Résumés and Curriculum Vitae

A résumé is essential to the job search. It briefly summarizes your education, experience, and the skills related to your career goals. It is important that your résumé highlights your accomplishments, identifies your strengths, and is tailored to the position and/or industry you are pursuing.

Alternatively, a curriculum vita (CV) is a longer document that includes a full record of your educational and career history. It also tends to be used for academic and research career paths and therefore contains information about research and teaching experience, conferences, publications and scholarly awards.

Here are some helpful guides, samples, and advice on writing, organizing, and formatting your résumé or curriculum vita:

Guides to Résumés and Vitas

Writing Your Résumé

Name and Contact Information

Begin your résumé with your basic contact information leading with your name at the top of the page. Please be sure to include a current email and phone number. An address is optional to include.

What to include

  • Your name (should be the most prominent feature on the page)
  • Email address (one you check regularly)
  • Local or cell phone number
  • Local and/or permanent address


Sample Student

165 University Avenue   Columbia, MO 65202
555-555-5555   student@mail.missouri.edu


Outline the details about the school you attend and your academic discipline. Depending on your field, you might also add relevant coursework, honors and accomplishments. For most college students and recent grads, this section should appear after your contact information.

What to include

  • The name of the university, city, and state
  • Your degree and major, and expected graduation date
  • Minor, certificate and/or areas of emphasis
  • GPA if cumulative and/or major GPA is a 3.0 or higher
  • Other options: Study abroad programs, relevant coursework, honors, scholarships or awards.

Alternative Names:

Academic Background, Academic Training or Educational History


University of Missouri
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in Philosophy
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 20__
Cumulative GPA: 3.32

Work Experience

This section is typically the largest part of the résumé, depending on the extent of your experience. It will provide details of the positions you held and your achievements.

What to include

  • Job title, employer name, city and state, and dates of employment (list most recent to least recent) backwards in time).
  • Use bullet points, starting with past tense action verbs, to describe your duties and accomplishments.
  • Highlight transferable skills that you have acquired in previous or current positions that could be used in a future employment setting. Skills like customer service, helping, leadership, organization, etc.
  • Make sure what you list relates to the position you are applying for and put the most important and relevant information first.
  • Use numbers whenever possible (e.g., supervised a staff of 10, increased sales by 15%, handled up to $15,000 daily, etc.).
  • Optional: Use alternative headings to separate experience that is most directly related to your objective. Examples include: Computer Experience, Sales Experience or Writing Experience.

Alternative Names:

Professional Experience, Related Experience, Internship Experience, Clinical Experience, or specific skill or industry experience (Management Experience, Writing Experience, etc.)


Sales Associate
Kellerman Garden Center

January 20__ – Present
Columbia, Missouri

  • Maintain thorough and updated knowledge of all lawn equipment, plants and ongoing promotions.
  • Explain equipment operation, maintenance details and special tips for use.
  • Communicate easily with customers and effectively resolve concerns and complaints in a polite and friendly manner.
  • Consistently rank as a top seller among a team of 12 sales associates.

Summary of Qualifications

This section can appear near the top of your résumé and outlines your unique experience, skills and attributes. It gives your résumé focus and direction and previews the information that follows.

What to include

  • Statement(s) of breadth or depth of experience
  • Relevant educational background
  • Skills practiced and/or developed
  • Tailored statements that parallel your skills or experience directly to the job listing

Alternative Names:

Professional Profile, Professional Highlights, Qualifications, Competencies



  • Creative designer with 2 years of experience creating print publications and web sites
  • Tech savvy learner proficient in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, HTML, and Quark
  • Passionate design student that has sought additional coursework in fine arts, coding and marketing to develop a broad range of professional skills.
  • Strong verbal communicator that interacts effectively with clients and team members

Professional Organizations

You may create a section listing your memberships and connections with professional groups.

What to include

  • The name of the organization spelled out in its entirety.
  • Leadership positions you have held within the organization.
  • Dates of your membership (2016-2017).
  • Optional: Committees you have served on o leadership roles.

Alternative Names:

Professional Affiliations, Associations and Memberships, Certification & Licensures, Professional Activities


Student Member, American Chemical Society Student Affiliate (ACSSA) 20__-20__
Vice-President, Alpha Chi Sigma – Delta Chapter (Chemistry fraternity) 20__-20__

Community Service and Extracurriculars

Employers are seeking well-rounded candidates who are engaged in the campus and community. Please list organizations you have been actively involved with and volunteer work you have done on your own or through a group.

What to include

  • The name of the student organization, club sport or volunteer agency
  • Dates of involvement
  • Service Learning course names or projects
  • Leadership positions you held in student groups
  • Use bullet points to detail your duties and accomplishments if you were significantly involved as a student leader or volunteer

Alternative Names:

  • Volunteer Experience
  • Service & Leadership
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Campus or Community Involvement


Basketball Coach, Special Olympics, July 20__
Treasurer, Habitat for Humanity, September 20__ – May 20__
Social Chair, Phi Mu Zeta Sorority, April 20__ – April 20__
Co-Captain, Field Hockey Intramural Team, August 20__ – December 20__

Honors and Awards

Academic and job achievements are noteworthy on a résumé and typically include awards, scholarships, academic honors and other recognition.

What to include

  • The name and dates of your membership in an honorary or organization spelled out in its entirety
  • Full names of academic scholarships
  • Employment Award name and dates

Alternative Names

Academic Recognition, Scholastic Achievement, Academic Accomplisheme4nts, Awards & Recognition


Rusk Memorial Scholarship
Golden Key National Honor Society, 20__ – 20__
20__ General Motors St. Louis Intern of the Year


The skills section can appear anywhere on the résumé and should include a brief description of your unique abilities.

What to include

  • Concise descriptions or phrases of your unique skills
  • Skills that are relevant to the position for which you are applying
  • A minimum of 4 skill sets so the section does not look sparse

Possible section titles

Competencies, Skills & Abilities, Professional Competencies


  • Strong project management abilities including organizing details, delegating duties and meeting deadlines
  • Excellent collaborative team contributor, bringing all members together for effective discussion and productivity
  • Able to handle multiple work projects simultaneously by continuously prioritizing and executing timely tasks


References are a key element of your application but do not belong on your résumé. Your references should ALWAYS be on a separate sheet of paper with a similar header to your resume.

What to include

  • List the name, title, address, phone number, and email addresses of each reference.
  • Be sure to put your name and contact information at the top of the page in case your reference sheet gets separated your résumé
  • Make sure each of your references has agreed in advance to serve as a positive recommendation and is a school or work contact that can address your performance and professional abilities. Never list personal character references.