First impressions count when you are seeking a job or internship.
How you present yourself to prospective employers through your résumé will determine if you are called for an interview. The Center for Career Development staff has developed this step–by–step guide to help you build your best résumé.
Your résumé is a …
Concise summary of your education, experience, skills and qualities relevant to an internship, job or career field.
Marketing tool to promote your background to prospective employers when applying for a position or during networking opportunities.
As an added bonus, developing a résumé can improve your interview performance by helping you become more aware of your strengths. You will then be more confident about discussing your background with prospective employers.
- Focus on a specific internship, job or career field. If you know what you want you will be able to communicate your relevant experience, education, skills and qualities. If you are unsure about your career direction, contact the Center for Career Development for guidance.
- Identify "Keyword" Employers will often scan résumé into a database and conduct a search using key words relevant to the position or organization. Read the position description, identify the qualifications you match, and include these words on your résumé. You will increase the chances of your résumé coming up in a search result.
- Describe your transferable skills and qualities. Employers seek candidates with good communication skills as well as other transferable skills and qualities, such as attention to detail and teamwork. These are skills you have gained through a variety of situations: coursework, internships and jobs, volunteering work and campus activities.
Example of Transferable Skills and Qualities
- Communication skills (verbal and written)
- Strong work ethic
- Honesty and integrity
- Teamwork skills (works well with others)
- Motivation and initiative
- Analytical and problem solving skills
- Computer skills
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
- Detail oriented
- Organizational skills
- Leadership skills
- Focus on a specific internship, job or career field.
- Describe your transferable skills and qualities.
- Include Keywords
- Use action words [LINK] to describe your experience.
- Make sure your résumé is free of errors and misspellings
- Have someone proofread your résumé or request a résumé critique from the Center for Career Development.
- Use a résumé template (the formatting will limit your ability to customize your résumé).
- Use lots of script, underlines, different fonts or graphics. Bold and italic are generally acceptable.
- Include personal information and avoid listing religious, church, and political affiliations unless it is relevant to the position or organization.
- Go beyond one page. Most employers prefer a one page résumé. Two pages are fine if you have extensive, relevant experience. The second page should be at least 2/3 full.
The Center for Career Development and Experiential Education staff will happily review your résumé and offer suggestions.
You can make an appointment with a career counselor or email your résumé.
- To make and appointment, call 301-696–3583
- To email your résumé, attach your résumé as a Microsoft Word document and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org