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Career Planning: Resume Writing Overview

By Peterson's Staff updated on Thursday, June 27, 2013

A well-written resume is an integral component to both the job search and admission application packet. However, resume writing can be intimidating especially if you are unsure of how to highlight your best qualities and accomplishments in an effective and attention-grabbing way. Whatever you do, don't fret - our partner ResumeEdge has provided simple resume writing guidelines that will help you maneuver through the process successfully.

Education
Your educational background is an important selling point if you have high grades or have completed relevant vocational coursework. For instance, if you are applying to a college or university, embrace your strong suits by including a high GPA or grades for specific courses. If you are applying to start a career as an auto repair technician, add the related coursework you have completed and the grades you earned in those particular courses. To know how to highlight your academic history properly, read our article on Education information on your resume.

Skills
For a recent graduate or student continuing your education, creating a short list of your technical, communicative or vocational skills can really boost the overall content of your resume. A skills section of your resume provides admissions directors or employers with a bird's eye view of your abilities. Be sure to check out the Skills article to make your resume writing experience easier.

Work History
Work history does not have to be limited to professional work experience. For a student or recent graduate, this section of your resume can include paid work experience as well as volunteer experience. In either case, be sure not to list every small task you performed when describing the position. You can better represent your experience by placing emphasis on anything that indicates your acquaintance and proficiency with the field or job you are pursuing.  Are you still unsure of what to include? Read our article on how to describe your Work History on an entry-level resume.

Honors, Awards, and Accomplishments
Academic and job related accomplishments reveal to admission directors or a potential employer that you will be an asset to the organization. Being rewarded for excellent performance speaks volumes on your motivation and ability to be a self-starter. Accomplishments will get you noticed, since admissions directors and hiring managers know that past performance usually indicates how well you will do in the future. To know more about what accomplishments to detail, read Honors, Awards, and Accomplishments.

Activities
To introduce a part of your personality into your resume and as an avenue to show leadership, technical skills and community involvement, you may want to include activity information from the clubs and organizations you are a part of as well as your personal hobbies and interests. Be aware that student-run organizations like computer or language clubs are very complementing, while dangerous activities like extreme sports may hurt your chances of landing the perfect office job. For more information of what to include, see our article on Activities.

Top 10 Pitfalls of Resume Writing
Poor formatting and information prioritization makes even the most content rich resume hard to read and understand, while spelling and grammatical errors reflect negatively on your attention to detail. To ensure you avoid basic resume writing blunders, read our article on the Top 10 Pitfalls of Resume Writing.

As you can see, potential employers and admissions directors want to know how well you will fit and contribute to their institution. The prime way to show how well you will succeed is via your well-written resume. By utilizing the tips provided by our partner ResumeEdge, you will be better prepared to conquer any challenges the job search or admissions applications process may create.


ResumeEdge - resume writing service

About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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