Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Writing Your Resume

The most effective resumes are customized, matching the job seeker's strengths with the particular requirements of a specific job or type of job. Use the links below to find out how to write (or revise) your resume.

For more resume help, see the Student Employment/Cooperative Education office at your campus for workshops or the PCC library for resume books. If you are in one of PCC's professional/technical programs, a Student Employment/Cooperative Education Specialist may provide additional assistance.

The resume is a brief "professional" summary used to screen applicants for an interview. It is an advertisement of the applicant's strengths and skills. It is also a sample of the applicant's work. There are three basic resume formats.


Describes education, experience and activities in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Emphasizes where and when. (Should only be used if applicant has related work experience.) See an example of a chronological resume.
Describes skills and accomplishments. Emphasizes what and how. See an example of a functional resume.
Targeted or Combination:
Combines both formats above. Describes education, experience, activities and skills. See an example of a combination resume.

See more resume samples.

Quick Resume Tips


  1. Be brief and to the point (1-2 pages).
  2. Target your field and job market.
  3. Highlight your strengths.
  4. Include necessary information (from job description).
  5. Consider a "Career Objective" heading.
  6. Use the format that fits you best.
  7. Have someone proofread your resume.
  8. Choose quality paper and printing.
  9. Contact the employer about specific resume requirements.
  10. Send a cover letter with your resume.
  11. Provide a scannable resume, if it is required.

Do Not...

  1. Waste space.
  2. Understate your abilities.
  3. Forget volunteer, cooperative education, military or other relevant experiences.
  4. Use vague, passive or negative language.
  5. Include irrelevant information, (i.e., courses or activities that do not relate to your job goal).
  6. List references.
  7. Describe previous pay, reasons for leaving a job, etc.
  8. Forget to check grammar and style.
  9. Send your resume without a cover letter.

Additional Resume Samples

Your resume should target a specific job or type of job, emphasizing your relevant background and skills. This means you cannot rely on a template or particular format to meet your needs for all jobs. However, it may help to see some sample resumes targeting common job areas. Note that the resume "targets" a specific job objective.