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Writing a Resume > Resume Information

A resume is a targeted and concise summary of your work-related skills, accomplishments, and qualifications. It is designed to interest the reader enough to motivate them to interview you. Since employers receive hundreds of resumes, many receive little more than 30 seconds of attention. Therefore, it is imperative that you communicate your message in a clear, concise, and easily understandable way. Your resume should be tailored to present your skills, accomplishments and results in a way that directly relates you and what you've done to the field/job you are pursuing.

There are no rigid rules or single format for writing a resume, however, knowing general guidelines writing will help you to prepare a well written and professional document.

Common elements of a resume

All resumes should contain certain vital information including:

Writing the objective or the summary

You should begin your resume with an Objective or a Summary Statement in order to demonstrate to employers that you are focused and that you know which of your skills you want to use.

  • Objective statements must be as specific as possible and that they should emphasize what you can offer the employer. Strong statements highlight your skills and motivate employers to look further at your accomplishments, e.g., "Group Home Counselor position drawing on my experience working with mentally challenged adolescents as well as my related education."
  • Effective summary statements give an employer a quick "snapshot" of you. It must be clear and succinct and should identify your particular occupational goal and your level of attainment, e.g., "New York State Certified Elementary Teacher," "Computer Science Graduate with exceptional skills in...," or "Senior Marketing Manager." It should also indicate the functions you can perform, the settings in which you have performed them, any related education and exceptional current expertise, e.g., " Special strengths in teaching learning and emotionally challenged students on the elementary school level. Excellent interpersonal skills."

Education

Your education and any specialized training should be listed briefly. The most recent education or the most important education is generally listed first with other degrees following. It is not necessary to include institutions from which you did not receive a degree or certificate, unless the course work is related to your career objective.

The degree earned, major, minor, name of educational institution and date you received degree should be included. If your degree was obtained more than seven years ago, omit the date and just list the degree and the institution.
Additional information such as GPA, honors and awards and certifications may be included in this category if not listed elsewhere. For example:

State University of New York at New Paltz
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, December 2010
Minor - Sociology
GPA - 3.4

Additional Information

If there is other highly pertinent information future employers should know about you, it may follow your education. Since employers often seek candidates whose backgrounds are "well-rounded," it is advisable to include information that demonstrates your interpersonal and communication skills, as well as your ability to be part of a team. Additional information may include:

  • Professional Society/Association Memberships
  • Awards, Honors
  • Publications, Presentations, Patents
  • Skills/Activities
  • Internships/Student Teaching
  • Community Service/Volunteer Work
  • Clinical Experience
  • Leadership Positions
  • Certifications
  • Educational Highlights, Special Projects, Course work
  • Language Proficiencies

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