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Resumes

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Resumes

Experience and Activities

What to Include

Summarize your experiences by highlighting those that best reveal your transferable skills and relate to the types of opportunities you are seeking. You can include your experiences from the following types of positions:

  • Paid positions
  • Volunteer work
  • Internships
  • Academic experience and research
  • Student organizations

Include the title of your position or your role, the name of the organization, the location (i.e. city and state) of the organization, and the dates you worked at the organization.


Examples:

Customer Service Representative, Bank One, Arlington, VA                                                   Summer 2013

President, Delta Sigma Pi, JMU, Fall 2013-Spring 2014

University Health Center, James Madison University, REACH Peer Educator, August 2013-present


Describing Experiences

Be brief, quantify if possible, and use strong action verbs when describing your experiences.

Action Verbs and Examples

An action verb should be the first word after every bullet point that describes your experiences. If an action verb was to stand alone, it should be meaningful.


Examples:

Customer Service Representative, Bank One, Arlington, VA                                                   Summer 2013

  • Handled…

President, Delta Sigma Pi, JMU, Fall 2013-Spring 2014

  • Planned…

University Health Center, James Madison University, REACH Peer Educator, August 2013-present

  • Presented…

Review the Quintessential Careers’ list of action verbs by skill categories to help you expand and diversify the action verbs that you use on your resume.

Give specific examples of your accomplishments. Quantify them if possible to strengthen the impact of your message. You can say “supervised 12 employees” or “managed a $2,500 budget.”


Examples:

Customer Service Representative, Bank One, Arlington, VA                                                   Summer 2013

  • Handled more than $100,000 in banking transactions daily.
  • Answered customer inquiries, and resolved service concerns.
  • Recognized for surpassing monthly sales quota.

President, Delta Sigma Pi, JMU, Fall 2013-Spring 2014

  • Planned and implemented quarterly meetings with executive board of eight.
  • Maintained contact among 100 chapter members, advisor, and national headquarters.
  • Led planning for community service projects and fundraising events.

University Health Center, James Madison University, REACH Peer Educator, August 2013-present

  • Present three educational workshops each semester for students on health-related topics and services.
  • Collaborate with six student organizations to determine the needs of their organization and develop an effective program to address their needs.

Organizing Experiences

If you have several experiences that relate to the type of job you are seeking, you may list them under a separate categories rather than using one “Related Experience” heading.

Be creative, and don’t feel like you have to limit the content of your resume to headings you have seen in the past. If you have special information that supports your application, create a place for it. The format of your resume can also influence the types of headings you use to organize your experiences.


Examples:

Possible titles for experience sections, or “functional headings”,  include:

  • Relevant Experience
  • Additional Experience, or Related Experience
  • Leadership Experience
  • Research Experience
  • Health-Related Experience
  • Volunteer Experience
  • International Experience
  • Design Experience
  • Laboratory Experience
  • Writing Experience
  • Planning Experience
  • Field Work Experience
  • Teaching Experience

Possible titles for other sections of your resume include:

  • Objective
  • Education
  • Honors and Awards
  • Course Projects
  • Skills
  • Certifications and Licensure