Resumes 101

Resume videos -- Great resume advice from 

Your resume needs to answer one important question for the employer: Why should I hire you?

To prepare a resume that answers this question, keep the following points in mind:

  • An effective resume is personalized to show you are a good match for the job by highlighting the skills/qualifications you possess that they require.
  • An effective resume is not just a chronological list of your work experience, but a selective outline of your relevant experience that is carefully written.
  • Your resume must include the necessary information in an appealing, easy to read format.

When developing a resume, ask yourself: What message do I want to communicate to the employer?

To answer this question, you must:

  • Know yourself
  • Know the organization!
  • Know the needs of the organization
  • Know the requirements and responsibilities of the position

How to Start a Resume:

Follow the steps below or use our free online resume builder.  It's quick and easy to use.

Step 1: Review a variety of resume samples - Learn how resumes are put together from the examples of others.  Don't try and reinvent the resume.  Certainly, you want to stand out from other candidates. However, make sure you are in line with the resume trends of today (i.e. what's acceptable, what's not).  

When developing a resume, there are many places to go for samples:

  • The OC Career Resources Library
  • Online Samples according to your area or field of study

When looking at samples, consider the following questions::

  • What do the headings and format quickly tell the reader?  Keep the format uniform throughout.
  • What does the order of the section headers and descriptive phrases tell the reader? Always list the most important title first, then the organization name, and then the duties in bullets.
  • How are experiences described? Describe in detail using a bullet format.
  • How is white space used?  Make sure white space is used to visually break up sections.

Step 2: Inventory your skills, accomplishments, and experiences (make lists)

Consider including the following information:

  • Educational institutions
  • Relevant courses
  • Projects and presentations (if relevant)
  • Study abroad
  • Paid work/on-campus jobs
  • Volunteer work/community service
  • On-campus activities / leadership
  • Internships
  • Awards/honors
  • Skills

Step 3: Prepare a draft – and have it critiqued by Career Services.  Email to set up an appointment.