Loyola University Chicago

- Navigation -

Loyola University Chicago

Career Development Center

Resume Tips

A resume is the primary marketing tool in your job search. The challenge of effective resume writing is that you must be creative and provide organized and concise thoughts, while working in a clearly prescribed structure. Your ultimate goal is to develop a unique piece, outstanding for its personalized content and its visual appeal. Exceptional resume writing can be extremely challenging and require many revisions, but it is worth the effort – the payoff is attracting the attention of prospective employers. A truly effective resume achieves two goals:

Resume DOs and DON’Ts

Resume Format

There are various sections to an effective resume. The sections, format and arrangement you use will depend on the resume type you select, and should be uniquely tailored to your education, background, and experience. All resumes should include a heading and education section, as well as a section describing your experience.

Items to be listed in this section include: Note: only list your home (permanent) address if it is pertinent to your job search; for example, if you are looking for a summer internship in your hometown, you may want to list your address there as well as your local (campus) address.

Your objective or summary is the statement of purpose for your resume, creating a frame of reference for the reader. If you are creating different resumes for different companies and industries, tailor your career objective each time. Examples of Career Objectives EDUCATION
In this section, list your degrees in reverse chronological order. Note that after sophomore year, high school should not be on this list. Transfer students should only list the college from which they will actually earn a degree. Depending upon your background, it may be appropriate to list the following areas as subsections of education: EXPERIENCE
This section can be a combination of paid and unpaid work, listed in reverse chronological order (starting with your most recent experience first). Wherever possible, quantify and/or qualify the outcomes of your efforts. For positions you currently have, use present tense; otherwise, all descriptions should be in past tense. Avoid phrases such as “duties included” in favor of more action-oriented phrases that clearly identify your accomplishments and the positive impact you had on the workplace.

ACTIVITIES (may be co-curricular, community service-based or both) Highlight organizations in which you are/were an active participant, offices held, and the results of your work: SKILLS
This section typically relates to language skills such as level of fluency in speaking, reading, and writing a second, third, etc. language. You may also note any unique or specialized computer skills in this area. Other special skills such as laboratory techniques are listed if they connect to your objective.

MILITARY SERVICE (if applicable) Branch of service and dates


The style or format you choose for your resume is essential to its impact. The style you choose should allow you to bring your most important accomplishments and experience to the top of your resume, and to focus the reader on those skills, experiences or achievements that connect most clearly with your career goals.

The most common resume styles are:

Chronological The most widely used format and the one most familiar to employers, this resume style is arranged in reverse chronological order, with the most recent experience listed first in each section. It is a good idea to first write your resume in a chronological format. The chronological resume is the best choice for most undergraduate students. This style organizes your information, ensuring that you cover all your pertinent experience.

This format highlights skills that best categorize your experience and correlate with the abilities necessary to work in your chosen field.


Do not list the names of your references on your resume – in fact, you do not even need to state that references are “available upon request.” An employer will request references after you have reached the interview stage. Instead, prepare a reference list to bring with you to interviews. The reference list provides a listing of individuals who can attest to your qualifications for a particular position. These individuals should also be familiar with your skills and personal attributes. References should be individuals who know you professionally and know you well. They may include:

Avoid using personal references (family members, neighbors, etc.). Make sure to contact your references first to ask their permission to be listed--then give them a copy of your resume and information about the positions for which you are applying, so that they will be prepared if someone contacts them. Make sure you feel the individuals you are considering will give you a positive recommendation.

Your reference list should include the following information: Download complete Resume Guide (PDF)


Career Development Center · Sullivan Center for Student Services · 6339 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660
Mailing Address: 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773.508.7716 · E-mail: CareerCenter@luc.edu

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy