Customize to the Job
Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. Review the job posting and look for keywords and phrases that match your skills and experience. Include these keywords in your resume. This can help your resume pass any Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software, which many companies use to scan resumes to narrow down the number of resumes they actually review. Check out career-based these resume samples from Indeed to get an idea of what a tailored resume looks like. View a sample resume or download an editable version.
Include your name, email and the link to your LinkedIn profile.
Education, Certifications & Relevant Coursework
Education & Certifications
Include your education and any relevant certifications or training. List your highest degree first, followed by any additional degrees or certifications you’ve received. Professional certificates that are relevant to the job you are applying for are also appropriate. Medical certifications, a seminar on community organizing, or Photoshop class are good examples of courses and certificates obtainable outside of college that can improve your chances of getting hired. For college students and recent graduates, add your education at the top. If you’re currently in college, include your year in college and expected graduation month/year.
In addition to your degrees and certifications, you should also include any Relevant Coursework or Academic Projects to demonstrate the knowledge you’ve gained, skills you have used, and difficult projects you have taken on as a student.
For example, if you studied biochemistry and are applying to a biochemistry research position, list it on your resume. If you’re applying to a teaching job and you have taken education courses, list them. Listing coursework that is relevant to the specific position that you are applying for helps prove that you have the knowledge and skills to be successful.
Additionally, there may be courses that do not directly relate to the job you’re applying for, but will make you a better candidate because of the skills you have gained. As an example, when applying to a writing-intensive marketing job, an English Literature class can provide evidence that you’re a strong writer. Math classes can point to your ability to think logically and perform quantitative tasks.
Academic projects can be any college-level project that you have taken on that illustrates skills and knowledge that you think are relevant to the job you are applying for. Group or individual papers, projects, labs, and other significant academic coursework that you have undertaken are all good candidates for this section.
Include in your resume:
- Brief description of the assignment: What was the project goal and important details?
- What skills did you use: lab techniques, statistical analysis, interviewing people, reading and researching in the library, sculpting, painting, writing, coding, building, presenting, etc.
- What skills did you learn?
- If it was a group project, how did you coordinate/collaborate? How many people did you work with? Did you assume a leadership/organizational role? How did you organize and delegate to finish the project?
- Outcomes: What were your findings?
Professional Work and Internship Experience:
Employers will look to your professional work and internship experience to determine whether you will be able to contribute value to their organization based on what you have done in the past. When listing your experience, think about how your past jobs and internships benefitted your workplace and provided value to that organization.
Job & Internship Experience
Unlike academic projects, your work and internship experience should focus on what you contributed versus what you learned. Instead of simply listing your job duties, highlight your top achievements and accomplishments for each role. Use quantifiable data to showcase your impact on the company, such as “increased sales by $$” or “improved customer satisfaction by x%”.
Include in your resume:
- What responsibilities did you have/ what tasks were you responsible for and why was it important? Did it benefit the organization? Can you quantify your positive impact in numbers?
- What skills did you use in the job? Childcare, social media marketing, statistical analysis, event planning, scheduling, carpentry, food service, customer service, Java, or HTML? Did you have projects or tasks that required you to think critically, manage other staff, multi-task? How did that benefit the organization?
- What projects did you complete and how? What were the outcomes of the project and how did it benefit the organization? Can you quantify your impact in numbers?
- If you worked in a group, how did you coordinate/collaborate? How many people did you work with? Did you assume a leadership/organization role? How did you organize and delegate to finish the project?
A note on Internships: Because internships are technically work experiences, you can list them along with your job experience. The focus should be on what value you provided to your organization, and what skills you learned from that role in terms of skills or knowledge.
Community & Volunteer Experience
Your volunteer experience should be a mixture of what value you provided through your volunteer efforts, and what skills you learned while volunteering. Only include your volunteering experiences that were through committed, long term positions or for big events or projects like managing an event, a service trip abroad, etc.
Highlight skills you have that are relevant to the position you are applying for. These should be technical skills (such as specific computer programs or lab protocols), job skills (such as volunteer management or social media marketing), and any spoken/written languages. Choose up to five skills to list that are relevant for the job that you are applying for. If the job description noted that they want a candidate with certain skills that you have, be sure to list it here if it’s not already listed in your resume.
List any relevant awards you’ve received.