Making It Happen

Anatomy of a Resume

A resume is an individually designed summary of your personal, educational, and experiential qualifications as they relate to the type of employment you’re seeking. It focuses attention on your unique background as related to your current career goals and clarifies, for a potential employer, your skills and your job objective.

Select a resume type:

A chronological resume is the most commonly used style. It is a listing of information, organized by categories, and presented in reverse order of occurrence within each category (i.e., the most recent on top).

A functional resume emphasizes capabilities, skill levels, accomplishments rather than job titles and durations. This format is only right for specific circumstances, such as changing careers or re-entering the workforce.

Pearl Baldwin

124 Oakview Drive, Dayton, OH 43113 | (614) 555-2314 | myemail@bu.edu

Profile

Writing, Editing, Public Relations

  • Experience as entertainment critic conducting interviews with artists, performers, and entertainment managers and agents.
  • Skilled copywriter, copy editor, and proofreader.
  • Excellent command of the English language: grammar, semantics, syntax, and punctuation. Knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style
  • Computer Skills: Mac and PC (MS Word, Q&A, Alpha 3)

Education

Boston University, Boston, MA
Bachelor of Arts in English, May 200-
Minor: Philosophy

Writing Experience

The Daily Free Press, Boston University, Bostonn, MA
Staff Writer (September 200- to May 200-)

Developed story ideas, researched and wrote feature articles, and met strict deadlines for Lifestyle, Entertainment, and Metro sections. Reviewed and critiqued musical, movie, and theater productions. Profiled entertainment personalities and lifestyle issues of college population. Covered local political events and breaking stories in the greater Boston area.

The Boston Phoenix, Boston, MA
Editorial Assistant (Intern) (Spring 200-)

Proofread and copyedited articles under direction of entertainment editor for weekly newspaper. Utilized computerized system to perform tasks. Assisted with layout. Served as telephone contact with advertisers to finalize text, layouts and costs.

Additional Experience

Read On Bookstore, Dayton, OH
Customer Service Staff (Summer 200-)

Advised customers on book selections. Completed special orders to maintain fully stocked inventory. Restocked shelves.

Wake-Me-Up Coffee Stop, Dayton, OH
Wait Staff (Summers 200-, 200-)

Provided customer service in multi-service coffee shop that maintained fully stocked, eclectic reading library and scheduled local folk bands for weekend performances.

Languages

  • Conversant in Spanish
  • Basic conversation ability in French

Activities

  • Boston University Creative Writing Club (200- to 200-)
  • Crew Team (200- to 200-)

Format & Appearance

In the initial employment screening process, your resume may get as little as 15-30 seconds of consideration. An effective resume should be easy to read, logical in layout, and highlight relevant information. It should also be error-free; that means no misspellings, typos, grammatical errors, inconsistent date formats, or inadvertently mixed printing fonts.

While some countries and cultures have different standards, it is important in the U.S. NOT to include certain things on your resume such as:

  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Health
  • Nationality or ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Salary requirements
  • References

Header & Contact Info

This section tells the employer who you are and how to reach you. It contains your name, address(es), phone number(s), and email address.

Profile/Objective

A profile, also called a "Summary of Qualifications," is a way to quickly summarize your relevant background in concise summary statements. Include up to five points matching the specific qualifications of the position. We generally recommend using a profile over an objective.

Alternatively, an objective is a short sentence including some of the following: the kind of position you want, the function(s) you want to perform, the skills you want to use, and the environment in which you wish to work.

Education

  • Name of the institution, city, and state.
  • Degree, major, year of degree (received or expected)
  • Optional:
    G.P.A. (overall or in major), minor.
  • Optional:
    Relevant coursework. Typically courses are not included. Only list courses that might not be expected as a part of your regular degree work and that would be relevant to the position you are interested in.

Experience

  • Include volunteer work, internships, student teaching, research projects, summer and part-time jobs, or other work experiences related to your field.
  • Include the name of the organization, city and state, dates of employment, job title, and a description of accomplishments, responsibilities, and outcomes.
  • Use short descriptive phrases beginning with action words to highlight your skills and accomplishments. Quantify impact when possible.

Special Skills

  • Examples of special skills include: computer and web proficiencies, typing and dictation (include speed), transcription experience, fluency in foreign languages and translation abilities, familiarity with multi-lined phone systems. Make sure to include any skill that’s industry-specific for the job you’re seeking.

Activities/Interests

List organizations to which you belong or have belonged. Do not list high school activities unless you are a first- or second-year student. An exception might be where a high school activity has been ongoing and extends into the present, or demonstrates an early interest in the career field you are now pursuing.

Pearl Baldwin

124 Oakview Drive, Dayton, OH 43113 | (614) 555-2314 | myemail@bu.edu

Profile

Writing, Editing, Public Relations

  • Experience as entertainment critic conducting interviews with artists, performers, and entertainment managers and agents.
  • Skilled copywriter, copy editor, and proofreader.
  • Excellent command of the English language: grammar, semantics, syntax, and punctuation. Knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Computer Skills: Mac and PC (MS Word, Q&A, Alpha 3)
  • Conversant in Spanish
  • Basic conversation ability in French

Professional Experience

Writing

  • Developed story ideas, researched and wrote articles, and met strict deadlines for Lifestyle, Entertainment, and Metro sections of an award-winning student newspaper.
  • Profiled entertainment personalities and college population lifestyles.
  • Covered greater Boston political events and breaking stories.
  • Contributed to regular writing, review, and critique sessions with peers as part of membership in a creative writing club

Editing

  • Proofread and copyedited articles under the direction of the entertainment editor for a nationally recognized weekly newspaper.
  • Utilized computerized system to perform tasks
  • Assisted with layout

Customer Service

  • Served as telephone contact with advertisers to finalize text, layout, and costs at a major weekly newspaper
  • Advised customers on book selections at an acclaimed local bookstore.
  • Completed special orders to maintain fully stocked inventory
  • Provided customer service in multi-service coffee shop that maintained a fully stocked, eclectic reading library
  • Scheduled local folk bands and weekend performances

Employment History

Staff Writer, The Daily Free Press, Boston University, Boston, MA

Editorial Assistant (intern), The Boston Phoenix, Boston, MA

Customer Service Staff, Read On Bookstore, Dayton, OH

Wait Staff, Wake-Me-Up Coffee Shop, Dayton, OH

Education

Boston University, Bachelor of Arts in English

Minor: Philosophy

Format & Appearance

As with any type of resume, the functional format should be easy to read, logical in layout, error-free, and should highlight relevant information.

In a functional resume, you’ll call out your skills and accomplishments rather than listing positions you’ve held with their associated responsibilities.

As with the chronological format, you’ll use a header that matches any other materials you’re sending, a profile or objective, experience, and education.

You should NOT include

  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Health
  • Nationality or ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Salary requirements
  • References

Header & Contact Info

This section contains your name, address, phone number, and email address.

Profile/Objective

A profile, also sometimes referred to as a summary of qualifications, is a way to quickly and concisely summarize your relevant background and skills in a prominent place on the resume.

Alternatively, an objective is a short sentence including some of the following: the kind of position you want, the functions you want to perform, the skills you want to use, and the work environment you’re looking for.

Experience

Break job experience down into specific areas related to the criteria of the job in question. Call out the experiences and responsibilities that make you a good candidate.

Include volunteer work, internships, student teaching, research projects, summer and part-time jobs, or other work experiences related to your field.

Use short descriptive phrases beginning with action words to highlight your skills and accomplishments.

Employment History

List the title of your position, the company who employed you, the city, and the state. You don’t need dates here—in a functional resume, you should list the positions in order of relevance to the job you’re currently seeking.

Education

Include the name of the degree-granting institution, city, and state. List the degree, major, and graduation year.

Optional
GPA (overall or in the major), minor

Optional
Relevant coursework. Be very selective, listing only courses that might not be expected as part of standard coursework for your degree, and would be relevant to the job you’re interested in.