A resume is...

  • A marketing tool for your job and internship search.
  • An individually designed document tailored to each application.
  • A highlight of your background, experience, and skills.
  • Used by employers as a screening device.
  • Just one piece of the job search process.

The first draft of your resume is important because it lays the foundation for a more polished version of your resume later. 

First Step: Evaluate Your Skills & Interests

Start by identifying your top occupational theme identified in the Explore & Assess area of the Majors section of the website. A clear understanding of your values, interests, and skills will help identify components that you will want to highlight on your resume.

Transferable Skills

Identify the transferable skills below that apply to you and write down specific examples of when, where, and how you used the skill.


The skillful expression, transmission and interpretation of knowledge and ideas.

Speaking effectively Perceiving nonverbal messages Writing concisely
Persuading Listening attentively Reporting information
Expressing ideas Describing feelings Facilitating group discussion
Negotiating Providing appropriate feedback Editing

Research & Planning

The search for specific knowledge and the ability to conceptualize future needs and solutions for meeting those needs.

Forecasting, predicting Solving problems Creating ideas
Setting goals Identifying problems Extracting important information
Imagining alternatives Defining needs Identifying resources
Analyzing Gathering information Developing evaluation strategies

Human Relations

The use of interpersonal skills for resolving conflict, relating to and helping people.

Developing rapport Counseling Being sensitive
Cooperating Listening Delegating with respect
Conveying feelings Representing others Providing support for others
Perceiving feelings, situations Motivating/Asserting Sharing credit

Organization, management & leadership

The ability to supervise, direct and guide individuals and groups in the completion of tasks and fulfillment of goals.

Initiating new ideas Coaching Handling details
Counseling Coordinating tasks Promoting change
Managing groups Selling ideas or products Delegating responsibility
Decision making with others Teaching Managing conflict

Work Survival

The day-to-day skills that assist in promoting effective production and work satisfaction.

Implementing decisions Meeting goals Cooperating
Enlisting help Enforcing policies Accepting responsibility
Being punctual Setting and meeting deadlines Managing time
Organizing Attending to detail Making decisions


It's helpful to make a list of all of your high school and college experiences. Consider the following points for each experience:

  • The tasks, duties, and responsibilities involved 
  • Skills, knowledge, and training required
  • The parts I liked best/least
  • The areas in which I excelled
  • My biggest challenges 
  • Skills I developed as a result of the experience
  • Interests I developed as a result of the experience

After completing this exercise for multiple experiences, do any patterns emerge? If so, how can these inform your decision making as you continue to explore career choices?

Next Step: Write Your First Draft