Students | Faculty/Staff | Employers
A resume is a summary of your educational and professional experiences, and this may include: colleges attended, internships, job shadows, volunteer experiences, work experiences, research or other relevant information, depending on what you are submitting it for.
Begin with your name as the heading, preferably in a larger
Include a complete present address and/or permanent address
where you can be reached or a message can be left.
For graduating seniors, use your personal email address (or
consider using your alumni account, available through the Alumni Association).
University email addresses will not be accessible after graduation.
To maintain flexibility, you may choose to omit an objective
on your resume. Your cover letter is a good place to share what your career or
job objective is.
If you decide to use an objective, make sure it will enhance
your employability. Vague objectives
will not tell an employer what kind of job you are seeking.
You may want to avoid using the term "entry level"
in your objective. In some organizations, entry level positions may be at a
lower level than you wish to work.
Keep your objective short. Typically, you should only
address immediate plans in your objective. Not all employers will value your
plans for graduate school or your interest in management. Also, your long range
plans may change once you have been with an organization for a while.
You may wish to use "ACADEMIC BACKGROUND" instead
of "EDUCATION", or "UNIVERSITY INVOLVEMENT" instead of
Use categories relevant to your experiences and career
goals, such as "RESEARCH EXPERIENCE" and "PRESENTATIONS AND
Category headings may be changed to meet your needs.
List your degree, month and year of graduation first,
followed by the name of your institution and city and state and your major(s), minor
and any special concentration or emphasis. Include your grade point average if
you feel it is to your advantage. You can give your major or minor area grade
point average if either is better than your overall grade point average, as
long as you identify what it represents. Use an online GPA calculator to
provide accurate information.
Students from UW-La Crosse graduate in May, August, December
and January. Even if you participate in the May graduation ceremony but take
summer classes, August is your official graduation date. Your name will not
appear on the official May graduation list. This is very important if an
employer calls to verify your degree.
If you attended more than one institution, or received more
than one degree, list the most recent school and degree first.
As a rule, omit high school information.
Academic honors or awards (dean's list, scholarships, honors
graduate, etc.) may be included in this section or listed in a separate section
labeled "HONORS AND AWARDS".
List the number of times you have received an honor (i.e. Dean’s List –
Education graduates should include Wisconsin subject code
number(s) and grade level(s) for education majors. Current certification
numbers are available on the Wisconsin DPI web page.
Consider including all experiences such as study abroad,
unique travel, and volunteer service programs.
Discuss what you studied, what you learned and where you
If you list additional languages, include your level of
proficiency (basic, conversational, fluent, native)
Include only certification information appropriate to your
education or profession. Do not include certifications that are not related to
your employment interests.
Appropriate certifications might include CPR or Water Safety
Instructor for a recreation position, or CPA for an accountancy position or
medical related certifications or licensures.
List only those that are current. If there is something you are planning on
getting in the future don’t include it as a current certification. If you are in the process of getting it
(taking a class, etc.) note that. For
example, CPA Eligible in May.
This section is typically used only on resumes of those
students seeking internships, fieldwork, etc.
However, if you are graduating in biology, chemistry and microbiology
you may wish to include course work on your resume and indicate which courses
included a lab section.
List the titles, not the numbers, of the courses which are
relevant to the type of experience you are seeking.
Identify the courses you are currently completing.
Employers are very interested in learning more about class
projects and undergraduate research projects.
List the most important project first.
Describe the project, your involvement and outcomes in a
bullet point format.
Utilize this section to outline special skills and knowledge
that you will bring to the job. Examples might include laboratory skills, advanced
computer skills, foreign language skills (if not in a different section), or
Describe yourself according to your ability, using
qualifying adjectives such as extensive knowledge in..., basic understanding
of..., exposure to..., etc.
Use course descriptions from the university catalog to help
describe knowledge gained in classes.
Don’t use vague ‘skills’ like hard worker, dedicated,
timely, etc. Use skills that are
demonstrable and relevant to the field and position you are applying for.
Consider categorizing and prioritizing your experiences
using several headings such as Internship and Project Experience, Professional
Experience, Related Experience (Fitness Experience, Sport Management Experience,
Accounting Experience, Lab Experience), Research Experience, Additional
Employment Experience or Teaching Experience. Within headings, list most recent
Introduce each position with job title, organization name,
city, state, and dates of employment. You may wish to de-emphasize dates by
listing them after the city and state or after the description of each
Describe your responsibilities and achievements, the skills
you gained, and the impact you had in your work experiences. Highlight skills
that are valuable to employers and list most important job responsibilities
Remember to include all positions from which you have gained
meaningful experience; related to your major.
Do not describe obvious or commonly understood responsibilities of
positions (server, bartender, cashier, lifeguard, etc.).
If you choose to omit some positions, you may want to make a
general statement such as: "Have held various other full (or part) time
positions to finance college education."
Describe your skills and responsibilities with action verbs.
When applicable, use adverbs such as effectively, successfully, or
consistently. Use quantitative descriptions when possible such as
"Increased membership by 50%...."
Discuss what you observed/ learned/ gained an understanding
of/ were exposed to as a developing professional.
If you personally paid for more than 75% of college costs,
without loans, you may wish to indicate the percentage of your education for
which you are responsible.
List campus and community organizations, including
athletics, if you have been an active member.
Include offices held, committees, responsibilities, and
results of projects and activities. This illustrates leadership qualities and
time management skills. List significant offices held first.
You may want to list some of these items under other experience
Consider the negative implications when listing politics,
religious and other affiliations.
List personal interests, if relevant and/or appropriate.
Professors, intern supervisors, and employers are usually
considered the most significant references. Their names should not be listed until
they have agreed to serve as your reference. Do not use relatives, and as a
rule, do not use members of the clergy.
Discuss your qualifications with your references, provide
them with a copy of your resume and asked them how they would like to be
List at least three and no more than five references. In
most cases, references will be telephoned about your ability to serve in the
List names, titles, place of employment, business telephone
numbers and email addresses of professionals who have agreed to serve as
For education graduates who are certified and are seeking
teaching positions: List names, titles, schools, addresses, and telephone
numbers (school and home) of professionals who have agreed to serve as
Inform your references how this information will appear on