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Western Kentucky University

Resumes

Why Resumes matter:

Resumes are normally the first impression you are making on an employer. It is not simply a list of your accomplishments, but should be an intriguing display of why you are the best candidate for the position.
 

Myths/Falsehoods:

  • The longer the better- Resumes should range from 1-2 pages. A good rule to go by is 1 page for every 10 years of experience. However, Resumes should be no longer than 2 ½ pages. 
  • The company doesn't check facts or references- employers regularly check information on resumes and frequently call the listed references to gain insight to your work ethic and performance. 
  • Pictures add a unique touch- It's actually the opposite. By putting your picture on the resume you are putting the employer in an uncomfortable position about trying to avoid firing laws. Modeling would be the only exception to this rule. 
  • I don't need a cover letter- While some jobs require one, others don't. You should almost always include a cover letter when submitting a resume. It can be a great place to really sell your qualities. 
     

Section Breakdown:

  • Objective - a declarative statement informing employer what type of position you are seeking. 
  • Education - list university, major, minor, expected graduation date and GPA if it is above a 3.2. 
  • Skills – list any technical skills, languages you speak, or systems/programs that you are proficient in. 
  • Certifications – any kind of professional training or certification that is job related should be listed here. 
  • Work experience – list previous work experiences. Try and think of unique ways to phrase your experience and add any kind of statistics that you can. EX. Instead of saying "Server at Oliver Garden, bussed tables, took orders, refilled drinks, and served pasta." The employer more than likely knows what servers do at Olive Garden. Try something like this, "Server at Olive Garden, trained new employees, chosen to manage assist 3 months after starting, up-sold beverage sales by 14% in July 2012." 
  • Activities/Community Service – List any activities, organizations or clubs that you are in. Be sure to list if you have any leadership roles and how long you have been in the organization. After your freshman year of college, high school activities are no longer valid. 
  • Honors/Awards – This is where you should list any awards or academic achievements with a brief description if you are not able to tell by the name. EX. "Recipient of Robin S. Lee Scholarship, awarded to students who have a GPA higher than 3.75 and exhibit outstanding leadership." 
  • References – "Available Upon Request". Have a separate word document that has at least 3 references listed with name, phone number, title, relationship, and best time to reach them. 

Write a Draft and Let Us Review It

Walk in appointments are welcome or if you'd prefer to make an appointment you may do so by calling 270-745-3095 or by stopping by in person in DSU 2001.  Alumni or off-campus students are welcome to email your resume to CareerHelp@wku.edu.  Critiques are usually completed within 48 business hours.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 9/24/14