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Creating the Resume Inventory

When creating your Resume Inventory focus on capturing the depth and breadth of your strengths, knowledge, skills, accomplishments and experience that could be of value to prospective employers. Details are important to create the most comprehensive inventory. Review each line and ask the question “So What?, to determine if you recounted the impact, the size, and the results of your accomplishments

If you feel uncomfortable starting from scratch you can make a start using the Resume Builder in CareerBeam. It will prompt you with questions to help you build a basic resume drawing from your experiences, knowledge and skills. In addition, we have several resources in the Career Center Library, including our resume tutorial. Resumes & Professional Letters Writing Brochure (Fall 2009)

It is important to remember that the resume is designed to be a marketing tool for yourself. The purpose of the resume is to show the employer that you have the ability or potential to meet their needs such that they need to interview you. The format you select should present your qualifications in the best light possible to accomplish this goal. Please note that not all of the categories listed below are necessary on your resume. The categories listed on resumes do vary based on the experiences and strengths of each individual, but this is a good starting point.

Personal Data
  • Include name, physical address, phone number, and e-mail address.
  • Not required, but strongly encouraged to clarify skills and a short-term/long-term career goal. Remember that the most effective statements focus with your alignment with their needs, not your needs.
  • Use phrases to indicate industries preferred, position desired or areas of interest.
  • Avoid general statements and terms such as: “opportunity for advancement”, “a challenging position”, “a position dealing with people”, or “a progressive company”. Your focus should be on contributions to the company (why you would be an asset).
  • If you are a Recent Graduate, this is more likely to be listed first on your resume. If you are a Former Student with more work experience, it may be appropriate for this section to be towards the bottom of your resume.
  • Regardless of where this category is on your resume, the section should begin with your most recent education.
  • Provide name and location (city & state) of college or university; degree received, major & minor; month & year of graduation, and overall GPR (for Recent Graduates).  Experienced Former Students need not include GPR.
  • If you are a Recent Graduate, you may want to include relevant, specialized coursework if not known by employers (i.e. minor coursework or electives), but list no more than 4-6 important classes.
  • Include schools from which you received a degree.
  • Provide amount, if over 50%, of financial support provided through scholarships, grants, loans and/or employment.
  • Include honors received, Dean’s List, class rank, awards, and scholarships if you are a Recent Graduate. Experienced Former Students may also list honors, but this listing should be limited to your most significant achievements. List these in a separate “Honors” category if there are multiple items to include.
  • List full-time, part-time, internships, or co-op jobs.
  • Include company or organization name, city and state of location, your job title, and dates (month, year) of employment.
  • Describe your accomplishments and duties using phrases beginning with action verbs in present or past tense depending on the time of the experience.
  • Begin with the most relevant experience first, then list the remaining experiences in reverse chronological order, with the most recent dates next.
  • Quantify whenever possible, including percentage increases in staff retention, sales, productivity, market share, end of quarter profits, or other relevant statistics.
  • Include those duties that reflect transferable skills, including communication, teamwork, training, recruiting, problem solving, conflict resolution, project management and others.
  • Be specific when listing responsibilities and duties and avoid broad generalizations.
  • List your professional affiliations, associations/organizations, campus activities, and dates of involvement.  For experienced former students, specific project teams or employer events led could also be included.
  • Include any offices you held or committees you chaired.
  • Describe your accomplishments and duties within these organizations.
  • Be sure to quantify whenever possible, particularly when describing fundraisers, membership drives, programs or events.
  • List activities, organizations that you are a member of, but have not had a leadership role in during your educational or professional experience.
  • Include a brief description if the group or activity is not well-known.
Skills & Languages
  • Include any technical skills such as computer software applications, hardware, laboratory skills and/or languages.
    • List level of foreign language skills. Note that “fluent” indicates exceptional speaking ability and should only be used if you would actually be able to complete your interview in that particular language.
Other Categories
  • These can be used to demonstrate valuable attributes. For example: publications and presentations, relevant projects completed, special training, professional licenses or certifications.

Resume Writing Tips
  • Arrange categories/sections in order of relevance, presenting your most marketable information first.
  • Use brief, descriptive phrases instead of complete sentences.
  • Select action verbs that illustrate your skills and experience.
  • Do not use personal pronouns such as I, me, or my.
  • Focus on results, accomplishments, and skills that demonstrate you have the qualifications to be successful at the job. Highlight higher order skills as opposed to just listing daily tasks.
  • Avoid repetitive phrases when describing your experience.
  • Describe activities that employers may not be familiar with, especially those unique to Texas A&M University (if you are a Recent Graduate). Instead of using abbreviations or acronyms for organizations, write the entire name of the group.
  • Have several people review your resume to check for spelling, grammatical errors, and readability.


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