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Resume and Cover Letter Guide: Education and Skills

Education and Skills

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Education

For students and recent graduates, the Education section will be the first major category to follow the Identification and Objective or Summary Statement sections. Otherwise, it will go towards the end of your resume. You may choose to include as much or as little of the autobiographical data from your worksheet as you see fit. If you wonder about whether you should include certain information or not, ask yourself whether it will help you in getting an interview. If you believe it will, it probably has a place on your resume.

Identifying Skills

To determine which headings to group your experiences under, try to find the three skills or qualities most important to the job you seek. Typically an employer lists the required skill set as “qualifications” in a job lead (see samples at the end of the Guide). Or, think of your three strongest skills or qualities.

The Skills Chart on the next page may help. The Skills column represents those skills which may be useful in many different types of jobs. These are considered transferable. Below these transferable skills are spaces for you to fill in the more career-specific skills you might have, for example, public relations, economics, teaching. Along the top of the chart are areas for you to list experiences identified earlier on your worksheets. Under each experience, you should check the skill you feel you learned/used/mastered.

When you have completed your chart, look for the patterns of skills checked most often. Decide if you would like to use those skills in the job you seek. If you would, use these skills as headings (i.e., communications skills; leadership skills; organizational skills). The chart then acts as an outline of experiences to include in support of your headings.

Descriptions

Select information from your worksheets to support your chosen headings. Try to be concise and specific when writing your descriptions. Past experiences should be written in past tense; present experiences in present tense. Remember to begin statements with verbs (refer to the Skills Lists on the previous pages), use descriptive nouns and list your information in priority order. Include references to accomplishments or recognition whenever possible.

Resume and Cover Letter Guide: Table of Contents

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