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Northwest Missouri State University


The purpose of a resume is to grab the employers’ interest so that they will invite you for an interview. Most resumes will only get a quick 15-second scan by a potential employer before they are sorted into “yes” or “maybe” stacks for later consideration. During that first quick scan, employers will look for reasons to quickly screen out candidates.


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Resume Basics

A resume is a very important tool for your job search. This information will help you understand different types of resumes, and help you decide what to include in your resume. There are also sample resume headings and key action verbs for your use.

Resume vs CV

A resume is a brief and tailored summary of your past work, education, etc. A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a more complete synopsis. CVs are typically used for applications for academic, research, or scholarly positions. They are also frequently used outside the United States and may be requested if you are applying for a job overseas.

CV resources:

Resume Samples


Sample Name Features
1 Double Major
  • Double major
  • Residential Life and SOAR Leader experiences
  • Campus leadership roles
2 How to Show Education
  • Sample education sections
  • Multiple majors or degrees, same or different institutions
  • Self-financing or contributing to education
  • Research/independent study
  • Show GPA
  • Transfer students
  • Study abroad, internships
  • Associate degree
3 Agriculture Major
  • Agricultural related experiences
  • Field experiences
  • Internships
  • Certifications
  • Language skills
  • Activities
  • Family farm background
4 Biology Major
  • Academic honors
  • Student involvement
  • Science related experiences
5 Broadcast Major
  • Related on campus experiences
  • Related technical/computer skills
  • Foreign language skills
6 Business Economics Major
  • Relevant coursework
  • Research
7 Business Management/Marketing
  • Double major
  • Northwest on campus experiences
  • Athletics
  • Graduate Assistant
8 Computer Science Major
  • Expanded technical/computer skills
  • Computer Lab Assistant
  • Web development
  • Programming
  • Undergraduate research projects


Education Major


  • Student teaching and practica experiences
  • Related activities

  • Paragraph style descriptions
  • Bachelor and Associate degrees
  • Related experiences
10 Electronic Resume
  • Email or Internet format
  • Keywords
11 Emergency & Disaster Management
  • Explains new degree program
  • Related field training and experience
  • Certifications
  • Volunteer and Leadership roles

Federal Resources
(resume tips and where
to find jobs/internships)

  • Federal resume and KSA writing
  • Mastering the Federal application process
  • Where the jobs are
  • Making a difference
  • Best places to work rankings
13 Geography/GIS Major
  • Financial contribution to education
  • Related experiences
  • Technical/computer skills
  • Activities/honors
14 Interactive Digital Media Major
  • Summary of skills
  • Market program description to perspective employers
  • Related experiences
  • Two distinct Bachelor degrees

International Student Resumes:

  • Show Master and Bachelor
  • Expanded technical/computer skills
  • Related technical experience
  • Honors and awards
  • Show Master and Bachelor
  • Show previous internship and work experiences
  • Show on campus involvement
16 Liberal Arts Resume
  • English major
  • Summary of qualifications
  • Double major
  • Study abroad
17 MBA and Industrial Psychology
  • Graduate/undergraduate-same institution
  • Related experiences and work experiences
  • Campus jobs
  • Collegiate athletics
18 Psychology Resume
  • Relevant courses
  • Internships
  • Other experiences
19 Two degrees
  • Show Master and Bachelor plus double major
  • Sports and sports leadership
  • Peer Advisor
  • Campus leadership roles
20 High School/College Freshman

  • Part-time job objective with related experience
  • AP classwork
  • Activities/Leadership

  • High School
  • Theatre, debate, and Leadership experience

  • Displays High School Diploma and continuing education
  • Seeking on campus part-time position

Cover Letters

Written correspondence throughout your job search demonstrates your communication abilities to potential employers as well as your perspective and professionalism. It is important to prepare all correspondence carefully including cover letters and thank you letters. The following PDFs will provide detailed information.


It is important to include a reference page with your resume. This should be on a separate page, and should include contact information, the same heading as your resume or name and address as a minimum. 

  • Sample Reference Page - It is important to create a heading on your reference page showing your name and contact information. Three to five names are adequate and it is helpful to have some variation in their relationship to you, i.e. a professor, a past employer, etc.

Transferable Skills

Transferable Skills - Take a look at this list of Transferable Skills. This list will help you assess your current skills and may help you develop resume descriptions as well.

Electronic/Plain Text Resumes

For many of today’s jobs, at least some part of the job search will be completed through the Internet. As a result, it is important to prepare multiple versions of your resume. The Print Version of your resume is typically handed to someone at a career event or mailed through the postal service. Job search experts recommend that you replicate this well-written, well-prepared resume into three other versions or formats and critique it for keywords. Employers use electronic databases to categorize and sort resumes according to these keywords. A Plain Text Version can be posted online in resume databases or copied and pasted into an online form on an employer’s website. This version should be an ASCII copy of the original. An E-mail version, also an ASCII copy or plain text type, is specifically formatted for the length of line restrictions of today’s e-mail. Why bother with these – why not just type information into the boxes on their website or send a Word attachment? Consider this advice:

  1. Most online database or proprietary systems do not let you spell-check. Preparing your resume in advance using your own word processing program allows you to double check all spelling and revise your resume as needed.
  2. These online systems force you to use their format, which could be to your disadvantage.
  3. Some systems don’t allow you to save your work and use the same text over again which means that you have to repeat the entire process for every company that you investigate during your job search. Preparing these other types of resumes at the beginning of your job search will save you a great deal of time later.

A PDF resume is a digital image or photograph of your resume. It can be posted on the Web, e-mailed, viewed, or searched. The viewing software is free and widely distributed. It does require the reader to take an additional step to open and view the resume. For more details and step-by-step procedures on electronic resumes, refer to the following website:

How to Post Your Resume Online 

Interview Dress


Help from Career Services

Staff members are available to critique application materials (examples – resume, cover letter, vitae). Drop off document(s) and make an appointment, or visit our office during Walk-In Hours on Wednesdays between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Career Ambassadors are also available for assistance. Watch for them around campus.