Resumes are often the first thing that colleges and employers look at when considering an individual for candidacy or future employment. Not only does a resume illustrate your personal experience and knowledge, but it also provides a college admissions committee or employer with all of the contact information needed to set up an interview, offer enrollment, or offer employment.
Resumes provide insight into what type of student and employee you are or will be in the future. They are also helpful to give when you approach someone to serve as a reference for you or write a recommendation letter on your behalf. By providing a resume, they have accurate and concrete details about you and your experiences. Putting together a resume for the first time can be a scary and overwhelming task, but here are some helpful hints to make the process easier.
Our North Allegheny School District students are encouraged to create their own resumes within their Naviance account.
Things to Consider When Making a Resume
- Never make anything up! College Admissions offices can call your high school to verify information, and employers can call the jobs listed to find out if you truly worked there.
- Do not worry if it is short. An accurate and comprehensive account of experiences is more important and appropriate than including false information or embellishing valid information.
- Be consistent in the format of the resume. For example, if one heading is in boldface, all other headings should be as well.
- Use correct language. Resumes should not be written in first person and the use of “I” and “my” should be avoided.
- Proofread! Spelling or grammatical errors make an individual appear careless.
- A resume should be typed, not written.
- Save a hard copy as well as a copy on a disc or flash drive. It is easier to update and email to colleges and employers.
- Update the resume frequently as new activities and experiences occur.
- Use personal style to show creativity and capability with computers.
- Keep it simple and make it easy to read and follow.
- Use resume-quality paper for your final copies that will be submitted to colleges or employers.
Action Verbs to Use in Your Resume
Accelerated Alerted Categorized Conducted
Accepted Allocated Centralized Connected
Accommodated Amended Chaired Constructed
Accomplished Analyzed Challenged Contracted
Accounted for Answered Changed Contributed
Achieved Anticipated Channeled Controlled
Acquired Assembled Checked Converted
Acted Assisted Clarified Conveyed
Adapted Audited Classified Coordinated
Added Briefed Cleared Created
Addressed Brought Closed Cultivated
Adjusted Budgeted Coached Demonstrated
Administered Built Coded Designed
Adopted Calculated Collaborated Developed
Advertised Campaigned Collated Devised
Advised Cared for Collected Discovered
Advocated Carried out Comforted Drafted
Affirmed Catalogued Composed Edited
Aided Insured Condensed Eliminated
Employed Interacted Performed Reviewed
Enforced Interpreted Petitioned Selected
Established Interviewed Planned Separated
Evaluated Launched Played Served
Expanded Learned Prevented Set up
Explained Maintained Produced Shadowed
Filed Managed Programmed Simplified
Folded Marketed Promoted Solicited
Forecasted Minimized Provided Solved
Formed Motivated Publicized Staffed
Founded Negotiated Published Supervised
Generated Obtained Ran Surveyed
Guided Operated Recruited Taught
Handled Organized Removed Tested
Hired Originated Reorganized Trained
Hosted Outreached Reported Tutored
Implemented Oversaw Researched Updated
Improved Participated Resolved Used
What to Include in a Resume
- Name, address, phone number
- Make sure it is a number where a person can leave a message and that the greeting on the voicemail is professional and appropriate.
- Email address
- Make sure that the email address is appropriate. If you are not sure, it is best to make a new one. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org, not email@example.com.
- School and graduation year
- Include any specialized areas such as technical or hospitality programs.
- Specialized classes
- Include any certifications or college courses.
- Fluency and number of years
- Do not exaggerate your level of knowledge.
- Computer skills
- Include any computer programs or systems you are proficient in. Examples include Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
- Other skills
- List any other specialized skills that you have that may be related to the jobs you are applying for.
- Name of honor or award and date received
- Only include this section if you have received honors or awards. Examples include National Honor Society, Positive Image Award, and Science Fair finalist.
- Any activity (paid or unpaid) that provided you with an opportunity to learn or use skills. Examples include afterschool jobs, internships, babysitting, volunteering, and community service.
- Possible headings for this section
- Employment Experience, Public Service, Community Service, and Work Experience.
- Organization name, location, and position that you held
- This section can be arranged chronologically to show your progression or advancement within an organization.
- Time period
- List how many weeks, months, seasons, or years you were there.
- Include a detailed description of your responsibilities in each position that you held. Do not use “I” in the descriptions. The list of action verbs are particularly helpful and useful here.
- Include any activities, clubs, or sports that you participate or participated in for your own personal enjoyment. This can also include volunteer experiences, leadership activities, and committees that you serve on.
- Possible headings for this section
- Extracurricular Activities, Personal Interests, School Activities, and Involvements.
- Activity name and your role
- Include the name of the activity or organization and your particular role if you had one.
- Time period
- Include your dates of involvement in each different activity or club.
References can include a former employer, supervisor, school counselor, teacher, coach, youth mentor, etc. You can either list your references along with their contact information (phone number, address, email address, and organization) or you can simply write, “References available upon request.” Always inform your references in advance that they may be contacted.
- Follow up with a thank you letter or note, particularly if you were offered admission or employment.
- Provides information on how to create winning resumes and compelling cover letters.
- Free resume writing help and resume samples.
- Step-by-step guide to building a resume.
- Provides tips for creating a professional resume along with samples to view.
- Provides teen resume examples
- Provides high school resume examples for college applications.