Resume Tips

A resume is an outline or summary of your background addressing your qualifications, skills, education, and activities. Its purpose is to stimulate the interest of an employer and show the value you would add to their organization if hired.

Throughout the resume it is important to describe experience in terms of accomplishments. Use action verbs for a powerful description of your work or volunteer experiences.

Writing Your Resume

There is no set way to order your resume. The various sections described below should be included no matter what format is chosen.

Career Services is here to help you make the most of this important first impression to your potential employer.


The heading on your resume must include all of the following, your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Do not include nicknames or use funny or cute email addresses.

Make sure the voicemail message for the phone number listed is professional.

Profile, Professional Summary, or Qualifications (choose one)

This is a strong statement that describes what you can do for the employer. It can summarize your achievements, skills, and experience.

This should be tailored to each different position to which you apply.


List your most relevant degree first and include any seminars or workshops that would support the position you are applying for.

Other items that can be added are:

  • GPA if greater than or equal to 3.0.
  • Academic honors or awards.
  • Certificates.
  • Other highlights that show your academic character.

Coursework or Special Projects

These are optional sections that can be included with education. If you do not have much work experience, this can be an effective way to demonstrate accomplishments and experience to back up your objective.

Be specific and use concrete examples.


This section describes any full-time, part-time, or internship positions starting with the most recent.

Remember to emphasize duties, responsibilities, skills, and abilities as related to the open position.

Use action verbs and be specific with your examples to showcase accomplishments and outcomes that make you an excellent candidate for employment. Relevant volunteer work can also be listed if it relates to the job. Remember to emphasize accomplishments first, then duties and skills.

Quantify your resume whenever possible. For example: Do you manage a team? How many people are on the team? Do you have goals to meet? By how much did you exceed those goals?


List skills that support your objective including computer, language, specialized training, and experience with specific equipment.


Include any information on professional clubs, organizations, campus government, or community involvement that you are active in. For each activity, list the name of the organization, office held, and/or dates of membership.

Honors and Awards

If you have more than one of these, you can create a section to highlight them. Include name of award and date received.

Action Verbs

Accomplished Designed Instituted Received
Achieved Determined Instructed Recorded
Acquired Developed Insured Recruited
Added Devised Interpreted Reduced
Adjusted Directed Introduced Reorganized
Administered Displayed Invented Researched
Advised Distributed Investigated Reshaped
Altered Edited Lowered Revamped
Analyzed Effected Maintained Reviewed
Anticipated Eliminated Managed Revised
Approved Enlarged Moderated Saved
Arranged Equipped Modified Scheduled
Awarded Established Monitored Secured
Built Evaluated Motivated Selected
Catalogued Examined Negotiated Sold
Chaired Expanded Notified Solicited
Collected Followed Opened Sorted
Combined Formulated Operated Standardized
Compiled Generated Ordered Started
Completed Governed Organized Strengthened
Conceived Grouped Originated Succeeded
Condensed Guided Oversaw Supervised
Conducted Handled Participated Surveyed
Constructed Harmonized Performed Systemized
Contributed Illustrated Planned Taught
Controlled Implemented Prepared Tested
Coordinated Improved Presented Trained
Converted Incorporated Presided Transferred
Counseled Increased Processed Upgraded
Created Indexed Produced Utilized
Decreased Individualized Programmed
Delegated Initiated Promoted
Delivered Inspected Provided
Demonstrated Installed Purchased
Documented Instigated Raised

Contact Information

Career Services

Hawkeye Center Student Services 208
Email Career Services

Regular Hours — Spring 2023

Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm

If campus is closed, Career Services is also closed. This includes weather related closings. See the Academic Calendar for scheduled college closings.

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