Resume tips

What is a resume?

A resume is a targeted summary of your education, skills, accomplishments and experience. A resume serves as an introduction to potential employers and is often the place where they get their first impression of you. Whether you are applying for a job, internship, graduate school or a leadership position here on campus, your goal should be to build a solid resume that quickly captures your reader’s attention and makes them want to advance you to the next step in the process (typically an interview!).

You should never underestimate the power of a solid resume! Employers and recruiters typically take 10 – 20 seconds to do an initial review of your resume, so capturing and keeping their attention is crucial.

Whether you are working on updating your resume or writing a resume for the first time, you should consider taking a look at our Resume Writing Guide (PDF). If you are looking for information on how a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is different from a resume, you should consider reviewing the basics of a Curriculum Vitae (PDF).

If you are a veteran student who wants to better understand how to translate your military experience into civilian skills, take a look at our Resume Writing for Veterans Guide (PDF).

Sample resumes

Looking for help on your resume?

Attend one of our Resume Labs, Stop by the Student Resource Center during Career Services Drop-In Hours, OR call 360-546-9155 to schedule a one-on-one resume review.

Action verbs

Management skills

  • administered
  • analyzed
  • assigned
  • consolidated
  • coordinated
  • delegated
  • developed
  • directed
  • evaluated
  • executed
  • improved
  • organized
  • oversaw
  • planned
  • prioritized
  • produced
  • recommended
  • reviewed
  • strengthened
  • supervised

Communication skills

  • addressed
  • authored
  • corresponded
  • developed
  • directed
  • drafted
  • edited
  • enlisted
  • formulated
  • influenced
  • interpreted
  • mediated
  • moderated
  • motivated
  • negotiated
  • persuaded
  • promoted
  • publicized
  • recruited
  • wrote

Clerical or detailed skills

  • approved
  • arranged
  • cataloged
  • classified
  • collected
  • compiled
  • dispatched
  • inspected
  • monitored
  • operated
  • prepared
  • organized
  • prepared
  • processed
  • purchased
  • recorded
  • retrieved
  • screened
  • specified
  • validated

Research skills

  • clarified
  • collected
  • critiqued
  • diagnosed
  • evaluated
  • examined
  • extracted
  • identified
  • inspected
  • interpreted
  • interviewed
  • investigated
  • organized
  • reviewed
  • summarized
  • surveyed
  • systematized

Technical skills

  • assembled
  • built
  • calculated
  • computed
  • designed
  • devised
  • engineered
  • fabricated
  • maintained
  • operated
  • overhauled
  • programmed
  • remodeled
  • repair
  • solved
  • trained
  • upgraded

Teaching skills

  • adapted
  • advised
  • coached
  • communicated
  • coordinated
  • developed
  • enabled
  • encouraged
  • evaluated
  • explained
  • facilitated
  • guided
  • informed
  • initiated
  • instructed
  • persuaded
  • stimulated

Financial skills

  • administered
  • allocated
  • analyzed
  • appraised
  • audited
  • balanced
  • budgeted
  • calculated
  • computed
  • developed
  • forecasted
  • managed
  • planned
  • projected
  • researched

Creative skills

  • acted
  • conceptualized
  • created
  • designed
  • developed
  • established
  • illustrated
  • instituted
  • integrated
  • introduced
  • originated
  • performed
  • planned
  • revitalized
  • shaped

Helping skills

  • assessed
  • assisted
  • clarified
  • coached
  • counseled
  • demonstrated
  • diagnosed
  • educated
  • expedited
  • facilitated
  • familiarized
  • guided
  • referred
  • rehabilitated
  • represented