Writing an effective resume is key to a successful job search. A resume is often your first contact with a potential employer and can lead to an interview. It can also differentiate you from other candidates.

Writing an Effective Resume

Employers typically spend an average of 30 seconds reviewing a resume so it must be easy to read, highlighting your accomplishments and relating them to your job objective. A good resume shows, at a glance, how you can benefit a company and why an employer should consider you for a position. The following handout (linked below) gives you an overview of the basics of resume writing.

Your Resume is a Marketing Tool

Think of your job search as a marketing campaign. You are selling a product (your skills) to a consumer (an employer).  But you are in competition with many others who may have similar skills. How do you position yourself so you stand out from the pack? What makes you unique? Your resume is one way to market yourself to an employer. Select a style and format that effectively tells an employer why and how you can benefit the company and what makes you different from other candidates.

What To Include

  • Name, address, phone number and e-mail
  • Job Objective
  • Profile, Skills Summary, or Highlights of Qualifications (opt.)
  • Education/Training
  • Work Experience
  • Activities/Special Skills


More Information

For resume examples and detailed instructions, see our Effective Resumes Handout and these other helpful links:

Main topics in the handout include:

  • Great Beginnings: How to Start Writing
  • Basic Guidelines
  • Design Tips
  • Do's and Don'ts
  • Formatting
  • Accomplishments Worksheet
  • Verb List for Resumes and Letters
  • Electronic Resumes and Cover Letters
  • Producing Scanner-Ready Documents