Resume Basics for Non-Business Majors

*** This information is intended for non-business majors at UNT. Business majors must follow the Business: Approved Resume Format and supporting information. ***

1. Getting Started The Job Posting and Your Experiences

Your resume is a critical tool to help you reach YOUR career goals! A succinct and carefully crafted resume can improve your chances of landing the interview. Start by gathering details about your experiences: jobs, internships, part-time and summer work, school involvement, volunteering, course projects and research, and other leadership activities. Think about specific accomplishments you’ve achieved. Consider skills learned that can apply to your future position. Then, carefully read the job description and look for matches. Your resume should be tailored to the specific job requirements referenced in the posting — emphasizing your relevant experience and skills in the areas that are critical to that position. Specific key words referenced in the posting or description should be incorporated in your resume. The goal is to show that you are a candidate who matches what the employer is looking for and your document aligns with electronic screening methods. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are software programs that manage the hiring process for companies. An ATS is frequently used to search resumes in order to find any keywords from the job description. Watch How Applicant Tracking Systems Impact Your Job Search.

2. Resume Formats

There are several resume formats. Your career interest, major, and experiences will determine the best one. Contact your Career Coach for a specialized recommendation based on your unique situation and major.

  • Chronological: This is the preferred format. It highlights the responsibilities you had while at a specific job, internship or class project.
    • Students who choose this format should have had at least 2 experiences with responsibilities that pertain to their area of career interest, or one job with extensive career-related experience
    • Chronological Resume Template
    • Watch this video for a demonstration of how to write a chronological resume – Resume Development.
  • Functional: Highlights your skills and abilities that you have acquired through various experiences. This format is for students with little to no experience that pertains to their area of interest.
  • Creative: Allows you to showcase your creativity, skills, and brand.  
    • Has a more unique layout and format – is more memorable.
    • Can incorporate infographics
    • May incorporate color and graphics
  • Fields where a creative resume makes sense: (Consider the company and application process first.)
    • Advertising/sales
    • Marketing/communications
    • Graphic design/web design
    • Visual arts
    • Acting/theater
    • Fashion
    • Startups/innovative new companies

3. Constructing Each Section of the Resume

4. Resources and Videos To Assist You