Creating a Resume


There is no consensus as to what makes a good resume.  However, one of the basic rules is that employers will spend less than 20 seconds scanning your resume to see if it is worth further consideration.  Therefore, be sure that your resume is organized and attractive enough to pass this test.  Your resume, if effective, will quickly show the employer:

  • Who you are and what you know
  • What you have accomplished
  • What you would like to do

Learn resume basics, and find out employers' top pet peeves about resumes.

Follow these steps to create a resume. Once you have completed your resume, stop by the ACPC to have it, and your cover letter, reviewed.

Develop a ResumeAll

One of the first steps in the job search is taking an inventory of all you have to offer a potential employer. Often students undersell themselves by not capturing all of the skills they have developed. By spending some time at the beginning, you can create and save a document that has all the raw material that you may want to use in your job search. We often call this original document ResumeAll. It is not an employer-ready document, so don’t worry about how long it is initially. You can then come back and use parts of this ResumeAll document in resumes tailored for individual job descriptions.

Steps to create ResumeAll:

1. Open a new Word document (we don’t recommend using a template).

2. Type these section headings, leaving a few blank lines between each:

  • Objective
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Academic Experience
  • Leadership Experience
  • Honors/Awards
  • Technical/Computer Skills
  • Activities/Community Service

3. Fill in information under each category.

  • Objective will be done last, tailored to each job.
  • Education: List School Name, Expected Graduation; List Major, Minors, GPA (Overall and/or Major GPA)
  • Work Experience: For each position held in college, starting with current/most recent ones, list your job title, organization name, city, state, and dates of employment. For each position, think about the skills you used/developed and your accomplishments there. Review the Skills Inventory for examples of skill descriptions that you may have used but not realized. Put down at least two for each, but as many as needed.
  • Academic Experience: For each course in your major, or supporting courses where skills were developed, list the brief course title (not the abbreviations and #). Then briefly describe projects, research papers, presentations, topics, etc., to highlight knowledge and skills gained.
  • Leadership Experience: For any organizations where you have held formal or informal leadership roles, give your title, and describe your accomplishments/skills used.
  • Honors/Awards: List any received.
  • Technical/Computer Skills: List equipment or individual computer programs that you can use.
  • Activities/Community Service: For any items where you don’t have significant leadership roles, list the name of the group and or service activity.

Tailor Your Resume

1. Identify a specific job target and find a job description that interests you.

2. Save a copy of ResumeAll with a job target name, e.g. Broadcasting Resume

3. Review the qualifications, skills sought, etc. from the job description and then begin eliminating less relevant items from the Broadcasting resume. The goal is to end up with a 1 page resume that highlights all the skills you can offer that connect with the qualifications listed.

4. Write a focused objective statement that relates to the job description. Sample objectives include:

  • Employment as a writer or editorial assistant with a newspaper, magazine, or public relations firm.

  • Marketing research position in consumer products with major emphasis in the areas of market surveys or trend analysis.

  • To obtain a supervisory position in an accounts payable department that will utilize accounting skills and provide the opportunity for advancement.

  • A challenging position in the management of computer information systems. Areas of interest include applications programming and systems analysis.

  • Seeking an entry level position in the field of human resource management with interest in benefits administration.

  • Entry level electrical engineering technologist position with particular interest in process control, design and implementation.

  • Employment in the field of written communication. Areas of interest include technical writing or sports information.

  • To obtain an internship/summer position where I can apply my academic training to practical applications.

  • To obtain an electrical engineering position involving application in digital/analog electronics, communication systems, or microprocessor-based systems.

  • Pursuing an entry level position in the field of human resource management where I can apply my academic and work experience to personnel issues in an organizational setting.

  • To obtain a position in the management of computer information systems. Specific areas of interest include telecommunications, data structures analysis, and system design.

5. Save the revised, tailored resume. For each new broadcasting job, you can use the Broadcasting resume, possibly without any more tailoring.