Professional Skills Institute
Resume Writing Distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Highly Valued Skills by Employers
The Skills Triad identifies three types of skills – Self-Management, Transferable and Job-Related.
Self-Management skills describe basic personality and ability to adapt to new environments.
Transferable skills are skills that can transfer from job to job or into a new career. For
example, the ability to provide good customer service could be used in a variety of jobs and
may be essential for success in certain occupations.
Job-Related skills are those needed for a particular occupation. A nurse, for example, needs
to know how to perform a variety of medical procedures and operate specific equipment.
Desired Skills/Traits Identified by Employers * Examples of How You Demonstrated the Desired Skill
Communication Skills (verbal/written)
Strong Work Ethic
Teamwork Skills (works well with others)
Interpersonal Skills (relate well to others)
Strategic Planning Skills
Entrepreneurial Skills/Risk Taker
Sense of Humor
*National Association of College and Employers 2009 Job Outlook - Student Version www.jobweb.com
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 1 www.ConcordiaCareerCenter.com
Marketing Your Liberal Arts Education
A liberal arts education ensures that your education has breadth. While a major may demonstrate your ability to achieve a high
level of understanding in a single area, your experience with a variety of disciplines ensures employers that you have developed
a variety of skills that can be transferred to numerous settings.
On the list below, rate the following skills using a scale of 1-4 with 4 representing mastery and demonstration of the skill and 1
representing no exposure or practice of the skill. This is a good way to analyze what liberal arts skills you have obtained and
which skills you would like to improve.
I have the ability to:
Write well – compose letters, reports, articles, ads, stories or educational materials.
Analyze – break down and figure out problems and/or issues logically.
Synthesize – integrate ideas and information.
Generate new ideas.
Adapt to or initiate change.
Negotiate – bargain for rights or advantages.
Motivate – generate involvement; stimulate peak performance in others.
Mediate – manage conflict; reconcile differences.
Organize/plan – define goals and objectives and schedule times or steps to complete projects or programs.
Communicate effectively – articulate thoughts, feelings, and ideas appropriately to individuals and groups.
Lead others – demonstrated through my current activities on-campus, in an internship, in my work experience or in
Problem solve – confront a problem situation using appropriate resources.
Value the contribution that art, literature, science and technology have made in our society.
Analyze situation – identify critical issues when making a decision or solving a problem.
Evaluate – judge, review, critique feasibility or quality.
Act as a liaison – make and maintain a connection between persons or groups.
Do research – compile information from primary, secondary, and other resources around a specific topic.
Clarify – ask questions to help accurately describe a situation, topic, or issue.
Analyze the interconnection of events and ideas.
Look at an issue or topic from more than one perspective.
Work effectively within a team.
Be aware of and understand global issues and trends and their impact on different issues.
Value, understand, and appreciate differences in people, cultures, and perspectives.
How does all this relate?
• The skills you are learning will be transferable to a variety of occupations and situations. Remember there is not always a
direct relationship between your major and your career; you can work in a variety of occupations with each particular major.
• You will need to be able to articulate what skills you are learning from your academic major as well as other experiences.
• Due to the dynamic nature of our society and the work environment, your ability to adapt to changes and be flexible will
ensure career and personal “success.” Concordia College Career Center - Career Planning Guide, Pg. 8
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 2 www.ConcordiaCareerCenter.com
Resume A brief, concise document that presents, and effectively sells, your most relevant and positive
Defined qualifications for employment. A marketing tool.
Purpose The purpose of a resume is: ________________________________________________________
Resume An employer will spend less than a minute (usually 20-30 seconds) scanning your resume and
Facts: formulating a first impression of you. The content must be clear, concise, and targeted to the type of
job and organization for which you are applying.
Your resume may be the only chance you get to make an impression, so make it a good one. Research
the company/position so you can put forth your best effort.
Customize your resume for each position you are applying. You may want to highlight certain aspects
of your experience for one employer and something else for another.
Create a high impact resume by using action words and specific skill words from your profession or liberal
arts education skills to address work tasks and skills desired as identified in the job ad.
If the applicant pool is large, employers try to find ways to reduce the number of candidates. Misspelled
words and poor layout may cause your resume to be eliminated from consideration.
Sample Achievements Extracurricular Activities Profile
Headings: Activities Highlights Qualifications
Awards Internships References
Certifications Interests Related Experience
Class Projects Involvement Scholarships
Community Involvement Leadership Activities Special Skills
Computer Skills Licenses Study Abroad
Education Objective Summary
Experience Presentations Volunteer Experience
Layout Check out Optimal Resume, a resume formatting tool available on the Career Center website. A variety of
Tips: templates are available, as well as, suggested phrases. CAUTION: Do not too many phrases from the
program to avoid creating an impersonal and “canned” resume.
Choose a layout that is easy to read and clutter free that highlights your most important qualifications,
transferable skills and experiences.
Your resume should be unique to you and not necessarily look exactly like everyone else’s. Take care
when using templates.
You may need 2-3 different versions of your resume. Create one that can be pasted into online
Depending upon your experience and qualifications, your resume may be 1 or 2 pages long. If you have
2 pages, the second page must contain relevant information and should be as full a page possible.
Prioritize the information on your resume. Put the most relevant information first.
Avoid personal pronouns such as “I,” “me” and “my.”
Print your resume on high quality resume paper.
Avoid abbreviations and acronyms (exceptions: CPR, states, common terms)
Resumes must be factual, no fluff or embellishment!
References should be on a separate page. Omit heading “References Available Upon Request”.
Resources: Career Center Website: http://www.ConcordiaCareerCenter.com
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 3 www.ConcordiaCareerCenter.com
Otto B. Thinkin
Academy 101, 8th St. S, Moorhead, MN 56562
PH: 218-299-3020 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE To obtain a position in restorative justice which focuses on youth and their families
PROFILE Demonstrated excellent communication abilities especially with diverse groups of people
Proven leadership, organization skills, and hard work ethic
EDUCATION Bachelor of Arts May 2009
Concordia College Moorhead, MN
Honors: Concordia College Presidential Scholarship
Relevant Coursework: Learning and Behavior; Behavior Analysis and Modification; Psychology of
Gender; Aggression, Violence and Victimization
RELATED Concordia College Psychology Department Moorhead, MN
EXPERIENCE Research Assistant May 2008-Present
Assist Dr. Cobber with research grant to study adolescent development and academic success
through participation in immersion language programs
Develop research questions, conduct interviews, and record intensive field notes
FirstLink Hotline Fargo, ND
Hotline Operator Jan. 2007-Aug. 2008
Provided listening and support, crisis intervention, and information and referral to callers
Participated in CERT training, ASIST suicide first aid, and over 40 hours of hotline training
Concordia College Moorhead, MN
Resident Assistant Sept. 2006-May 2008
Provided sense of community and support in residence hall for students
Encouraged academic success and involvement in college activities
Mediated disagreements between roommates and enforced rules
Facilitated social activities and learning opportunities for residents
WORK Applebee’s Fargo, ND
EXPERIENCE Server Summer 2006
Concordia College, Dining Services Moorhead, MN
Student Worker Sept. 2005-May 2006
INVOLVEMENT Campus Service Commission
LeadNow! Program Leader
COMMUNITY Habitat for Humanity
Cobber Kids Daycare
Religious Education Teacher
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 3
Key Resume & Cover Letter Words
Accounting Skills Office Skills Research Skills Verbal Skills
Administered Approved Clarified Addressed
Allocated Arranged Collected Arbitrated
Analyzed Cataloged Critiqued Arranged
Appraised Classified Diagnosed Authored
Audited Collected Evaluated Corresponded
Balanced budgeted Complied Examined Developed
Calculated Dispatched Extracted Directed
Computed Executed Identified Drafted
Developed Generated Inspected Edited
Forecast Inspected Interpreted Enlisted
Managed Monitored Interviewed Formulated
Marketed Operated Investigated Influenced
Planned Organized Reviewed Lectured
Projected Prepared Summarized Moderated
Researched Processed Surveyed Motivated
Purchased Systemized Negotiated
Artistic Skills Recorded Persuaded
Acted Retrieved Supervisory Skills Publicized
Conceptualized Screened Administered Recruited
Created Specified Analyzed Reconciled
Designed Tabulated Assigned Spoke
Developed Validated Attained Translated
Directed Chaired Wrote
Established People Skills Contracted
Fashioned Adapted Consolidated Miscellaneous Skills
Illustrated Advised Coordinated Accelerated
Instituted Assessed Delegated Accomplished
Integrated Assisted Developed Conceived
Introduced Clarified Directed Conducted
Invented Coached Executed Demonstrated
Originated Communicated Increased Eliminated
Performed Coordinated Organized Equipped
Planned Delegated Oversaw Founded
Revitalized Developed Planned Implemented
Shaped Directed Prioritized Improved
Executed Produced Motivated
Mechanical Skills Increased Recommended Organized
Assembled Organized Reviewed Recommended
Built Oversaw Strengthened Revamped
Calculated Planned Supervised Scheduled
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 5
General Guidelines for Letters
• Use conventional business letterform on standard size (8.5”x11”) and make sure that the paper matches your resume.
Letters may also be sent as the body of an email message.
• Tailor your letter to the specific job and organization. Avoid using a non-personalized form letter.
• Always direct your letter to a specific person, preferably an individual with hiring authority. This information is often
available through one call to the organization’s receptionist. Be sure to spell his/her name correctly and use the proper title.
• Address specific qualifications the employer is looking for by connecting experiences from your resume to the job
description and expand by giving details or examples to demonstrate your qualities. Include your objective in the letter.
• When answering an advertisement, cover all of the points requested in the exact order outlined.
• Convey enthusiasm for the position and set a positive tone.
• Use simple and direct language. Be as concise as possible. Refrain from using slang and abbreviations.
• Use self-descriptive action words that personalize your resume.
• Have several people proofread your letter for grammar, punctuation, spelling and typographical errors. One error could
• A common mistake is to spend a lot of time talking about yourself and your skills/qualifications. It is important to put the
emphasis where it belongs – on the employer and his/her needs.
A Cover Letter Recipe . . . .
P.O. Box 1584 (Your Address)
Moorhead, MN 56562 (City, State, Zip)
Mr./Ms. Employer Name, Title (It is critical to address your letter to the appropriate person)
City, State, Zip
Dear Ms./Mr. _______________:
Opening Paragraph: Your opening paragraph should be creative and catch the employer’s attention. State why you are
interested in the employer and the position for which you are applying. Indicate how you learned about the position.
Demonstrate your knowledge of the employer showing you have done your homework! Avoid beginning with “I”.
Middle Paragraph(s): Stress what you can contribute to the organization. Highlight your particular experiences and abilities
(not just responsibilities) that relate to the position for which you are applying. Do not duplicate the specific information already
outlined in your resume. For a letter of inquiry, mention your interest in specific types of positions or discuss the skills that you
possess that you would like to utilize within this organization. A letter of application should indicate your knowledge of the job
description and illustrate that you meet the qualifications.
Closing Paragraph: This paragraph should serve as a summary of the letter, a call to action (i.e. a request for an interview),
and a “thank you” to the employer. Inform the employer if you will be in the area on a certain date or if you will be away for an
extended period of time and you will need to be contacted at a different location. (Always make it easy for an employer to
contact you.) If appropriate, request the necessary application materials from the employer.
Complimentary Close (Sincerely, Sincerely yours, etc.)
Your Signature (use about 3-4 spaces to write your signature – use black ink)
Your Name Typed
Enclosure: 2 (indicate number of pages enclosed including your resume)
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 6 www.ConcordiaCareerCenter.com
A Word About References . . . .
Create a separate reference list on Word:
Choose a format and font that complements or matches your resume.
Create a heading that matches your resume. You might write “References for Your Name” or you might write
your name and put the word “References” on the line below. This information should be centered at the top
of your document.
In list form, include the reference’s name, job title or relationship to you, address, phone number(s), and
Use 1” or 1.5” margins. Allow at least two or three spaces between reference information.
See sample below:
Otto B. Thinkin
Academy 101, 901 8th Street S., Moorhead, MN 56562
PH: 218-299-3020 Email: email@example.com
Ima Cobber, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor, Psychology
901 8th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56562
Mia Boss, Director
1256 Volunteer Way
Fargo, ND 58104
Home Sweethome, Hall Director
901 8th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56562
INSERT Resume Rubric page 1 Here
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 7
Quick Check Resume Critique
Use this form to critique your resume. Rate the resume in each category as Excellent, Average, or Poor. Write
suggestions for improvement.
Item Excellent Average Poor Missing Improvements
Does it look good without
Was the best format used to
sell your strengths?
Does the objective
statement describe desired
position or purpose of
Does the resume reflect
Count the skills _______
Are keywords and phrases
easy to identify? Are they
Does the content point to
your employment objective?
Is it free from grammar,
spelling, punctuation, or
Is it a reasonable length
(1 –2 pages)?
Is it an honest presentation
of your best?
Does the content capture an
Has a reference page been
prepared? Does it
complement the resume?
Concordia College Career Center – Academy 101 & 110 8