Skip to main content

Create a Resume

Resume Development: The Key to Initial Selection

Accounting Sample Finance Sample MIS Sample
General Resume Sample Class-Project/Underclassman Sample
Action Verb List

General Resume Guidelines

  • A resume is a marketing tool, not a complete job history. Include only the items that will help you get the job you want. Leave off superfluous information. Try to target your resume to a specific position or industry.
  • Limit to one page unless your work experience truly warrants additional space.
  • Avoid templates which can trigger errors in applicant tracking systems.
  • Create a desire to read with a well-organized, professionally-styled document. Minimize white space.
  • Use bold and italics consistently and sparingly. 
  • Black font; pt 10-12; Calibri, Times New Roman, or Arial .
  • Use consistent and proper punctuation.
  • It is not necessary to include a list of professional references or the statement, “References Available Upon Request.” Your reference list should be a separate document.
  • Run spell check AND proofread carefully. Have at least two additional people review your resume.

Objective

(An objective is optional, but can be used if you are applying to a position where you have little experience or where you want a recruiter to know why you want a particular job that may not obviously align with your experience.)

  • Keep your objective short and concise
  • Avoid phrases that give the impression you are only interested in the role to benefit your own career, for example, “to find a job that will help me grow as a professional.”
  • Eliminate personal pronouns such as “I” and “my” from your objective and in your resume.

Education

  • List degrees in reverse chronological order (most recent listed first).
  • Spell out names of degrees (i.e. “Bachelor of Science”, not “BS”).

Experience

  • Begin with the most recent position (reverse chronological order).
  • Include full-time and part-time jobs, paid/unpaid internships or practicums, and volunteer work and leadership roles, especially if it is related to your desired job.
  • Use bold print and/or italics to highlight your job title and company/organization name. These should remain consistent throughout the resume. 
  • Include city and state for employer location, not the complete address.
  • When listing dates, you may include the month and year, semester and year, or just the year of employment, but be consistent throughout with the format. It is not necessary to include exact dates.
  • List job descriptions/duties using bullet points instead of writing them in paragraph form.
  • Use strong action words (e.g. coordinated, managed, and cultivated) to describe your work experience. Avoid passive phrases such as “responsible for” and “duties included.” Eliminate personal pronouns (I, me, we) and articles (a, an, the).
  • Use appropriate verb tense. Use present tense action words to describe present employment experience and past tense action words to describe past employment experience.
  • Include numbers to quantify experience where possible. For example, # of employees supervised, $ amount of budget managed, # of workshops taught or projects coordinated, $ amount saved by your efforts.
  • Focus on your accomplishments/results and how you were valuable to past employers instead of your responsibilities. For example, instead of “Responsibilities included implementation of policies and procedures, training of new employees, interfacing with subordinates and vendors,” try “Worked with staff and vendors to increase product turnover by 15% and sales by 23%. Trained 14 new employees, 5 of whom were rapidly promoted.”

Skills/Certifications

  • Include relevant computer and programming languages and skills, proficiency levels, and certifications.
  • Include language skills if applicable. (Non-native English speakers should not include English, it is assumed).

Additional Categories

You may also include some of the following categories if it will make your resume more marketable to potential employers:

  • Honors/Awards
  • Relevant Experience
  • Leadership Experience
  • Intercollegiate Sports Experience
  • Extracurricular  Activities
  • Volunteer Work/Community Service
  • Certifications/Licenses
  • Course Projects
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Presentations