16 Self-Marketing

Self-marketing, or selling yourself and your skills, is crucial to getting the job, starting the career, landing the internship you want. To follow is guidance for writing cover letters and resumes from the University of Baltimore Writing Program. You can view sample resumes through the University of Baltimore’s Career Center.

Objective vs. professional summary

There are different notions about the use of an objective or a professional summary in a resume. Often, it depends on the purpose of the resume. If your purpose is to secure a particular, narrowly defined position, you may want to use an objective. However, if you are seeking to sell yourself on your skills and experience, you may want to consider a professional summary.

A professional summary is your elevator pitch — it is your opportunity to tell the hiring manager, right off the top, who you are and what you can do. The following summary shows the applicants qualities and skills.

Professional summary example: Enthusiastic graduate eager to contribute to team success through hard work, attention to detail and excellent organizational skills. Clear understanding of determining business objectives and providing new software and applications based on company needs. Motivated to learn, grow and excel in [Industry].


Professional summary exercise

Instructions: Think of all the skills you possess and draft a 1-2 sentence summary that illustrates your best assets.


Curriculum vita vs. resume

A curriculum vita, or “course of life,” is most appropriate for a seasoned jobseeker with many years experience. It may also be appropriate for someone who is changing careers and seeks to document all of his or her experience and skills. For most students with limited experience in the workforce, a resume detailing education, skills, and job experience is most appropriate. Examine the resume example below, notice the format and consider how you will format your own resume.

Resume example

Resume example formatted with centered headings and brief descriptions on a single page document

Accomplishment statements vs. responsibility statements

The primary purpose of a resume is to tell a potential employer what you did well in each of you employment, internship, or volunteer positions. To do this, you should compose accomplishment statements using Action Verbs for Resumes to describe your success, aptitude, and accomplishment.

Accomplishment statements differ from responsibility statements in that one shows what you did and the other shows how well you did it. This distinction is important because potential employers are more interested in how well you performed your duties, not just that you performed them.

Accomplishment statement exercise

Instructions: Review the accomplishment statement guidance and complete the exercise below OR as a downloadable PDF.