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Resume Style Guides

What's in a Resume?
It's all about Style

A resume is a written summary of your skills and work experiences. Presentation is as important as the information given. A good resume gets your foot in the door by ultimately leading to a job interview. Once you have gotten your foot in the door, use your verbal and non-verbal communication skills to land the job. Depending upon the position sought and your particular skills, it's important that you utilize the appropriate resume style. Use the Resume Worksheet (Word document--if you don't have Word, click here to download a pdf version) to get started. But, before you choose your resume style, follow these simple tips:

  • Make your resume brief, no more than 1 to 2 full pages
  • Use action verbs that are parallel to demonstrate your skills
  • Highlight accomplishments, but don't stretch the truth
  • Use correct grammar and correct punctuation and spelling errors
  • Avoid personal information such as your birth date and religion
  • Stress special skills and knowledge relevant to the position
  • Always type your resume on a computer
  • Make it appealing by using different fonts, no graphics
  • Invest in white or ivory resume paper

What Style is Right for Me?


The Chronological Resume
 
This resume is the most familiar. It often contains an objective. Your work history and education are listed in reverse chronological order-in other words your last or current position is listed first. Most college students and recent graduates use this type of resume.


USE THIS FORMAT WHEN

  • Your strongest work experience is reflected in your most recent job
  • You have a solid work history with few or no gaps in employment
Click here for Chronological Resume Sample




The Functional Resume

This resume is not organized around your work history, but rather around your skills and accomplishments. It is primarily recommended for those who have gaps in employment or those who have had lengthy absences in employment.


USE THIS FORMAT WHEN
  • Little of your work history pertains to the job you are seeking
  • You have several gaps in employment and want to highlight certain skills



The Combination Resume

This resume combines the features of the chronological and functional resumes. Specific skills and accomplishments are highlighted and a chronological work history is presented. This works well for those who are re-entering the workforce.


USE THIS FORMAT WHEN
  • You want to specifically highlight your skills suited for a particular position
  • You have a solid work history, but with few jobs

In today's technological society, some employers want your resume in an electronic or scanned format. You can use any of the resume styles mentioned earlier, but follow these simple tips to make the most of technically transmitting your information.


Electronic Resumes
 
These resumes are sent via email. Some employers want attached WORD documents, some prefer rtf files, or rich text formats. To prevent your resume from being scattered across the page, follow these tips:

  • Left justify all parts of the resume, not even centering your name and address
  • Don't use tabs between sections or words
  • Limit characters to 60-65 per line (including punctuation marks)
  • Save document in a plain, rich text format

Scannable Resumes

These resumes can be scanned and placed into employers' resume databases. Rather than employers making copies for several search committee members, all can have access to view the document at one central location. To prevent smearing or poor scanning, follow these tips:

  • Use plain white resume paper
  • Do not use small fonts, use Times New Roman 11-14
  • Do not italicize fonts or underline headings

Resume TOOLS of the Trade


Write it Down

Resumes shouldn't consist of random information. Organize your thoughts and write them down before you sit at the computer. Your time will be utilized more efficiently.

Download this Resume Worksheet (Word document--if you don't have Word, click here to download a pdf version) to get started!

Resume Action Verbs

When writing any resume it is to your advantage to describe your work duties with action verbs. Brief bulleted lists that begin with action verbs emphasize your strong points. Below are sample lists of action verbs according to various job skills.

Various Skills
Achieved
Arranged
Collected
Delivered
Designed
Enforced
Increased
Maintained
Organized
Purchased
Prepared
Scheduled
Supervised 
Technical Skills        
Assembled
Built
Calculated
Developed
Formed
Generated
Inspected
Installed
Maintained
Molded
Operated
Processed
Remodeled 

Sales Skills
               
Accomplished
Budgeted
Computed
Consulted
Demonstrated
Forecasted
Generated
Influenced
Marketed
Ordered
Produced
Projected
Sold 


Communication Skills

Addressed
Authored
Clarified
Created
Demonstrated
Drafted
Instructed
Presented
Persuaded
Proofread
Reported
Trained

Clerical Skills
Assigned
Catalogued
Charted
Compiled
Coordinated
Distributed
Edited
Identified
Ordered
Planned
Prepared
Recorded 
Helping Skills
Assisted
Attended
Comforted
Encouraged
Facilitated
Guided
Mentored
Nursed
Reassured
Served
Supported
Tutored 

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