The Career Center Is Here To Help You Create Your Perfect Resume
Whether you're an incoming first-year or a graduating senior, it's never too early (or too late) to work on your resume. Our comprehensive resume guide provides an introduction to resume writing as well as examples of different resumes.
The following information is also included in the PDF above.
What is a resume?
When applying for jobs, internships, or graduate school, you will likely be asked to submit a resume. The purpose of your resume is to showcase yourself in a way that matches the needs of the employer or admissions committee. Your resume should provide readers with a strong first impression by highlighting your most valuable qualifications - including work experience, academic history, volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, skills, and certifications. Your resume will evolve over time as you gain new skills and experiences - so you should customize your resume for different applications. A well-crafted resume will distinguish you from other applicants, therefore increasing your chances of scoring an interview and ultimately the job!
A Resume is a Professional Document That Provides a Snapshot of Your Experiences and Qualifications
Layout and Format
The way your resume is organized and formatted can affect the amount of attention it will receive. Your resume should have several sections with clear headings to identify each section. Generally, resumes should be no longer than one page. Your resume should be concise and easily readable. If your resume is too long, it is unlikely that it will be read completely. This also means you can use bullet points and phrases instead of complete sentences and paragraphs. To help organize the information on your resume, utilize bold, underlined, or italicized text.
- List your experiences from most recent to oldest
- Use an easy-to-read, professional font
- Format margins to be between .5" and 1"
- List the most important/relevant sections towards the top
- Make sure your resume is free of spelling and grammar errors!
- Avoid the use of abbreviations. Spell out any acronyms
- Be thorough, but concise! Don't use more words than you need to
- Include the start and end dates of each position you've held
- Make your resume look full by utilizing the entire page
- Avoid large gaps or blank spaces
What should I include on my resume?
Include any experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Be sure to describe your tasks and responsibilities in a way that shows you are qualified. If you feel that your work history is not directly related to the job you are applying for, chances are you've gained some skills that can be transferred to different jobs, like customer service skills, organization skills, leadership skills, and more. If you feel that you lack professional or formal work
experience - don't worry! Experience is not limited to formal paid jobs. On your resume, you can list academic achievements, internships, classwork, volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, sports, study abroad, and more.
Resume Worthy Content
- Relevant Coursework
- Volunteer Experience
- Academic Achievements
- Leadership Experience
- Extra-Curricular Activities
- Projects and Research
- Sports Experience
- Clubs and Affiliations
- Awards and Certifications
Tailoring Your Resume
You should tailor, or customize, your resume to match each different job you apply to. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, you want to strategically place your marketing experience towards the top. As you tailor your resume, you can eliminate irrelevant or unrelated experience to keep it concise. You don't have to list every job you've ever done - only include the ones that are most relevant to the position you're applying for.
Writing Achievement Statements
An achievement statement is a formula used to help write the details of your tasks and
responsibilities for each experience listed on your resume. Integrating achievement
statements into your resume highlights the value of your previous experiences.
Action Verb + Project/Task + Results = Achievement Statement
Instead of Writing "Maintained Office Equipment" try "Implemented office inventory management system resulting in a 25% decrease in supply costs for the company.
- Do you want to read it?
- What stands out in a 10-second scan?
- Is it brief and easy to read (skim-able)?
Layout & Appearance
- Are headings easy to find and consistent in capitalization or bold-face?
- Do you have balanced margins and a balanced used of white space?
- Is your font easy to read and size 10-12?
- Is your resume 1 - 2 pages?
Format & Organization
- Have you included expected graduation month and year, degree and major/minors?
- Is the information in each section listed in reverse chronological order?
- Have you included at least three sections: name and contact information, education, experience?
- Are all sections formatted consistently?
- Did you utilize achievement statements where possible to formulate your bullet statements?
- Is your most relevant experience or skills near the top?
- Could the resume be shortened and still present the same qualifications?
Content Relevance (AKA Tailoring!)
- Is your resume tailored to the job description?
- Does the content stress relevant skills, accomplishments and results?
- Did you list relevant volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, or projects?
- Does the resume include all information necessary to demonstrate ability to do the job?
*Looking for resources to write a curriculum vitae (CV)? Check out Writing a CV