A resume is a marketing tool designed to land you an interview for a job, internship or graduate/professional school. It highlights your education, experience, and skills in an organized, easy-to-read format with the goal of convincing your audience (in approximately 15 seconds) to invest in what you have to offer.
Resumes should be tailored to the position for which you are applying.
Steps to Creating an Eye-Catching Resume
Step 1. Gather/assemble your information. Create a list of all positions held through work/volunteer experience, activities, courses, skills, etc. in which you have spent or currently spend your time.
Step 2. Identify relevant skills, achievements, and experience that you want to highlight. Consult the position description for the requirements and qualifications the employer is seeking and identify aspects from your background that match those skills. Throughout your resume, highlight these skills, qualifications, expertise/experience using key words/terminology used by the employer in the position description. Find out more about identifying your strengths here.
Step 3. Organize and categorize your information into separate sections. Review our resume samples first. Note: You may use font as small as 10.5 pt. but no larger than 12 pt. (section headings may be larger). Margins should be between .5 and one inch.
Step 4. Develop bullet points for your experiences. Describe your accomplishments and contributions for each position you have held using concise, descriptive statements in bullet form. Each bullet should begin each with a strong action verb, and you should eliminate pronouns and any non-essential words. Use present-tense (current experience) and past-tense (past experience) verb forms, not “ing” verbs.
Step 5. Have your resume reviewed by a Career Center advisor. Stop by during drop-ins (Monday-Friday between 2-4 p.m.) for a brief 15-minute review, or schedule an appointment.
Resume Do’s and Don’ts
Resume Format/Layout Guidelines
Action Verb List
Federal Government Resumes
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive description of your academic credentials and achievements. It differs from a resume, which summarizes your skills in relation to a specific career objective. Graduates with master’s or doctoral degrees are typically required to submit a CV when applying for teaching or research positions at colleges, universities, or research institutions. Find out more about CVs here.
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