IowaWORKS Facebook

Resume Writing

Your resume is what will provide prospective employers with your education, employment, awards and other skills showing them how you are the perfect candidate for the position in their company. This is not an autobiography, but a brief overview. Since your resume may receive as little as fifteen seconds or so to grab their attention, it is important to make a good first impression. Focus on what you bring to the company. As an example: a company looking for an HR specialist won't be looking for someone that only talks about their experiences as a computer technician. Focus on what is relevant to the position for which you are applying.

  1. Everyone is different, and your resume should reflect who you are but still maintain professionalism and a businesslike style and format.
  2. Don't use a resume template or Wizard format. It's okay to use them as a guideline, but you don't want your resume to look like everyone else's resume.
  3. Use bold, italics and bullet points to emphasize important points, but don't overuse styling or nothing will be emphasized.
  4. Double and triple check spelling and grammar.
  5. Keep the layout clean and professional. Regardless of the type of business, it's still a business.
  6. Use spacing between sections to make it easier to read at a glance and less cluttered.
  7. Use sections that are relevant to you. If you have no Awards or Special Recognition, don't feel you have to include them. Instead use sections such as Internships, Relevant Coursework, or Special Qualifications that may be relevant to you and the position for which you are applying.
  8. Watch verb tense. If currently at a position, use present tense; if it is a past position or activity, use past tense.
  9. Do not list your age, race, gender, marital status or religion on your resume.
  10. When listing your employment history, start with the most recent position and work backward. Within each position, list duties and responsibilities beginning with the most important or relevant. (As a Help Desk Technician, you would not list "answered phones" as the most important duty performed.)
  11. When listing duties and responsibilities, begin with a strong verb such as the following: assist, provide, help, operate, observe, implement, create, develop, utilize or manage.
  12. If possible, print your final copy on a laser printer to prevent smudges in the mail or when being handled by the prospective employer.
  13. Use the same paper for printing your cover letter, 20-24 pound paper in a conservative color such as white, ivory, beige or gray looks best. Your cover letter and resume should look like a package rather than an afterthought.
  14. Use a matching envelope if at all possible.
  15. Have at least one person review your resume and cover letter. This could be an instructor or fellow student with strong English/writing skills.
  16. Review your resume for inconsistencies in work or education history such as overlaps or gaps in timelines.
  17. If you aren't comfortable creating a professional resume and cover letter, it is worth the time and effort to find someone who can help you with this. This is your future, don't be afraid to ask for help.
  18. Keep a copy of your resume so it can easily be updated and you won't need to search for dates and addresses each time.

View Generic Sample

Western Iowa Tech Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other protected basis as defined in Iowa or federal law as amended from time to time in its educational programs, activities, admission procedures or employment practices. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College's Grievance or Complaint Procedures. Complaint or Grievance Forms and Procedures may be obtained from the WITCC Human Resources Department, Dr. Robert H. Kiser Building, Room A242, (712) 274-6400, Ext. 1220.
View our Privacy Statement.