When you find an opportunity that energizes you, be ready to

Step 1: Know what it is and what it is not

What is a Resume?

A resume is a one-page document that highlights your background, skills, and experiences. It shows your “personal brand” to a potential employer, showcasing your relevant skills and experiences for the desired internship or job.

What a Resume is NOT

A resume is not a lengthy novel detailing every experience. It should also avoid inaccurately representing your achievements or merely listing job duties without accomplishments.

Step 2: Think Before You Write

Use the job description as your guide. Highlight skills and experiences on your resume that match the company’s requirements.

  • Identify the necessary skills for the position and the keywords the employer is seeking.
  • Consider using job scanning software like “Word Cloud” to evaluate keywords.
  • Assess how your experiences and capabilities align with their stated needs in the job description, including curricular, volunteer/leadership, and work-related experiences.

Step 3: Accomplishment Statements

Accomplishment statements highlight your skills by citing specific results, and quantitative results where you can. Simply listing duties from your job description is not enough.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What was the purpose of this work? What goals was I contributing to? How did I go beyond basic job duties? How did I stand out relative to my peers?
  • Did this work save time/money, increase customer satisfaction, design/improve a process or policy, etc.? Did I achieve more with less? Did I complete something ahead of schedule/budget?
  • Did I receive a promotion and/or recognition during my employment?

Examples of basic vs. professional accomplishment statements:

Camp Counselor – Basic
  • Worked with kids at an overnight camp
  • Led daily activities
Camp Counselor – Professional
  • Collaborated with a team of six peers to implement educational, individual and group recreational and social activities during four two-week sessions at a traditional girls’ overnight camp
  • Led a group of five, experienced cabin leaders and three leaders-in-training for a division of 56 female campers ages 10 – 12 during four successive two-week camp sessions

Step 4: Use sample accomplishment statements

Step 5: Guidelines

Following these guidelines increases your chances of landing an interview. Remember, your resume is a snapshot of your skills and capabilities for the role, serving as your personal brand for the reader.

  • Keep it to one page.
  • Use a professional font style, size 10-12, without colors or fancy fonts.
  • Include title, organization, location, date, and highlight accomplishments showing relevant skills. Be positive and honest about your experience, skills, and capabilities.
  • Arrange entries in reverse chronological order.
  • Begin each bullet point with an action verb.
  • Prioritize bullets based on relevance to the job description.
  • Proofread meticulously for flawless punctuation, grammar, and syntax.

Step 6: Select a Layout

Step 7: Get it reviewed by an expert

Stop by the OPCD office in Reynolda 230 for a 15-minute review
Monday through Thursday from 1:30 to 4:30 pm

Other Resources

Career Core by Kaplan

Career Core by Kaplan is free to Wake Forest University students. The courses are taught by our very own Wake Forest professor Heidi Robinson and spotlighted Wake Forest students.