What is the purpose of having a resume?

Having a resume is the first step to getting an interview. Your resume provides the employer with their first impression of you. Most employers review resumes in 30 seconds or less. They will decide to consider or contact you for an interview based on what information is on your resume. It is important that you tailor your resume to the job position you are applying for. To make a first and lasting impression is to have your resume free of misspellings and grammatical errors.

What should be included in the body of your resume?

  • Objective – Clearly state the position you are interested in.
  • Education – List any college/universities attended and graduated from including your current college/university you are studying at. Do include study abroad experience degrees, dates received and major/minor information.
  • GPA: Include your GPA if it is at least 3.0 or above.
  • Experience – List all positions you held, name of organizations, city and state of their location, month and year of your involvement. Summarize what you did in each experience, your accomplishments by starting with an action verb.
  • Awards – List any awards and scholarship awards
  • Activities – List your extracurricular activities or positions you held on committees or student organizations
  • Skills – List any computer programs and skills related to the job you are applying for

What are the different types of resume formats?

There are several resume formats to consider.

  • Chronological
  • Functional
  • Combination (both functional and chronological)
  • Federal
  • Curriculum Vitae

Chronological Resume Format

Most commonly used format. Start out by using your work experience first and begin with your current or your most recent job position and continue in reverse experience. List your key accomplishments and skills under each position. Currently enrolled students or recent graduates, list your Education first and then your experience. With extensive work experience, list your experience first and Education after you list all or most of your work experience.

Functional Resume Format

This type of format organizes your information that highlights your skills and abilities from various work experiences you obtained or currently working at. This resume is good for those changing your career field or has gaps in your employment history. It can be categorized into clusters that relate to the position you are applying for.

Experience Highlights

  • Counseling/Advising
  • Teaching
  • Management/Supervision
  • Administration

Combination Resume Format

This resume is a combination of chronological and functional resume format. In this resume your work experience, skills or accomplishments are all mentioned here in the resume.

Federal Resume Format

A federal resume specifically designed for Federal Jobs. This is your application for any federal jobs you apply for. This is the most important document you will write as a part of the application process. You can have between 2 – 5 pages. It includes all of the heading information, country of citizenship, high school credentials, salary history, references, name of supervisor and contact information, and position details to emphasize specific results and specialized skills. To create a federal resume refer to the USAJOBS Resume Builder and

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae is known as CV and the difference between a resume and a CV is the length, content, and purpose. The length can be extended between 5 to 8 pages. Most candidates that use the CV format have a master’s or PhD degree. It is used to apply for teaching or research opportunities. For example, university teaching, administration positions, and scientific research positions. If you are applying for a teaching job at a university, check with the university’s website the protocol to develop your CV. On your CV you can add your publications, presentations, professional development, research topics, and affiliations.

Use of Resume Templates

Although you can find resume templates online to construct a resume, we do not recommend using one. Templates prevent you from developing a resume that best utilizes space on the page. Also, it limits how you can use the space. We recommend starting with a blank word document and using resume samples as a guide when creating your resume.

Action Verbs

Action verbs are used to start each sentence in describing your work experience. Action verbs are power verbs that add power to your experience. This helps you to explain your accomplishments effectively. See examples of passive verbs and action verbs below:

WITHOUT action verbs or use of passive verbs:

  • Responsible to manage the front desk and address concerns of consumers
  • Duties include database work, filing and scheduling appointments

WITH action verbs:

  • Manage the front desk and address concerns of consumers
  • Schedule appointments, input information into database and file confidential documents

Resume Tips


  • Create a professional and uniform looking resume
  • Maintain consistency throughout with font style, capitalization and spacing
  • Have your Career Educator review and offer feedback on your resume
  • Use 11 – 12 pt size font
  • Use standard font such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial
  • Be consistent with the use of tense
  • Keep resume to one page or two full pages
  • Tailor your resume to fit each job position description
  • Use buzz or keywords for job descriptions
  • Convert resume to PDF


  • Use two pages unless you have extensive work experience
  • Use personal pronouns
  • Exaggerate your experience
  • Include information irrelevant to your objective
  • List references on resume
  • Include any race, sex, disability information
  • Use word “I”
  • Include personal information
  • Lie about your work experiences
  • Use passive verb
  • Have any grammar or spelling errors

Contact Us

Office for Career Success

JSAC (Jordan Student Academic Center) Suite 2200

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