What to include in your Resume
In order to write an effective resume, think about your target audience. Below are some of the key areas to include in most resumes.
The main heading at the top of your resume contains your contact information:
- Full Name – If your preferred name is different than your given birth name, you may choose to include it here, instead of or in addition to.
- Permanent Address and/or School Address – you may opt to use one, or both. For example, if applying for positions near your hometown, it can be an advantage to list your permanent address.
- Telephone Number – we suggest listing one main number instead of multiple.
- Email Address – Do not list multiple email addresses. Instead, choose one main address that you will use for your job or internship search. Seniors: your Emory email expires within a short grace period after graduation. We suggest using a personal email or applying for an alumni email address. ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS: You may wish to also incorporate the following if applicable:ᐳ Abbreviated Address – If you are worried about privacy considerations when listing your street address on a resume, some people opt to list only City and State.
- Personal website – For students who apply for jobs that frequently request to see samples of your work, you might have a personal website, blog, or other URL that contains a portfolio, or samples of your work, such as writing, photography, multimedia, and other applicable content.
- LinkedIn URL – Including a link to your LinkedIn profile can also serve as an extension of your resume, as it may contain a summary of your professional background and aspirations, samples of your work, recommendations written by a former job or internship supervisor, and endorsed skills.
Some hiring managers prefer to see objectives on a resume but others do not – therefore, it is
optional to include. Avoid using an objective that does not clearly define your focus.
Content can include:
- Whether you are seeking a full-time job or an internship (summer, or spring/fall).
- Title of the role, as specified by the target employer (or a similar title).
- The industry sector, or sub-sector you are targeting.
- A list of 2-3 primary skills relevant to the position. Focus on the skills you offer, not what you hope to gain from the position. Deciding when to use, or omit the “objective”:ᐳ When submitting a cover letter with your resume, this additional document will indicate all of the above in greater detail. In this instance, you may choose to omit the OBJECTIVE on your resume.
- When attending a Career Fair or networking event where you will be speaking with multiple people, an OBJECTIVE on your resume serves to let them know which industries or roles you are targeting.
When completing your graduate or professional school or scholarships/fellowships applications, an OBJECTIVE may not be necessary on your resume. The personal statement and/or essays are required to eliminate the need for it.
- Academic Institutions – List Emory University at the top, directly followed by Atlanta, GA as the location. You may also include Education Abroad Institutions, Prior Universities, and High School – arranged in order by the graduation date, from most recent to oldest. NOTE: Typically high school is listed on a freshman or sophomore resume, opting to omit the following sophomore year.
- Degree(s) being sought / degrees earned – Degrees should be listed in reverse chronological order beginning with the most recent. List the type of degree (ie. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, etc.), along with the corresponding academic major(s). This can also include minor, concentration(s). For example Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in Spanish.
- Graduation Dates – Provide the month and year you plan to graduate from Emory (not a date range). You may use a date range to describe time spent at another institution if you transferred to Emory.
- GPA – Including the GPA is optional but recommended, and typically this is your Cumulative GPA. Some people suggest omitting GPA if below a 3.0, while others suggest including it regardless, for transparency. Another alternative is to include Major GPA if that is higher than your cumulative and you feel it is more representative of the position you are seeking. NOTE: GPA can be represented with one, or two decimal points(ie. 3.0 or 3.25) and should reflect your current GPA as indicated by OPUS.
- Academic Honors – Can include items such as Dean’s List (with the number of semesters), honor societies, and scholarships.
- Related coursework – Selected courses that are relevant to the hiring manager’s needs. List courses by name, not course number. Keep this list short (2-6 courses, or two full lines on the page, is a good rule-ofthumb). If an employer wishes to see a full academic transcript, they will request it.
- NOTE: Honors, awards, courses, or activities may each have a subsection in this area or their own separate sections, depending on how relevant it is to your job focus.
This section may include a variety of things and it is not limited to paid experience:
- Paid or unpaid internships and work-study positions
- Part-time or full-time employment
- Independent study
- Volunteer opportunities
- Extracurriculars (Greek organizations, Professional Societies, Clubs, SGA)
TAILORING YOUR RESUME
Sending the same version of your resume to every position you’re applying for does not always work well, particularly if the roles you are seeking are significantly different from one another. Tailoring happens in two main ways: 1) The way you group experiences on the page; 2) How you describe the experiences in relation to your reader’s key needs.
STEP ONE: Analyze the position you are applying for. When you are clear about what your reader’s needs are, you are ready to look back on past experiences to determine which aspects of your background to emphasize in order to portray yourself as the right “fit” for the role.
STEP TWO: Draft your resume by creating a list of all of your current and former experiences. For each item, include:
ᐳ Name of organization
ᐳ Your job title
ᐳ Location of the organization (city, state), and
ᐳ Dates employed – use both a month & year as start and end dates
STEP THREE: Now you’re ready to consider how you want to group information on the page. We suggest looking over several resume examples before choosing the outline that works best for you.
STEP FOUR: Once you’ve selected your format, it’s time to write strong, descriptive bullet points that tell your reader you’re the person they want to interview. Bullets emphasize the projects and tasks you worked on, their context or purpose, and what results and outcomes were achieved. They should impress upon your reader that you have the potential to “step into” the desired role and achieve success, based on what you achieved in the past.
WRITING RESUME BULLETS
Bullet points allow the reader to understand how each experience relates to the role you are seeking by providing answers to 3 key questions: 1) What did you do? 2) How did you do it? 3) Why did you do it and what was the outcome?
This section could alternatively be named “Involvement”, “Leadership”, “Community Service” – or some combination of these that highlights campus and community involvement, leadership roles and shows your well-roundedness. Honors and awards can also be grouped here (or alternately under Education). Activities may include: student clubs, volunteerism, faith-based organizations, fraternities and sororities, athletics, conferences and competitions, and honor societies.
To keep your resume to a single page (typically recommended for undergraduates), these items are often listed as “one-liners” without bullets – but this depends on the amount of room you have to elaborate. Just be sure to provide org name, title, location and date range, as you would for your EXPERIENCE items in the sections above.
If you have too many to list, put emphasis on college over high school activities – either way, choose the activities that have the strongest connection to your reader’s identified needs.
First and second-year students should feel comfortable including high school-affiliated activities on a resume. By the time you reach your junior and senior year at Emory, your resume should reflect your collegiate experience. Sometimes listing an involvement on your resume may elicit some concern about whether it may have a negative impact on the employer’s hiring decision. Though the decision is personal and yours to make- it might be helpful to reach out to a Career Center staff member if you are unsure how you want to articulate this experience on a resume or during an interview.
This section is often included on a resume to help employers to easily pinpoint your areas of expertise.
Categories can be customized to reflect what you have to offer – you may use one or more:
- Software Skills – Arrange in order of relevance to the role you are seeking and include your proficiency.
- Foreign languages – Indicate whether written and/or conversational, as well as level(s) of fluency.
- Programming languages – for software or web development skills, for example.
- Laboratory skills – Spectrophotometry, PCR, and Gel Electrophoresis, for example.
- Multimedia skills – Adobe Premiere, FinalCut, iMovie, Audacity, and GarageBand, for example.
- Social Media skills – WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and HootSuite, for example.
- Certifications – these could include: driver’s licenses, CPR, Scuba, project management, SalesForce or Google Analytics, for example (typically, these require an examination).
- Interests – This is an additional subcategory that can make you more interesting and well-rounded to a prospective employer and may facilitate a further personal connection with those you meet. These can include personal hobbies or favorite subject matter, as well as professional interests that might relate to the role you are seeking. With software skills, there is debate over whether to include products like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, or whether they are viewed as “too basic” or ubiquitous. We suggest not minimizing any software proficiency, particularly if the above is requested within the job or internship description you are seeking.
NOTE: A skills section is generally intended for concrete technical skills, rather than character traits or broader interpersonal, public speaking, time management, or leadership skills that are more credible when tied to bullet points that describe a context in which they were applied.