Build a Competitive Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Before you apply for a job, it is critical that your application package, including your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), is the best that it can be. Get professional advice for writing your resume or CV, view samples and learn how to tell your unique story.

In this tab:

A resume is a one- to two-page document that outlines your education, skills, accomplishments and experience. Its purpose is to help you capture the attention of an employer so you can get an interview.

What to Include on Your Resume

When seeking a job or internship, design your resume to highlight your most related experience and skills. Write about internship(s), related volunteer experiences; academic or individual projects depending on your field of study or career goals.

Here are some typical sections you can include:

Objective (optional): An objective is used to explain why you are creating this resume and can be an opportunity to connect you to a specific job/internship, but they are not mandatory

Objective Example

Objective
Seeking an internship in human services for the Summer of 20XX utilizing demonstrated interpersonal and helping skills.

Education: Lists your degrees, majors, minors, study abroad and/or any other relevant training/opportunities.

Education Example

Education
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Master of Art, Major, Graduation Month 20XX
Bachelor of Arts or Science, Major, Graduation Month 20XX

Experience: Any employment, internships, significant campus leadership offices, volunteer work and class/research projects.

  • Explain what were your key tasks and outcomes/results by using bullets and action words.
  • Avoid passive phrasing such as “duties include,” “responsible for” or “project was completed by using.”
  • Quantify information by including numbers, percentages and dollar amounts.

Experience Example

Experience
Research Assistant, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York Feb 20XX-Feb 20XX
Thesis: CFD Analysis, Optimization and Fluid-Structure-Interaction Simulations (FSI) of an Axial Gas Turbine

  • Used Solidworks to model an existing turbine blade with optimized 2D and 3D grid (mes) to facilitate transient and steady state fluid analysis of turbine
  • Implemented and interpreted 3D CFD simulation and heat transfer to study the flow field (fluid) of an axial gas turbine
  • Re-engineered turbine design to maximize efficiency, resulting in 5.68% improvement in performance. Validated outcome using Goal Design Optimization
  • Conducted structural analysis (FEA) to obtain stress distribution on blades and determined the critical condition

Relevant Projects: Projects that you did in class that are related to your major/career interest.

  • Identify team/classroom/individual noteworthy academic projects.
  • Concisely demonstrate your skills and knowledge.
  • Integrate other skills when communicating specific accomplishments.
  • Include your individual contributions and outcomes. 

Relevant Projects Example

Relevant Projects
Marketing Plan, University at Buffalo        Spring 20XX

  • Perform situation analysis to determine relevant details about potential market share and target audience
  • Identify opportunities and challenges based on analysis to begin developing measurable objectives, strategies and implementing media plans

Skills: Use this section to highlight skills that are specifically related to the job/internship you are seeking.

Skills Example

Skills
Languages:
Fluent in Cantonese and basic Mandarin

Software/Programs: Adobe Creative Suite, CAD, Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, Access)

Certifications: American Heart Association CPR (June 20XX)

Involvement: List clubs, sports, leadership roles and/or volunteering that you've done. This is especially helpful when looking for internships or part-time job without having a lot of work experience. Include accomplishments using strong action words.

Involvement Example

Leadership Experience
UB Club Hockey, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
Captain

  • Organize and lead weekly practices for team of 15
  • Study practice schedules and modify practices to simulate competition
  • Communicate with and encourage players to develop team chemistry

Achievements: Indicate noteworthy academic, athletic, community, club and employer recognition.

Note: If you are only listing 1-3 honors, consider incorporating into education section rather than creating separate section. 

Achievements Example

Honors and Awards

  • Health Essential Association’s Volunteer Service Award, 20XX
  • University at Buffalo President's Scholarship, 20XX
  • Dean's List, 20XX to 20XX
  • Lambda Pi Eta, National Communication Association, inducted 20XX

Tips From Recruiters

  • Customize your resume to each application.
  • Try to avoid the use of first and third person pronouns, such as “I,” “he” or “she.” 
  • Refrain from using slang or jargon.
  • Spell out all acronyms the first time they are used, followed by the acronym in parentheses e.g. University at Buffalo (UB). 
  • Use a variety of "action words" to bring your skills and experiences to life and avoid using each word more than once. 
  • Use Keywords. Scan the job description, see what words are used most often and make sure you’ve included them in your bullet points.
  • Pick a format and stick to it. Use consistent spacing, font and format and convert to a PDF.
  • Name Your File Smartly. Save it as “Jane Smith Resume” instead of “Resume.”
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread. Ask family or friends to check for spelling and grammatical errors.

Highlight Your Transferable Skills

What skills do you bring? No matter your field of study, it’s important to speak their language and demonstrate how your academic experiences translate to workplace performance.

Additional Resources

Coursera

Enroll in our Coursera- How to Write a Resume course, an online course that guides you to having an eye-catching resume, letting your professional strengths shine.

This course is free when you use your @buffalo.edu email.

GoinGlobal

Many countries use the words resume and CV interchangeably, so make sure you understand what documents you are required to submit. GoinGlobal allows you to view resume and CV samples by country.

You can access GoinGlobal by logging into Bullseye powered by Handshake.

Samples

Visit the Career Services website for many great resources, including resume, CV, cover letter and thank you note samples.

Loading...

Loading...