What would I list as Beowulf's related experience, education, projects, honors/awards, and skills on his resume?

Expert Answers
reyemile eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In many ways, Beowulf already gives his resume when he first speaks to Hrothgar. Moreover, he's very good at it, demonstrating several important tips for effective resume writing. 

One of the most important things in a resume is listing specific, measurable accomplishments. Around line 420 of Seamus Heany's translation (linked below), Beowulf does so. He doesn't just say "responsible for monster hunting." Rather, he gives a quantifiable list of details:

When I battled and bound five beasts,

Raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea

Slaughtered sea-brutes.

Another important part of a resume is dynamic, active language. A soft sell like "responsible for saving money" is less compelling to potential employers than "saved money" or even "slashed budgetary requirements, saving money." Beowulf does just that:

I have suffered extremes

And avenged the Geats (their enemies brought it

Upon themselves, I devastated them).

He beat back his people's enemies, a major accomplishment, but he doesn't just say that--he sells it, with strong language like the word devastated.

One last piece of advice for resumes is to start with an 'executive summary,' a catchy, pithy description that encompasses ones skills and capabilities. Beowulf's summary is shorter than a modern job-seeker might put on a normal resume, but it nonetheless captures where he has been and where he wants to be going:

I am Hygelac’s kinsman, One of his hall-troop.

When I was younger, I had great triumphs.

Then news of Grendel, Hard to ignore, reached me at home: 


shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What Beowulf would include on his resume would depend on when he was making it. When he defeats Grendel and Grendel's mother he has not yet become King of the Geats, so he couldn't include that position and all of the skills and natural abilities that it requires. 

Assuming that we were making a resume for Beowulf after he became king, but before he was killed by the dragon, we would want to make sure to highlight his ability to inspire others. A successful monarch, like any other successful leader (in business, politics, sports, etc.) has to have the ability to find good people whose skills and abilities match their positions. Then they have to motivate/inspire those people to want to do a good job. 

Everybody already knows what a fearsome warrior Beowulf is. He is famous for that. But his resume should stress the successes of his kingdom under his leadership. 

teacherscribe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A very interesting question.  In the past Beowulf has defeated many kinds of monsters, in fact eliminating some from the face of the earth.  He has defeated giants and sea monsters.  He bested his friend, Brecca, in a swimming contest.  While Unferth seems to try and discredit Beowulf, we learn that Beowulf is fiercely loyal to his lord and men.  He also personifies the heroic code, mainly that of bravery, loyalty, and generosity.  He too arrives at Hrothgar's kingdom to settle a former debt owed by his father to Hrothgar, who once bought his father's way out of a blood feud.  Of course, as the epic unfolds Beowulf adds the honors of killing Grendel and his mother to his resume.  Once that is done he returns home to become king.  So if that is where you are starting with the resume, I'd refer to all of the above accolades and accomplishments.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Don't forget too, that he is the son of a worthy man and has learned from the very beginning all the lessons which go with his place in society.  He would have learned horsemanship, sailing, swordsmanship, perhaps how to use a bow and arrow.  He would also have lessons in managing and leading large groups of men as the future would most definitely hold a time for him to lead them into battle...like with Grendel, Grendel's mom and the dragon. 

This sounds like a fun assignment.  As long as whatever you put makes sense, seems like you might even be able to fabricate a little.  Have some fun with it...for instance, Beowulf took classes in how to handle all the adoring female fans he would later have, etc.

merehughes eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You could list his training as a warrior in his own country. There is no concrete evidence for this but we do know that he was well known as a warrior and hero before he came to help Hrothgar.  If you wanted to get really creative and modern, you could list such things as 'saving damsels in distress 101' or 'rescuing people from fire breathing dragons 101' something in those lines would fit into a fictional education and training for Beowulf.

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On a resume, they always ask what special skill and strengths a person has. You could list excellent hand-to-hand combat, skilled in verbal communications, decisive-sees actions through to completion, and a natural leader of men.

kierra16 | Student


  • Expert Swimmer
  • Hand to Hand Combat
  • Hold his breath under water for a long period of time.
  • Weaponry


  • Training as a warrior.
  • Defeated many monsters
  • Swim contest with his frie


  • Became a King / Hero.

Killing Grendel and his Mother