The Ultimate Resume “How To” and Why it Applies to You

By Rodney Johanson
Director of Career Services

Welcome to the University of Providence! When you enter the doors of Sullivan Hall quickly approaching your very first class you realize that you are officially an Argo at the University of Providence. This day is truly glorious. You are well on your way to the career of your dreams, but maybe you haven’t quite realized it yet. After all, it’s only the first day of college and a career is pretty far off, or so you think. Yeah, I was there once too. I thought that I had a heck of a long time ahead of me before I had to really think about entering the job force. I was too busy being buried in homework to think about what I wanted to do when I grew up. Yet, here I sit only days away from graduation realizing that my first day of college seems like it was yesterday! Before I knew it, it was time to start creating my resume, attending career fairs, and preparing for interviews. The point I am trying to make here with all this jargon is that it is never too early to start thinking about your future career. You have already made a great leap to start your journey by attending this university, but there is more prep work to be done!

The Prep Work

Yes, that’s right, there is prep work to do in order to make your way to your future career. You may think that it will be as easy as filling out an application, talking with a manager at a company, and getting hired, but that isn’t usually the case. More often than not you will start off your career as a simple name on a piece of paper, in the form of your resume. A resume is used to present your background, skills, and accomplishments to potential employers. This piece of paper is so critically important because it is essentially your ticket in the door of a company that you desire to work for. You have to realize that when companies post their open positions, they receive dozens of resumes from applicants, so your goal is ultimately to stand out among the crowd of resumes they will scroll through. A powerful resume could be the difference in getting invited in for an interview or just being passed over. This is why prepping your resume is so critical! How are you supposed to get the job if you can’t get the interview, am I right?

Good News!

Lucky for you, you go to a university that cares about your success and wants you to meet that ultimate goal of finding your future career! This site is going to show you how simple it can be to sculpt an effective, professional resume that shows employers why they need to pick you for an interview! This isn’t going to be random tips and tricks that are supposed to work, but actually tried and true information that helped me land a great job that I will start right after graduation. A job that I truly owe to the fact that I had a good resume and that I had it readily available!

Where to Start

Creating a resume may initially sound like a daunting task, but it is really much simpler than you think. Start thinking about your resume by doing these few simple tasks!

  • Gather job history info
    • Make sure you have information about your prior jobs. Things like the name of the job, its location, and the dates you worked there are important. The same goes for information about your education, especially if you have a degree already!
  • Know your skills
    • Think about the skills and experience you have that are relevant to the job that you are applying for. This is one of those times that it is okay to admit your strengths without feeling pompous! See Action verbs below.
  • Create the layout of your resume
    • Outline your resume and make sure it is appropriately organized. Microsoft Word has some great resume templates that you can tailor to fit your needs. They can be a great place to start if you feel overwhelmed!
  • Spellcheck
    • Review your resume and edit it. It’s always good to ask someone else to look over it for you. There are plenty of people on campus to help you too, especially in the ever-helpful Career Center!
  • Keep it up to date
    • Continually revise your resume as you progress with your education and career. You’ll need to add education and career information as it changes, so make sure you are adding this info as it comes up!
The Parts of a Resume
  1. Heading – This should be at the very top of your resume and should include your full name, physical address, email address, and phone number.
  2. Education Information – Put your education history in chronological order with the most recent info first. You’ll want to include the name of the college or university, the degree you are working towards or have earned, your anticipated or actual graduation date, and your major. You may also choose to include your GPA or honors status.
  3. Job Experience – You’ll want to list the place you worked and the position you held there. Also include some bullets to describe your job responsibilities. You should list your last 2-3 jobs in chronological order with the most recent one listed first.
Tips and Tricks to Remember
  • Don’t include references on your resume. It is simply expected that those will be provided when the employer requests them.
  • Keep it short! Your resume shouldn’t be more than one page, single-sided. Employers don’t read resumes; they simply skim them so keep out the fluff.
  • If you are mailing or emailing your resume include a proper cover letter to present before your resume.
  • Don’t put your picture on your resume. Also, leave out any personal information. Remember, this is a very professional document!
  • If they apply to you, use key words and skills that have been presented in the job posting. That will help you stick out to the person sifting through resumes!
  • Ensure that your resume is visually appealing and easy to read. You want it to be consistent, uniform, and not too busy for the employer to read.
  • Edit and spell check! I cannot express this enough. You must edit your resume! The last thing a potential employer wants to see is typos on your resume.
  • Bring copies of your resume to events where there are potential employers! If you go to U.P.’s career fairs, bring your resume so you have it to offer employers that interest you. By having that resume readily available you may end up getting a job offer out of that career fair, like I did!

Examples of Action Verbs and descriptive words

Here is a sample of some action verbs and descriptive words that you might consider using on your resume. For more ideas, view the thesaurus option available in most word-processing programs.

Action Verbs
accelerated accomplished achieved adapted advised
administered analyzed appraised approved assessed
awarded bolstered briefed budgeted caused
communicated compared completed composed conceived
conducted controlled convinced coordinated counseled
created delegated demonstrated designed determined
developed directed dramatized earned effected
elected eliminated encouraged enjoyed enlarged
established evaluated excelled expanded expedited
financed forecast formulated founded gathered
generated guided implemented improvised identified
included increased influenced instructed interpreted
interviewed launched lead lectured maintained
managed motivated negotiated observed organized
originated oversaw participated performed persuaded
planned prepared processed provided qualified
raised rated recognized recommended reconciled
recruited reduced reorganized rescued revealed
reviewed revised scheduled scouted simplified
solved specified spoke streamlined structured
submitted suggested supervised supported tabulated
taught trained translated transformed traveled
tutored updated unified utilized visualized
Self-descriptive words
active adaptable aggresive alert ambitious
analytical assertive attentive broad-minded capable
competent competitive confident conscientious consistent
constructive creative dependable descriptive determined
diplomatic disciplined discreet economical efficient
energetic enterprising enthusiastic extroverted fair
friendly helpful honest imaginative independent
industrious inventive logical loyal mature
methodical objective optimistic opportunistic organized
original patient perceptive personable pleasant
positive practical precise productive prudent
quick rational realistic reflective reliable
resourceful respective responsible self-confident self-reliant
sensible sense-of-humor sincere sophisticated stable
successful supportive systematic tactful talented
teachable tolerant trustworthy versatile will relocate