résumé formats

Résumés come in many formats, though they share typical categories of information and features. The three most common formats, which we'll address here, are the reverse chronological résumé, the functional résumé, and the combination résumé.

Reverse Chronological Résumé: This is the traditional format, in which work experience is highlighted and is listed chronologically with the most recent positions listed first. This is a good style for job seekers who already have professional experience in a specific field and who are looking for a new job within the same field.

Functional Résumé: This is a skills-based format, in which specific job skills are highlighted. This is a good style for job seekers without much professional experience, or for those who are looking to move into a new field.

Combination Résumé: This style highlights the job seeker's skills and also provides a chronological listing of experience. An excellent style for foregrounding skills but also providing a work history.

You can (and should) adapt the formats and résumé categories to your own experiences and skills, as well as to the job being targeted. You may want to develop a number of different formats for your résumé, to be used and adapted for different jobs. Don't rely on a single résumé to serve the purpose for all situations: you will need to adapt and revise your résumé and cover letter each time you target a new position.

Typical Categories in a Résumé

Contact Information
Your name and contact information should stand out clearly. Include your name, address, and phone number. You may also include your e-mail address. If your résumé exceeds one page, be sure that your name and contact information are listed at the top of every page.

Objective(Optional)
Your objective should be specific to the job you're targeting. Specify the position, field of work, or skills to be used on the job. Avoid vague statements such as, "I am looking for a challenge" or "I want to work with people." This is where to tell the potential employer, I want to work for you in such and such a capacity, and this is why/these are the skills I can bring to this position. (See sample résumés below.)

Summary of Qualifications(Optional)
Some job seekers substitute a Summary of Qualifications for the Objective. This is a brief description of your background, training, and skills. (See sample résumés below.)

Education
Along with listing your degree (or anticipated degree), recent graduates may also want to include information on curriculum, honors, activities, and study abroad. (See sample résumés below.)

Experience
List your title, place of employment, city, state, and dates of employment. Write job descriptions that give evidence that you have the skills the employer wants. (See sample résumés below.)

Activities (Optional)
List activities that are either relevant to this position or can offer the employer a sense of your qualities and qualifications as a job candidate. If you're short on work experience, you may want to provide details of volunteer work or leadership positions you've held in the context of your education or the community. If space is at a premium, you may want simply to list the organizations you're affiliated with and your positions within them. (See sample résumés below.)

Honors/Awards (Optional)
If these are related to your education, you may want to list them above, in the education section of the résumé. If you have a substantial list of honors or awards, a separate category is probably appropriate.

Other Categories (Optional)
The categories in your résumé are used to highlight particular areas of strength or experience. You should create them and adapt them to fit your purposes. Some résumés include categories such as Computer Skills, Related Skills, Leadership, Special Training, Research Experience, Volunteer Work, Internships, etc. Design headings to draw attention to particular, related attributes or experiences.

References (Optional)
Some applicants use "References" as a heading and state "References available upon request." Others don't refer to references in the résumé at all. In either case, it's better to have a separate reference sheet. Most applicants don't provide this with the résumé, but do prepare it to take to a job interview. Employers will ask for references in advance if they want them.



Example of a Reverse Chronological Résumé



Angelique Martin
221 North Peach Street
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 555-5555
almartin@aol.net


OBJECTIVE

To begin my career in an editorial assistant or other entry-level position with a publishing firm specializing in commercial non fiction.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Communications, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Degree anticipated June 2013. GPA: 3.55.
Course work concentrations in expository writing and mass media communications.
Studied abroad in London, 2011.
Awarded foreign-study travel grant, 2011.
Annual Dean's List, 2010, 2011.


RELATED EXPERIENCE

Editorial Intern, Steubing Press, Seattle, WA
January 2011 - December 2011
Contributed to the day to day workings of publisher activities in editing, design, sales, and marketing.
Checked facts and did research for guidebooks and regional publications.
Read and evaluated unsolicited manuscripts for the assistant editor.
Participated in design meetings.
Proofread copy and supported the production staff.
Assisted in developing the 2011 catalog.
Served as a liaison with local and regional bookstores.
Assisted with answering queries from booksellers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Originally hired for one quarter, then invited to stay on for an additional quarter by the assistant editor.

Editorial Staff, Bricolage literary arts magazine, Seattle, WA
September 2011 - June 2012
Read and evaluated over 200 short fiction submissions by UW students, facutly, and staff for this annual publication.
Participated in editorial meetings to determine the journal's fiction selections.
Assisted with post-publication public relations and marketing efforts.
Assisted in coordinating the annual Bricolage reading at Barnes & Noble.

Additional Work Experience:
2009 - 2011
Also held waitstaff and clerical positions. Averaged 15 hours per week to help finance my education.

COMPUTER SKILLS

Demonstrated ability to use the following programs: MS Word, Excel, and Outlook; Macromedia Fireworks and Dreamweaver; Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop; some experience with MS Access.

ACTIVITIES & VOLUNTEER WORK

University of Washington Daily (student newspaper), contributing writer, 2009 - present.
Goodwill Literacy Project, literacy tutor, 2010 - present.
English Department Outreach Program (outreach to students from underrepresented populations in Seattle area high schools), 2011 - present.



Example of a Functional (skills-based) Résumé



Angelique Martin
221 North Peach Street
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 555-5555
almartin@aol.net


Objective
Editorial Assistant position or other entry-level post with a publishing firm specializing in commercial non fiction.

Background Summary
Well versed in the day to day aspects of the publishing industry, including editing and development; proofreading, fact checking, and copy editing; production scheduling and production tasks; working with off-site vendors; publication planning and design; sales, promotions, and marketing; local and regional book fairs. Eager to be a team player and willing to take on new responsibilities whenever needed to assist in all aspects of publication. Adaptable, quick to learn, and able to work both independently and as a group member to accomplish objectives.

Experience

Editing and Development:

Read and evaluated unsolicited manuscripts for the assistant editor at Steubing Press.
Read and evaluated over 200 short fiction submissions to Bricolage, the University of Washington's undergraduate literary journal.
Participated in weekly editorial meetings with Steubing Press staff. Was asked for feedback and opinion on manuscripts under consideration.
Prepared presentations for Steubing Press on new manuscripts. Made recommendations to the editing staff.
Hired for a one-quarter internship but invited to stay for an additional quarter by Steubing's assistant editor.

Proofreading and Copyediting

Checked facts and did research for guidebooks and regional publications.

Proofread copy and supported the production staff.
Served as a member of the final copy editing team for the galleys of the 2011 issue of Bricolage.

Production and Design

Participated in design brainstorming sessions.
Contributed to the day to day workings of production activities.
Frequently solicited by design editor for opinion on graphics and layout

Promotion, Marketing, and Customer Service

Assisted in developing the 2011 catalog.
Served as a liaison with local and regional bookstores.
Answered queries from book sellers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Assisted in coordinating the annual Bricolage reading at Barnes & Noble.
Represented Steubing Press at the 2011 Northwest Bookfest book fair in Seattle, Washington.

Work History
Editorial Intern, Steubing Press, Seattle, WA, January 2011 - June 2011
Editorial Staff Member, Bricolage, Seattle, WA, September 2010 - present
Waitstaff, Costa's Restaurant, Seattle, WA, March 2010 - present
Shipping Clerk, UW Surplus Property, Seattle, WA, September 2009 - March 2010

Education
BA in English, University of Washington, anticipated June 2013.

Computing Skills
Demonstrated ability to use the following programs: MS Word and Excel, Macromedia Fireworks and Dreamweaver, Adobe Illustrator, some experience with MS Access.

Activities and Volunteer Work
University of Washington Daily (student newspaper), contributing writer, 2010 - present.
Goodwill Literacy Project, literacy tutor, 2009 - 2011.
Sigma Tau Delta, chapter secretary, 2011 - present.


Example of a Combination Résumé



Angelique Martin
221 North Peach Street
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 555-5555
almartin@aol.net


Objective

Editorial assistant position or other entry-level post with a publishing firm specializing in commercial non fiction.

Education

Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Communications, University of Washington, anticipated June 2013. GPA 3.55.
Course work concentrations in expository writing and mass media communications.
Studied abroad in London, 2011.
Awarded foreign study travel grant by the UW English Department, 2011.
Annual Dean's List, 2010, 2011.


Related Courses

The Composition Process
Technical Writing and Editing
Advanced Expository Writing
English Syntax
Introdution to Mass Media
Newswriting and Reporting
Introduction to Information Technology

Skills

Editing and Development:
Proofreading and copy editing
Fact checking
Production and design tasks
Catalog Development

Marketing and Sales
Writing catalog entries for new publications
Event coordination
Liaison with vendors
Direct service to book sellers

Experience

Editorial Intern, Steubing Press, Seattle, WA
January 2011 - June 2011

Contributed to the day to day workings of publisher activities in editing, design, sales, and marketing. Checked facts and did research for guidebooks and regional publications. Read and evaluated unsolicited manuscripts. Participated in design meetings. Proofread copy and supported the production staff. Assisted in developing the 2011 catalog. Served as a liaison with local and regional bookstores. Assisted with queries from book sellers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Originally hired for one quarter, then invited to stay for an additional quarter by the assistant editor.

Editoral Staff, Bricolage literary arts magazine, Seattle, WA
September 2011 - June 2012

Read and evaluated over 200 short fiction submissions by UW students, faculty, and staff for the annual publication. Participated in editorial meetings to determine the journal's fiction selections for the 2011 issue. Assisted with public relations and marketing efforts before publication. Assisted in coordinating the annual Bricolage reading at Barnes & Noble.

Additional Work Experience
2009 - present

Held waitstaff and clerical positions, averaging 15 hours per week to help fund education.

Activities and Volunteer Work

University of Washington Daily (student newspaper), contributing writer, 2011.
Goodwill Literacy Project, literacy tutor, 2009 - 2011.
Sigma Tau Delta, chapter secretary, 2011 - present.

For additional résumé samples, see the UW Career Center's résumé information.




to home page
top of page
top