Tailor Your Resume

While it is tempting to develop a "basic resume" once then simply update it as time passes, this approach may not be as effective as taking the time to tailor each resume you submit to the specific employer and position.  To develop a resume that demonstrates your fit for a position, you need to understand the experience, skills, and abilities required. Meet with Career Services for general feedback and to fine tune your resumes and cover letters for the specific opportunities you seek.

Sample Resumes, Cover Letters, Interviewing Tips and more.

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Sample resumes and letters, interviewing tips and more!

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Styles of Resumes

The resume style should be selected based on your experience and qualifications as well as the type of position for which you are applying.

  • CHRONOLOGICAL: Lists experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent to least recent) and emphasizes a continuous career path of increasing responsibility. The most commonly used resume format by students and recent graduates.
  • FUNCTIONAL: Organizes experiences according to specific functions or skills. Employers and dates are listed, but with minimal details. Commonly used by career changers to emphasize the transferability of their skills, or by those reentering the work force after an absence.
  • COMBINATION: Merges elements of the first two and typically begins with a summary of qualifications for a particular position before reverting to a more chronological style.


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

  • Objective
  • Summary of Qualifications
  • Education
  • Related Coursework
  • Experience or Related Experience
  • Skills (Computer, Language, etc.)
  • Involvement, Activities, Leadership
  • Honors and Awards

Objective Statements

A good objective statement should be concise and to the point, only 1-2 lines. Refer to the desired position and/or industry, and mention a few specific related skills you possess.


Your resume must also be visually pleasing and easy to read quickly. 

  • Avoid "wizards" or templates that reduce your control
  • Use margins of at least 3/4 inches all around
  • Use bulleted statements beginning with action verbs in consistent verb tense rather than in paragraphs
  • Use bold, underline, and italics sparingly to highlight and separate sections
  • Obtain input about both content and style from Career Services, faculty, former employers, and professionals in your field
  • Develop an unformatted version of your resume for on-line applications
  • Proofread several times and have at least 2 other people do the same

Critique by E-mail

A face to face (or phone) meeting about your resume or cover letter is ideal. However, if you live outside Lincoln or cannot meet during regular office hours, a career counselor can provide feedback via e-mail. Send your resume and/or cover letter with a job description or brief explanation of what it will be used for. Allow 3 business days for response.

Resume vs. CV

A Curriculum Vita sometimes differs from a resume in name only. A resume is more often used in business settings, briefer and focused on skills and accomplishments. A vita is more often used in academic settings and describes all related educational and professional experience. More...

Applying On-line/E-mail

Increasingly, connecting with employers is done electronically, which presents new challenges to the job seeker. Consider the following guidelines as you manage your on-line job search. More...

Resumes for Grad School

Sometimes resumes must highlight academic achievements rather than job experience or work skills. More...