Career Services

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Resume Styles


There are three resume styles that are most commonly used for resumes:  chronological, functional and a combination of the two styles.  Your resume style should be selected based on experience and qualifications as well as the type of position for which you are applying.

  • CHRONOLOGICAL: Lists experiences in reverse chronological order (listing most recent jobs first) and emphasizes a continuous career path of increasing responsibility. Most commonly used by individuals who are staying in the same or similar field, have training and/or experience consistent with the career objective, have relevant job titles, or are applying for a job in a highly traditional field. This style is most effective for the majority of new college graduates.

  • FUNCTIONAL: Organizes experiences gathered from a variety of jobs and experiences, according to specific functions or skills. It is most helpful for people who are changing careers, re-entering the job market, applying for positions for which their training and/or experience does not directly qualify them, or whose background does not emphasize their abilities for the job.

  • COMBINATION: Merges elements of the first two styles and typically includes an overview of qualifications for a particular position then reverts to the reverse chronological style for the remainder of the document.


Resume Formatting

A resume typically gets only 15 seconds of attention the first time through, so make it as easy as possible for the reader to find the important information.

  • Avoid using word processing "wizards" or "templates" that reduce your control over the format of your resume.
  • Use margins of at least 3/4 inches all around.
  • Use bulleted statements to describe experiences rather than paragraphs.
  • Begin bulleted statements of activities with varied action verbs in a consistent verb tense.
  • Incorporate but do not overdo bold, underlining, and italics to highlight and separate sections of your resume.
  • Print your resume on high-quality 20-24 lb. resume paper.  Available at our college bookstores and office supply stores.
  • Solicit input about both content and style from career services professionals, faculty, former employers, and professionals in your field.



Choose categories that best highlight your skills and experience. Some common categories for students and recent alumni include:

  • Objective
  • Education
  • Related Coursework
  • Experience
  • Skills (Computer, Language, etc.)
  • College/Community Activities or Involvement
  • Volunteer Work
  • Honors & Awards or Achievements


Objective Statements
A good objective statement should be concise and to the point.   Refer to the desired position and company or industry.   If you are pursuing more than one type of position within more than one company or industry, consider developing multiple resumes.


Sample Objectives:


To obtain a Graphic Artist positon at XYZ Advertising Agency


To obtain an Elementary Education Teaching position with Lincoln Public Schools


Wayne State College
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