Consistency is key – when writing your resume, make sure you maintain the same formatting style throughout (i.e. dates, job entries, etc).
List experience in reverse chronological order – your most recent experience is listed first, then the experience before that, and so on.
Font style – choose a standard style such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Cambria. Stay between 10 and 12 point font.
Margins – edit your margins if needed. Standard margins are 1 inch, but, if you need more room, reduce them to .75 or .5 inches.
Section Headings – selecting sections for your resume is important for making sure that your experience and skills are communicated properly. Below are some suggested sections.
- Header – include your full name (16-18pt font), address, phone number, email address, and if they apply to you, e-portfolio or customized LinkedIn URL.
- Education – list the name of your school, the location (city, state), the degree you will be receiving (spell it out), your major and your minor, if you have one. Include your month and year of graduation. GPAs are optional. However, we only suggest listing it if it is above a 3.0. List any scholarships or other academic awards you have received. List study abroad experiences, including location, university name (if applicable) and dates. You may also include a brief description of the course (its academic focus and the countries you visited).
- Work and Internship Experiences – experiences should be listed as: employer, location (city, state), dates of employment, job title and two or three bullets detailing your performance and achievements. Be sure to describe your performance and accomplishments within the job. Use statistics, percentages, and other numbers to quantity your contributions.
- Involvement – include the name of the organization, the location, and any positions you held. Include service groups, club sports, Greek organizations, campus organizations, and any other involvement. If you had a role that reflects leadership, project planning, fundraising, or other significant contributions, then write bullets for each activity. If not, it is okay to simply list organizations of which you are a member with no additional information.
- Skills – be sure to include any special skills related to your major/career in addition to standard skill sets in areas such as technology and language: technology: computer software/programs, operating systems, experience with web design, etc.; language skills: identify your level of expertise (beginning, intermediate, conversational, advanced) – do not exaggerate your abilities, as you may be called upon to demonstrate.
- Additional Subject Headings to Consider – some career fields commonly use additional or alternate subject headings. Check out our sample resumes for specific examples: Academic Projects, Academic Research, Intercollegiate Athletics, Honors and Awards, Leadership Experience, Professional Affiliations, Professional Development, Publications, Relevant Coursework, Study Abroad Experiences, Teaching Experience, Volunteer Experience
ONE PAGE resume – when applying for full-time jobs employers consistently state that they do NOT want a resume longer than one page. Resumes with two or more pages are typically for individuals applying for graduate school or opportunities in the sciences or education.
Tailor your resume – it should be specific to each position you apply to based on the job or internship description, so you may need to edit the format and/or bullet points to best convey your experience.
Most relevant information comes first – when organizing your resume, place your most relevant and recent information at the top. If a potential employer can’t read your entire resume, you want them to get the most important content first.
Write strong bullets – lead your bullets with an action verb, state the task you completed, and end with the result.
Quantify to prove results – provide specific examples of how you contributed to a former employer or as a member of a student organization (i.e. Improved social media interaction by 20%, or placed 500 sales calls and sold 187 season tickets).
I, Me, He, She – personal pronouns shouldn’t be included on your resume.
Name your documents carefully – when submitting your resume online, submit it as a PDF and title it with your first name, last name, and position, if applicable (i.e. John Smith Recruitment Coordinator Resume).
Be mindful of tense – while creating your bullet points, the tense you use should reflect the dates listed for the position (i.e. your current position should have action verbs written in present tense).
Templates – don’t use them! – using a template might seem like an easy solution, but can become frustrating when you need to add more content. Create your resume as a Word document and use bullets, section titles, and other formatting tools to make it organized and easy-to-read.
Be honest – lying on your resume harms your integrity and can leave potential employers with a bad first impression.
References – references are submitted separately, so there is no need to include them on your resume as they take up valuable space.