Creating a Standout Resume

A resume is a marketing tool used to highlight your applicable work, education, experience and skills. When crafted successfully, it should increase your chances of getting an interview.

Your resume should be tailored to a specific position and focus on the aspects of your background that are most relevant to your career goals.

Continue below for sections to include in your resume to capture the attention of potential employers.

Professional Summary or Objective:

Having a summary or objective helps potential employers connect your skills, experience and interests to their specific opportunity. Your summary or objective should include details but should also be concise and avoids overusing adjectives. Below is an example of a professional summary:

Engaged computer science professional with CompTIA A+ cert and 5+ years of experience. Seeking to leverage exemplary leadership skills as a project manager.”

Education:

The placement of education in your resume depends upon the years of relevant experience you have. The more years of experience you have, the less prevalent it can be in your resume. Jobseekers with several years of relevant work experience should list education at the bottom of their resume and may choose to leave off the graduation year.

Job seekers who are recent graduates and/or have limited relevant work experience should list their education on the first page of the resume, following their professional summary or objective.

Education should be listed in reverse chronological order and relevant coursework can be included if related work experience is limited.

Experience:

The experience section of your resume is where you have the opportunity to really highlight your knowledge, skills and experience. The best way to do this is to focus on the ways you’ve made an impact in your roles. Discuss your accomplishments and quantify outcomes where possible. Do not simply list the tasks and responsibilities of your positions. Below are two examples:

Successfully managed 50-70 inbound customer requests per day, ranking in the top 5% of all support associates in 2017.

Brought organization back into federal compliance by establishing an organization-wide Leave of Absence process.”

Skills, Certifications and Training

Employers want to know everything about you that is relevant to your ability to perform the job they’ve posted. If you have specific technical skills that are required and listed in the job description, they should be included in your resume. This can either be in a separate section in your resume or included within the details of your experience. This goes the same for any relevant training and certifications you possess.

One point to note: skills such as communication skills, leadership skills, problem-solving, etc. are referred to as soft skills and should not be listed in a resume. Instead, these skills should be demonstrated within the bullets that are included in your experience.

At a minimum, if the above suggestions are implemented, you will be on your way to creating a standout resume.

For more information on formatting, resume length and other do’s and don’ts, please follow these links for additional resources found on CareerQuest:

As always, keep in mind that UMUC Career Services is available to help you plan and achieve career success. Set up an appointment with a UMUC Career Advising Specialist or visit CareerQuest today.