What is a resume?   A method to market your skills – it is YOUR marketing and or branding tool…


The simple purpose is to get noticed and tell the employer you have the qualifications for ‘that’ position.   Your resume is not a ‘personal history’; it is not to show your failures and short comings.


How to get started:

Basic information; name, address, email address, phone number. Use the header/footer option in MS Word. Add your name and contact info at the top (header) and address info along the bottom (footer). USE THE WHOLE PAGE.

  • Analyze your information-what have you accomplished so far?
    • Education
    • Employment History
    • Acheivements
    • Skills - be specific(MS Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint)


  • Other considerations…
    • Volunteer work
    • Seasonal work
    • Family employment
    • Work for friends


  • Customize the resume; your favorite font, and add some color to the header/footer.


Organize your resume:

  • Decide on your categories and what should be first on your resume


  • Be consistent with formatting, font and font size, but nothing smaller than 10 point font. If you do not have a lot of content, use a larger font.

                               Example: 12 point font as headers

                               11 or 10 point font as body


  • Must be EASY ON THE EYES, meaning easy to read and well formatted.




  • Put your jobs in reverse chronological order. Your last/current relevant job goes first. If you are new to the job market, and do not have a job history, focus on your accomplishments. Consider high school,


  • What are your strengths? If you have worked for your neighbor, note those specific skills or tasks.   Make these your skillset.


  • Write out the job description, use bullets, and/or small sentences, whatever you choose. Truly, it doesn't matter-just be consistent.


  • Keep it simple, easy format, able to scan. People want to be able to glance at the resume and get the information they need.


  • Be clear and put your titles in bold. Translate strange titles into descriptive ones. For example, if your title was "Community Rock Star," write: Community Rock Star (Public Relations Specialist).


  • Create a reference page that includes people that you have worked with and will offer a good reference regarding your skillset. Include; name, place of employment or how you know them, title, email address and phone number.


  • USE POWER VERBS…   HERE is a list


DON’T….Start the process and expect to be done in one hour. Have enough time to set it aside and come back to it for revisions.

DON’T….Share Too Much Information-No birthdate, religion, hobbies, weight, social security number, marital status, links to Facebook or personal blogs, children, sexual orientation or life mission statements, NO PRIVATE INFORMATION. Potential employers need to know is how to reach you…phone number, email addresses.

DON’T….Make your resume too long. For the newer graduate or new to the job market 1 (one) page is the generally accepted length. KIS-Keep It Simple-no additional wordage.

DON’T….Forget to proofread. Get your friend, your neighbor, roommate, mother or father to look at it. You want them to look for spelling, grammar, and consistency. Does it make sense? Are the columns aligned, is it centered on the page, are you consistent with your formatting, have you used one font and are the font sizes consistent?

DON’T….use templates that are found on the internet. They are difficult to update and limit your ability to be creative. Make it your own resume.

                                     Here are a few resume examples: EXAMPLE 1       EXAMPLE 2

Reference page

Tips to use as you create your reference page:

   Include three to five references, and most of those should be people you know on a professional level.

   You MUST ask permission from your references before including them.

   Organize your references so that your strongest contact or contacts are first.

   Consider who would be a good reference for you.       Possibilities- for example, former or current employers, managers or supervisors, co-workers, professors, teachers or deans.

   If you don't have many professional references yet, you could include a couple of personal references, such as ecclesiastical leaders, classmates, members of community organizations for which you have volunteered. Make sure to note the name of the organization.

   Make sure to send your completed resume with reference page to your references, so that they will be familiar with your qualifications, experience, education, and so forth.

   Communicate with your references, let them know the job (s) you are applying for and/or the types of position (s) you are seeking.       Great networking opportunity.

   THINK… before including someone as a reference, will they give you a positive recommendation.

Format of the Reference Page

If you have created a header, use the header on your resume, cover letter and reference page.

Next, you should include the person’s name, company name, title or position, how you know this person, telephone number and email address of your references. As always, you must get permission from your references prior to using them on your reference page.

Check, check, check to make sure your information is accurate. The potential employers must be able to easily contact your references.


Remember…the reference page is an important addition to your cover letter and resume, so treat it as such.

Writing a reference sheet and including it with your resume is one way to show that you are prepared and professional. Remember…it may make the difference between whether or not you are granted an interview or hired for a position.