Q: How do I write a resume with no experience?

A: Include academic coursework, volunteer experience and activity involvement. Make 1-2 bullet points about significant projects or research in your coursework. Also use 1-2 bullet points to describe volunteer experience and activity involvement and specifically highlight any leadership roles.

Q: If I transferred, should I put my past schools on my resume?

A: You only need to list schools you received a degree from.

Q: Should I put High School stuff on my resume?

A: Freshmen students may include high school experience and accomplishments. Generally, you do not need to list the high school you attended under “Education”. There are some exceptions. If you attended a prestigious high school and you know the employers have connections to that high school or if you apply to jobs in communities that like to see you attended a local high school.

Q: Should I include my permanent address or my local address on my resume?

A: It depends on where you are applying for jobs. List the address nearest the location of the jobs you are applying to. If you are applying for jobs in both your home city/state and your local city/state list both addresses. Also, if you plan on moving soon you may want to only list your permanent address.

Q: Should I list my GPA on my resume?

A: Yes, if it is above a 3.5. If not, try to make it look better by highlighting your major GPA.

Q: Do I have to list all the activities I have been involved in?

A: You should select the activities that best exemplify your skills and interests that the potential employer will find useful. Ask yourself these questions: Which activities were most important to you? Which activities took up most of your times? Which activities are most relevant? Narrow your list of activities by selecting only one from each similar category. For example, if you sang in three different choirs, don’t list all three just pick one.

Q: What about my awards and honors?

A: A need based scholarship does not qualify as an honor. When describing awards and honors, it does help the employer if you describe why you won it. After listing the award title give a brief description.

Q: Should the Education Section go at the Beginning or End?

A: In most cases it makes sense to put the Education section at the beginning of your resume, since you are a college student or recent graduate. However, if you have a lot of great internship or work experience closely related to your chosen field, position your Experience section ahead of Education.

Q: How long should my cover letter be?

A: For a recent undergrad no more than one page. For graduate students or individuals with significant work experience, two pages are acceptable.

Q: Can I email a thank you note?

A: Preferably thank you letters should be mailed. A handwritten thank you is best, but typed thank you letters are acceptable. Only send an email thank-you note when you know the employer is rushed to make a decision soon, but follow up with a letter in the mail.


This article is courtesy of Megan Sykes in the HealthSciences, Education & Wellness Institute @ Bellevue College.

PDF: FAQ_ResumeWriting_PDF

Last Updated November 30, 2017