University at Albany

Formatting Tips

This format is appropriate for most people looking for a job.

Unless you have significant professional experience, your resume should be one page long. If you have a two page resume, know that most recruiters will decide whether or not to interview you before they read the second page. These are the sections to consider for your resume.

Check our resume samples for examples of all of these sections.

Contact Information - This section includes your name, mailing address, phone, and email address. Look at the samples to find a format you like.

Objective, Profile - You can include either an objective, a profile, or a summary of skills. You can also choose not to include these sections. An objective tells the reader what type of opportunity you are looking for. It is brief and factual.
Example: Seeking an internship with a small accounting firm.
A profile highlights a few of your key characteristics, skills, or experience. A strong profile highlights specific job related skill.
Example: Bilingual computer science student with experience programming in Java and C++ and strong presentation and public speaking skills.
Profiles can also be combined with an objective statement to clarify the types of opportunities you are looking for.
Example: Bilingual computer science student seeking a summer internship that will utilize Java and C++ experience, as well as strong presentation and public speaking skills.

Summary of Skills - This section includes a bulleted list of your key experience and skills. This list includes hard skills rather than soft skills. Soft skill are those that are usually subjective such as organizational and interpersonal skills or ability to multitask. Hard skills are more objective and are quantified as much as possible. These include things such as team leadership, budget management, product or service development, fundraising or sales. Examples of these types of statements include:
Experience managing diverse teams of up to 30 people.
Ability to manage budgets in excess of $1 million.
Proven track record of meeting or exceeding sales goals over $50,000.
Experience creating innovative direct mail campaigns that result in increased response rates.

Summary of skills sections are most appropriate for experienced professionals.

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- This section lists the degrees that you have attained or are currently working on. Do not put your high school information once you have started college. Only list the schools from which you have received a degree, not every college you have attended. In addition to the name of the College/University, also list the degree you will receive, your major, minor and the date of your graduation or expected graduation. You can list your GPA if it is greater than 3.0. You can also list relevant course work in this section of in a separate section. Include only a few classes that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. You can also list Honors here or you can put them in a separate section after your work experience.

- This is the most important section (or sections) of your resume. Here you describe the skills you have developed through your accomplishments at work, You can have one section or a few. Within a section you list your experiences in reverse chronological order. You can create a section for Relevant Experience to highlight work that is related to your chosen career. Other Work Experience will contain your work experience that is not relevant. Recent graduates or students looking for internships tend to have more experience in this category. It is still important to list. You can also have a section for Volunteer Experience if you want o highlight volunteer work that is relevant. You could also list this under activities as well.

When you talk about a specific job, list at least 2 bullets describing what you did. You can list more bullets for jobs that are relevant to your career field. Start each bullet with a strong action verb and describe what you did and what you accomplished. Focus on results whenever you can and avoid job descriptions. See samples for ideas.

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- List only hard, demonstrable skills in this section. Language skills and computer skills are the most appropriate. If your career field requires a lot of technical skills, list all that you have and put this section above the employment section to highlight it. An example of this would be Computer Science students who need to list languages, network protocols, databases and other application skills.

Honors and Activities can be combined into one section to save space. If you only have one activity or honor, combine them. Skills can also be combined in this section to save space

Honors - List any honors you have received in college. If you are a freshman or a sophomore you can also include high school honors but plan to delete them by junior year.

Activities - You can simply list the activities in which you are involved or you can elaborate on your accomplishments associated with that activity. If, for example, you choose to talk about an event you organized, write it the same way you would a job. Use action verbs and focus on results.

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