Build a Resume That Tells Your Story

Resumes are about more than listing your past experiences—it should tell your story. An effective resume should be

  • quick and easy to read,
  • well-formatted and error-free, and
  • relevant to the position.

In 2 pages or less, your resume should show an employer your talents and allow them to picture you in the position. Highlight your unique skills and abilities by including …


Profiles are the first thing listed on a resume and provide employers a short introduction to your qualifications and interests at-a-glance. It’s an excellent place to highlight any leadership skills or multicultural/multilingual background, and focuses attention on your unique background.

Your profile should be:

  • 2-3 sentences
  • tailored to each work setting, and
  • action-packed: use strong verbs to emphasize your skills.

Example: Bilingual speech-language pathologist clinical fellow with experience in elementary school special education. Skilled at collaborating with rehabilitation professionals in multi-disciplinary assessment and intervention teams. Seeking a position in developmental disabilities education program.

Summary of Skills

Adding a summary of skills can help you highlight your relevant proficiencies and reduce repetition in your work experience section. Catch an employer’s attention by using keywords from the job description to emphasize your unique strengths. List 5-8 critical skills or accomplishments, including:

  • technical or communication skills;
  • products, techniques, or programs used;
  • any quantifiable results you achieved;
  • multicultural/multilingual background or experiences.


  • Multilingual with high-level fluency in Spanish, American Sign Language and English; experience evaluating, treating and counseling Spanish-speaking clients
  • Efficient and able to work well in fast-paced environments including NICU and inpatient acute care
  • Excellent communication skills with other healthcare professionals in multi-disciplinary teams (PT, OT, RN, MD) and counseling patients and families across the lifespan
  • Able to quickly establish a positive rapport with patients and their caregivers
  • Skilled in interpreting videofluoroscopy swallow studies with training and reliability certification through the Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile
  • Specialty training in the assessment and management of total laryngectomy patients through the MD Anderson Head & Neck Cancer Conference, 2017


For new graduates, listing education is key and usually comes before work experiences. Remember:

  • If your degree is not yet conferred, say “expected month, year,” and
  • include speciality recognition or additional certificates earned.

Work Experience

List your experience in reverse chronological order with the most recent positions first. Focus on experiences that demonstrate you have the right skills for the job. As a student, there are four work experience types that you can list on your resume:

  1. Clinical Experience focuses on past positions within your field and usually include internships, externships, and your practicum.
  2. Research Experience focuses on research positions (paid or unpaid) that demonstrate your expertise in a specific topic or contributions to a research project.
  3. Relevant Experience focuses on past positions that make you well-suited for the job, excluding your clinical experience.
  4. Other Experience is used when you have limited experience and is a catchall for any work experience. When including this section, focus on the transferrable skills you developed that can be applied to the position you’re applying.

Each section should:

  • be specific in describing the activities you performed, and the skill sets you used;
  • highlight transferable skills such as leadership or management;
  • use bullet phrases rather than complete sentences;
  • use strong verbs and avoid passive tense;
  • and avoid personal pronouns.

Volunteer Work

If you have limited work experience, add a volunteer work section to show any transferrable skills you’ve developed. Before adding a volunteer work section, ask yourself:

  • Is it relevant to the position?
  • Does it highlight a necessary skill?
  • Does it show you in a positive light?

If not, leave it off.

Additional Sections

There may be other sections you could add to your resume such as licensure and certification, honors and awards, or publications and presentations. These sections should support the story you’re trying to tell and not just be extra stuff. For additional information, include it on a personal website or LinkedIn profile and include a link on your resume.

Once you have your polished resume, start looking for the job of your dreams.

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