Resume Writing

​​​Resume Critique

If you have completed a resume, schedule an appointment to have ​it critiqued.



What Makes an Effective Resume?

An effective resume makes a good first impression, in which appearance is important. Typos and crumpled paper do not impress prospective employers. However, content is even more crucial. The information on a resume must be well organized, easy to read and results oriented.


Keep in Mind

  • Communicate that you can fulfill the employer's specific needs by tying your experience to those needs.
  • Show the employer how he or she will benefit by hiring you. Stress your accomplishments, and show the employer that​ you are an excellent prospect with talent to offer. Provide results-oriented data proving that you have handled previous jobs well and have consistently contributed to the success of the organization.
  • Be clear and concise. Employers sort through piles of resumes and typically devote about 30 seconds or less time to each one. Make your information clear, concise and easy to read.
  • Organize "you" for the job search. A good resume helps you focus on your accomplishments and career goals. It also helps organize your thoughts for potential job interviews. Once you have taken stock of yourself and recognize all you have achieved and what you have to contribute, you will enter the job interview and networking process with much more confidence.



Resume Components

  • Summary of Qualifications
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Certification, Licensing, and Special Skills and Training
  • Military Experience
  • Memberships and Activities
  • Awards and Honors





Resume Layout & Design

Professional Appearance

  • Material fits neatly on one page
  • Margins approximately one inch on all four sides
  • White or neutral-colored paper, 8.5 x 11 inches, 20-lb. weight
  • High-quality print in black ink
  • No staples or folds
  • Plain font with straight lines, such as Times New Roman; font size 10-12 points
  • Bold and capital letters used where appropriate for emphasis but not overdone
  • No italics, script, parentheses, brackets, underlining, shading or graphics
  • No unnecessary punctuation, horizontal or vertical lines



  • Name, address, telephone number and email address centered at top, with name in bold and larger font
  • No extraneous or personal information such as height, weight, age, sex, etc.
  • Format that best suits your needs; reverse chronological format, listing education and experience from most recent to least recent, is most commonly used
  • Summary of Qualifications category
  • Education category, including any college/university from which a degree was earned
  • Experience category, including several entries in consistent format:
    • Job Title
    • Company, City, State
    • Dates of employment
    • Descriptive statements of experience                                  



Resume Writing & Content

List your prior job descriptions/accomplishments in three to five bulleted statements, or brief paragraphs, written in the first person with pronouns "I" and "my" omitted. Use a variety of action verbs and keyword nouns specific to the profession, often the same words used in typical job postings for such positions.

Use descriptive statements that highlight your skills and abilities, as well as experience and accomplishments. Show evidence of teamwork, computer proficiency, attention to detail, customer satisfaction, willingness to learn new skills, ability to produce results and enthusiasm/work ethic.  Supply enough description to create reader interest — but not overwhelm.

The finished product should be a unique statement about you.  It must be professional looking and error free, with consistent verb tense and end punctuation. Do not rely on computer spell-check or resume-writing software for your final resume.


Summary of Qualifications

This portion of the resume is your marketing pitch, allowing you to boast about your talents. It should correspond with your objective and include specific achievements, certifications, licenses, computer skills or other job-related items of interest. It is important to list only the skills and achievements that will help you with the position you are seeking.



  • More than _____________ years of experience in management and supervision
  • Highly effective in promoting a positive, productive environment
  • Reputation for excellence and high-quality service to clients
  • Good eye for detail; well organized, skilled in setting priorities
  • Resourceful and self-confident; can get the job done and do it well
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Remain calm and work well under demanding conditions
  • Proven record of innovative and effective staff development
  • Strong commitment, vision and leadership
  • Developed innovative programs for major __________, incorporating trends on the leading edge of _________________ field
  • Effective problem solver; thorough researcher
  • Well organized and focused in coordinating projects
  • Strong analytical, writing and research skills
  • Conscientious and thorough attention to detail
  • Equally effective working independently and in cooperation with others
  • Effective working alone and as a cooperative team leader
  • Keen perception for extracting important data
  • Innovative in designing and carrying out projects
  • Highly motivated to achieve set goals
  • Successful in mastering new skills through hands-on experience
  • Graduate degree with emphasis in ____________________
  • Effective and persuasive with all segments of the community
  • Skilled and thorough in analyzing problem situations and finding creative solutions
  • Sharp, quick learner; willing to get involved
  • Strength in analyzing, researching, organizing and problem solving
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Fluent in ___________________ and _______________
  • Computer literate in MS Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint


Action Verbs & Functional Skills



Liaison skills

Scientific investigating

Adapting to environments



Scientific writing

Budget administering

Direct creative talent

Managing people/programs


Budget development

Directing Observing

Mathematical abilities

Sensitivity to others




Showmanship Public speaking

Analyzing quantitative data



Speech writing

Apply what other have done

Editing / Translating

Mobilizing resources






Arrange events

Facilitating personal growth

Motivating others





Technical skills

Athletic ability

Financial planning/management

Musical talent

Technical reading/interpreting

Business correspondence




Chair meetings

Foreign language skills



Clerical skills


Organizational skills

Thinking quickly


Goal setting



Communication skills

Group facilitating

Perceiving needs of others



Helping/serving others


Trouble shooting

Conflict management

High tolerance for repetition


Understand legal concepts



Policy interpreting

Visualizing concepts

Conveying enthusiasm



Work well under stress

Coordinate operations


Prioritize tasks

Working with abstract concepts


Information gathering

Problem identifying


Create visual displays

Information processing

Problem solving

Crisis intervention


Project design/programming


Inspiring trust

Promote/implement change

Culinary talent

Interior decorating


Data processing

Interpersonal relations

Public relations







Delegate responsibility


Recognizing skills of others

Detailed oriented

Laboratory skills


Administrative tasks



Detective skills



Develop ideas/programs






Sample Resume  

Michelle Doe

718 New Job Drive, Somewhere, NJ 08000


  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • Experienced in principles and processes for providing patient services
  • Proficient in performing EKGs, phlebotomy, injections and taking patient vitals
  • Strong skills in administrative and clerical procedures
  • Outstanding communication with doctors, co-workers and patients
  • Knowledge of public safety and security to protect data, property and facility
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task effectively
  • Achievement oriented with solid critical-thinking skills, especially in high-stress situations
  • Ensure cleanliness, sanitation and maintenance of facility (exam rooms and equipment)
  • Skilled in computer software and hardware application


South Jersey Heart Group                                                                                                                  Your Town, NJ
Certified Clinical Medical Assistant                                                                                                    2010 - Present

  • Ensure optimal patient care and smooth daily functioning of office
  • Efficiently handle phones, filing, patient processing
  • Take patient vital signs, perform EKGs​
  • Ensure compliance with HIPAA, CLIA and OSHA
  • Provide clean and sanitized environment
  • React professionally and effectively in emergency situations

Rowan College at Gloucester County Library                                                                                   New Town, NJ
Library Assistant                                                                                                                                2002 - Present

  • Assist students with library needs
  • Lend, collect books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs and related materials
  • Re-shelve materials, mark for repair damaged books
  • Handle students' IDs and handle parking passes
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Professional, computer software and office equipment


Additional Experience 
OVAA Softball Coach                                                                                                                        2009 – Present   
My Town, NJ             
Sunday School Teacher, The Church                                                                                                 2008 -  Present
My Town, NJ                


Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)                                                                                                       2010 
Gloucester County College                                                                                                                   Any Town, NJ



Cover Letter Tips

The cover letter is a companion piece to the resume. To craft a cover letter that helps you win an interview, follow these tips:

  • Tailor each cover letter to the position and company, addressing the letter to a specific person (rather than "To Whom It May Concern"). If possible, refer to the job code or reference number.
  • Keep the letter concise (one page), maintaining a confident and professional tone. Explain why the position is a good fit for you, and refer to particularly important achievements listed on your resume.
  • Proofread the letter several times, and ask someone else to proof it as well. Keep in mind that spell-check will not identify all errors.
  • Close the letter by explaining when you will get in touch. For example, "I will contact you within the next week to schedule an interview."
  • ​Thank the hiring manager for his or her time and attention.

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