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FBLA 3/25/24 Intro to Creating an Effective Resume

  • Purpose of a resume
  • Preparing to write your resume
  • Resume content areas
  • Resume format
  • What to include and exclude


  • A resume is your introduction to the employer to review in under 10 seconds
  • A resume is a one (or two for highly qualified candidates) page summary of your education, skills, experience and accomplishments
  • As a HS student, ONE page is totally fine!
A resume gets you the interview so you can get the job! You're marketing yourself! Why should they pick you over someone else?

What Is a Resume?

The differences between CVs and resumes are the length, purpose, and layout

  • Curriculum Vitæ, (which means course of life in Latin)
    • CV is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages and contains high levels of detail about your achievements, much more than a career biography.
    • CV covers your education as well as other accomplishments like publications, awards, honors etc.
  • Resume, or résumé,
    • A concise document typically not longer than one page to two pages as reader will not dwell on your document for very long.
    • The goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out from the competition.

Curriculum Vitæ (CV) versus Resume

  • Name & Contact information
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Employment Experience
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Activities & Honors / Professional Memberships/Certifications/Other trainings, etc.
  • References *

Resume Content - Basic Section Titles


Example: Commonwealth Charter Academy, Harrisburg PA High School Diploma, expected - June 2024 GPA 3.45 (optional)

  • List most current education first
  • Include major if college grad/HS just use the name of your HS
  • Anticipated graduation date
  • GPA if over 3.0
  • Skills can be technical (hard) skills and soft skills
  • Skill examples
    • Technical skills: MS Office Suite, Computer Programming, Language Proficiency, Social Media expertise.
    • Soft skills: communication, teamwork, leadership, and management skills, creativity
  • Employers know what the skills are so labeling the skills is not necessary
  • Listing skills one after another separated by commas will save space and provide the employer reviewer a quicker and cleaner view of skills


  • List paid & unpaid experiences related to career path
  • List organization, position, location, and dates
  • List in reverse chronological order
  • Use past tense for previous positions
  • Start each description with an action verb and ensure all descriptions are full statements

Experience Format

  • The skill sets identified in the Skills section should be integrated into the Experience section
  • Employers want to see how an applicant has used the skills and to what extent the skill is developed
  • Describe your responsibilities and accomplishments
  • What did you do?
  • How did you do it?
  • What was the purpose?
  • What was the result?
  • Do NOT use pronouns such as I, my, me, etc.

Experience Tips

Experience Tips

  • Students with few paid positions can use non-paid experiences
  • Unpaid internships
  • Projects (group or individual)
  • Relevant and significant course assignments
  • Volunteer activities
  • Use same format for non-paid experiences as paid work experience

Activities, Honors, Memberships, etc.

  • clubs, sports, student government, honor roll, etc.
  • Special scholarships – exclude amount
  • Awards/Honors/Achievements--FBLA awards?
  • List most relevant activities such as professional associations or honor societies first
  • Other training/Certifications


  • References are people whom the employer could contact to say that you are a good worker, responsible, a good person, reliable, and hardworking.
  • These are NEVER relatives or friends your own age.
  • You should have at least 3 references.
  • One reference should be your instructor, but you ALWAYS need to ASK these people to be references for you.
  • Include Name, Title of the Person, address, phone number and email if they have it.

Resume Basics

  • Resumes should be clean, clear & concise
  • Easy to read & align visually
  • Resume length can be up to two pages with relevant and significant information determining the overall length
  • Determine what skills and achievements are necessary, and keep only those that are relevant and significant to the job you are seeking

Do's and Don ts

  • Do include all relevant experience
  • Do use a legible font face and size
  • Do use bulleted lists
  • Don’t include your SSN, Photo, etc.
  • Don’t use more than two fonts
  • Don’t put references on the resume – create a separate sheet **
  • Don’t use excessive bold face/italics or an ink color other than black

Layout Samples

CCA Layout Sample

No Experience Samples

  • A customized letter to introduce yourself to the employer
  • Provide enhanced details about your qualifications but do not copy resume content
  • Point out specific experiences which are relevant for the position
  • Do not insert assumptions that you are the ideal candidate or the perfect fit
  • A cover letter does not need to be lengthy and should not exceed a short one page

Cover Letters