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Writing a Resume

Writing a Resume

Resume Formats

Chronological Resume

The chronological resume is designed to present your employment information by date, beginning with the most recent position.


This resume style stresses the positions you have held and the companies where you have worked. The chronological resume format is most appropriate for people who can demonstrate an employment history with no large gaps between jobs. This type of resume is also good when you are not making a dramatic change in career direction.


The State Application allows applicants to present their employment history in a chronological manner, so if you plan to attach a resume, you might want to consider the functional resume. To read this file, you’ll need Adobe Reader – get a free download. 

Functional Resume

The functional resume is a skills-based resume. It allows you to downplay gaps in your employment history since it emphasizes your abilities and accomplishments without providing detailed background information on where and when you acquired these skills.


This resume style is especially suitable for recent graduates with little work experience, people who are trying to go back into the job market, and job seekers in the middle of a career change who want to emphasize their transferable skills.


There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding resume formats. It is important to select the resume format that you believe best presents your qualifications and pertinent information.

Do's and Do Not's for Resume Writing


  • Review your resume carefully for spelling and grammatical errors

  • Present your information in a neat, organized and professional manner

  • Outline specific duties for each position listed

  • Include individual accomplishments for each position

  • Detail your responsibilities for each position

  • Use action words; avoid weak or passive language

  • Maintain consistency throughout the entire resume with display techniques, punctuation, verb tense, dates, and spacing

  • Use bullets to describe your duties/responsibilities. Bullets enable you to present your information in a clear, concise, easy to read manner. Try to begin each bullet with an action word.

  • Make your resume brief, but complete

  • List references on a separate sheet of paper

  • Explain large gaps in employment history

  • Include contact information at top of resume


Do Not:

  • Include personal information

  • List hobbies and interests

  • Provide too much information

  • Brag

  • Provide false information

  • Include outdated or irrelevant information

  • Include salary requirements

  • Include negative statements 

Writing a Resume

A resume is a summary of your experiences, skills, achievements and successes that are relevant to the field of work you would like to enter. By highlighting your accomplishments, a resume “advertises” to a potential employer that you are qualified for the job you are seeking, and is a means of introducing yourself. Often, an employer will only spend 30-60 seconds scanning your resume to determine your qualifications and decide if they are interested in you. It is important to remember that a resume is not intended to be a biography or complete history of everything you have done.


A resume shows a prospective employer:

  • Who you are

  • What career/job you are seeking

  • What knowledge and skills you possess

  • What and where you gained your experience


A resume can, and should reflect more than just your paid work experience. If relevant, it is important to detail your more important volunteer and leadership experience, as well as relevant extracurricular experiences.


The main purpose of the resume is to help you move past the application screening process and on to the interview. If applicable, you should tailor separate resumes to fit each career field in which you are searching for a job. Some people even create a slightly different resume for each position. If you create different resumes for different careers and/or positions, make sure you note all of your substantive duties with each employer, focusing the reader’s attention on those duties which are most relevant to the career or job you are seeking.


Here are some simple rules to follow when designing your resume:

  • State a specific career objective near the beginning of your resume.

  • Explain specific duties for each position listed – paid and unpaid.

  • Include individual accomplishments from each position.

  • Detail significant responsibilities for each position.

  • Keep your resume brief, but complete; correct spelling and use proper grammar.

  • Do not leave large, unexplained gaps in your employment history.

  • Make sure your resume is neat and professional.

  • Do not list salary requirements.

  • Do not include negative information or statements.

  • List references on a separate sheet of paper and only after obtaining approval from your references to use their names.

Identifying Information

At the top of the resume type your name, address and telephone number(s), including area code. Do not include information such as your age, height, weight, or physical description. Do not include a picture of yourself.

Statement of Objective

The purpose of the statement of your objective is to help focus and direct your resume. The objective can be presented in a variety of ways including a statement of:

  1. the position you are interested in;

  2. the skills you wish to use on the job; and/or

  3. the type of field in which you are interested.


If you are applying for a specific position, always use that as your objective.


Examples of a statement of your objective:

  • A position as an Office Technician in a Human Resources Office.

  • A position in a Human Resources office which will utilize my knowledge, skills and experience in classification and pay and labor relations.


The resume format you choose should highlight your strengths. You can create a chronological or functional resume, or a combination of both formats.

  • A chronological resume is the most common format. It emphasizes work experience and presents your employment information by date, beginning with the most recent.

  • A functional resume organizes your most relevant experience into skill areas.

  • A combination of both formats can be used if it is the best and most direct way to present information to the employer.

Affiliations, Licenses, Community Service

This information should be listed if it is relevant to your career choice, the job you are seeking, or if you have gained relevant knowledge, skills, or experiences from your involvement. Include licensing information if it is required or relevant to the career/job you seek to obtain.


There are many resume books on the market that are geared to specific occupations, industries and careers. Your department’s Personnel Office should have resume writing books, or you can go to your local library or the State Library, and/or check out resumes on the Internet. A few recommendations would be:

  • The Damn Good Resume Guide, Yana Parker

  • The Resume Catalog: 200 Damn Good Examples, Yana Parker

  • Blue Collar & Beyond (Resumes for Skilled Trades & Services), Yana Parker

  • The Perfect Resume, Tom Jackson

  Updated: 6/18/2013
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