RESUME2
 

Twardowski
Career Development Center

West Chester University

225 Lawrence Center
West Chester, PA 19383
General: cdc@wcupa.edu
Employers: recruit@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610.436.2501
Disclaimer


Resume Writing Guide for Alumni

The primary purpose of a resume is to summarize your experiences, education, skills, and accomplishments in order to ultimately get an interview. There are many accepted “best practices” in writing resumes – things everyone should do – and yet you still have a lot of flexibility with formatting and style to make yourself stand apart from others. Use this guide to help you build an initial resume but also utilize the professionals in the career development center and people in your network to get feedback on how to best present your strengths and experiences.

Formatting

Sections of a Resume: Education, Experience, Activities, Skills & more

Transferable Skills & Action Words

Sample Resumes

Get Resume Feedback & Assistance

Download a PDF of this Alumni Resume Guide


Cover Letters & Professional Communication Guide - Cover letters, thank-you notes, and other job search correspondence.

 

FORMATTING

An employer spends an average of 20 seconds looking at a resume – that’s it! Consequently, an easy-to-read, concise, consistent resume is critically important.

  • Many employers prefer a one-page resume just due to the sheer volume of resumes they must review, however a two-page resume is acceptable when your experience is relevant to justify the length.

  • Even spacing, alignment of text, margins, and consistent headings contribute to visual appeal.

  • Font size should be no smaller than 10-point and no larger than 12-point. Your name at the top of the page can be slightly larger for emphasis.

  • Use common font styles such as Times New Roman, Garamond, Cambria, Arial. Avoid intricate fonts or those with narrow or wide spacing.

  • Be consistent with your highlighting such as use of bold, ALL CAPS, underlining, and italics.

  • Avoid templates, tables, text boxes, borders, columns, and fancy fonts. All of these elements can cause problems for uploading to a web site or if the recipient is using a different word processing program that you utilized.

 

SECTIONS OF A RESUME

CONTACT INFORMATION

  • Include your name, address, telephone number, and professional e-mail address.
  • Use a telephone number and e-mail address at which you will reliably receive messages.

 

Robert J. Smith

8091 Market Avenue, #4B

Drexel Hill, PA 19026

484-111-2222

rjsmith@gmail.com

  

Samantha S. Martin

444 Westin Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19014

215-321-9876

martins@gmail.com

 

OBJECTIVE (optional)

  • An objective describes to the employer your current goal, often combined with your highlighted strengths.
  • Objectives are optional and in general most employers would rather you focus on presenting skills and accomplishments in your experience descriptions.
  • In the absence of a cover letter or email that explains your objective, to make your resume “stand alone” you could use one. The best objectives are specific and tailored.

 

Objective: Seeking a Brand Manager position in a consumer products company that will utilize my analytical, teamwork, and research skills.

  

OBJECTIVE

  • To obtain a Media Relations Specialist position in the Communications & Marketing Department.

 

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS / PROFILE (optional)

  • As an alternative to an objective, a profile/summary allows you to summarize skill sets and strengths that have been developed throughout all of your collective experiences.
  • Can be useful for a professional with a significant amount of work experience or for a career-changer who wants to emphasize skill sets first regardless of where those skills were acquired.
  • Considered optional because many employers still prefer to see your specific accomplishments in relation to the job in which you achieved them.

  

PROFILE

  • —Maintain critical thinking skills essential to providing competent and dignified patient care. Advocate for patients’ rights; strive to understand a patient’s needs and concerns.
  • Hardworking and energetic; flexible; adapt easily to change of environment and work schedule.
  • Personable with a positive attitude; interface well with patients, families, and nursing staff.
  • Team leader with able to create a positive working environment.

 

EDUCATION

  • List the name and location of each institution attended, the complete correct degree program and major, and the month and year of graduation. For individuals who graduated several years ago (there is no generally agreed upon number of years), you may opt to exclude the date of graduation to avoid being “dated” by that year.
  • Start with the most recent and highest degree first and work backwards.
  • If you have participated in professional development activities, you could include them in Education; however, those are often highlighted in a separate section for extra emphasis.
  • A year or two after graduation, GPA becomes irrelevant to most employers so only include it when requested.
  • A few years after graduation, it is more common to list Experience first and move Education farther down the page.  

 

EDUCATION

West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA

M.S. in Counseling: Higher Education/Student Affairs, May 2011

Temple University , Philadelphia, PA

B.A. in Psychology, May 1998


EXPERIENCE

  • A year or two after completing an undergraduate degree, you will begin to emphasize professional experience more than less relevant part-time jobs or internships from college.
  • As part of a master's degree program, you are likely to have had relevant experience as a graduate or research assistant that should be included and emphasized.
  • Include the name of the organization, location, your title or role, dates of employment or involvement, and descriptive information about your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Use present tense if experience is current and past tense if completed or in the past.
  • Avoid listing just job duties (e.g., “Answered telephone. Raised funds.”). Describe accomplishments, the quality of your work, and the scope of your involvement. Quantify achievements where possible.
  • If you have had a range of experiences, you can group them under more descriptive section headings such as Writing Experience, Teaching ExperienceTeam Leadership, and so forth. 

 

EXPERIENCE

Target, Exton, PA                                                                                     

Store Manager, June 2009 – May 2012

  • Recruited into Store Management Trainee program and progressed to leadership role within 16 months.

  • Drove sales by overseeing the guest service and merchandising of two departments with sales ranging from $2 - $3 million.

  • Supervised leadership team and conducted daily floor personnel meetings.

  • Acted as leader on duty, as well as opened and closed the store on assigned days.

  • Assisted with recruiting and hiring of sales associate team.

  • Received extensive training as part of store executive leadership experience.

  • Ensured excellent service by interacting with guests and team members.

  • Regularly achieved sales goals and maintained budget controls.

 

FUNCTIONAL FORMAT FOR EXPERIENCE

  • A functional resume organizes experience by skills sets or groups of “functions” that you can perform for an employer, which can be tailored/changed to fit different employers’ needs.
  • Typically create 3-4 functional sections to group all of your experience descriptions, regardless of where or when those occurred; create a separate Work History section to list job titles, where you worked, and the dates of employment.
  • This format is sometimes more accepted in sectors such as Education and Nonprofit, whereas in more corporate/technical settings the chronological approach may be preferred.
  • This format enables career changers and others to place more emphasis on skills and less emphasis on where those skills were developed. It can also help minimize gaps in employment history because all details are not organized chronologically.
  • Refer to the functional resume samples below to see how to construct this style of resume.

 

ACTIVITIES

  • As a general rule, the longer it has been since you graduated, the less likely it is that you will include college activities on the resume.
  • Your involvements as a student may be kept on the resume if particularly relevant to your current field of work or if they demonstrate a high level of accomplishment and leadership.
  • Community service, volunteerism, and related activities can still be relevant in the absence of other professional experiences. For career changers or individuals who may have left the work force for a period of time but are planning to re-enter the labor market, community and other involvements can be a good way to demonstrate skills and competencies.

 

ADDITIONAL SECTIONS

  • Other common sections of a resume include Professional Associations, Publications, Presentations, Certifications, Community Service, to name a few.
  • An Interests section is common for the traditional college student, but for alumni your focus should shift toward professional activities and involvements.

 

SKILLS

  • Usually a brief list of computer software applications you utilize, languages you speak/write as well as your level of proficiency, or areas of certification relevant to your field (e.g., C.P.R.). 

 

Skills: Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. Conversational Spanish.

 

REFERENCES

  • There is no need to put “References Available Upon Request” on your resume; while it can be a simple way to conclude the document, it often just wastes a line of space.
  • Create a separate page for listing your references, typically listing 3-5 individuals including: name, title, organization, address, phone and email.  If the relationship to you is not clear by the title, consider indicating their professional relation to you.  (Sample Reference Sheets)
  • Before listing someone as a reference be sure to check with the person; in addition, be sure to provide a copy of your resume.
  • If you have other information to point out, such as an e-portfolio or a website, you could include something like the following:

Professional Portfolio available at www.sampleportfolio.com/jsmith

                                                                          

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TRANSFERABLE SKILLS & ACTION WORDS

Transferable skills are an important component of your resume. Through different jobs and areas of involvement (volunteering, professional associations, etc.), you develop many skills that can relate to any career field. As you describe these experiences, you want to make sure that you are accurately highlighting the skills that you can offer to an employer. We encourage you to use strong action words to draw attention to the skills that you have. Below is a list of action verbs, separated by skill sets, to help get you started with the brainstorming process:

 

Leadership/Management

Administer

Encourage

Integrate

Persuade

Assign

Enforce

Interview

Plan

Coach

Evaluate

Lead

Present

Coordinate

Implement

Manage

Produce

Decide

Improve

Mentor

Recruit

Delegate

Increase

Motivate

Review

Develop

Influence

Order

Schedule

Direct

Inform

Organize

Strengthen

Empower

Inspire

Oversee

Supervise

 

Problem-solving/Decision-making

Adapt

Conclude

Expand

Plan

Adjust

Control

Improve

Receive

Anticipate

Deliver

Increase

Recommend

Attain

Distribute

Monitor

Reduce

Change

Eliminate

Obtain

Utilize

Complete

Establish

Perceive

Work

 

Communication (Verbal & Written)

Advertise

Direct

Negotiate

Report

Arrange

Draft

Persuade

Represent

Author

Edit

Present

Respond

Collaborate

Facilitate

Promote

Review

Communicate

Interpret

Proofread

Revise

Compose

Introduce

Provide

Sell

Correspond

Market

Publicize

Summarize

Describe

Mentor

Publish

Translate

Develop

Moderate

Recruit

Write

 

Teamwork/Helping/Interpersonal Skills

Advise

Encourage

Motivate

Relate

Aid

Ensure

Offer

Represent

Assist

Facilitate

Participate

Resolve

Coach

Guide

Promote

Serve

Collaborate

Help

Protect

Support

Contribute

Instruct

Provide

Teach

Coordinate

Interact

Recognize

Train

Counsel

Listen

Refer

Tutor

Educate

Mediate

Rehabilitate

Volunteer

 

Analytical/Quantitative/Research

Analyze

Examine

Learn

Solve

Assess

Experiment

Observe

Study

Clarify

Extract

Organize

Summarize

Collect

Formulate

Predict

Survey

Critique

Hypothesize

Process

Synergize

Determine

Identify

Prove

Synthesize

Diagnose

Inspect

Question

Systematize

Discover

Interpret

Reason

Test

Dissect

Interview

Research

Troubleshoot

Evaluate

Investigate

Review

Weigh

 

Initiative/Flexibility/Adaptability/Creativity

Act

Display

Institute

Photograph

Adapt

Draw

Integrate

Plan

Compose

Establish

Interpret

Play

Conduct

Express

Introduce

Print

Create

Fashion

Invent

Publicize

Customize

Illustrate

Model

Revitalize

Design

Imagine

Originate

Show

Develop

Initiate

Paint

Sketch

Direct

Innovate

Perform

Write

 

Computer/Technical

Assemble

Design

Lift

Program

Build

Drive

Maintain

Remodel

Calculate

Engineer

Make

Repair

Compute

Fix

Operate

Solve

Conserve

Handle

Overhaul

Treat

Construct

Install

Produce

Upgrade


Detail-oriented/ Organizational Ability

Administer

Compute

Log

Retrieve

Approve

Define

Manipulate

Review

Arrange

Dispense

Monitor

Schedule

Audit

Distribute

Operate

Select

Budget

Estimate

Organize

Sort

Calculate

Execute

Prepare

Specify

Catalog

File

Process

Summarize

Check

Gather

Purchase

Supply

Classify

Generate

Raise

Systematize

Collect

Implement

Reconcile

Transcribe

Compile

Inspect

Record

Validate


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SAMPLE RESUMES


A variety of sample resumes are provided below which incorporate various formatting techniques. Depending upon one's field of employment, there may be industry-specific preferences or conventions - so be sure to do your research when deciding upon the approach you would most prefer to take with your resume.

Chronological Resume Sample1

Chronological Resume Sample2

Functional Resume Sample1

Functional Resume Sample2

Sample Reference Sheets

 

HOW TO GET HELP WITH YOUR RESUME

Here are the ways you can get feedback on your resume (we aim for 1-2 business days turnaround time) in order to strengthen the presentation of your skills and accomplishments:

1. Upload your resume to Ram Career Network - Ram Career Network is the official resume and job posting service for career-related jobs and internships. Alumni may create free accounts to access a range of features, including a resume review service.

  • Alumni who graduated before fall 2013: create a new account using a valid email address.

  • Your email will be validated and then you will receive an email enabling you to create your own password. Complete your profile the first time you log in.

  • From the main menu, click on My Documents.

  • Click the Add New button and you will be prompted with the document upload screen.

  • When you upload your first resume, it will go to “Pending Documents” and a staff member will review the resume within two business days. You will receive email feedback about your resume with suggestions for improvement, or it will be “Approved!”

Note: Because TCDC staff only review the FIRST resume you upload into the system, cover letters or other job search correspondence must be reviewed using our other services (see below).

2. One-on-One Appointments and Drop-in Hours

If you want in-person assistance, you may utilize our regular drop-in hours (Monday through Friday, 2:00 to 3:30 pm) during the academic year or call the office to schedule a 30-minute appointment during regular office hours. We offer telephone appointments for alumni who do not live in the immediate area and cannot come to campus.

We strongly prefer that you bring a draft of a resume with you to in-person meetings so we can provide you with the most useful feedback.  It doesn’t have to be good – that is why we are here to help you – but you will benefit more from the appointment if you have a rough draft already started. 

3. Email Service

You may choose to email your resume, cover letter, or other job search correspondence to cdc@wcupa.edu for feedback.

4. Drop-Off Service

You may bring a printed copy of your resume, cover letter, or thank-you note to the career center in 225 Lawrence and leave it with a staff member at the main welcome desk. You may pick up your documents with written feedback after two business days.