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Resume Development

Developing Guidelines

4-H members ages 15 and older are encouraged to take the information from their 4-H records and put it in resume format. 4-H resume books are used to select the delegates to National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference. A 4-H Resume Development Packet is available to assist members with this process and outlines the requirements for submitting the resume packet. In addition to the resume packet, there are other items required to apply for National 4-H Congress or National 4-H Conference. For complete information, go to the appropriate section (National Congress or Conference) under Teen Leadership.

Resume Packet

A complete resume packet includes the following (all single-sided pages):

  1. Cover letter.
  2. Resume (1 page preferred, 2 pages maximum).
  3. 4-H Story (double spaced, 5 pages maximum).
  4. Support materials are optional (maximum of 5 pages).

Resume packets not following these guidelines will be disqualified. All pages should be done in a professional manner and be neat, clean and typed. All materials must be 3-hole punched and bound in a folder: the 4-H record book cover available from the 4-H Sourcebook is preferred.

See 4-H Summary Record Instructions for detailed information about writing your 4-H Story and what you may include for support materials.

Remember: when doing a resume packet and cover letter, always keep in mind the position that you are applying for. If you are applying to be a delegate to National 4-H Conference or National 4-H Congress, state this. For these positions, the judges will be looking for experience and skills in leadership, community service, communications and citizenship. You want to make sure to highlight the skills you have in these areas in your cover letter, resume and support materials.

Note: if you are submitting a resume packet to apply for National 4-H Congress or National 4-H Conference, additional materials may be required. See the Teen Leadership section of the website for more information.

The following materials will help you develop your resume packet for judging:

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.

Developing 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.




Cover letter

There are four main elements to a cover letter.

  • Opening. Explain why you're writing. State the position you are seeking and the source of the job opening. (e.g., newspaper ad, friend, co-worker).
  • Main body. Highlight your job qualifications and link them to the company's needs. Show that you know something about the company and are interested in the company's products or services.
  • Closing. Request an interview and enclose your phone number.
  • Thank the employer for his or her time and effort.

Other important information when writing a cover letter:

  • Write an individualized cover letter for each job employer.
  • Address the letter to the person you want to contact, preferably the one doing the hiring.
  • Type letter on quality 8 ½ x 11 paper.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Convey personal warmth and enthusiasm.
  • Keep your letter short and to the point.
  • Describe how your skills and abilities will benefit the company.
  • Provoke the employer to read your resume.
  • Request a job interview.
  • Keep a copy for your follow-up records.
  • Sign your letter.


Keep a file of the resumes you send out and follow up with a phone call. Surveys have shown that only two percent of resumes mailed to employers result in an interview. If you follow up with a phone call, the success rate jumps to 20 percent.