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 Students

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, your faculty and internship advisers, and others 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

How to Get Help with Your Resume

Download a PDF of the complete Resume Writing 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.

  • The traditional college student should have a one-page resume. A two-page resume is acceptable in many fields if 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, but not huge!
  • 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 unusual fonts; these elements can cause problems when uploading to a web site or if the recipient is using a different word processing program than you. Use Word or PDF documents for maximum flexibility (e.g., .doc, .docx, .pdf).

 

SECTIONS OF A RESUME

CONTACT INFORMATION

  • Include your name, address, telephone number, and a professional email address.
  • Use a telephone number and email address at which you will reliably receive messages.
  • If the school year is coming to an end and you are still applying for jobs or internships, you can list a school and a home address.

 

Robert J. Smith

8091 Market Avenue, #4B

Drexel Hill, PA 19026

484-111-2222

rjsmith@gmail.com

  

Samantha A. Martin

School:                                                                                                                Home:

987 E. Nields St                                                                                                   444 Westin Drive

West Chester, PA 19380                                                                                     Philadelphia, PA 19104

610-999-0000 (cell)                                                                                             215-321-9876

sm987654@wcupa.edu

 

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 and activities 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 marketing internship in a consumer products company that will utilize my analytical, teamwork, and research skills.

 

OBJECTIVE

  • To obtain a public relations assistant position in the Communications Department.

 

EDUCATION

  • List the name and location of each institution attended, the complete correct degree program and major, and the month and year of graduation.

    WCU Undergraduate Programs

    WCU Graduate Programs

  • Start with the most recent and highest degree first and work backwards. If you transferred or if you studied abroad, list these below your current program at West Chester University. If you only took a few classes elsewhere, you don’t necessarily need to list that institution.
  • You may choose to highlight 4 to 8 relevant courses (optional). Courses should showcase subject knowledge or professional skills; a course list can provide added content if you have less experience. List descriptive course names, not course numbers.
  • Unless you are still a first- or second-year student and/or have significant leadership or other involvements, high school does not need to be included.
  • You may also include your minor(s), GPA, and program accreditation information (if relevant to your major).

          A Note about GPA:

    • The general rule is to list your GPA if you have a cumulative 3.00 or better.
    • Some employers advertise GPA preferences in their employment opportunities. In this case you should always list your GPA; many employers will consider students who fall below the minimum if they have other experience, leadership, or skills.
    • On your WCU transcript GPA is reported to three decimal places (e.g., 2.778). Based on a survey of employers in March 2013, most find it acceptable for you to round to the hundredths place (e.g., 2.78) or even the tenths place (e.g., 2.8); however, 11% DO NOT think you should round up at all.
    • It is never acceptable to round up the whole number (e.g., 2.999 cannot be rounded to 3.0).
    • We recommend you report your GPA to two decimal places.

 

EDUCATION

            West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA

            Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, May 2014

 

            Delaware County Community College, Media, PA

            Completed general education courses, 2010-2011

 

Education

        West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA

        Bachelor of Science in Accounting                                                                        December 2014

  • AACSB Accredited Business School Program
  • Major GPA: 3.67; Cumulative GPA: 3.54
  • Will have 150 credit hours completed upon graduation

 

EXPERIENCE

  • This section may include paid or unpaid full-time and part-time jobs, internships, student teaching, volunteer positions, and other activities in which you developed relevant skills.
  • Include the name of the organization, location, your title or role, dates of employment or involvement, and descriptive information about your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Avoid listing just job duties (e.g., “Answered telephone. Raised funds.”). Describe the quality and scope of your work, accomplishments. Quantify your achievements where possible.
  • Use present tense if experience is current and past tense if completed or in the past.
  • If you have had a range of experiences, you can group them under more descriptive section headings such as Writing Experience, Teaching ExperienceLeadership, and so forth.

 

EXPERIENCE

       KPMG, Philadelphia, PA                                                    June – August 2013

       Accounting Intern

  • Utilized Excel and QuickBooks to track financial and tax record information for clients.
  • Worked with a team of five auditors and received daily mentoring on client relations.
  • Published online article on international convergence of accounting standards:  http://ezinearticles.com/?id=1138407

       Wegman’s Food Market, Exton, PA                                July 2009 – June 2013

       Cashier

  • Provided efficient and friendly customer service while processing sales.
  • Trained an average of three new cashiers monthly as well as all seasonal employees.

  

WRITING & EDITING EXPERIENCE:

Freelance Writer, January 2012 - present

Daily Local News, West Chester, PA

  • Contribute articles on demand in a timely manner on topics such as politics, current technology trends, and entertainment

Wire Editor, January 2012 – May 2013

The Quad, WCU Campus Newspaper

  • Selected, edited and compiled news stories for four pages of campus-wide circulation to over 13,000 students

 

ACTIVITIES & INVOLVEMENT

  • Involvement in student groups, athletics, service learning, and volunteerism helps you develop important communication, leadership, teamwork, and other transferrable skills that are highly valued by employers.
  • You may present your involvements in one section, such as Activities, or you might have several sections that group different types of involvement, such as Leadership and Volunteer Service.

 

ACTIVITIES

  • Black Student Union, Sep 2011 - present
  • Peer Mentor, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Aug 2011 – May 2013
  • Career Ambassador (career fair volunteer), Mar & Oct 2012

 

LEADERSHIP

Leadership Consultant, Office of Student Leadership and Involvement (Fall 2012 – current)

Organize and facilitate leadership development programs on campus. Work with an executive committee to plan the annual Leadership Conference in February.

 

Treasurer, Finance and Economics Society (Fall 2011 – Spring 2012)

Managed and allocated organization budget, submitted funding requests to SGA, and reviewed financial status monthly with faculty advisor.

 

ADDITIONAL SECTIONS

  • Other common sections of a resume include Publications, Presentations, Honors and Awards, Professional Associations, and Interests.
  • Publications and presentations provide an opportunity to showcase your communication skills and/or content expertise. Provide complete and accurate details of where a potential employer can access your publication.
  • Interests can provide insight into your personality and topics for small talk during interviews. If you are short on space, this is a less critical section. Avoid casual interests like "hanging out with friends" but rather focus on hobbies or activities that showcase professional attributes or qualities.
  • If you only have one award and it was academic in nature, you can list it under Education instead; if it was in relation to a job you held, you could list it under that job description.

 

PUBLICATION

  • Co-authored and published journal article with professor: Samuel Harrington and David Cooper. Tax Season Annual Provisions. Journal of Accountancy, 4(1) 12-16 (2012).

PRESENTATIONS

  • Recruiting Organization Members through Social Media.  Presented to over 75 student leaders at WCU Leadership Conference, March 2012.
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Collaborated with five students to present topic in class and write research paper for seminar course.

 

INTERESTS:     Off-road biking, intramural soccer, and hiking the Appalachian trail.

 

SKILLS

  • Usually a brief list of computer software applications you use, languages you can 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, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Conversational Spanish

 

REFERENCES (optional)

  • 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 professional 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-PDF)
  • The reference page should have your name and contact information at the top (you can use the same heading as you do on your resume for a professional, consistent look).
  • 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 at the bottom of your resume:

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 areas of involvement (academic projects, part-time jobs, internships, volunteering, campus activities, 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 some specific details relative to fields in each of the five Colleges. While there are many accepted good practices of resume writing, you have choices with regard to how you structure your information. Frequently resumes in the sciences and technical fields share more in common with each other than with arts or humanities resumes, for example; but take a look at many samples to determine which format is best for you and your experiences.

                                                                       

Arts and Sciences

CASsample1

CASsample2

CASsample3

CASsample4

CASsample5

Business and Public Affairs

CBPAsample1

CBPAsample2

CBPAsample3

Visual and Performing Arts

CVPAsample1

CVPAsample2

CVPAsample3

Education

COEsample1

COEsample2

COEsample3

COEsample4

Health

CHSsample1

CHSsample2

CHSsample3

Additional

Federal Government

International/Study Abroad Experience

Student Athlete


View more resume and cover letter samples in the digital edition of the Job Choices magazine:  http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nace/JobChoices0812/index.php#/48

Interested in applying to opportunities abroad? Learn about country-specific resume guidelines: Goinglobal

 

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.

  • Students: log in to your account using your WCU Network ID (e.g., AB654321@wcupa.edu) and 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 the career center only reviews and approves the FIRST resume you upload, 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

For in-person assistance, you may utilize our drop-in hours (Monday through Friday, 2:00 to 3:30 pm) during the academic year or call the office at 610-436-2501 to schedule a 30-minute appointment during regular office hours.

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.