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What do I include in my Resume?

Personal Data
First name, middle initial, and last name
This is an important document so you should use your legal name.
If you prefer to be known by another name, put it in parenthesis. For example,
Wilbur (Bill)
Street address
City, State (spelled out), and zip code
(Area code) and telephone number
Use a number where you can be reached during business hours. If the number is something than your home, identify it as other such: For example, "message phone," "work," "parents," etc.


An objective is a statement of your search intentions and is an opportunity to demonstrate that you know specifically what you want to do. It should always go on a skill/functional resume and in many cases on a chronological. If it is not utilized on the actual resume, it should be a part of the cover letter.
Some people prefer to put a header before the statement such as "Objective," "Position Desired," "Career Objective," "Employment Objective," or so on. You should choose the one that you feel most comfortable with.

In an objective, be specific! Use two or three lines maximum! Avoid being too general--it would be better to not have one. Consider these:
Bad Examples:
"Desire a job that is more stable than my last job."
"Seeking a career that offers potential for advancement."
"I want full time employment allowing me to provide for my family."
Good Examples:
"Seeking an assembly-line manufacturing position utilizing my technical training and welding experience."
"Seeking a home-health nursing position utilizing my education, training, and previous nursing experience."
"Seeking a teaching and research position utilizing my communication skills, classroom management background, and abilities to conceptualize research models."
Work Experience or History
You need to account for your work history for at least the past 10 to 15 years. Start with the most recent first and work back. List the job title, employer's name, city and state, and dates of employment.

If you have no gaps in your history, you can list the month and year.

For Example:
Waitress, Shoney's, Columbia, Missouri, August 1990 to May 1993
Assembler, Vickers Inc., Rolla, Missouri, May 1983 to June 1994
Supervisor, K mart, Inc., Sedalia, Missouri, December 1987 to Present
If you have any gaps, list only the year! This is the preferred method!
For Example:
Waitress, Shoney's, Columbia, Missouri, 1990 to 1993
Assembler, Vickers, Inc., Rolla, Missouri, 1983 to 1994
Supervisor, Kmart, Inc., Sedalia, Missouri, 1987 to Present
As a rule of thumb, don't list a job that was for less than three or four months unless it helps you.
What if I worked at one place for 15 years or longer?
We have already stressed the importance of duties, responsibilities and skill identification for this portion of your resume. Remember to:
If you're stuck or having difficulty describing your duties, an excellent resource is the D.O.T. (Dictionary of Occupational Titles). Check with your local library or state employment office for a copy.
Education or Training
As with most other things, list the most recent first and work your way back.

If you have attended a four-year college or university, or have received a college degree, there's no need to list your high school. Otherwise, it's better safe than sorry.

Begin the entry with the name of the completed degree or certificate. Following that, list the formal name of the school, the city it is located in or branch campus you attended, and the state.

What about the year of your graduation? List it if you think it will work to your advantage or help you in some way. Otherwise, leave it off.

If you don't have a high school diploma or GED but do have extensive work experience, don't list education unless you are enrolled in GED courses.

There are various levels of education...
General Educational Development Diploma, Currently Enrolled:
General Educational Development Diploma, Received:
High School Graduate:
High School Graduate and slight amount of specialty training:
Certificate from a Vocational-Technical School:
Professional Development Courses:
Some College--no degree:
College Graduate--Associate's or Bachelor's Degree:
College Graduate--Master's or other Graduate Degree:
What if you have a lot of education and training but no degree?
What about your company-sponsored training?
Actvities, Organizations, and Community Service
You should be cautious whether you should list any or not. Some affiliations might not work in your favor. When you do list these, list broad categories rather than specific ones. A few good examples:
"Active in Local Church Activities"
"Member and Vice-President, County Daycare Center, Incorporated"
"Active in Local United Way Annual Fund Drive"
"Member, Forsyth Chamber of Commerce"
Professional Affiliations, Association, and Military
Say whether these are current or not.

A few good examples:

Member, American Sociological Association, 1987 to Present
University of Missouri-Columbia Alumni Association, Member
Parent Teacher Association, Greentop Public Schools, 1992 to 1995
References Available upon request
Always put this phrase at the bottom of the last page of your resume. In the same way a period ends a sentence, this line says "this is the end of my resume." However, each time you send out or hand out a resume, attach with it a reference page using no less than three nor more than five references. Be complete with the information!
Who should you use for a reference??? Use someone who can talk directly about your work ethic, production capabilities, and personal commitment to your employment. Contact this person and ask their permission before using them as a reference. Some examples of who to ask:
Supervisor or Foreman
Plant Superintendent
Assistant Manager or Manager
Pastor, Banker, or Lawyer
Co-worker or Civic Contact
Life-long Family Friend
Occasionally (but seldom), it is acceptable to add the references directly to the bottom of the resume.
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