GVSU Career Center

NACE Grab & Go Content - Resume Basics

The basic chronological resume for new grads gives the employer an easy-to-understand timeline—your educational and work experiences appear in reverse chronological order—and features sections displayed at the right. (Some sections may be optional, depending on your circumstances.)

Name and Contact Information

Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip
Phone Number
E-mail Address
 

As possible, make your contact information “evergreen”—that is, you can be reached at this address, this phone number, this e-mail address today, tomorrow, next week, next month.

If your address is temporary, indicate that and provide the date that your address expires; offer a permanent address where you can be reached after that date.

Your contact information should be appropriate; keep your voice mail message and e-mail address professional.

Objective/Summary

The jury is out on this section, so talk to a career counselor about whether you should include it. If you do decide to use this section, however, make sure to:

  1. Tailor it to the specific position/organization; and
  2. Keep it short.

Education

Degree, Major, Name of Institution/Location, Graduate Date, GPA (cumulative and in major), Relevant Coursework 

For new grads, education typically appears near the top of the resume.

Include your date of graduation so the recruiter will know when you are available for work.

Whether to include GPA can be tricky. Many employers (especially those with formal new graduate hiring programs) use GPA to screen candidates. As a general rule, if your GPA is 3.0 or higher, include it. If not, discuss your options with a counselor in your career center.

Many new grads will feature coursework that is relevant to the job as a way to provide the potential employer with some information about their knowledge and skill sets.

Experience

Name of Organization, Title/Experience, Location, Dates 

Description of the experience (what you did, how you did it, what you accomplished) 

Internships and co-op assignments, full- and part-time jobs, and volunteer experiences can all go here, but depending on the position and circumstances, sometimes the new grad resume will feature a “Relevant Experience” section, where just those experiences relevant to the job at hand are detailed.

  • Overall, your goal is to make the information easy to find, read, and understand.
  • Use action verbs to describe what you did.
  • As possible, include keywords that match those found in the job description.
  • Highlight your “soft skills” in your descriptions.
  • As possible, quantify your accomplishments. 

Skills

In general, use this to identify specific abilities, such as proficiency in specific software and language skills.

Activities

Although it is technically optional, this section may be very important to you: Your activities can provide evidence that you have key skills that will benefit you on the job. Holding an office in a sorority, participating in student organizations, taking part in a theater production, playing on a sports team, and such all offer you the chance to show the employer you have sought-after skills—leadership, team work, communications, and more. Plus, many employers will look at this section to see if the candidate is well rounded.

Honors/Awards

Include those that are relevant to the job, demonstrate achievement, or provide evident of your skills.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Page last modified October 9, 2013