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Resume Writing

Chronological Resume

In a chronological resume, work experience is arranged in order by dates of the jobs you have held in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

  • Places emphasis on job titles and employment history.
  • Highlights a steady employment history.
  • Most common format and easiest to prepare.
  • Exposes job hunting/spotty work history.
  • Emphasizes work areas you may prefer to minimize.
  • May be repetitious (boring) if jobs were similar.

Combined Format Resume / Skills Based

Work Experience is described by emphasizing the skills involved. Descriptive details are grouped under relevant headings of expertise.

  • Focuses on selected areas of accomplishment and experience.
  • Camouflages a spotty employment record.
  • Stresses areas of experience and interest in which you might not have held a steady job.
  • Allows you to down play areas you wish to.
  • Immediately highlights strengths and why you should be considered for an interview.
  • Doesn’t highlight employers or dates, but doesn’t omit them either.
  • Takes more time to develop and must be very clear of career goal.
  • Some employers will not be as familiar with this style.

Your resume needs to contain:

  • Contact Information
  • Highlights / Skills / Qualifications (relevant to job)
  • Skill Sets
  • Work History
  • Education
  • References
A resume may also include:
  • Job Objective – only if specific
  • other Work / School or Training 
  • Interests – if relevant
  • Extra-Curricular Activities (if transferable to work-related skills)
  • or other topics depending upon your history
Write it!
  • Action–strong verbs that describe your actions and accomplishments are best.
  • Edit–if it’s not adding to your resume then get rid of it.
  • Be concise–clear and to the point.
  • Target–write a resume geared toward the specific job you want. Highlight areas you know the employer is interested in.
  • Proofread–one error could mean you end up in the garbage. (Believe it!) A computer spell check will not check the grammar, or catch errors like “from” spelled “form”.

Remember, employers don’t hire resumes; they hire people who perform well in interviews. In order to get to that all-important interview, the resume is the key. Take the time to prepare a document to be proud of.


  • Don’t freak out if you have no relevant experience.  List your transferable skills, related side projects, and relevant coursework.
  • Do consider volunteer and other non-work experience.  If volunteer work has taken up a significant chunk of your time or taught you skills applicable to the job you’re applying for, think about putting it on your resume.  Side projects, pro bono work, or temp gigs can also be a unique way to up your resume game and show off other skills.
  • Do include personal accomplishments.  If you’ve done something cool in your personal life that either shows off your skills, you should definitely include it.  Maybe you’ve run a few marathons, demonstrating your adventurous spirit, strong work ethic, and desire to challenge yourself.  Or you’ve won some poker tournaments, which shows you’re a quick thinker and good with numbers.