• Accept the value of custom resumes
  • Know position titles and type of vacancy
  • Do your homework

Do Your Homework

  •  Analyze the job description for skills and abilities.
  • Do you have at least 60% of what they are asking for?
  • Create your list of accomplishments.
  • Analyze experiences for relevant skill areas.
  • Write in descriptive phrases. Use action verbs.
  • Choose an appropriate format (Chronological vs. Skills/Functional)

Decision Points

  • Highlight the job title or the place of employment?
  • Which duties to list first in a string of bullets?
  • Do you note accomplishments? Include numbers, dollars, cost savings, impact?
  • How much credit should you take for work performed not on your job description? SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
  •  This is the top ¼ of your resume which is the first thing recruiters see and read. This section will spark their interest. (The rest of your resume will back this section up.)
  • Purpose of this section is to summarize your resume; your relevant key accomplishments, results, actions, and benefits.
  • Try to address each requirement of the job opening in this section. Use the language in job opening to describe your skills and accomplishments.
  •  Focus on your strong selling points, your value, your achievements, your industry, and your career goals.
  • Include language proficiencies or security clearances if relevant
  • Include education if relevant or recent graduate
  • Keep bullets to 1.5 lines max, use only 5-8 bullets

For Technical Resumes

  •  List Certifications, Platforms, and Tools
  • List all that are relevant to your current job search
  • Include Technical Skills up front if you are seeking an IT/Technical position, if not include your technical skills at the end under Skills and Abilities

Professional Affiliations & Membership

  •  Member/Office, Organization, City, State, YYYY-YYYY
  • Founder, Organization, City, State, YYYY
  • Founding Member and President/Chair, Org Name, City, State, YYYY – YYYY
    • Education COLLEGE/INSTITUTION (City, State)
    • Awarding Institution (City, State)
    • 3.7 GPA Graduation Honor
    • DEGREE (BS/BA etc.)-Major Emphasis YYYY
    • If you are expecting to graduate, may state:
    • “expected in December,2013.”
  • Training and Addition Education
  • Training completed, sorted by type
  • Title of course(s) school/organization/vendor,
  • MM/YYYY completed
  • Supervisory/Leadership Training
  • Basic Supervision, The Graduate School, 2012
  • Name Technical Expertise Area
  • Course Name, Vendor, YYYY

Special Skills and Abilities

  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ACCESS)
  • Bilingual and Bi-literate in [Language]
  • Project Management Professional, Project Management Institute, YYYY
  • CPA, The [Named] State Board of Accountancy, YYYY
  • Emergency Medical Technician, [Name of College Attended], YYYY

Honors and Awards

  •  Name, achievement, by whom, when awarded
  • Group types of honors and then list the month/year, for example
  • Time Off Awards: 2012
  • Cash Awards: 2005-2009, 2011

Community Service and Volunteer Experience

  •  Title, Organization, City, State
  • Board of Directors, Non-Profit Org Named, (Washington, DC), YYYY-YYYY
  • Volunteer Divisional Lead, Combined Federal Campaign, USDA (Washington, DC) 2011 to present


  • Do not list references, however complete on the site
  • Naming them may limit who you may use to best validate your experiences
  • It may also bias the search committee members, if the contact listed has a reputation that precedes him/her

Overall Format

  •  Unlimited number of pages. Ensure header with name and contact info., on each page. Number the pages.
  • Must be consistent throughout with bolding, punctuation, and phrasing.
  • Do not use 1st or 3rd person (I, she/he, Mr./Mrs., Sally/Tim)
  • Make sure computer friendly, have 2 versions one MS Word version for interviews, and another plain text version for Internet correspondents
  • Use Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana 10 to 12pt font
  • Make sure to “ignore all” on red and green squiggles (after checking) or recruiter will see them, too
  • Name resume “First, Last Name Resume.doc” NOT Resume.doc
  • Have a personalized cover letter attached to all submissions