Students - Career Services

Resume Guidance and Assistance


Career Services

Upper Jewell Bldg, Rm 3350A 

KCKCC Career Services offers one-on-one resume guidance and revisions. Resume workshops are available before career fairs. Resume guidelines can vary from one field to another. Contact your career counselor to find out more about industry specific resumes.

Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae


  • Concise, typically one page
  • Concise overview of your:
    • your education
    • professional work experience
    • skills and abilities

Curriculum Vitae

  • Latin for "Course of Life"
  • They are multiple pages in length
  • In depth details about your:
    • Academic history
    • Professional work history
    • Research you have done

Resume vs Curriculum Vitae: What's the Difference & Which Should You Use? – by

Typical Resume Sections

  • Heading
    • Your name (larger font), contact number, email (college email is always preferred), and city & sate (not your full address)
  • Education
    • Include degree title, name of institution, city & state
    • If applicable, include Minors, GPA, honors and coursework relevant to position to which you are applying.
  • Experience
    • Include name of positions, name of company, month & year you started and ended each experience, city & state, and description of job accomplishments in bullet points.
  • Skills
    • List hard skills: languages, software, programs, social media, specific trainings, etc.
  • Possible additional sections
    • certifications, professional affiliations, presentation experience, publications, international experience, volunteer experience, awards, etc.

Tips For a Better Resume

  • Make sections stand out:
    • Be consistent in format & content by using matching spacing, underlining, italics, bold, and capitalization for emphasis.
  • Add numerals:
    • Numbers (even under 10) draw and focus attention of the readers and paint a stronger picture (i.e., “trained employees” vs. “trained eight employees” vs. “trained 8 employees”)
  • Organized and easy to skim:
    • Make your resume easy to read and understand. Use the “top-to-bottom order” design, avoiding columns.
  • Use bullet points:
    • Avoid paragraphs or wordy statements.
  • Organize by relevance:
    • List headings (e.g., work experience) based on order of importance.
    • Within each heading, list information in reverse chronological order (most recent first)
  • Check for formatting, grammar, and other inconsistencies:
    • I if converting to a different document format (i.e., from Word to PDF, Google docs to Word, etc.), check that your formatting translates correctly.
    • Check for grammar, spelling, tenses, and alignment issues or inconsistencies. In addition, always ask someone else to also proofread the resume.
  • Use active voice:
    • Use active voice (i.e., you must submit the forms), rather than passive voice (i.e., forms must be submitted).
  • Incorporate key words from the job description:
    • Recruiters seek key words from job descriptions on resumes when selecting potential candidates.
    • Every resume should be modified for and tailored to each job application.
  • List hard skills:
    • Use hard, objective skills and avoid listing soft, subjective skills
    • Instead of listing soft skills, highlight them in job descriptions by describing your accomplishments with examples – “actions speak louder than words.“
  • References go on a separate document:
    • Create a separate document for references – do not include references on your resume.
    • Avoid using relatives or friends as references.
  • Incorporate key words from the job description:
    • Recruiters seek key words from job descriptions on resumes when selecting potential candidates.
    • Every resume should be modified for and tailored to each job application.
Additional Resume Tips: 35 Tips & Tricks for Resume Writing – by

What to Avoid

  • Use of personal pronouns (e.g., “I”)
  • Abbreviations
  • A narrative style (start sentences with an Action verbs)
  • Using slang or colloquialisms
  • Including a picture, your birthday, or explicitly stating your gender
    • Many companies may discard your resume if any of these are included due to antidiscrimination policies.  
  • Including age or gender
  • Listing references on resume
  • Using blocks of colors.
    • When a recruiter receives your resume, they have to print it out and the blocks of color will use up their ink.
  • Using the same resume for every job application.

Types of Resumes


Chronological Resume

Also commonly called “reverse chronological,” this is the most common format and probably the resume style you already use to apply to jobs. The chronological resume is great for clearly displaying your experience or education history and they are a solid choice for just about any level of experience. This is called “reverse-chronological” because you start with your most recent position at the top, then list them in order with the least recent at the bottom.

  • Use it to illustrate your career progression over time, to show upward career mobility, and when applying for a similar job to those on your resume.
  • Do NOT use it when you have large employment gaps in your work history, when you change jobs frequently, or when starting a second career or switching fields.
  • Click here for more information.

Functional Resume

This resume format is basically the opposite of chronological. The functional resume focuses more on specific skills, accomplishments, or accolades. In functional resumes, your skills and career highlights are towards the top. Your work history ends up closer to the bottom (and is much shorter). This format is excellent for project-based workers or freelancers, or for workers who want to hide large work gaps from a potential employer.

  • Use it to highlight a set of skills or accolades displaying those skills, when going back to work after an extended period, or changing careers or fields.
  • Do NOT use if you are entry-level candidate that has very little work experience, are trying to show you have climbed the corporate ladder (or grown in your field), or lack professional skills or certifications. Why shouldn't’t you use this format if you are an entry-level applicant? Because you should be straightforward about being entry-level. The functional format would seem to hide that fact, as well as detract from valuable internship.
  • Click here for more information.

Combination Resume

This resume format, like its name indicates, is a combo of the functional and chronological formats. The combination resume is great if you want to impress a potential employer with a mixture of skills and experience. It’s also useful for job seekers who want to highlight a very specific set of skills and how their work experience has helped build those abilities.

  • Use it to show you are extremely skilled in the job field you are applying, to show a developed skill in a specific field, when changing industries or careers.
  • Do NOT use you are an entry-level job applicant, lack experience or a well-defined professional skill set, you want to make your education background stand out.
  • Click here for more information.


  • Why use Action Verbs (with examples)
  • More Action Verbs
  • Formula: Action verb + Task + How/Why = Result
    • Initiated and lead (action verbs) marketing outreach and communication efforts to 5 community college departments (task) to increase promotion of services offered (why) leading to a 25% increase in weekly student traffic in the career center (result).
    • Implemented (action verb) changes in the appointment-setting communication strategy of work-study staff (task), to increase customer follow-up consistency and reliability, (why) leading to a 50% decrease in no-call, no-show appointments (result).
  • How to Highlight Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills on your Resume and Cover Letter – by     

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