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Résumé Tips

Where to Start

It is a good idea to start by assessing your strengths/skills, experiences, and professional goal(s), in relation to the desired qualifications of the position that you are seeking. Moreover, consider your audience as you build your résumé.

Be sure to create a specialized résumé for each job. It can be useful to prepare a résumé for your own use that includes all of your experiences; this can then be used to create your specialized résumés.

Also, be mindful that the job search does not end or begin with the résumé but:

  • It should be polished - absolutely no grammatical/spelling errors.
  • Think of it as a "snap-shot" of your experiences - it does not have to include everything you've done.
  • Résumés should highlight outcomes rather than tasks. It is much more than a list of job duties.
  • Make sure to use terminology that is pertinent to your field of interest.

Résumé and Curricula Vitae

A curricula vitae is used by those seeking positions in academia. It is typically quite long, as it emphasizes one's experiences in teaching, research, grant awards, publications and presentations.

Chronological Format

A chronological format is the traditional format that most people think of when they imagine what a résumé looks like. It is designed in reverse chronological order, meaning you start with your most recent experiences and work your way back. For instance, you begin with your most recent job and end with your oldest job.

Typical headings include: Education, Professional Experience, Volunteer Experience, Research Experience, Professional Development, Professional Affiliations, and Awards and Honors. You do not need to use every heading; instead, fit the headings to your experiences. Under each heading, highlight your outcomes and accomplishments rather than listing your job description or duties.

Should I use a template?

Typically, it is not useful to use a template because:

  1. It does not allow you flexibility with your headings and content (e.g. highlighting your diverse set of social work skills, which differ from traditional experiences and strengths)
  2. It usually wastes too much space on the page with large margins and line spacing.

It can also be helpful to review other résumés to get an idea of what you would like your résumé to include. Please refer to our résumé example as a guide.

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