To get you started in planning your resume, you need to take stock of all the things you've done and see if they can find a place in your document. Not everything you've done will fit, or should have the same priority and prominent position, but this worksheet should help you do some exploring and planning. Get out plenty of scratch paper (or better yet, sit down at the computer) and fill out things as you see fit.
- List all the jobs that you've had (this includes "self employed" and "on the farm"). If the job has a specific title, include that.
- Now list the skills you've acquired, duties you performed etc. on that job.
- Can you see any similarities in skills etc. that run throughout?
- If possible, list individual accomplishments you had--number of people working under you, projects you worked on or headed.
- Do the same with organizations you've been involved with. List these to begin with, then think of titles you've had.
- List the skills you've developed while working for these groups.
- Any similarities in skills you've used or needed in the organizations? Do they match skills developed in jobs?
- List specific goals you've reached in the organization. What role did you play there?
Adapted from handout by Amy Alt, University of Minnesota-Morris English Department
- What skills does a person with your major develop as an undergraduate (ex. researching, writing reports, statistics etc.)?
- How have your skills developed? What projects have you worked on that demonstrate these skills?
- What classes have you taken that are particularly important or specialized? That relate to the job(s) you are applying for?
- Do you have a minor that dovetails with your major? Any similarities in skills development there? Complementing skills?
- Are there special projects you've worked on (senior project, special work for a class)? What did you do here?
- What skills is an employer looking for in the job/career area you are focussing on (if you are responding to a want ad, you may find specific skills listed there)? Have you demonstrated these skills through any of the above classes, organizational involvements, or jobs?
- Reduce your Font size to either 12, 11, or 10. You may also use 9 Font, but use only as your last option.
- Change your type to the "Times" Font (or a font which takes up less character space in your document).
- Reduce the size of your Document. Normally, this is found under
"Page Setup". Start by reducing only one percent at a time until your document fits on "one page". By doing this, the size of your character will not get any smaller than needed.
- Make sure all your margins (top, bottom, right, and left) are set at only .5 inch. This makes the most of your paper space.
- Take out unnecessary spaces between your text.