Your resume is a marketing tool representing a very special product: you! It is a succinct outline of your knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, and accomplishments relevant to your employment goals. Resumes are used to screen applicants for interviews and determine which candidates most thoroughly match the employer’s needs. This is done through a combination of human and electronic screening methods.
“Transferable skills” are the skills you acquire from part-time and summer jobs, internships, externships, research projects, coursework, roles in campus clubs/organizations, and class projects that transfer to future employment settings. Common examples of transferable skills include interpersonal, communication, leadership, presentation, technical, and organizational skills. You can identify important transferable skills for an internship or job by taking note of keywords and phrases in the job
Start Here: Begin with Self-Evaluation
- Think about your experiences, including internships, part-time and summer jobs, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, research, leadership, courses, course projects, and relevant independent projects.
- Assess what you have accomplished and the skills you have developed in each position.
Next: Research Your Target Market
- Meet with a career advisor, attend our workshops and events, and review career-related resources online, including Vault and Student-Alumni Career Connect system.
- Use the internship and job listings in Handshake to determine the knowledge, skills, and abilities employers are seeking.
- Compare your qualifications to the requirements highlighted in your chosen internship and job descriptions.
Then: Select a Resume Format
- Chronological: This is the recommended format for most internship and job seekers, including undergraduate and graduate students as well as recent graduates. Educational and work experiences are presented in reverse chronological order.
- Functional: This format is most often used by experienced professionals, career changers, and individuals with employment gaps. It emphasizes marketable skill sets and areas of expertise while de-emphasizing chronology.
- Combination: This hybrid format merges the chronological and functional by highlighting marketable skill sets and providing a brief employment history. It can be used by all job seekers.
Finally: Format Your Resume
Follow these guidelines when writing the different sections of your resume. Many of the sections are optional depending on your background.
- Contact information Name (bold, all caps)
- Email Address (keep it simple and professional)
- Mailing Address
- Telephone Number
- Objective, Profile or Summary (optional)
- Undergraduate students and recent graduates: can include an objective, which indicates the type of position and/or industry desired.
- The objective should be brief/concise. It should not be too general.
- More experienced candidates: You might include a profile or summary that highlights several selling points.
- Include university and location—Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
- Degree (B.S., B.A.), major and month/year of graduation (May 20XX).
- Can include minor, concentration, option, etc.
- List GPA if it is a 3.0 or above—can include major GPA.
- Study abroad information can be included in this section.
- Can include other colleges attended especially if you received another degree (such as an Associate’s Degree from a community college).
- Related/Relevant Courses (optional)
- List courses related to your major or the type of position to which you are applying.
- Include 6–10 courses—only course titles, you do not need to include course numbers, grades, or descriptions.
- Use two or three columns to save space.
- Honors/Awards (optional)
- Can be academic, athletic, or work-related.
- Include dates.
- Academic/Research Projects (optional)
- Include course/project title and dates.
- Describe your role, responsibilities, and accomplishments.
- Can use various titles for this section such as experience, work experience, related/relevant experience, internships, and/or employment
- Can include: part-time jobs, summer jobs, work-study jobs, internships, volunteer positions, class projects, etc.
- Include employer/organization name and location (city, state).
- List your position title and dates (month, year).
- Describe your duties and accomplishments highlighting key skills and qualities.
- Use action verbs when writing your descriptions.
- List experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent first).
- Activities/Leadership/Volunteer (optional)
- Can include community service, student/professional organizations, and athletic participation.
- Include any past or present leadership positions (with dates)—can also include a brief description of your leadership role.
- Use caution if you choose to include political or religious organizations. You may want to discuss this with a career advisor
- Skills (optional)
- Include computer/technical, laboratory, and languages.