This Résumé Guide Book is provided for COM Students
and Alumni by the COM Career Services.
Therefore, all information in this Guide Book is
geared towards communication careers only!

Just how important is your résumé? Since it is the first work sample that a potential employer sees, it is extremely important. Writing an effective résumé is no accident. It doesn't just happen. You can't sit down the night before an important interview and type out a résumé that will accurately represent your background, education, knowledge, skills and related experience. Résumé writing requires careful thought and planning. There are several types of résumés to choose from; however, the most frequently used and most acceptable is the reverse chronological résumé. This booklet includes the basic information to assist you in writing your résumé.

Résumé Styles Most Commonly Used in Communications

Basic Résumé

Best suited for those seeking an internship or entering the job market without related experience, this résumé should contain the following information. You may vary the order of information.

  • Name, address with zip code
  • Telephone number with area code
  • E-mail address
  • Objective (since there is no related experience to show a focus, an objective should be used)
  • Education (related course work) & (honors and awards)
  • Activities
  • Skills (language and computer)
  • Summer or part-time employment
  • Interests (optional)

Chronological Résumé

Most frequently used by applicants who have related experience, this highly popular résumé offers the best opportunity to highlight achievements. The experience is shown in reverse chronological order, the last or present job being given first. The various positions held at one company should also be described in reverse chronological order. This order shows the applicant's growth and development, characteristics of great interest to employers.

  • Name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • Objective (optional but highly recommended)
  • Related Experience, listing name of company, city and state it is in, title held, dates of position, and a brief description of responsibilities and accomplishments
  • Additional Experience, listed the same as related experience except with smaller or no description of position
  • Education
  • Activities
  • Professional affiliations
  • Skills (language and computer)
  • Interests (optional)

Functional Résumé

This less popular résumé organizes work experience by function, disregarding chronology. The functional résumé stresses the scope of experience. It has the disadvantage of not relating accomplishments to the pertinent company or companies. Most employers are familiar with other companies, especially in the same industry, and take company affiliations into account when judging accomplishments. The same experience is more impressive if gained at a widely known company than at an unknown company. The writer of a functional résumé, not being hampered by chronology, can easily change emphasis or camouflage past experience. This is advantageous in cases in which past job experience is best explained in a personal interview, rather than in writing. However, be careful that in camouflaging your experience you do not bring attention to the fact that you are hiding something.

Creative Résumé

This résumé is most commonly used when applying for creative positions in advertising or television. The creativity may consist in paragraphing, layout, decoration, color, method of folding, or drastically different writing.

Basic Steps to Résumé Writing

  • Assemble the raw data
  • Write an initial draft
  • Select the most relevant data
  • Translate the data into suitable language
  • Your sentences and paragraphs are the building blocks that you can move around to fit your chosen résumé form
  • Select your résumé format
  • Write your résumé

Characteristics of a Good Résumé

  • Neat
  • Well-organized
  • Easily and quickly read
  • Key information highly visible
  • Proper length - not too short, not too long
  • Includes brief, but complete job descriptions
  • Depicts key accomplishments
  • Comprehensive - provides complete account of key areas of interest to prospective employers

Characteristics of a Poor Résumé

  • Poor organization - difficult to read
  • Sloppiness - portrays carelessness
  • Narrative approach - too lengthy
  • Job functions vs. accomplishments focus - fails to sell capability
  • Insufficient information - can't fully evaluate
  • Too much information - too time consuming
  • Boasting and bragging - insults employer's intelligence

Skills Inventory Sample

The following list of skills will help you as you brainstorm in the preparation of the employment experience category on your résumé.  

Leadership Skills:
  • Initiating projects and ideas
  • Solving problems
  • Making difficult decisions
  • Directing others
  • Promoting/facilitating change
  • Taking risks
  • Working self-directedly
  • Confronting others effectively
  • Gaining cooperation of others
  • Winning confidence of others
  • Leading organized groups
  • Intervening in crisis

Management Skills:
  • Setting, accomplishing goals
  • Designing projects
  • Managing time (self/others)
  • Trouble shooting
  • Formulating, interpreting policy
  • Delegating authority/tasks
  • Establishing task priorities
  • Contributing to team-building
  • Supervising others
  • Anticipating future needs
  • Managing people/things
  • Coping with ambiguity

General Communication Skills:
  • Reading with comprehension
  • Explaining concepts well
  • Writing explicitly/concisely
  • Listening intently/accurately
  • Thinking quickly on one's feet
  • Reporting accurately
  • Editing effectively
  • Translating foreign languages
  • Writing persuasively
  • Speaking effectively
  • Questioning effectively
  • Speaking convincingly

Action Words

Describe your experience in terms of what you have accomplished. Use action verbs, adverbs, and adjectives for strengthening your descriptions of your experiences. This approach is much more powerful than merely describing duties or responsibilities. Some examples are:


accelerated
accomplished
accounted for
achieved
acquired
added
adjusted
administered
advised
aided
alphabetized
analyzed
anticipated
applied
appointed
appraised
arbitrated
argued
arranged
assessed
assisted
assumed
assured
attended
authored
authorized
awarded
began
bolstered
boasted
brought
briefed
brought
budgeted
built
calculated
catalogued
caught
caused
chaired
changed
checked
chopped
chose
classified
cleared up
closed
combined
communicated
compared
completed
composed
conceived
concluded
conditioned
conducted
constructed
continued
contracted
controlled
convinced
coordinated
copied
corrected
counseled
counted
crafted
created
critiqued
dealt
debated
decided
defined
delegated
delivered
demonstrated
designed
determined
developed
devised


did
digested
diminished
directed
discovered
drafted
dramatized
drew up
dropped
earned
edited
educated
elected
employed
encouraged
enjoyed
enlarged
enlisted
ensured
entered
established
estimated
evaluated
excelled
executed
exercised
expanded
expedited
explained
explored
familiarized
filed
financed
forecast
foresaw
formulated
forwarded
fostered
found
gained
gathered
gave
grabbed
graded
greeted
grossed
guided
handled
hastened
heightened
helped
highlighted
hiked
housed
hunted
identified
implemented
improved
included
incorporated
increased
indicated
initiated
innovated
inspected
instructed
insured
interpreted
interviewed
introduced
investigated
joined
kept
labored
launched
lectured
led
licensed
located
looked


made
maintained
managed
mapped out
maximized
met
modified
monitored
motivated
moved
named
neatened
negotiated
netted
observed
opened
operated
ordered
organized
overcame
oversaw
paid
painted
participated
perceived
performed
persuaded
pioneered
placed
planed
played
policed
prepared
presented
prevail
processed
produced
profited
programmed
prohibited
projected
promoted
proofed
proved
purchased
put
qualified
quickened
ran
raided
realized
received
recognized
recommended
reduced
related
renovated
reported
rescued
researched
resulted in
returned
revealed
reviewed
revised
said
saved
saw
scouted
screened
scrutinized
selected
sent
served
set
shipped
shored up
showed
sifted
simplified


smoothed
solved
sought
spearheaded
specified
spoke
started
stated
stopped
straightened
streamlined
strengthened
stripped
studied
submitted
suggested
summarized
supervised
supported
surmounted
surveyed
targeted
taught
tested
tightened
took
took over
totaled
toured
tracked
trained
transferred
transformed
translated
traveled
treated
tutored
typed
uncovered
unearthed
unfurled
updated
upped
welcomed
won
worked
wrote

 




       
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