills you wish to use on the job; and/or c) the type of field in which you are interested. If you are applying for a specific position, always use that as your objective.

Examples of a statement of your objective:

A position as an Office Technician in a Human Resources Office.
A position in a Human Resources office which will utilize my knowledge, skills and experience in classification and pay and labor relations.


The resume format you choose should highlight your strengths. You can create a chronological or functional resume, or a combination of both formats.

A chronological resume is the most common format. It emphasizes work experience and presents your employment information by date, beginning with the most recent.
A functional resume organizes your most relevant experience into skill areas.
A combination of both formats can be used if it is the best and most direct way to present information to the employer.

Affiliations, licenses, community service

This information should be listed if it is relevant to your career choice, the job you are seeking, or if you have gained relevant knowledge, skills, or experiences from your involvement. Include licensing information if it is required or relevant to the career/job you seek to obtain.


There are many resume books on the market that are geared to specific occupations, industries and careers. Your department’s Personnel Office should have resume writing books, or you can go to your local library or the State Library, and/or check out resumes on the internet. A few recommendations would be:

The Damn Good Resume Guide, Yana Parker
The Resume Catalog: 200 Damn Good Examples, Yana Parker
Blue Collar & Beyond (Resumes for Skilled Trades & Services), Yana Parker
The Perfect Resume, Tom Jackson