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Preparing a Resume

Preparing a Resume


         To get ready for jobs and internships, it’s time to update your resume or prepare one for the first time.  The Career Development Office (CDO) has many informational resources related to writing a resume.  Check out their website at:

         There are a lot of ways that one can set up a resume, so don’t be overwhelmed with all the options you see either at the CDO or other informational sources.  Here are recommendations for students who are studying Psychology and similar fields:

1)   Start your resume with contact information.  You can put in Current Address and also a Permanent Address if you are going to be on campus sometimes and in another location (e.g., hometown) other times.

2)   You can put a Professional Goal or Objective at the top of your resume (after contact information).  It is recommended that your goal be general such as, “To obtain a position related to human services” or “To obtain an internship related to mental health.” 

3)   After the Professional Goal or Objective section, resumes for Psychology majors typically include a section on Education.  If you have not graduated yet, you would use the format of:  “Expected Graduation:  May 2018” for example.  When listing the major, one would put:  “B.A., major in Psychology” or “B.A., major in Psychology and minor in Sociology” for example.  The degree is the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. 

4)   In the Education section, it is common to list Relevant Courses if one is applying for an internship.  This helps to compensate for a lack of applied experience in the field. 

5)   It is recommended that one put in his/her GPA only if it is quite high.  If it’s only average, there is no need to list one’s GPA.

6)   After the Education section, the categories typically include things like, Employment, Applied Experiences, Skills, Internships, Volunteer Experiences, and Activities. You may put the Employment section after Education, or Applied Experiences after Education, depending on which section is most relevant for the job for which you are applying.  Internships and volunteer experiences are examples of Applied Experiences so you have some choice in how you label the categories.  You don’t want redundant information in your resume, so if you have an Internship category, put information about an internship only in there, not in an additional category called Applied Experiences.

7)   The last sections of a resume are typically categories such as Activities, Honors/Awards, Leadership Experiences, and References.  For References, the typical practice is to write:  “Available upon request.”  Throughout the resume, only put in sections that make sense for you to include.  For example, don’t put in a section called Leadership Experiences if you don’t have any leadership experiences. 

8)   A resume for Psychology majors can be 1-2 pages long.  It is better to have a second page than to make the resume hard to read because of small font or narrow margins.  It is recommended that experiences be explained in a few sentences.  For example, one might write, related to an internship, “Co-facilitated group social skills training sessions for children aged 7-10.  Administered self-report measures to children and adolescents regarding behavioral and emotional functioning.  Summarized results of assessment findings in writing, for inclusion in case reports.”  Note that these sentences begin with action verbs and are specific. 

9)   Use past tense verbs for experiences which are already completed, and present tense verbs for ongoing (i.e., current) experiences.

10)         Make sure that you don’t have any typographical errors in your resume!  Have someone read over your resume for grammatical, punctuation, and spelling areas, and to receive feedback on layout.  The CDO will provide excellent feedback on a resume; take advantage of them as a campus resource!  You can drop by their office on the second floor of Gregory Hall or call them to set up an appointment at 716-673-3327.  You can also go to their website to set up an appointment: