Resume Writing

What is a Resume?

The word “resume” is a French word meaning “summary”. Often times, you’ll hear a resume referred to as a “vitale”; a Latin word meaning “data about life”. They are both the same thing – a simple, well-organized profile of your experiences and qualifications. A resume is your calling card when you apply for a job. Usually, your resume has to sell an employer on giving you an interview. Interviews get the job; resumes can only get an interview. Very often, personnel people will pattern the interview on the resume they have received from you. Thus, it is essential that you have a resume and that it be a good one.

A resume should contain brief but sufficient information to tell a prospective employer:

  •  Who you are
  •  What type of job you would like to do
  •  What you can do
  •  What you have done
  •  What you know

Your resume is often the first contact an employer will have with you, so it is important that you present yourself to your best advantage. Your resume must look professional and read professionally.

Part of the Resume:

Heading: Be sure to place your name, your current address, and your current phone number at the top of the page. Make it easy for an employer to reach you. Note: If you are away from home much of the time, you might want to list an alternate number. Remember: if you move, change your name, or change your phone number; change it on your resume. Objectives: It is wise to have an objective. The employer needs to know what position you are seeking. You do not need to explain your long-term objective; he is only interested (as far as the resume is concerned) in what you want to do at the present. Objectives should be short and to the point.

Do: I am looking for a position of responsibility in the printing industry, utilizing training and “hands-on” experience in photo typesetting and camera-ready layout.

Don’t Do: A management or supervisory position where the ability to conceptualize and follow through on new or existing programs is needed, as well as a position with growth and upward mobility that would utilize maximum potential.

This is too general or flowery. (What does this person really want to do?)

Work Experience:

When describing what you did on previous jobs, use action words (like Accepted Accomplished, Accounted for, Achieved, Acquired, Acted, Adapted, Addressed, Adjusted, Administered, Advised, Advocated, Allocated, Analysed, Applied, Appointed, Appraised, Approved, Arbitrated, etc.).

Describe job duties and skills – not just job title. If you have done something in a previous job that relates in any way to your objective, be sure to include this.

Point out your strongest experience first.

Be sure to mention any jobs where you can say that you made specific “accomplishments” in your position. Be sure to mention any jobs where you can say that you made specific accomplishments” in your position.

If you have had little work experience in your filed, but do have the training for this kind of position, put down Education first. If you have work experience in this field, but so far, little training put Work Experience first.


Under education, do not just state that you have graduated from Columbus State Community College in your technology. List some courses you have taken that will show the employer that you have knowledge about this field. If applicable to your technology, list machines you can use, skills you have acquired, languages you have studied. Be sure to list any other training (other than-Columbus State Community College) that you may also have had in this field.


Do not mention salary – either from previous employment or from expectations for your new position.

Volunteer: Remember to include volunteer work in the general area of your field. Extensive hobby work in your area can also build up your credibility. Be sure to include co-ops, internships, or field experiences. Experience is experience, paid or not.


Listing your personal information such as birth date, marital status, etc., is sometimes beneficial, sometimes not. This is definitely a personal preference. However, for most positions, no one will care about the colour of your hair, your eyes, etc.


It is generally acceptable to simply put “References available upon request”. If you list names, etc., some of your references may move, quit jobs, etc., and you will have to do the resume all over again. An alternative to listing references on the resume is to have them on a separate sheet of paper, and take this sheet to your interview.

Resume Checklist:

  •  Did you list educational activity such as training?
  •  Do you have experience in money management?
  •  Do you have any people management activities?
  •  Have you listed organization-building activities?
  •  Have you mentioned your people skills?
  •  Do you have selling experience?
  •  Have you discussed your ability to interact with customers or clients?
  •  Have you included your ability to work as part a team?
  •  Have you listed your trouble-shooting or problem solving skills?
  •  Have you mentioned your ability to organize data?
  •  Have you listed activities when you organized projects?
  •  Did you include your writing skills?
  •  Did you include your ability to lead others?
  •  Have you listed all extracurricular and volunteer work?
  •  Have you included your particular values and work ethics?