Applications & Resumes

Guidelines and Example Résumé

The following guidelines are designed to help you think about what to include in your application and how to present that information most effectively. The sample, which is “pure fiction,” is intended to serve as a model as you develop your own academic resume. Comments are noted below.

Note carefully the order in which you are asked to present information. Normally the order begins with most recent and proceeds back. However, fellowship applications sometimes ask that items be listed with the most important at the top of the list. Be sure to read the directions.

With a few important exceptions, you should limit the content to achievements and activities following graduation from high school. An exception might be “Winner of International Piano Competition” or “All-American Soccer.”

Contact information

  • Name
  • Home and university addresses (if appropriate)
  • Telephone number(s)
  • E-mail address

Make sure that your contact information is complete and correct.


EDUCATION: Western Washington University (WWU), Bellingham, WA, 2009

  • B.A. in History with Honors
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.82/4.00
  • President’s List: 8 quarters

Senior Thesis: “The Struggle for Legal Equality in Washington Territory”

Relevant Coursework:

  • American Women’s History
  • Constitutional History of the United States
  • The Gilded Age
  • Historical Methods

International Experience: Summer Study at Edinburgh University focused on the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland

Languages: Proficient in German; conversational in French.

Technical Skills: Word, Excel, and Dreamweaver.

List all the post-secondary colleges and/or universities you have attended, beginning with the university in which you are currently enrolled or, if you are no longer in school, the institution from which you received your last degree. Provide additional information that is relevant.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships


Golden Key Honor Society
Lawrence Linton Scholarship, awarded to the outstanding history major in the junior class.

List achievements, membership in honor societies, and special awards you have received.

When listing honors and awards, avoid acronyms unless they are obvious from the context. Otherwise, write out the complete name or explain the acronym.

Give a brief explanation, especially if the award is given by a local institution or organization.


Student Chairperson, Women’s Leadership Initiative, WWU
Worked closely with Office of Career Services to organize a conference that brought both business and political leaders to campus for two days. Program included three plenary sessions as well as small group discussions dealing with career development. Co-chaired the committee that developed the program, identified and invited guest speakers, and oversaw the on-campus arrangements. Prepared the final report on the conference.

Founding Member, Women’s History Consortium, 2007-2009
Co-Chair, 2007-2008
Established a consortium for students at Western, Whatcom Community College, and the three local high schools who are interested in learning more about the history of women, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. As co-chair, assisted in recruiting faculty to lead discussions at monthly meetings based on their own research and/or current reading.

Student Representative, Henry Clay Student Congress, Kentucky, June 2009.
Nominated by Senator Maria Cantwell to represent the State of Washington at this week-long congress, which is designed to teach students the skills of statesmanship.

Member, Model United Nations, 2007-2009
Represent WWU at regional conferences by serving on Human Rights Committees and participating in plenary discussions relating to this topic.

Arrange the items in order of importance, listing those in which you made the most significant contribution at the top. Note your position as well as the dates of your involvement. Provide a clear, concise, and accurate description of your role.


Intern: EDSITEment Project, National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer 2008
Reviewed U.S. history lesson plans for middle and high school teachers and drafted two lessons focusing on legal issues relating to American women.

Resident Advisor: WWU, 2008-2009
One of two student advisors in a dormitory of 200 first-year students. Responsibilities include helping students find their way around campus, both literally and figuratively; mediating disagreements among students; and responding to emergency situations.

Actor: WWU Students Theatre Association, Winter 2008
Played Puck in modern take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream; production was directed by a fellow student.

Tutor: Whatcom Literary Council, 2007-2009, 3 hours/week
One-on-one tutoring of Russian immigrant who is learning to read and write in English.

Retail sales: J.C. Penney’s, September 2006-June 2007, 20 hours/week.
Clerk in children’s department.

Arrange the items in order of importance, listing those in which you made the most significant contribution at the top. Note your position as well as the dates of your involvement. Provide a clear, concise, and accurate description of your role.

Research Experience

Independent Research, History Department, WWU, Fall Quarter 2009.

“Women and Jury Duty: Shifting Rights and Responsibilities.” Original research project conducted at the NW Branch of the National Archives, Bellingham, WA; supervised by Professor Scott Duniway; funded by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, WWU.

Undergraduate Research Assistant: WWU History Department, 2008-2009

Collected primary source materials at the regional archives that will be used in a new course on Northwest history, which will focus on the challenges and opportunities of women during the territorial period and early years of statehood.

Arrange the items in the order of importance, listing the most significant at the top. Note your position as well as the dates of your involvement. Provide a clear, concise, and accurate description of your role.


Reading, listening to jazz, baking, climbing tall mountains….

Provide a brief list of your favorite pastimes – i.e. when you have time when you are not studying, volunteering, or otherwise occupied with activities that pack your resume/c.v.