Career Preparation // Resume Writing
Analyzing Resumes

This activity introduces students to the characteristics of an effective resume.

Suggested Grade Level



Approximate Time Needed




In this activity, you will be looking at a resume sample and becoming familiar with its organization and information. You’ll be looking at:

  • Section headers

  • Format

  • Order

  • Content

Teacher Notes

Distribute copies of Sample Resume- Hannah Ishibashi. Point out that the resume is divided into labeled sections (Education, Awards, etc.). Instruct students to work in their groups to describe each section of the resume—in other words, to write a short description of what goes in each section. You may wish to do the first section with them by having them label the Contact Information at the top of the resume. Point out that this section includes the applicant’s name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.

Give students time to describe each of the labeled sections. Then call on each group to share how they described one of the sections of the resume (Education, Awards, Work Experience, Extracurricular Activities, Skills, and References). Take time to clear up any misunderstandings about what information goes in each section.

Next, ask students to look at how the resume is formatted. Point out that the contact information is centered at the top of the page. The rest of the information is organized into sections and each section has a heading which is underlined.

Make sure students also recognize that some information, such as when Hannah won an award or when Hannah held a job or volunteer position, includes the approximate date. Ask students: why does the date matter? Help them to recognize that if you have a lot of details on your resume, the employer wants to see things in chronological order—that is, list the most recent stuff first. That’s how Hannah has listed her work experience. Also point out that when you took a class, won an award, or graduated from a school can be important. If Hannah got an award for perfect attendance when she was in fifth grade, that doesn’t say anything about how reliable she is now. If she won the award in ninth grade and she’s now in tenth grade means that the award is pretty recent, so she’s probably still very reliable.

Distribute Sample Resume 2- Luda Benster to offer another opportunity to look at a resume and see how it compares. Have students complete the Resume Criteria Checklist.

Assessment Notes

Completed Resume Criteria Checklist


Return to Career Readiness
Additional lessons in Resume Writing

Preparing to Write a Resume

This activity helps students organize their thoughts before they begin writing their resumes.

Previous Jobs

This activity allows students to write about their own work history, paid or not paid, and reflect on personal pride.

Resume Peer Review

This activity allows students to draft their resume and exchange them with peers for feedback.

Create a Resume

The purpose of this task is for students to publish a polished version of his/her resume. While the student’s resume development will always be iterative (one’s resume is never “done”), this task reflects an opportunity to approve a student resume for his/her digital portfolio.