Current Students

Resumes

Student and Recent Graduate Overview
Your resume is one of many tools to help you express your interest in specific job and internship opportunities. The purpose is to provide a snapshot of your education and experiences, giving the recruiter a concise picture of what you have to offer.

Review the Student and Recent Graduate Resume Samples and the General Guidelines below to assist you in developing your resume. Have your resume reviewed by a career advisor prior to submitting it.
Types of Resumes
There are several basic types of resumes used to apply for job openings. Depending on your personal circumstances, choose a chronological or a functional format.

Chronological Resume

A chronological resume starts by listing your educational qualifications (degree/s), work history, with the most recent listed first. Your jobs are listed in reverse chronological order with your current or most recent job, first. Employers typically prefer this type of resume because it's easy to see your highest qualification and your employment history.

Functional Resume

A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological education and work history. It is used most often by people who have lots of relevant work experiences, or are changing careers and need to emphasize their skills and aptitudes, or who have gaps in their employment history.
Samples General Guidelines

Heading

  • Your heading should include your name, campus and/or home address, phone number and USEK email address. The font size on your name may be larger than the rest of the text.

Education

  • Begin your resume with an education section, listing your USEK degree first and your high school education second. If you have studied abroad you may also list that in this section.
  • Include the degree you are pursuing, your major and anticipated graduation date. If unsure of your major, you may simply state your degree and anticipated graduation date (i.e., Bachelor of Arts, expected May 2014).
  • In addition, you may choose to include related coursework, senior dissertation or project, GPA. Honours and awards can also be included in this section or may have their own section.

Experience and Activities

  • You may include experience outside the university environment and activity headings or targeted headings, such as Journalism Experience, Leadership, Research or Community Involvement. Choose general headings that will best group and highlight your experiences.
  • Within each section, list your experiences and activities in reverse chronological order with the most recent first.
  • With each experience or activity, include the organization or employer name, your title or role, location and dates affiliated.
    Example: President, Sustainability Club, USEK, Fall 2010-Present.
  • Provide concise explanations of your experiences and activities, focusing on accomplishments and positive results obtained. Begin these descriptive statements with strong action verbs and avoid using personal pronouns.
  • Additional Sections

Below are some common additional sections that you may choose to include.
  • Skills (such as Computer, Language or Laboratory skills)
  • Honours
  • Awards
  • Performances
  • Publications
  • Interests
Text Formatting
  • Font size should be between 10-12 points; choose professional and easy to read fonts. Margins typically range between 0.5 and 1 inch.
  • In most cases, your resume will be one page. Consult with a counsellor if you feel yours needs to be longer.
  • Bold, Italics and Bullets can be used in moderation to accentuate and break up content.
  • Resume should be visually appealing and easy to read quickly.
  • Consistency is essential; for example, if you choose to italicize your title and bold the employer name for one experience, make sure you do the same for all experiences.
  • Group your information in a way that places your most relevant and substantial experiences higher on the page to assure they are seen.
  • Avoid spelling and grammatical errors and do not use abbreviations or slang.

Recent Graduate Overview

Think of your resume as your one-page marketing brochure. Remember that, unlike many marketing brochures which readers leisurely peruse, the average reader of a resume spends about 20 seconds looking it over. To catch a prospective employer’s attention, your resume must be easy-to-read, easy-to-download, succinct and targeted.

A resume generally has three sections: Education, Experience and Additional Information. In certain circumstances, a fourth Summary or Objective section may be included. Below are suggestions for writing each section.
  • Summary/Objective
  • Education
  • Experience
  • Additional Information
General Resume Tips
  • Keep your resume on one page, if possible (without using microscopic print). Two-page resumes are typically created by professionals with advanced degrees and a great deal of experience.
     
  • Use reverse chronological order (Your current status as club president should be listed before last year’s junior day of service project). (Your current status as club president should be listed before last year’s junior day of service project).
  • Keep the presentation (font, margins) simple and clean. A visually appealing resume makes a stronger impression than a dense, text-heavy one.
  • Send as either a PDF attachment (preferable because it can’t be altered) or a Word document (if sending a Word attachment be careful because many organizations might have older versions of Microsoft Word).
  • Be sure your resume reads well on Smartphones (iPhones and Blackberries).
  • Be sure to proofread several times (read backwards from bottom to top) and ask others to proofread as well.
  • Be consistent – if you spell January in one section, don’t use Jan. in another.
  • Do not use pronouns (i.e., I, my, me, our, we, etc.).
  • Resumes when presented in Lebanon may include personal information such as age, marital status, children, religion, etc. It is not the case in the USA and other countries, so make sure to check what is appropriate for the country to which you are sending your resume.
  • Do not include “References Available Upon Request” as this is understood.

I. Summary/Objective

The purpose of the summary is to highlight your accomplishments, the depth of your skills relating to the position and key factors from your experiences. The purpose of the objective is to express your intentions for submitting your resume and is typically used to clarify which position you are applying for within a company. A summary/objective should be placed immediately following the resume header.

Tip
  • Your summary should be two to four sentences in length.

Summary example
Architect project Manager with 5 years of success by preparing engineering support for in-house projects, conducting researches needed to complete architecture projects, completing design work and providing technical expertise and guidance in preparation of efficient datasets, layouts, work statements, drawings and delivery schedule.

Write an Effective Cover Letter
Your cover letter is a writing sample and a part of the screening process. By putting your best foot forward, you can increase your chances of being interviewed. A good way to create a response-producing cover letter is to highlight your skills or experiences that are most applicable to the job or industry and to tailor the letter to the specific organization you are applying to.

Some general rules about letters:
  • Address your letters to a specific person if you can.
  • Tailor your letters to specific situations or organizations by doing research before writing your letters.
  • Keep letters concise and factual, no more than a single page. Avoid flowery language.
  • Give examples that support your skills and qualifications.
  • Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What can you say that will convince the reader that you are ready and able to do the job?
  • Remember that this is a marketing tool. Use lots of action words.
  • Have someone proofread your letter.
  • If converting to a PDF, check that your formatting is translated correctly.
  • Reference skills or experiences from the job description and draw connections to your credentials.

II. Education

The purpose of the education section is to state your level of education and the institutions you have attended. For recent graduates and current students, this section of your resume will be first on the page (unless you choose to write an objective). After the completion of your first job, your experience will typically be listed first on the page.

Tips
  • If applicable, include an “Honours and Awards” subheading.
  • As a rule, don’t include your Grade Point Average unless it is 90 or higher.
  • If applicable, include an “Activities” or “Leadership” subheading.
  • If you studied abroad, list name of school, location, year and subject studied.

III. Experience

The purpose of the “Experience” section is to show past and present experience, developed skills and accomplishments. For recent graduates and current students, this section will typically follow your “Education” section.

Tips
  • Experience does not have to be paid experience.
  • Start each description with an action verb.
  • Be sure to use the past tense for previous experience.
  • Highlight the aspects of your experience that would be most valued by a prospective employer. For example, if 10% of your finance job is marketing and you are looking to move into a marketing role, highlight your marketing – not your finance – experience first.
  • Put yourself in your ideal prospective employers shoes: think about what they are looking for as you review your experience and then describe it in a way that most closely fits their needs (use the job description as a guide and be sure to include key words/terms from the job description to make it past any software screens).
  • Focus on results and accomplishments – quantify as much as possible (e.g., created marketing campaign that improved sales 20%). If you can’t quantify results in numbers, explain results qualitatively.
  • Avoid excessive industry jargon and only use abbreviations if they are widely recognized. If you are looking to change careers, be sure your description of your past experience is in language that will be understood by those in the field into which you wish to move.

IV. Additional Information

The purpose of the “Additional Information” sections is to show additional aspects of candidacy outside of academics and experience. This section will be typically listed last on your resume.

Additional Sections May Include the Following:
  • Licences or certifications
  • Language proficiency (If you state, “Fluent in French,” you must be able to conduct an interview in French; otherwise state, “Advanced French”.)
  • Meaningful extra-curricular activities – especially ones that require a significant time commitment or are especially meaningful to you (i.e., compete in triathlons, treasurer of children’s not-for-profit group, etc.)
  • Interests – if you elect to include personal interests, make them as specific as possible (i.e., not: Enjoy movies, reading, and travel)
    • Basic Guidelines
    • Action Verbs
    • Templates
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