Whether you are crafting your first resume or updating an existing one, here are some tips and guidelines that can surely help you out.
Tailor Your Resume
While it is tempting to develop a "basic resume" once then simply update it as time passes, this approach is not be as effective as tailoring each resume to the specific employer and position. Select a resume style based on your experience and qualifications as well as the type of position for which you are applying.
- Chronological - Lists experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent to least recent) and emphasizes a continuous career path of increasing responsibility. The most commonly used resume format by students and recent graduates.
- Functional - Organizes experiences according to specific functions or skills. Employers and dates are listed, but with minimal details. Commonly used by career changers to emphasize the transferability of their skills, or by those reentering the work force after an absence.
- Combination - Merges elements of the first two and typically begins with a summary of qualifications for a particular position before reverting to a more chronological style.
Choose headings that best highlight your skills and experience. Some common categories for students and recent alumni include:
- Summary of Qualifications.
- Related Coursework
- Experience or Related Experience
- Skills (Computer, Language, etc.)
- Involvement, Activities, Leadership
- Honors and Awards
Your resume must be visually pleasing and easy to read quickly.
- Avoid "wizards" or templates that reduce your control
- Use margins of at least 3/4 inches all around
- Use bulleted statements beginning with action verbs in consistent verb tense rather than paragraphs
- Use bold, underline, and italics sparingly to highlight and separate sections
- Obtain input about both content and style from Career Services, faculty, former employers, and professionals in your field
- Develop an unformatted version of your resume for on-line applications
- Proofread several times and have at least 2 other people do the same
Different field/ industries may require different resume formats and experience sections. Below are some examples.
- The resume will probably be two pages. Employers will accept it printed front and back.
- An objective is not needed since the objective is to be hired for the specific job for which you are applying.
- List your education - the degree, endorsement(s), and date received or to be received. Noting your GPA is optional. List any study abroad experiences you may have had.
- Indicate both your Praxis status and the status of your teaching certificate.
- List your related experiences in education to highlight the range of your classroom experience. You may wish to develop a separate section for coaching experience or additional experience working with children/youth.
- List academic honors.
- Develop a section entitled "Professional Skills" to list language skills, computer skills, interpersonal skills, cultural experiences, and any other special skills or experiences that will set you apart.
- Develop sections regarding relevant coursework that strengthens your background in education, volunteer experience, campus or community involvement, and work experience not related to education.
A resume is most often used in business settings, briefer and focused on skills and accomplishments. A vita is most often used in academic settings and describes all related educational and professional experience. Most likely, you would submit separate vitae for positions in teaching, research, and administration. A vita is generally two to three pages long, although a senior faculty member might have one more than ten pages. UNL Graduate Studies offers information on vitas and other components of the academic job search.
- It is not necessary to begin with the title "Curriculum Vita." Include your name and page number at the top starting with page two.
- List the highest degree earned or anticipated first. Doctoral degree and candidates should list the dissertation title and advisor. Master's students may list the thesis title. Do not list grade point averages, however, you may say that you graduated with distinction or cum laude, etc. Additional coursework or private study (particularly for Fine Arts majors) can be included in the Education section or in a separate section. Do not list graduate courses or qualifying, comprehensive or preliminary examinations.
- List academic and professional honors, awards, and grants.
- List academic employment including teaching assistantships, internships, practicums, research assistantships, and field experiences. Subdivide into appropriate categories if you have had a variety of professional experiences. Typical subheadings could be: Teaching, Research, Administration, Consulting.
- For Fine Arts Majors, list performance or exhibit experience. Subdivide as needed to highlight experiences. List both professional and non-professional activities which may include: dances performed and/or choreographed, plays acted in or directed, one person shows, MFA exhibits, symphonies, performances, student and faculty recitals, etc.
- List publications. State completed publications, including those co-authored and those forthcoming. Cite in full, using the form customary in your field. These may be sub-categorized if needed (articles, reviews, encyclopedia entries, etc.).
- List presentations in reverse chronological order, with title, name of conference, location, and date.
- List research interests. Be specific, but do not make an extensive list.
- List professional activities, membership, or academic service that contribute to your professional credentials.
- Related experiences and skills such as languages and the level of fluency achieved, foreign study, or other significant employment can be included.
Academic resumes highlight your academic achievements, campus involvement, leadership and relevant experience and differ from ones used for jobs or internships. Possible headings for an academic resume include:
Creative resumes may include varied styling, formatting, and design elements. However, do not let your creativity obscure the intent and message of your resume. Create a great creative resume by following tips below:
- Make it easy for the employer to find key information about your education, experience, and skills
- Consider your audience when determining your design; some audiences may prefer a basic but stylized version while others may want a dramatic creative display
- Refer to the location or availability of your design portfolio
- Proof carefully as design software (InDesign, etc.) does not often include grammar/spelling tools
- Consider practical issues such as resume size and layout to ensure it can be easily transmitted and printed if necessary
- Develop a text only resume to easily copy/paste into online applications
The most effective federal resumes clearly articulate how an applicant’s skills and experiences align to the selection criteria defined by the job announcement. Include keywords in your resume based on your knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to the position.
- Typical federal resumes are 3-5 pages
- When including experience and involvement, include your role and a short description
- Include information on military experience, security clearances, and desired locations
Resume Reviews A face to face (or phone) meeting about your resume or cover letter is ideal. Please bring a printed resume to your appointment.
However, if you live outside Lincoln or cannot meet during regular office hours, a career advisor can provide feedback via e-mail. Send your resume and/or cover letter with a job description or brief explanation of what it will be used for. Allow 3 business days for response.225 NEBRASKA UNION Walk-ins | Hour Appointments through MyPLAN