Building the Resume
While there is no exact way to write a resume, there are definite do’s and don’ts. The sections below present some of the most common recommendations for different sections of your resume, with tips to help build a solid resume followed by LIS resume examples to review.
Qualifications Summary (also called “Strengths,” “Strengths Summary,” “Qualifications Overview,” or similar)
- Research the company. Focus on the employer and what you can contribute, vs. describing what you hope to gain.
- Highlight your most outstanding, relevant strengths as they relate to the position you are applying for.
- As possible, tailor your statements to specific job requirements and qualifications.
- Either present your key points in a brief series of statements (each visually separated with a bullet point or vertical line) on several lines or in a list of no more than 4-6 bullet point statements that showcase your strongest professional attributes. (If you have a lot to put into your resume, a series-of-statements format may save space on the page.)
- Focus on your most impressive achievements (including volunteer and/or student accomplishments) based on the position you are applying for.
- As possible, tie the job and project descriptions in your resume back to the elements in your Qualifications or Strengths statement.
- Note: although resumes used to lead off with an Objective Statement, current practice is to instead showcase your key strengths as they relate to the job for which you’re applying. This approach keeps the focus on how you can benefit an employer and are a match for their job, rather than on what you want.
- Examples of Summary of Qualifications Statements
- Make sure the title you list is informative; use “Course Designer” (which is what you did) rather than “Specialist 4,” which conveys no information to the reader even if technically accurate.
- Think BIG and include any volunteer, community service, paid or unpaid experience that demonstrates your related skills and abilities.
- Ask yourself: "What did I accomplish in this position?" and "How does it relate to my objective?"
- Tailor the resume to highlight your transferable skills and support your objective.
- Clearly demonstrate what you did vs. simply listing duties or responsibilities.
- Start each accomplishment statement with an action verb.
- Think about WHAT you did or what you were involved in – how can you describe relevant experience to align with the particular job specification?
- Think about HOW you performed the action. What skills did you use? These skills can be technical skills or transferable soft skills.
- When possible, conclude with the result, outcome, or learning of your action; quantify with numbers or percentages.
- Use wording and industry buzz words taken from the job description.
- Examples of Accomplishment Statements
Skills, Activities, Additional Information Sections (optional)
- Mention only technology and skills you are proficient in or very familiar with.
- Include technical skills as well as foreign language and communication skills.
- List professional organizations or clubs closely related to your major or career field.
- Include activities, awards, etc. if they are current and add value to the job you are applying for.
Relevant Courses and Projects
- List course titles only.
- Use related coursework as a way to fill up space on your resume if you do not have much relevant work experience.
- Consider adding related projects to this section as another way to demonstrate your experience.
- Projects may include those done individually or in groups, and should include written assignments if they further demonstrate the strengths you’ve highlighted in your Summary section or document additional relevant expertise.
- List up to five “showcase” projects, with a focus on those that demonstrate a variety of relevant skills and qualifications.
- Give each project a title and the year in which you completed it. If you are currently working on the project, include “in progress.”
- If a project is available online, include a URL – ideally a shortened URL. See https://goo.gl/ (link is external) or https://tinyurl.com/ (link is external) for shortening your URL.
- Develop bullet point accomplishment statements.
- Examples of Project Statements.
- Include your current LIS degree, even if still in process, and list it first in chronological order. If your degree is in process, say so – don’t list the end date as if you had already achieved it.
- Bold your degree, not the school attended.
- Include the expected graduation date or date that your degree was received instead of the start date.
- Include your GPA only if you have a 3.3 or higher.
- Include your bachelor's degree(s) and leave off associate degrees and high school.
Each resume sample below was tailored to a specific job posting.
- Entry-level Archivist
- Medical Librarian Intern
- Recent Grad 1
- Entry-level Reference Librarian
- Recent Grad 2