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15 seconds

The average amount of time an employer reviews a resume.

A resume is a brief, informative summary of your abilities, education, and experience. It should highlight your strongest assets and differentiate you from other candidates by demonstrating how your previous experiences translates to the requirements of a given position.

Used most frequently by Ph.D. students, a CV (curriculum vitae) is also a summary of your experience and abilities, but a CV will include more credentials relevant to academia and research, such as publications, presentations, and references.

Resume Tips

FORMAT:

  • Length: One page for undergraduate students and recent alumni. One page in length for every 10 years of experience.
  • Margins: 1” margins all around
  • Font Style: Simple and standard (Black, Times New Roman, Arial, Sans Serif, etc.)
  • Font Size: 11-12 (Name should be larger)
  • Tense: Current jobs-present tense; Previous jobs-past tense
  • Dates: Reverse chronological order (most recent to least recent)
  • Headers: used to clearly indicate sections
  • Design: clean and consistent; limited bold/italics/underlining; no boxes or borders
  • Descriptions: Use bullet points for easy scan; avoid paragraphs

NOTE: Avoid “wizards” or templates, as they reduce your control

TIP: Develop an unformatted version of your resume for on-line applications

CONTENT:

  • Attitude: Be positive and honest about your experience, skills and capabilities.
  • Descriptions: Include job title, organization, location, date, and bulleted description of the skills you gained from each of your experiences
  • Action Verbs: Begin each bullet point with an action verb.
  • Transferable skills: Incorporate skills used and learned, include in bullet points
  • Quantify: Be tangible and use #’s, %, frequency, increase, decreased, etc.
  • Accomplishments: Use PAR statements focusing on Problem, Action, and Result
  • Omit: “References available upon request” “Responsible for” “Duties included”
  • Proofread: punctuation, grammar and syntax must be flawless

TIP: Obtain feedback from Career Services, faculty, former employers, and professionals in your field

Resume Guide Download

Resume Sections and Content

Contact Information

At the top of the first page: name(14pt font), address,  telephone number, and professional  e-mail address.

Job Objective

Keep it short and tailor it to the job to which you are applying using the company name and title of position.

Summary

Summarize three to five highlights of your achievements or job-specific skills. Use bullets to make them stand out and grab the attention of the reader. These skills should be specific to the qualities outlined in the job description.

Education

Include your anticipated graduation date, a GPA above 3.0, check into your “Major GPA,” bold your major/minor, and generally leave off community college information

Experience

Describe work, internships, and volunteer experience related to the position. For each position:

    • List the name of the company, organization or agency, your position, the dates (month and year) you were employed
    • List a few bullet points noting  your specific accomplishments, skills you used or learned, goals or quotas you achieved, and supervision or training you conducted.

TIPS:

    • Use positive, “action verbs” to describe your experience.
    • Avoid using flowery language or too much industry jargon.
    • List your most recent experience first and then in reverse chronological order.

Three things to address in your 3-4 bullet points:

      1. What you did?
      2. How you did it?
      3. What was the result?

This shows employers what you accomplished in your previous jobs, and what you may accomplish for them.

Activities (Optional)

Describe membership in clubs, on-or off-campus organizations (e.g., student publications, charitable groups, etc.), athletic teams?

    • List the name of the company, organization or agency, your position, the dates (month and year) you were employed
    • List a few bullet points noting  your specific accomplishments, skills you used or learned, goals or quotas you achieved, and supervision or training you conducted.

Hnors and Awards (Optional)

List names of awards and dates received

Skills  (Optional)

List skills relevant to the position (e.g., language ability, computer skills, technical skills, etc.)

Samples

View resume samples of resumes in our Resume Guide:

Template

Start your resume with our editable Word outline:

Get Feedback

A resume should be carefully reviewed for errors, grammar, and relevancy to the position for which you are applying.

It is recommended that you meet with a career adviser to gain feedback on your document.

Resume reviews appointments are scheduled online through LionsLink.

Resources

Below are some resources to help you develop your resume. Review these as preparation your appointment with a career counselor




Video Tutorials:

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Schedule an appointment to review your resume!