What is a Resume?

A resume is a summary of your qualifications, education, and relevant experiences related to an opportunity you are seeking. 

To make the best impression, your resume must be clear, concise, and compelling.

Handshake: Make sure to upload your finalized resume version to Handshake. Handshake will use your resume to auto-populate your profile, saving you a lot of valuable time! You can also give employers access to your resume by making your profile and resume viewable to employers. Learn more here: bit.ly/CatholicHandshake.

5 Steps to Create a Resume

  • 1. Make a List of Qualifications and Experiences

    1. Degrees and certificates
    2. Group projects and presentations
    3. Capstones and competitions 
    4. Thesis
    5. Research and fieldwork
    6. Study abroad 
    1. Internships 
    2. On-campus/part-time jobs 
    3. Seasonal jobs 
    4.  Off-campus jobs 
    5.  Graduate assistantships 
    6. Entrepreneurship/start-ups
    Community Engagement
    1. Student organizations 
    2. Professional associations 
    3. Volunteering/community service 
    Other Credentials
    1. Personal projects (websites, apps, games, etc.) 
    2. Portfolios
    3. Trainings and certifications 
  • 2. Match Your Qualifications

    1. Review the position description to find the specific requirements for the role. Use the T-Chart exercise to help you match their requirements to your list of accomplishments.
    2. Over the years, you have developed many skills from coursework, co-curricular activities, and your total life experiences. Use the following checklist to help you pinpoint some of your Transferable Skills.
  • 3. Format Your Document

    1.  Use this example of a Chronological Resume format to organize your resume. 
    2.  Have a version that can be edited for multiple different positions. 
    3. Helpful Formatting Guidelines:
      • Use a common font (e.g. Helvetica Neue, Garamond, Arial, Calibri, or Veranda) at 10-12 points in size.
      • Set margins no larger than 0.75 inches and no smaller than 0.5 inches.
      • Use formatting consistently so your resume looks clean and uniformed (e.g. punctuation, date format, order of info, etc.).
      • Use white space advantageously so your resume is both full and easy to read by adjusting font choice and size, adding spacing, and changing your margins.
      • Always submit/email your resume as a PDF file with a professional file name (e.g. RedCardinal_resume.pdf) unless the job posting asks for a Word document.
  • 4. Polish Your Resume

    The “bullets,” or experience statements, are critical to highlighting your accomplishments. Use this exercise to help you decide what to include.

    1.  Use Action Words to begin your bullet points.
    2.  Quantify your accomplishments and outcomes wherever possible (include numbers, percentages, dollars)
    3. Use keywords from the position description  
    4. Check spelling, punctuation, and grammar 
    5. Omit personal pronouns (I, you, me, my, their, they're) and, "a", "an", and "the" to achieve a concise style
    6.  Avoid tables, charts, pictures, and multiple/decorative fonts, and use standard round bullets to improve readability 
    7. Always submit/email your resume as a PDF file with a professional file name (e.g. RedCardinal_resume.pdf) unless the job posting asks for a Word document.
  • 5. Get it Reviewed!

    1. Scheduling an appointment: Academic and Career Advisors are available to meet with students and alumni for resume assistance and critiques, as well as a variety of other academic and career development related topics. To schedule an appointment, either visit us in 120 Garvey Hall or call (202)-319-6262 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
    2. To test how your resume aligns with a job description, use Jobscan or Top Resume 

Resume Formats

  • 2. Engineering

    1. Engineering Resume

    2. Helpful Terminonlogy for Engineering Resumes:

    Engineering and Related Technology




























    Junior Design Project
















    Senior Design Project






  • 3. Nursing

    1. Nursing Resume Emphasizing experience
    2. Nursing Resume Emphasizing clinicals

    3. Helpful Terminology for Nursing Resumes:

    Nursing and Related Fields

    Administer Medications (under supervision of RN) Assist Patients with using facilities Bathing Patients
    Blood Draw Blood Pressure Blood Transfusions
    Catheterizations Changing Bed Sheets/Bedpans Clinical Rotations
    Counseling Patients EKG Family Education
    Heart Monitor IV's Medical History
    Nutritional Assessment Patient Education Patient Exams
    Patient Transfers Physical Assessment Shadow Medical Staff
    Sterilization Techniques Sutures Therapeutic Communication
    Total Patient Care Vital Signs Wound Care
  • 4. Social Work

    1. Social Work Resume

    2. Helpful Terminology for Social Work Resume: 

    Individuals/Groups Families Couples
    Children/Teens Homeless Populations Aging Populations
    Ethnic Populations Victims of Domestic Violence Abused and Neglected Children
    Incarcerated Individuals Clients with Eating Disorders Clients with Development Disabilities
    Clients with Mental Disorders Cognitive Mapping Collaboration
    Community Organizing/Support Building Conducting Connecting
    Coordinating Counseling Court Reporting
    Crisis Intervention Diagnosis Discharge Planning
    Documenting Educating Evaluating
    Facilitating (workshops) Follow Up Fundraising
    Goal Setting Grant Writing Home visits
    Hospital Social Work Implementing Initiating Projects
    Interagency Liaison Job Designing Leading Others
    Listening (active) Lobbying Managing
    Marketing Mediating Mirroring
    Modeling Motivating Negotiating
    Neighborhood Development Persuading Personnel Recruitment and Selection
    Play Therapy Policy Development Presenting
    Program Design/Development/Management Public Relations Public Speaking
    Recruiting Referrals Reframing
    Reinforcing Research Reviewing
    School Social Work Supervising Structuring
    Summarizing Teaching Training
    Treatment Plans (Development of) Visual Imagery Writing
  • 5. Teaching

    1. Teaching Resume

    2. Useful Terminology for Teaching Resume

    Action Research Paper Assessment Tools Audiovisual Learning Techniques
    Balanced Literacy Child-Centered Classroom Management
    Community Participation Cooperative Learning Counseled
    Curriculum Development Differentiated Instruction Different Learning Styles
    Diverse Learning Styles English as a Second Language (ESL) English Language Learners (ELL)
    Gifted and Talented Guided Reading Hands-on Learning/Experiences
    Individualized Education Program (IEP) Instructed Interactive Learning
    International Baccalaureate Program (IBP) Lesson Planning Modified Instruction
    Multi-Cultural Instruction Multiple Intelligences Multi-Sensory Instruction
    Parental Involvement Parent-Teacher Conference Small and Large Group Instruction
    Special Needs Standardized Testing Students with Disabilities
    Teaching Portfolio Teaching Styles/Methods Team Teaching
     Thematic Unit  
  • 6. Federal

    Federal resumes are very detailed and must include specific information. Because of this, federal resumes tend to be longer than a resume for a private employer.  It is most important in a federal resume to completely list your knowledge, skills, and experiences.

    1. How to analyze a federal job announcement.

    2. Tips on Writing your Federal Resume

    a. Highlight your knowledge, skills and abilities. Organize your information to communicate your most important attributes.

    b. Review the job opening or announcement in detail. Write down the key phrases and qualifications listed.

    c. Highlight examples for each of the duty areas mentioned in the open position. Use statistics and numbers where you can (saved x amount of time and/or money for the company, etc.).

    d. Include hobby/volunteer skills that may be applicable or perhaps those acquired from an additional part-time career (past or present).. (writing, bookkeeping, editing, etc.)

    e. List any and all education that is currently being pursued (additional degree, certifications, etc.).

    f. List any and all awards, achievements, hobbies or titles applicable to the skills surrounding the position you are seeking (author, publisher, blog, etc.).

    g. Include any unique responsibilities (international travel, deployments, military reserves, etc.)

    h. Avoid using acronyms that others may not understand; proofread and ensure formatting, tone and tense are appropriate (bullet format, bold where applicable, reverse chronological order, etc.).

    i. Highlight your computer skills (MS Word, Project, Excel, Powerpoint, Graphic Designer, etc.) as applicable

    j. Include your resume even though the organization or agency may require an additional application

    3. Some keywords found on government resume submissions include:

                                       Spearheaded  –  Improved  –  Managed

                                       Streamlined  –  Authored  –  Developed

                                        Steadfast  –  Saved  –  Implemented

                                        Fostered  –  Engaged  –  Hand-Picked

    The above words can assist in not only capturing your expertise, but effectively highlighting your accomplishments. With a simple change, here is an example:

    Old: Worked with a small team to develop a new mobility application for our organization which was very successful.

    New: Spearheaded a new mobility application (called XFirst), which expanded our European business market segment by 10% and increased our international sales by 5% in year one.

    4. Example of a Federal Resume

Curriculum Vitae

  • CV Example

    A curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive summary of your educational and professional experience. A CV is usually used for academic, clinical, or scientific positions. A CV usually includes publications, presentations (including posters), professional activities, honors, and additional credentials. CV Example