Polishing Your Resume

Click the button to access additional resume resources.

Once you get a draft together, it is important that is goes through several revisions before the final product is ready to submit to an employer.

Describing Your Experience

Take time to carefully describe your employment, campus involvement, and community service experience. Carefully choose descriptive words, include numbers where appropriate, and highlight outcomes of your efforts. For example:

GOOD

BETTER

BEST

Responsible for publicity Interacted successfully with public affairs representatives and local media Interacted successfully with public affairs representatives and local media, increasing community awareness of agency by 25%
Responsibilities included adhering to safety procedures and ensuring other lifeguards knew policies Carried out safety precautions and instructed staff in the proper use of equipment Carried out safety precautions and instructed staff in the proper use of equipment, resulting in a 50% reduction of injury accidents over the summer
Worked with delinquent youth in after-school athletic program Instructed youth on how to execute strategies in a team setting Explained team strategies and instructed youth on how to execute strategies, which increased team enthusiasm and resulted in winning city competition

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are the skills you acquire and transfer to future employment settings. While you may or may not have a great deal of work experience at this stage in the game, you likely have more transferable skills than you realize. Consider skills you have acquired or demonstrated through your jobs, campus activities or academic projects. Our Guide To Resumes includes a list of transferable skills and is accessible by clicking the Career Tools icon.  Some examples include:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organization skills
  • Leaderships skills
  • Communication skills
  • Customer service skills

Final Steps

Utilize the MU Career Center: You can bring a draft (or come in with ideas) and a Career Specialist at the MU Career Center will talk with you one-on-one about your goals and experience and provide constructive feedback.  This does not require an appointment and can take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour, depending on what you want to accomplish.

Test market your resume: Give your resume to several people you trust to give you honest feedback. In addition to the MU Career Center, seek out opinions of industry professionals, faculty/advisors who know you, professionals in your division’s career services office (if applicable), and people who excel at editing.

Choose words carefully: Pay close attention to the words you choose. Make sure your content and organization address the job description and company values. Be sure to include skill sets required of the job and industry keywords.

Proofread your resume a final time: Make sure there are no grammatical errors or misspelled words. Also, check to see that you are consistent in using fonts, spacing, and overall style throughout your resume, reference sheet, and cover letter. If sending electronically, test it by sending a PDF to a friend to make sure it opens properly. If printing, use a paperclip (no staples) and print one-sided.