career coach speaking with a student
Your professional story
Career and Professional Development

» Resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV) Guides


If you had 10 seconds to tell an employer about yourself, what would you choose to say and how would you convey it most effectively? Your resume must be organized, concise, and well designed. It’s an important self-marketing piece, and you need it to stand out from dozens, even hundreds, of other job applicants to grab a hiring manager’s attention — all in the time it takes for him or her to take a sip of coffee. No pressure, right?
Fortunately, Chapman University has the help you need to put together a resume that gets your foot in the door!


Things to Consider

Toggle Section

Action Verbs

The first word of every bullet on your resume must begin with a strong action verb. The trick is to never use the same action verb twice — and you always want to make sure potential employers see you as someone with skills and confidence. Stay away from helping verbs (helped, assisted, maintained) that portray you as assisting in someone else’s success. And never use the word “worked” on your resume as an action verb. Potential employers often skim a resume just to read the first word of each of your bullet points to see how you brand yourself professionally. Read your own action verbs. Are you impressed with yourself?

Download the action verb guide 

Hard Skills

Transferable skills are skills that you can take from one situation to another and from one job to another. There are two types of transferable skill sets that must be demonstrated on your resume: hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are examples of your hands-on experience relevant to your potential employer’s business. “Relevant” is the key word here. No hiring manager cares if you’ve been a dungeonmaster since high school or if you have the most legible handwriting among your fellow baristas. Tailor your resume for what the employer wants to see. Good examples of hard skills to put on your resume include:

  • Internships
  • Research experience and/or laboratory work
  • Certifications/licenses/workshop attendance
  • Senior projects
  • Attendance at seminars/webinars/conferences
  • Class projects where you acquired hands-on knowledge
  • Job shadowing opportunities
  • Entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Work experience; the more relevant it is to the position you are applying for, the better

Soft Skills

Transferable skills are skills that you can take from one situation to another and from one job to another. There are two types of transferable skill sets that must be demonstrated on your resume: hard skills and soft skills.

Soft skills demonstrate that you know how to work well with other people. This skill set includes interpersonal skills, leadership, social graces, personal habits, communication, and personality traits. Soft skills show that you know how to speak to group, that you work well under pressure, or that you are a good leader. Good examples of soft skills to put on your resume include:

  • Participating in a campus or civic organization
  • Belonging to an honor society
  • Playing on a team sport or coaching a sport
  • Volunteering for causes you believe in, participating in community outreach programs,
    or being involved with a charity or religious organization

Sometimes students must work to support themselves and do not have the time to be involved with volunteering/leadership. If this describes your situation, then the Work Experience section on your resume must demonstrate your soft skills in action.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The main difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV) is that a CV is much more detailed and highlights your accomplishments, particularly those in the academic world. Typically, CVs are more common in countries outside the U.S., however, there are certain career fields that do ask for CVs as part of their application process.

Because CVs provide more detailed information about a person, more writing is clearly needed. Like a resume, you need to provide your name and contact information, education, and work experience. However, a CV also details your areas of interest, any grants or honors that you have been awarded based on your work, any publications, scholarly or professional memberships, and of course your references.

Creating an Effective Resume (2011), Understanding the CV by Mariann Siegert, Lynda Career Development Library

Career & Professional Development


Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Drop-in Hour Calendar »


In-person and virtual career appointments are available for students and alumni. 

Schedule career appointment on Handshake »

Please note that we are closed:
December 20 - January 1, 2020
January 20, 2020
March 27, 2020
May 25, 2020
July 3 - 6, 2020

Coronavirus Updates

For updates regarding internship courses and career services, visit the Career Coronavirus Updates Page.
Additional information about how Chapman is responding to the Coronavirus is available on Chapman’s Coronavirus Resource Page.
Address 342 N. Glassell
Orange, CA 92866
View Map