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.  




    *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

    Informed                                                        Responded








    Personal Information

              *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: yourname@yahoo.com, not bballstar@yahoo.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


    *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


                *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.



    Helpful Websites






     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.