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Crafting a Winning Resume: UCI Career Center Guide

When it comes to getting hired, your resume can make or break your chances of success. That’s why it’s so important to have a well-crafted and polished document that showcases your skills, experience, and qualifications. In this guide, we provide tips and strategies for creating an effective resume that stands out to recruiters and hiring managers.

Types of Resumes

The first step in crafting a great resume is to choose the right resume format. There are three main types of resumes to choose from: chronological, functional, and combination. A chronological resume is the most commonly used format, as it highlights your work experience in reverse chronological order. A functional resume, on the other hand, focuses on your skills and achievements, rather than your work history. A combination resume combines elements of both formats.

In deciding which type of resume to use, it’s important to consider your work experience, skills, and the job you’re applying for. For example, if you have a long and consistent work history, a chronological resume may be the best choice. If you’re changing careers or don’t have a lot of relevant work experience, a functional resume may be more effective.

Resume Content

No matter which resume format you choose, there are certain elements that every resume should include. These include:

  • Contact Information: Your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if you have one)
  • Objective or Summary Statement: A brief statement that highlights your career goals or summarizes your qualifications
  • Education: Your educational background, including degrees, certifications, and relevant coursework
  • Work experience: Details about your past jobs, including job titles, dates of employment, and job duties and achievements
  • Skills: A list of your key skills, including technical and soft skills
  • Accomplishments: Specific achievements and contributions you made in your previous roles.
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When writing your resume, make sure to tailor the content to the job you’re applying for. Use keywords and phrases from the job description to highlight your relevant skills and experience.

Resume Design

The way your resume looks is just as important as the content it contains. You want to create a professional-looking document that’s easy to read and visually appealing. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to resume design:

  • Keep it simple: Use clear and legible fonts, such as Arial or Times New Roman, and avoid using too many colors or graphics.
  • Use white space: Leave plenty of space between sections and use bulleted lists to make the information easy to scan.
  • Stick to a format: Choose a consistent format, whether it’s bullet points or paragraph format, and stick to it throughout the resume.
  • Highlight important information: Use bold or italic font to highlight key phrases or accomplishments.

Resume Critiques

Finally, once you’ve created your resume, it’s important to have it reviewed by someone else. Whether you get feedback from a friend, a mentor, or a professional career counselor, a fresh pair of eyes can often catch mistakes or suggest improvements you may have missed.

At the UCI Career Center, students and recent graduates can take advantage of the center’s resume critique services. Trained professionals can offer feedback and advice on how to improve your resume, including formatting, content, and design.

By following these tips and taking advantage of the UCI Career Center’s resources, you can create a resume that stands out and helps you get the job you want.

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Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right resume format for your skills, work history, and the job you’re applying for.
  • Include key elements in your resume, such as contact information, a summary statement, education, work experience, skills, and accomplishments.
  • Use best practices for resume design, such as clear and legible fonts, white space, and consistent formatting.
  • Get feedback on your resume from a mentor, friend, or professional career counselor.
  • Take advantage of UCI Career Center’s resources, including resume critique services.


What if I don’t have a lot of work experience?

If you don’t have a lot of work experience, focus on your skills and achievements instead. You can also include volunteer work, internships, and coursework that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Should I use a resume template?

While resume templates can be helpful, especially if you’re not comfortable with formatting, make sure to use one that’s professional and easy to read. Avoid using templates with overly fancy fonts, colors, or designs.

Can I include personal information on my resume?

No. It’s important to keep personal information, such as your age, race, religion, or marital status, off your resume. These details are not relevant to your qualifications or ability to do the job.

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