Resumes and References

Your resume is essentially a marketing piece. Its purpose is to quickly communicate your qualifications to a potential employer, so it should be organized, clear, concise, and relevant. You may have different versions of your resume depending on what you are seeking.

If you need help with your resume, please contact us at, 515-294-0626 or stop in to 131 MacKay to schedule an appointment.

Getting started

  • Develop a comprehensive list of your skills, knowledge, abilities, experience, accomplishments, honors, and awards.
  • Think about what you’ve learned in projects and classes, through volunteer work or student organizations, or from work experience.
  • Think about what sets you apart from others. Do you speak a foreign language? Do you have leadership experience? Do you have a minor?
  • Look at the resume samples and organize your skills into categories.
  • Elaborate on work experience, listing specific responsibilities and quantifying accomplishments when possible. Use strong action words to describe demonstrated responsibilities.


  • Contact information
  • Official name of degree and graduation date
  • Comprehensive, concise statements of your qualifications
  • Experience and relevant accomplishments
  • Honors, activities, awards

Don’t include

  • Photos of yourself or irrelevant personal information
  • Personal pronouns (I, me, you, my, mine, etc.)
  • Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, or grammar errors
  • A weak or generic objective (“to obtain an internship” )
  • Full sentences or paragraphs
  • High school activities (if you are a junior or senior – unless they are significant accomplishments)
  • The statement: “References upon request”  (just send them)

Sample Resumes

There are various ways to create resumes based on your preference and industry. The examples below are provided as guidelines and represent industry-specific content employers seek on resumes. Always consider working with Career Services to create the best resume for you. 



A reference page allows you to provide a list of contacts who can validate the information on your resume and speak to your quality of work. References should be individuals who are familiar with your applicable skills and will provide you a positive recommendation. Be sure to ask permission before you provide contact information to anyone and supply your reference with a copy of your resume. 

References may include: 

  • Former and current supervisors/managers
  • Co-workers
  • Professors/Academic Advisers
  • Student Organization Advisers
  • Coaches
  • Mentors
  • Contacts from professional organizations
  • Contacts from volunteer/community activities
  • Customers/Clients


Sample Reference Page

  • Contact Information

    Human Sciences Career Services
    131 MacKay Hall
    2302 Osborn Drive
    Ames, IA 50011-1078