A resume is a job seeker’s passport to success.

Like a government-issued Passport, a job seeker’s resume has essential information that helps people in authority determine his or her value or justify his or her access to a company and its proprietary resources.

Personally, a resume helps job seekers track their academic background, paid and volunteer work experience, and skills. Job seekers create resumes to review their contribution to society and assess how to leverage their skills, knowledge, and experience for promotions, entry into higher education institutes, and career changes.

Who should have a resume?

Everyone at least 10 years old should have a resume. Why? By the age of 10, child(ren) should have participated in at least sport, fundraiser, play, recital, math olympics, fine / performing arts competition, or spelling bee. Also, children should have achieved perfect attendance, principal’s honor roll, or character award. If your children are leaders in the making, they are active in at least one social club. All of these experiences increase our children’s skills and knowledge. Therefore, we parents and guidance counselors should invest some time and effort into tracking their accomplishments.

How do you build a resume?

All resumes should have the following information:

  • Contact Information
  • Position Title
  • Summary
  • Core Competencies / Skills
  • Professional Experience / Leadership Experience
  • Education
  • Honors / Awards

Contact Information

This section provides contact information to employers who desire to learn more about a job seeker via his / her LinkedIn profile. To avoid scams, do not provide a full address on resumes.

  • First and Last Names
  • City, State, Zip Code
  • Email Address, and Phone Number
  • LinkedIn profile link is optional

Position Title

This section is an one to three-word title that describes a job seeker’s current career path or capacity.

For children and youth, the position title, under the contact information at the top of your resume, should describe their current ambitions (i.e., avid reader, all city athlete, cheerleader, modern dancer, oral competitor, etc.).

For adults, the position title is your most recent job title (i.e., Senior Financial Analyst, Human Resources Generalist, Customer Service Representative, etc.).


This section is normally titled, “Career Summary” or “Objective”. Wow the employer by stating outstanding accomplishments. Don’t be shy but refrain fro embellishing the truth. Limit the conten to three to five sentences.

For children, youth and adults, alleviate the section heading focus on the content. This is the opportunity to control the narrative and intrigue the employer. The content is an at-a-glance look into the job seeker’s past and present experiences that qualifies him / her for a promotion, school, or new position.

Core Competencies / Skills

This section includes four to six relevant compentencies or skills for the employer. The content could be formatted in a lenghty sentence or bulleted list.

For children and youth, list relevant skills (i.e., technical skills, interpersonal skills, etc.).

Format example:


  • Microsoft Office
  • Internet Proficient
  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Tiwtter)

For adults, core competencies highlight skills and knowlege relevant to the position the job seeker is applying. avoid providing attributes (teamplayer, quick learner, etc.). The attributes belong in the summary and/or cover letter (if needed).

Format example:

Core Competencies include Microsoft Office, Social Media Management, Training and Development, and Project Management.

Professional Experience / Leadership Experience

This section provides employers with upto ten years of professional and / or leadership experience. Keep a detailed resume with extensive information about the employer (i.e., Supervisor’s Name, Supervisor’s Title, Supervisor’s Phone Number, and Starting Pay and Ending Pay) and reason for leaving the job. Detailed resumes are used to complete applications.

The main content for the professional experience / leadership experience section are the following:

  • Company’s Name
  • Company’s City, State (abbreviated)
  • Job Title
  • Start and End Dates (include the month and year)
  • Job Tasks and Accomplishments

Format example:


Employer, City, State Month Year – Month Year

Job Title

  • HIred and trained 10 new sales associates on company policies and procedures to ensure compliance. (Job task, it’s importance, and use quantity if possible)
  • Organized 20 students responsible for leading teams during annual community services event.

The Leadership Experience is formatted into one of two ways: 1) like the “Professional Experience” section or 2) a list.

Format example:


Board Member of Some Company (2016), Volunteer at Some Company (2013), and Vice President of Some Organization / Club (2011)

For children and youth, use the title leadership experience (i.e., volunteer hours, internships, social groups / clubs. Format each experience like a paid position list the following information:

For adults, use “Professional Experience” even if the resume only consists of leadership experience because it is still relevant. Once paid experience can fill one-page, move the non-paid leadership experience to a section titled “Leadership Experience”.


This section will display relevant educational background to qualify job seeker’s knowledge and experience (i.e., study-abroad, internships, clubs / organizations, etc.). If you have graduated from a higher education institution remove the high diploma or GED. If the position require less education, remove education beyond the requirement from the resume. To avoid being labeled over qualified, do not provide more education than required.

Format example: Degree Title in Major, University / College, City, State (Year of graduation)

Honors / Awards

This section will highlight relevant awards, scholarships, and military decorations.

Format example: Title of Award / Honor from Company Name (year)

When should someone use a resume?

Resumes should be updated every time something new is occured in either section of the resume (e.g., new job, new skill, new leadership position, or new degree). Job seekers, children, and youth should have more than one type of resume. The main resume is usually called the detailed resume because it includes information requested on a job application (i.e., starting and ending salaries, supervisor’s name, title, and contact information, reason for leaving job, and references). Another type of resume is job specific. Generic resumes are only useful for same position different company. When the position changes, the content of the resume changes. The verbs used to start a job statement will change based on the position.

For examples of verbs used in resumes, type “resume verbs” in Google for results.

What type of resume is popular?

The most commonly used resume is reversed chronological order because the current position is at the top of the Professional Experience / Leadership Experience section and it shows a history (including gaps in employment). Other less commonly used resume formats are functional and a combination of functional and reversed chronological. The functional resume is not commonly used because it groups experiences together based on three core competencies / skills, which raises red flags for employers looking for any gaps in employment. The combination resume format allows for grouping job tasks and accomplishments under core competencies / skills and a reversed-chronological list of employers under each group.

For more information about resumes, click here to contact Tish.

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