Resumes & Cover Letters
Resume Writing Guide
Your resume is a marketing tool that introduces you to prospective employers. Overall, it is an opportunity to demonstrate your fit for a particular job opportunity. It explains what you would like to do for the employer by describing your relevant qualifications, skills and accomplishments.
Research the Position
To market relevant skills on your resume, visit the company’s website to learn more about the position and company for which you are applying. Talk to others you know who have worked for the company in similar positions. You may also want to visit websites such as glassdoor.com to learn about a company's interviewing style and questions they have asked other applicants.
Numbers are powerful because they highlight impact. Include numbers to show the amount of customers served, money saved or earned, time saved, efforts improved, or the result of each of the examples you offer.
Recent research shows that potential employers spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a résumé. Make sure your resume is easy to read by keeping these suggestions in mind:
- Use every day, professional language and avoid jargon
- Write in concise and easy to interpret sentences
- Give the facts, and don’t explain too much
- Double-space between sections
- Single-space within sections
- Bold or CAPITALIZE section headings
- Use bullet points when creating a list
- Proofread for spelling and grammatical errors
Make sure important keywords are in your resume. Keywords are the names of important tools, procedures, skills, or systems needed to do the work. Most employers scan for keywords when looking at a resume.
Consider adding keywords from the position description, but do not cut and paste information.
A chronological resume lists work experience starting with your most recent experience (also referred to as reverse chronological order). This type of resume is best for a student or graduate that has recent work history related to the position for which they are applying. Employers typically prefer this resume because it is easy to review jobs you have held.
This style of resume lists experiences using skill subheadings. This format is best for someone with no work history or large gaps in their work history.
Skills are acquired in a variety of ways; formal training, college classes, volunteer experiences, projects, work simulations, and through various experiences during jobs you have held. First, identify 2-3 skill categories that relate to the job you are applying to, and second describe how you acquired the skills. You can list jobs in reverse chronological order, but only include the name of the employer, location, job title and dates. This format is generally not recommended as it may raise red flags with employers.
This type of resume combines the employment history from the chronological resume with the skills focus of a functional résumé. However, this resume can be redundant and lengthy if not done correctly.
Includes your first and last name, mailing address (optional), telephone number with area code, professional email address, LinkedIn url (optional), and a link to your online portfolio (also optional). When considering what phone number to list, be sure the number provided leads callers to a professional voicemail!
This is a short statement that includes the name of the position you are applying for, the company at which you are applying, and what you hope to contribute.
Summary of Skills (optional)
Instead of an objective, you may choose to list relevant skills that you possess in a bulleted format.
Includes your highest earned degree or certificate (i.e. high school, vocational school), and the degree/certificate you are pursuing at Palm Beach State College.
- Start with your most recent school or program.
- On the first line, list the school’s name and city/state the school is in.
- On the second line, name the certification or degree earned, plus the date it was awarded. If you haven’t completed the degree, you can write the anticipated date of completion. (i.e. 2019).
- If your GPA is above a 3.0, feel free to list this on the third line
Experience can include full and part-time work, volunteer, internship, military, and active membership involvement.
Start with your most recent experience. On the first line, provide the employer’s name and the city/state of the employer. On the second line, provide your job title, plus your beginning and ending dates of employment. Include 3-5 bullet points that highlight your skills and what you contributed to the position. This is not a job duty description, but a place to provide what you did, as well as an outcome.
Additional Categories (optional)
- Military Experience
- Certifications or Licenses
- Honors & Awards
- Relevant Coursework
- Community Involvement
- Professional/Student Groups
Check Out These Suggestions
Make Sure To:
- Use the same font (size and style) throughout
- Use margins between .5” and 1”, and fonts between 10 and 12 pts
- Tailor your résumé to the position you seek. The skills and experience should be adjusted to fit the job for which you are applying!
- Write brief phrases; full sentences are not necessary
- Support all activities with results and accomplishments
- Include PBSC on your resume even if you haven’t finished your degree yet
- Limit résumé to 1 page, 2 pages max
- Using fancy fonts or difficult to read styles
- Using pronouns such as; I, we, they, and my
- Using colored paper, and graphics or borders unless you are applying for a job in design, media, or film
- Including references information unless specifically asked for. Provide references on a separate document
- Including hobbies or personal interests unless they relate to the job
- Including a photograph
- Writing vague statements or meaningless generic objectives
- Using a font smaller than 10 pts
- Reasons for leaving a previous job
- Including personal data such as marital status, religion, children
- Starting phrases in the experience section with “Responsible for” or “Job duties included”
Sample Actions Words
Cover Letter Examples
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