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Resume Writing Guide

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The Basics

Resume (French for "summary")

  • Most employers request this common style of documenting skills and credentials
  • One page in length (two is acceptable only if you have many years of relevant experience)
  • Showcases education and experience
  • Summarizes your skill sets with strong action verbs in a concise manner
  • Resumes should be tailored to each job/industry

Curriculum Vitae (Latin for "course of life")

  • Research-based and academic fields typically use a CV
  • Typically several pages long
  • Showcases research, publications, academic work, awards, teaching and honors in chronological order
  • Static and doesn’t change according to job description

CV Guide and Samples - From Penn Career Services

  • One page only, common font like Times New Roman or Arial
  • Listed in reverse chronological order (most recent information first)
  • Concise, well organized, easy to read, with no spelling errors
  • Describes your background as it relates to your career goals
  • Submitted as a PDF (convert here)
  • Renamed to match each job you apply for (SallyStudent–CHOPResume)

Resume Sections

Your name:  Keep it bold and bigger than other information
Address:  Full address, including zip code
Phone:  Use a private number with area code (be sure your voicemail message is professional)
Email:  Use a personal, professional email (school emails can expire) and remove blue hyperlink


Example:

Ben Franklin
123 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 • (215) 123-4567 • benjamin.franklin@mail.com

Objective:  Best for a) those with a specific position in mind or b) people who do not have a lot of experience in their field

Example: To obtain a Nursing Externship position at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in the spring of 2011 where I can contribute my experience in medical-surgical settings and skills in therapeutic communication.


Summary: Best for a) highlighting your relevant skills as they apply to a specific industry b) people who already have experience

Example: Two years of experience as a Registered Nurse. Provide care for pediatric patients in an acute setting. Experienced in ventilator care, wound care, and family education. CPR and AED certified.

TIPS:

  • List in reverse chronological order.
  • Include the formal name of the school, city and state (do not include the street address or zip code), date you graduated (or will graduate), formal name of degree and/or minors obtained and your course of study.
  • List GPA if 3.0 and above (ask a counselor if you have questions about this).
  • You may include bullets for study abroad, activities, awards, and/or to highlight the fact that you worked while in school.

Examples:

Thomas Jefferson University                                                                                                 Philadelphia, PA
Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences                                                                                        May 2014
Concentration: Radiography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging                                                            GPA: 3.67
        • Worked 30 hours per week while enrolled full time

The Pennsylvania State University                                                                                   University Park, PA
Bachelor of Science in Biology                                                                                                           May 2010
        • Study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain; completed 12 credits

TIPS:

  • Highlight your most relevant experience by listing it first in a separate section.
  • Emphasize only those experiences that best relate to your career (clinical rotations, volunteer roles, full-time work experience in your field).
  • Condense or remove sections that are not relevant.
  • Do not include supervisor’s names or contact information.
  • Headings can include: Clinical Rotations, Healthcare Experience, Work Experience, Additional Experience, Relevant Experience, [Your field here] Experience, and more!

Example A (Listing clinical rotations):
HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE
Thomas Jefferson University
, Clinical Rotations:
Children’s Hospital, Philadelphia, PA                                                                                            Feb-Mar 2013
Happy Hands Rehab, Philadelphia, PA                                                                                                 Jan 2013
Nursing Home, Philadelphia, PA                                                                                                   Sep-Oct 2012


Example B (Including bullets for clinical rotations):
CLINICAL ROTATIONS
Community Center
, Philadelphia, PA                                                                                         Feb- Mar 2013
        • Led group therapy sessions for clients diagnosed with mental health disorders

Happy Hospital, Philadelphia, PA                                                                                                       Jan 2013
        • Shadowed nurses in Labor & Delivery, NICU, and Maternal Observation Unit floors


Example C (One-line format):
Caregiver, Private family, Washington, DC                                                                         Summers 2010-2013
        • Supervised three children ages 2, 4 and 7; planned daily activities and prepared meals

Sales Associate, Old Navy, Philadelphia, PA                                                                               Mar-Dec 2009
        • Provided customer service for up to 500 people per day over the phone and in person


Example D (Two-line format):
Sunshine Healthcare Center                                                                                                    Cherry Hill, NJ
Volunteer                                                                                                                                   May-Aug 2011
        • Organized filing system and streamlined paperwork to create an efficient work environment

Each of these may be listed as a new section (space permitting), or incorporated as a bullet in another section.

ACTIVITIES/LEADERSHIP
List only those that best relate to your career objective. If you have done a lot with an organization that is very relevant to your goal, use a few bullets to describe your accomplishments, and format like you would for work experience.

SKILLS
Common skills you may wish to list include technical skills, laboratory skills, language skills (if fluent), teamwork skills and organizational skills. Basic computer skills such as Word, Excel, Email, Internet and PowerPoint are not necessary to include.

HONORS/AWARDS
If an award or scholarship is not self-explanatory, include a one-line description. 
        Example: “CHOP Star Award – Recognized for the most volunteer hours in 2010”

  • Certifications
  • Licenses
  • Professional Memberships
  • Leadership Experience
  • Community Involvement
  • Research Experience
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Professional Development
  • Publications
  • Travel
  • Language Skills

        …and more!

 

Extras

TIPS:

  • Always start bullets with an action verb and list in order of importance (most relevant/impressive bullets at the top).
  • Do not use periods, pronouns, or informal language.
  • Job descriptions should include specific duties and accomplishments.
  • Quantifying job descriptions creates a strong resume - use numbers, percentages, statistics.
  • Use SAR as a guide as you describe your responsibilities. Always include the situation and action, and include results when applicable.

Situation – Lab tests were coming back late from the testing facilities
Action – I developed a new system and policy, shared this idea with my supervisor, and we implemented this with the testing facilities
Result – As a result, the lab work was consistently returned on time

Example in bullet form:

  • Streamlined communication with testing facilities to ensure lab work was returned promptly; increased efficiency by 20%

 

MANAGEMENT SKILLS

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

CLERICAL SKILLS

Analyzed
Assigned
Administered
Chaired              
Contracted         
Consolidated      
Coordinated       
Delegated           
Strengthened
Directed
Evaluated

Executed
Improved
Organized
Oversaw
Planned
Prioritized
Produced
Recommended
Reviewed
Scheduled

Addressed              
Arbitrated              
Arranged                
Authored                 
Corresponded         
Developed               
Directed 
Drafted
Edited
Enlisted
Formulated
Influenced

Interpreted  
Lectured
Moderated
Mediated
Motivated
Negotiated
Persuaded
Promoted
Publicized
Recruited
Spoke
Translated

Approved
Arranged
Catalogued
Classified
Collected
Compiled
Dispatched
Executed
Generated
Implemented
Inspected
Monitored

Operated
Prepared
Processed
Purchased
Recorded
Retrieved
Screened
Specified
Systematized
Tabulated
Validated

RESEARCH SKILLS

TECHINICAL SKILLS

TEACHING SKILLS

Analyzed
Assessed
Clarified
Collected
Critiqued
Diagnosed
Evaluated
Examined
Extracted
Identified
Inspected

Interpreted
Interviewed
Investigated
Organized
Reported
Reviewed
Summarized
Surveyed
Systematized
Tested

Assembled
Built
Calculated
Computed
Designed
Devised
Engineered
Fabricated
Maintained       

Operated
Overhauled
Programmed
Remodeled
Repaired
Solved
Trained
Upgraded

Adapted
Advised
Clarified
Coached
Communicated
Coordinated
Developed
Enabled
Stimulated
Encouraged

Evaluated
Explained
Facilitated
Guided
Informed
Initiated
Instructed
Persuaded
Set goals

FINANCIAL SKILLS

CREATIVE SKILLS

HELPING SKILLS

Administered
Allocated
Analyzed
Appraised
Audited
Balanced
Budgeted
Calculated
Computed

 

Developed
Forecasted
Managed
Marketed
Planned
Projected
Researched

 

Acted
Conceptualized
Created
Designed
Developed
Directed
Established
Fashioned
Founded
Illustrated

 

Instituted
Integrated
Introduced
Invented
Originated
Performed
Planned
Revitalized
Shaped

 

Assessed
Assisted
Clarified
Coached
Counseled
Demonstrated
Diagnosed
Educated
Expedited

 

Facilitated
Familiarized
Guided
Referred
Rehabilitated
Represented

 

 

TIPS:

  • List 3-5 references on a separate document, and only provide when asked by the employer.
  • Appropriate references include: former bosses/managers, clinical site supervisors, professors,
  • advisors for extracurricular activities such as clubs, organizations, sororities, and fraternities.
  • Include the same heading from your resume and keep formatting consistent.
  • Always ask for permission before listing someone as a reference. Ask “Do you feel you’ve observed my work well enough to serve as a positive reference?” If they agree, provide them with a copy of your resume, and write a thank you note.
  • Never use family or friends, unless a personal reference is requested.
  • Include a short note if you would not like your current supervisor to be contacted (see *).

  Example:

Ben Franklin
 
123 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 • (215) 123-4567 • benjamin.franklin@mail.com

Jack Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Neuroscience
Thomas Jefferson University
130 S. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
123-456-7890
jack.smith@jefferson.edu

Betty Johnson
Clinical Site Supervisor, Happy Hospital
321 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
987-654-3210
betty.johnson@xyz.org

Roberta Robertson
Professor of Health Professions
Thomas Jefferson University
130 S. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
123-456-7891
robert.robertson@jefferson.edu

William Jackson*
Director, Sunshine Healthcare
123 Main Street, Suite 456
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-123-4567
william.jones@abc123.com

*Current Supervisor.  Presently, my job search is confidential.  Please refrain from contacting this person unless I am considered a finalist for the position. 

 

Sample Resumes

These sample resumes may be helpful in providing ideas for developing your own resume. For example, you might like the layout of one resume, or the wording of a job from another. The examples are not perfect, but may serve as a guide for you. Remember, it is not ethical to copy or use the same wording from these samples on your own document. Once you have created a draft of your unique resume, the Career Development Center staff is happy to review it with you.

Need more help? Once you've created a resume following these guidelines, come to walk-in hours on Mondays & Thursdays from 12:00-1:00 (fall and spring semesters only), or call (215) 503-5805 to schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Counselor. Don't forget to upload your resume to Symplicity!