Resume Guide

UW Career & Internship Center
Resumes: Tips & Advice

On this page:

Sample Resumes
Key Points
Dos and Don'ts
Typical Structure for a Resume
Emailing Resumes, CVs, and Cover Letters



  • The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. Your interview should get you a job. If you’re getting interviews from your resume, it’s doing its job.
  • A resume is a marketing piece, not a history piece. Decide carefully what to include and leave out. It’s not your life story; it’s your personal sales piece.
  • Your resume should be targeted to the job for which you are applying. Be specific and particular in showing your interest and suitability.
  • If possible, keep your resume to one page. Definitely use a clean, concise style. Your resume may be judged in 20-30 seconds.
  • Read job descriptions and requirements carefully. These tell you what to emphasize on your resume.
  • Have someone proofread your resume carefully. Errors often screen out otherwise qualified candidates.



  • Write clearly, concisely and precisely
  • Use fully understood abbreviations (i.e. MPH, MHA)
  • Include a cover letter when sending a resume to a potential employer
  • Proofread several times
  • List a page number and your name on each additional page
  • Use concrete “action” verbs
    List of action verbs
  • Include locations of past jobs/internships/positions


  • Lie of exaggerate about your experience or accomplishments
  • Use personal pronouns (i.e. “I”, “we”, “he”)
  • Staple or paper clip pages
  • Write long paragraphs or sentences
  • Include personal information, such as your height, weight, age, date of birth, marital status, sex, ethnicity/race, health, social security number (except on an international resume), reasons for leaving previous job(s), names of former supervisors, specific street addresses or phone numbers of former employers, picture of yourself, salary information, the title "Resume," or any information that could be perceived as controversial, such as religion, church affiliations, or political affiliations.
  • List references right on your resume


Identifying information :

Full name, address, phone number, and email address.

Job/Career Objective:

The objective is an optional section that describes your motive for applying for a position. The objective should be specific and focus on your skills. The objective provides an opportunity for you to tailor your resume to the position you are applying for.

An example of a bad objective:
"A job in the field of public health where I can gain experience."

An example of a good objective:
"To obtain a health educator position at Public Health Seattle and King County that will allow me to utilize my communication and outreach skills."


This section lists skills, experience, and abilities relevant for the position you are seeking. This section allows the reader to see upfront that you have the skills they are looking for in a candidate.


Your education section should list your academic background in reverse chronological order. You should include the name of your college, city, state, the degree you received or expect to receive, and date of the degree. Be sure to include any certifications, honors, dissertation/thesis research, and study abroad experiences.

MPH, Maternal and Child Health expected June 2017
University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA

BA, Sociology May 2014
Stanford University, Stanford CA

Professional and Work Experience:

This section lists your experience in reverse chronological order with emphasis on key skills you possess. List your job title, place of employment, city, state, and dates. Avoid phrases like “responsibilities include.” Use Action Verbs to describe your duties in a bulleted list.

Other Experience:

This section can contain positions that are not related to the job you are pursuing. You can provide less detail about these positions.

Special Skills:

This section can include skills that supplement your experience. Include computer skills, language skills, communication skills, or other relevant skills.


List references on a separate page with your name and contact information at the top. Always ask for permission from your recommenders before using their name and information. It’s a good idea to give your recommenders some detail about the job you are applying for; they will be better prepared to give you a good reference.


Email is commonplace in today’s job market, and many job seekers send resumes, CVs, cover letters, and follow-up letters through email. However, sending documents via email may have pitfalls that you should consider before sending your information to an employer:

  • Make sure that the employer is willing to receive resumes or CVs via email.
  • Always include your resume or CV as inline text as well as a document attachment. Some people avoid opening attachments to protect against computer viruses. This also ensures that an employer receives your information even if they do not have the proper software to open your attachment.
  • Type your cover letter in the body of your email.
  • Be certain to spell check and proofread all of your correspondence. Then check it again.
  • Copy your email address into the BCC: field so that you can receive a copy of the email just as the employer would.
  • Send your email in the evening or early morning to make sure that the employer receives it first thing in the morning.