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.
Quick Resume Tips
- Be brief and to the point (1-2 pages).
- Target your field and job market.
- Highlight your strengths.
- Include necessary information (from job description).
- Consider a "Career Objective" heading.
- Use the format that fits you best.
- Have someone proofread your resume.
- Choose quality paper and printing.
- Contact the employer about specific resume requirements.
- Send a cover letter with your resume.
- Provide a scannable resume, if it is required.
- Waste space.
- Understate your abilities.
- Forget volunteer, cooperative education, military or other relevant experiences.
- Use vague, passive or negative language.
- Include irrelevant information, (i.e., courses or activities that do not relate to your job goal).
- List references.
- Describe previous pay, reasons for leaving a job, etc.
- Forget to check grammar and style.
- 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.