What is a Resume?
A resume is a one-page summary of your education, experiences, and skills, as well as leadership, campus activities, and interests. You’ll use it to apply for internships and jobs, so it should showcase you and your qualities as an applicant. Employers will often ask you questions about the details of your experiences–be prepared to talk about all of the items you write down. For more information on what to include in a resume and how to start writing your own, see the Resume Handbook tipsheet from Career Planning, which can be found here. Once you’re ready to start writing, use Bowdoin’s OptimalResume tool.
If you already have a resume and would like to get it reviewed, make an appointment with a Career Planning advisor. They can help you edit the content, suggest changes, or help you tailor it to a specific industry or job. Schedule an appointment by calling 207-725-3717 or by filling out an appointment request form.
OptimalResume is an easy way to create and format your resume. As a Bowdoin student, you already have an account, but you will need to register. To register, select “New User” in the upper right hand corner of the website and fill in the appropriate information. Once you make an account, you can browse sample resumes across many fields and then select different styles and content to help build your own.
OptimalResume lets you create and download multiple different resumes, which is useful if you’re applying to positions in several industries. Be sure to use specific language, emphasize transferable skills, and update your resume as you gain new skills and experiences. See the Action Verb tab for a glossary of powerful resume words.
Use the following words to describe your experiences so that your resume stands out. Employers often only briefly scan resumes, so you want the reader to be able to easily extract your skills and experiences
As you’re working on creating your first resume, or updating an existing one, you may find this list of action verbs helpful. The words you choose for your resume are vital to accurately display your activity and job functions to future employers.
This list is compiled from idealist.org‘s Guide to Nonprofit Careers, but will be helpful for any career field.
Assuming responsibility, working, and creating results:
Investigating, researching, and creating change:
Communicating and interacting:
Working with and directing people:
Work on a team
CV vs Resume
Unsure whether you need a resume or a CV? Check out this tipsheet to read about the differences between the two. Resumes are fine for most jobs, but CVs are typically used for higher education or scientific research positions. If you are unsure about whether you should create a resume or a CV, contact a Career Planning advisor.
Below you’ll find samples of different industry resumes. These are also available in OptimalResume.
First Year & Sophomore General
Laboratory Research / Medical
Media / Television
Nonprofit / Social Justice
Technology / IT
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