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Developing Your Resume

A resume is an important tool that is used in a variety of circumstances. It will be useful to you when you apply for a job or college admission. Webster's Dictionary states that a resume is a summary. You have a variety of experiences and skills: it is important to summarize the most important ones on your resume.

Identify Your Skills

You may begin with the Self-Assessment Worksheet; it will help you to determine what skills you have developed. Start at the top of the page and at the top of the first column write a title for the 4-H project or other activity that you feel helped you to develop important skills. The activity could be a paying job, participation in a youth sport or other youth development organization. After writing the name of the activity, work down the column and check all the skills listed that you used by participating in that activity or project.

Repeat this with four or more additional activities or projects.

After you complete this process you are ready to go on to the Resume Worksheet. From the list of workforce competencies on the Self-Assessment Worksheet determine which competencies you have checked most often. Select three to five of those and transfer them to the Skills and Accomplishment section of the Resume Worksheet.

Repeat this with four or more additional activities or projects.

Be specific about how you developed that skill in your project or activity. Discuss how you used that skill in 4-H, school or other area and what you accomplished. You could include a description of a workshop or conference you attended where you practiced or learned more about the skill. Keep you descriptions brief; 1 to 2 sentences in length.

You may want to refer to your 4-H Summary Record for supportive information when filling out these worksheets


Negotiation Skills:

As a member of the Peer Leadership Team at Smithfield High School, I participated in 20 hours of conflict resolution training. As a member of this team I was on the Peer Mediation Team and helped to mediate conflict between high school students a total of 6 times.

Now, shorten this into bullet statements using action verbs:

  • Participated in 20 hours of conflict resolution training as a Peer Leadership Team member at Smithfield High School.
  • Helped to mediate conflict between high school students 6 times.

For the competency "uses materials, supplies, tools & equipment efficiently" and/or "maintains & develops new skills," you could write about skills that you have developed as follows:

Computer and Customer Service Skills:

In my position as a sales associate for a local clothing store I learned to operate the computerized inventory control system as well as developing good customer service skills. I received the employee of the month award twice last year.

Now, turn this section into bullet statements:

  • Learned to operate computerized inventory control system at local retail clothing store.
  • Developed good customer service skills.
  • Received employee of the month award twice last year.

You get the idea! You need to be specific about the skills you have learned and how you have developed and practiced them! Use short, simple, active statements to convey this information.

Putting Together Your Resume

Complete the other sections of the Resume Worksheet, listing information about yourself and your education and work experience. Once you have finished that, you are ready to transfer that information into a resume. You may use the sample resume enclosed in the packet as a template for setting up your own resume or use another format that you like. Some computer word processing programs have sample resumes; you may want to check on this. Regardless of what format you use, make sure to include sections for your skills and accomplishments, educational background, and employment history which includes your volunteer experiences. Always include your objective on the resume; you may need to do more than one resume with different objectives given on each one.

The best resumes are as clear and concise as possible. One page is best but it is acceptable to go onto a second sheet if you must. Remember, the point of a resume is to summarize the most important information. Keep your font size readable (no smaller than 12). White space on the page is necessary to make it attractive and readable. Neatness and correct spelling are critical. Do not rely only on spell check; have others check your resume for spelling accuracy.

Remember that a resume is never finished! It is a living history of your life experiences and will change as time goes on.