Road to a Résumé

A résumé documents your qualifications and summarizes your personal, educational, and experiential skills. It is a marketing tool and should be unique in order to highlight your capabilities as they relate to a job or position. Résumés can be used by candidates applying for work, graduate school, or scholarships/fellowships.

Style of a Résumé


The format should attract attention AND create interest!

  • Choose appropriate categories for your information and list them in order of relevance to your career objective.
  • Once you’ve selected a format, be consistent within categories. The résumé should be easy to follow and pleasing to the eye.
  • Use capitalization, italics, bold, indentations, white space, and underlining to emphasize important information. However, do NOT overdo it.
  • Make sure to research formats for your field!


How long your resume can be depends in the purpose for which you are using it. 


  • In the private, non-profit and government sectors, the traditional resume length is one page.
  • Multi-page resumes may be appropriate when applying to graduate school programs, scholarships, or more academically oriented programs. 
  • Keep in mind the maxim, “quality over quantity” Select ONLY those experiences which strongly support your candidacy for a particular position.
  • It may be helpful to keep a multi page master resume, which documents all of your experiences and then save different, one-page versions of your resume targeted at particular positions. 


Resumes follow several formats, but certain elements of the resume have become standard.

  • A resume MUST present a positive image! Keep in mind that while a resume is an essential tool in your job search, it is not meant as a substitute for the interview. 
  • The resume is a summary, so you can use bullets or incomplete sentences to describe your job duties and accomplishments.
  • Some people feel the resume should be action-oriented, reflecting a more assertive and confident job seeker. Others are more comfortable with a neutral tone demonstrating qualifications and experience without much attention to assertiveness or salesmanship. Ultimately, the tone and content of your resume should be customized according to your career field and prospective employer. 

The Two Basic Formats

Chronological (or General)

A chronological resume lists and dates the details of each job and educational experience separately. Listings under each category are placed in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent experience. This method is most appropriate if you have uninterrupted work experience in the area in which you seek employment. It is also the most common approach, so employers should already be familiar with this format.


A functional resume consists of selections from your total experience which relate to the job you seek. Under each category, list qualifications, skills, experiences, etc. that logically support your job objective. This approach is more difficult to construct but maybe more effective in documenting the skills or functions you want to perform, especially if your background is varied. Functional resumes are generally NOT appropriate for recent college graduates. However, a combination of these two forms may be appropriate. 

Résumé Categories of Information



[email protected]

(850) 123-4567 

Present Address

FSU Box 1234

Tallahassee, FL 32313 

Present Address

FSU Box 1234

Tallahassee, FL 32313 


To utilize my strong interpersonal and organizational skills as an account executive in an advertising agency. 


Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Bachelor of Science in Advertising, May 2014

Minor: Hispanic Marketing Communication

Overall GPA: 3.5 Major GPA: 3.8 


Student Assistant, September 2013 – Present

FSU School of Communication, Tallahassee, FL 

  • Advise undergraduate students on course selection 
  • Assist the dean in carrying out administrative duties
  • Maintain resources in Peer Advising Center 

Securities Agent Trainee, May 2013 – August 2013

A.L. Williams Co., Boca Raton, FL 

  • Learned the securities industry by managing accounts
  • Supervised market research and managed local businesses 

Account Executive, January 2013 – April 2013

Advice Advertising Agency, Tallahassee FL

Developed marketing strategies for local businesses

Supervised market research and managed local accounts 

Data Entry Assistant, May 2012 – August 2012

FSU Center for Professional Development, Tallahassee, FL 

  • Organized professional workshops
  • Maintained record-keeping system 


  • Dean’s List, 6 semesters
  • Advertising Club, 2010 – Present
  • Golden Key National Honor Society, 2010 – Present
  • Minority Business Society, Vice President of Programs, 2012 – 2013

Thomas Parker 

[email protected]

(850) 789 – 2345 

Current Address

FSU Box 1234

Tallahassee, FL 32313 

Permanent Address

FSU Box 1234

Tallahassee, FL 32313 


To obtain a position in the management consulting / internal audit field where I will use my analytical tool set in a setting that promotes personal growth and development 


Florida State University

Master of Business Administration

April 2015

GPA: 3.75/4.0

Bachelor of Science in Finance and International Business 

April 2013

Cum Laude 

Tallahassee, FL


Department of Management Services

Office of Efficient Government

Master’s Intern 


Tallahassee, FL

Aug. 2013 – Current 



Analyzed business cases from various state agencies;

assisted with the development and distribution of large-scale evaluations relating to contracting methods; managed creation of educational, training, and marketing materials; researched and implemented the use of cost-benefit analysis automated tool; gained experience in the procurement process. 

UBC Group Inc./United Micrographics 

Accounts Receivable Department 

Miami, FL

May 2013 – Aug. 2013



Managed organizing and sending hundreds of past due notices; handled billing fr services provided in hospitals, law firms, and doctor’s offices across Florida and Georgia; provided quality services in a timely manner while staying on budget; effectively grouped duplicate accounts on the accounting systems.

Rambana & Ricci, P.A,

Legal Assistant 

Tallahassee, FL

May 2012 – Aug. 2012


Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint


Type 66 words per minute


Spanish, Fluent; French, Conversational


This category typically reflects your contact with specific employers. Feel free to include internships, co-ops, part-time jobs, volunteer work, summer jobs, special projects, or military experience under this category.

  • If you have several experiences related to your objective or target audience, you may wish to list those under “Related Experience” and your other experiences under “Other or Additional Experience”.
  • List position titles, names of organizations, locations (city and state), start and end dates, duties, and accomplishments. 

Employers are interested in the degree of responsibility you held and the skills you demonstrated. Outline your duties in a way that emphasizes your job experience and at the same time relates it to your professional objective. For example:


Crew Supervisor, McDonald’s 

Tallahassee, FL, 1/14 – Present

  • Manage operations and supervise 19 co-workers
  • Compile inventory data and maintain stock 
  • Assist in hiring and training new employees 


Always start with positive action words to identify and document your skills and accomplishments from your past experiences.


Remember any experience in the world of work may be capable of demonstrating your dependability, resourcefulness, and responsibility, including internships, volunteer experience, leadership positions, class projects, part-time work, etc. Choose items that show your qualifications and experience to your best advantage! 

Resume Do’s and Don’ts


  • Get a resume critique
  • Use correct grammar and spelling
  • Be brief, clear, concise and consistent
  • Be positive
  • Be honest
  • Be neat
  • Proofread 


  • Use standard resume templates found in computer software
  • State salary requirements
  • Give reasons for leaving past employers
  • Limit geographical considerations unless necessary
  • Expound on philosophy or values
  • Offer any negative information 


To document your references, list the names, titles, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of atleast three people on a separate page, with a 4th and/or 5th reference as back-up. References should NOT be included within the resume.


Be sure your references can speak about your experience or knowledge of a specific subject matter.


Remember to ask their permission before listing them as a reference, and make sure to provide your references with a copy of your resume. Offer this list to the employer only when requested! 

Personal (Optional)

Personal information about age, gender, marital status, and ethnicity is typically NOT included on a resume. Exceptions to this guideline exist for certain occupations (e.g., acting or modelling) when physical appearance is a factor in the hiring decision. It is also important to note that this information may be necessary when writing a resume for use abroad.


Other information, such as hobbies and interests, may be included if it is relevant to the position to which you are applying or speaks to acquired skills. 

Other Categories

The previous categories are a foundation for a resume, but there are many other options. Some possibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Activities
  • Background 
  • Campus Involvement
  • Certifications
  • Computer Skills
  • Research Experience
  • Special Skills 


  • Honors/Awards
  • Languages
  • Leadership Experience
  • Licenses
  • Memberships
  • Seminars/ Workshops
  • Teaching Experience  


  • Professional Activities / Organizations
  • Project Management
  • Publications / Presentations
  • Recitals/Art Shows 
  • Service / Volunteer 


If you have information that you may feel is important but does not fit any of the above categories, create sections to encompass this information and/or requirements of specific job targets.


You may also have categories unique to your field of study (for example, clinical nursing experience). The key is creating categories that best fit the position(s) you are seeking!