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Resume Guide

Resume Formats


  • Describes your work history and education in reverse chronological order (from recent to oldest)
  • Great for job seekers who have real-world experience and no major employment gaps
  • Shows you have been steadily employed


  • Best for recent graduates who have little real-work experience
  • Organizes your past work experience into functional categories
  • Your skills are highlighted while your previous employers, employment dates, and job titles are given less prominence


  • Best for those job seekers who are willing to tailor their resume
  • Have the education and skills needed to be successful in a specific job
  • Combines elements of the chronological resume and functional resume

Resume Components


  • First line: full name
  • Subsequent lines: address, phone number, email address


  • Single sentence that commuicates what job you are hoping to fill
  • Some career experts are now suggesting a Headline vs. an Objective


  • One option is to use the advertised job title
  • Another approach is to create a personalized statement that connects you to the job you want

Hightlights of Qualifications

  • Choose three to six qualifications that best reflect those in the job posting
  • Answer "What can I do for an employer?" in this section

Educational Background

  • Start with your most recent degree (or expected degree)
  • Each section should include: name of institution, city and state, date of your graduation (ex. 05/2014), and degree you earned
  • Write "Expected" and the month and year you expect to graduate if you have not yet earned a degree

Certification and Licenses

  • Skip this section if you do not have any certifications or licenses that directly relates to the position
  • Include type of certification or license, name of school, city/state, and month and year you earned the certification/license
  • Add this information where it will be most effective (for example: the "Education" section or the "Highlights of Qualification" section)

Employment Experience

  • Include details of the work experence (paid or unpaid)
  • List dates of employment, job title, responsibilities, accomplishments
  • Use three to five bullet points per entry


  • List the skills the potential employer might be interested in (skills that make you better for the job). For example: bilingual, knowledge of specific software applications, etc.


  • Highlight your professional awards or academic honors
  • If you have just one or two, you can add the individual honor or award in another section


  • Use this section for any relevant publications or presentations
  • Skip this section if you do not have any publications or presentations

Professional Associations

  • List relevant professional groups or associations (titles, locations, membership dates)
  • Skip this section if you do not or have not belonged to any groups or associations

Additional Information

  • List any relevant accomplishments that do not fit in any other resume section
  • Use to list your awards, presentations, or professional associations if they are not substantial enough for an individual section

Relevant Coursework

  • If you have or are taking coursework that relates directly to the job goal, you may list those courses in this section


  • Add as an addendum to your resume
  • Endorsements have taken place of "References Available upon Request"
  • Personal endorsement from a collegue or supervisor that highlights your skills and abilities

Sample Resumes

Below are samples of resumes from Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL):