An effective resume can help you stand out from the crowd and tell prospective employers that you’re the ideal person for that position. Crafting an effective resume is very important, so you should take your time with it. Seek the guidance of a career counselor and ask for feedback on your draft. You can also use the following tips to highlight your best qualities and accomplishments.
1. Choose an Appropriate Format.
There are three common formats for resumes: functional (or thematic), reverse chronological and combined resumes.
- Functional resumes emphasize accomplishments, skills and experience. They do not call attention to the candidate’s work history. For undergraduate students, it’s best to avoid this format.
- Reverse chronological format emphasizes employment history, starting with most recent job and ending with the earliest.
- Combination resumes are the most flexible type, providing a chronological list of employment history while emphasizing skills and experience.
As a psychology major, you may have previous job or internship experience. Since you probably don’t have a long professional history, the combination resume may best satisfy your needs. Regardless of which format you choose, you should highlight your education.
2. Divide it into Sections.
Your professional history will likely take up a sizable portion of your resume. Depending on your experience, you may want to divide this section “Related Experience” and “Other Work Experience.” The first section will list all the work (paid and unpaid) you’ve done related to your psychology major or the job you’re applying for. The other section will list unrelated work experience.
You’ll also need a section labeled “Education,” which lists your university, degree, graduation date and GPA. You may want a section labeled “Accomplishments,” where you might list any of the following:
- Awards and honors
- Research experience
- Major projects
- Clubs and organizations
3. Write a Compelling Objective Statement.
The objective statement is found at the top of the resume, underneath your contact information. It should be brief (about two to three sentences). When writing it, You should tailor your objective statement to the position you’re applying for.
Traditionally, the objective statement focuses on specifying the desired job, but there is a growing expectation that the objective statement be a few third-person sentences about yourself. Focus on what you have to offer the position, rather than how the position can benefit you.
Students at Grand Canyon University have access staff who can help identify career options and write effective resumes at the Academic and Career Excellence (ACE) Center, including Career Resources. To learn more about the counseling and psychology degrees offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visit our website or click on the Request More Information button at the top of this page.