How do I write a resume?

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How to Write a Resume


A resume is a marketing tool designed to highlight your accomplishments, skills, experience, and education. The short-term goal of a resume is to secure a job interview. An effective resume is customized based on each job you are applying to. You do not need to rewrite your resume each time you apply, but you may need to do some tweaking to get the results you want. A one-size-fits-all approach to writing your resume can stall your job search. You can also think of a resume as answers to employers’ questions. Those questions can be found in a job posting’s requirements. Treat the requirements of each posting as if a question about your skills, employment history, and education is being asked. If your resume does not answer those questions, you should customize it to address what is in the job posting.


A reverse-chronological resume consists of:


Contact information – This includes your full name, city, state, zip code, one email address, and (if applicable) your URL on a professional social media platform. It is no longer necessary to include your street address in your contact information. Be sure that your email address is clear and simple. The phone number in your contact information should be associated with a functional voicemail that clearly identifies you. 


Headline or headline statement – This replaces the objective statement. A headline can consist of your job title/target. For example: Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, Elementary School Teacher, or Customer Service Representative. This conveys to the reader what position(s) you are targeting. Excluding a headline or headline statement means that the employer may have to do some guesswork if they are hiring for more than one position. Examples of headline statements are: Pharmaceutical Sales Representative offering a proven record of increasing sales and fostering strong relationships with medical professionals or Customer Service Representative with a background in retail sales.


Summary or profile – This part of the resume gives you the opportunity to present the “big picture” of what you offer your next employer. Information in this section can include the following (if applicable):

  • Years of experience in the field
  • Relevant hard skills
  • A record of accomplishments/problem-solving
  • A current certification and or license in your field
  • A record of promotions
  • Foreign language skills
  • Soft skills desired in your field


Professional experience – Your work history should be presented in reverse chronological order. This information consists of the names of your employer(s) along with city, state, dates of employment and job title(s), starting with the most recent. Following this information, you should present (in bulleted points) your job duties and accomplishments for each employer. If you’re writing about your current employer, these bullets should be written in the present tense. When writing about previous employers this information should be written in past tense. 


Education – If you completed a college degree, it’s not necessary to list your high school diploma. However, if you didn’t finish college, you can provide a notation, but be clear about the fact that you did not finish. For example: 


Coursework toward a BA in Economics


Completed 90 credits toward a BA in Economics

More resources:

  • CTHires has a resume builder, cover letter builder, and free resume workshops to help you write a great resume and cover letter. 
  • CareerOneStop provides very helpful resume writing tips, templates, and examples you can use.
  • Certified Professional Résumé Writers (CPRW) are located at the various American Job Centers throughout the state and can assist you in creating a résumé that will effectively market your skills to potential employers. Make an appointment to be connected with a résumé professional and other no-cost employment services in your area.


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