Resume Basics

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Resume Basics

A resume is a snapshot of your professional qualifications.  It’s meant to quickly inform potential employers if you could perform the duties of the position they are looking to fill.  In short, a resume has one purpose: to get you a job interview.  Since resumes are only one to two pages in length, they have a limited set of components.  The most typical components that make up a resume are contact information, an objective, education, experience, and skills.  

Contact Information:  If an employer likes what they see on your resume, they need a way to contact you to set up an interview, which is why it’s important to provide the best ways to get in contact with you.  Make sure to exclude any personal information that could lead to any sort of discrimination, think: age, height, religion, martial status, etc.  All you should need is your name, phone number, email address, and a mailing address.

Objective:  An objective is a good way to inform an employer your intentions and why you applied for the position.  Some employers want to see an objective on your resume, and others do not.  Either way a targeted objective can help match your skills to the employer’s needs.

Education:  Listing your education is a good way for employers to tell if you are competent in the area the position is focused in.  Include an education you are currently obtaining and any you have previously received; this includes any certifications or licenses.  If you are obtaining a college degree, once you reach your junior year you can eliminate including your high school diploma information.  Once you have had a degree (or any time-specific education) for at least 5 years, you can leave off a graduation date to avoid discrimination.

Experience:  When listing your work experience, start with the most recent and work backwards.  Make sure that each position is relevant to showing that you have skills and experience that is pertinent to the position you are applying to.  Include job titles, the company name, date of employment by month and year, and a list of responsibilities that focuses on any achievements for each position that you list.

Skills:  The skills section of your resume allows you to inform an employer of any skills you have that may not have been specified in your work experience.  Remember to keep your list applicable to the position you are applying to.  Employers don’t care if you are great at knitting if you are applying to a computer science position. 

Once you think you have a solid resume ready to submit to an application, make sure to check out resources provided by the Career Design Center to help take your resume to the next level. 

We provided virtual drop-in appointments which allow students to have their resume reviewed by one of our graduate Career Peers.  These appointments are held via Zoom, and typically last between 10-15 minutes.  For virtual office hours and instructions on how to prepare for an appointment, visit our web page 

Want a more in-depth review of your resume?  Students can also meet with their designated Career Coach for a deeper review of your resume.  Appointments are needed at least 24 hours in advance.  You can set up an appointment with your Career Coach on AGGIE Handshake or by contacting our office.