“What Should I Put on My Resume?”

So you’re going to create a resume? Great! Wondering what to actually put on it? Read on to find out!

What Should I Write for a Heading? The heading should include your name, mailing address, phone number where you can be reached with reliability, and an e-mail address. If you are using a Yahoo or Hotmail address, consider whether or not the name within the address connotes professionalism. If your address is a non-intuitive nickname followed by a jumble of numbers, perhaps you might consider listing your UMF e-mail address (which is probably more self-evident, i.e., first name.last name@maine.edu) or creating a new Yahoo or Hotmail account that more closely captures your name, thereby making it easier for those doing the hiring to remember.

What Should I Write for an Objective? The objective is one aspect of the resume that changes with each use, because the objective should be written specific to the teaching position for which you are applying. If you are writing the resume for use at a career fair, in which case the available positions may not be known in advance, then leave the objective off. The objective should be kept to a line and reference the name of the organization and position for which you are applying. Avoid focusing on yourself in the objective, e.g.: “Seeking a position in which to utilize my good computer and communication skills.” Instead, try to pattern your objective after the sample resumes. Reference the name of the business/organization and the title of the position for which you are applying.

What Should I Write About My Education? The order of information should be listed by reverse chronology, which means you should first list the school with which you are currently identified (UMF), followed by your high school. Middle and elementary schools need not be listed on your resume. A good pattern for giving information is evident on the sample resume: Name of school, geographic location (town, state), B.S. in your degree program (academic major) and the date of your graduation or anticipated graduation. Listing your school certification is important, too. It probably will appear elsewhere on your application, but it’s easy to see on the resume and an important detail worthy of repetition. You are encouraged to list academic honors under the heading “Education,” so you can layer a message about academic success while the reader is digesting information about where, when, and for what degree program you attended college. Listing your GPA isn’t required because it will appear on the transcript, which probably will be an application requirement. However, if you have attained a high GPA, why not layer that message here? Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) are italicized because they are foreign language terms. Refer to the UMF catalog to learn the GPA requirements associated with each honor. Because high schools are generally not program/degree specific, you can simply indicate that you earned a diploma.

What about listing hobbies, interests, etc.? A resume can feature a heading for hobbies and interests, but you are advised to consider what messages you may be inadvertently sending about yourself. Listing “paintball” as a preferred activity on a teaching resume, for instance, may not be advisable, since schools are institutions concerned with violence prevention and paintball — however harmless — involves, at its core, “shooting” others. Since public schools are intended to be secular institutions, a heavy emphasis on religious activities and interests (to the exclusion of anything else, for example) may invite questions about your ability to separate church from state in the classroom. Listing club or organizational involvement that is political or religious in nature may unintentionally alienate the reader who may not share the same political or religious philosophy. Even if you believe the club/organization affiliation is important to your identity, remember that the job for which you are applying is primarily about serving the business/organization’s agenda rather than your own agenda, however noble it may be.

For more information about resumes, check out UMF’s Career Services Resume Toolbox!

Need help? No worries! Make an appointment with a UMF Career Counselor

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