Resumes

One of the first steps in a successful job search is to develop your resume. It is important because it may be the only exposure that an employer has to you. A resume will not get you a job, but it may get you an interview.

The Purpose of a Resume

Considering that employers may only spend approximately 30 seconds or less scanning a resume, the importance of an attractive resume cannot be overemphasized. It is a critical item in the job search process, as employers use the resume to screen candidates and decide whom to interview. 

Sample Resumes

For sample resumes and more helpful information, download our Career Resource Guide.

Tips for Writing Your Resume

  • Use a font that is easy to read - Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica are all good choices.
  • Font should never be smaller than 10 pt.
  • PROOFREAD for spelling and grammatical errors. Once you have thoroughly checked your resume, stop by the Office of Career Services for a final proof. You might ask one of your favorite professors to look it over as well.
  • Use standard 8.5 x 11 resume paper – white or off-white.
  • Keep the margins consistent. ½ - 1 inch margins are standard.
  • Format is important. Dates, fonts and spacing should follow a specific pattern. Be consistent.
  • Keep in mind that a resume should be written with the audience in mind. Employers will be looking for the following:
    • Activities and experiences that differentiate you from other candidates
    • Highlights of your accomplishments
    • Demonstrated interest in the type of work you seek
  • Keep your resume to one page. Alumni may find it necessary to use more than one page, but undergraduates should keep their resume to one page.

Resume Content

Name and Address Header

  • Provide college and permanent address.
  • Include a phone number that has voice mail or an answering machine.
  • Make sure the message you leave is professional.
  • Include an email that you check regularly.
  • Your email address should also be professional.

Education

  • Use the full name of your degree: Candidate for Bachelor of Arts/Science.
  • Majors and minors.
  • GPA if 3.0 or higher.
  • List relevant coursework, research and projects.
  • Study Abroad

(High school is not necessary, particularly as you near graduation. If you attended a well-known high school and plan to network with people who are familiar with or attended that high school, include it.)

Experience

  • Separate experience by using headings such as “Internship” or “Relevant” or “Research” experience
  • Company Name
  • Location – include city/town and state
  • Position/Title
  • Indicate months and year(s) you worked or by season (“summer”)
  • Start each bullet or description with a strong action verb (listed below)
  • Be specific about functions performed, results and skills utilized
  • High school or irrelevant experience may be deleted or condensed as appropriate

Activities/Volunteer/ Leadership/Memberships/Skills/Interests

  • Choose headings that match your experiences
  • These sections provide other relevant information that adds a different dimension to your resume
  • Include foreign language skills and specific software and research tools

Positive Action Verbs

Management Skills
administered analyzed assigned
attained chaired contracted
consolidated coordinated delegated
developed directed evaluated
executed improved increased
organized oversaw planned
prioritized produced recommended
reviewed scheduled strengthened
supervised    
Technical Skills
assembled built calculated
computed designed devised
engineered fabricated maintained
operated overhauled programmed
remodeled repaired solved
trained upgraded  
Creative Skills
acted conceptualized created
designed developed directed
established fashioned founded
illustrated instituted integrated
introduced invented originated
performed planned revitalized
shaped    
Communication Skills
addressed arbitrated arranged
authored corresponded developed
directed drafted edited
enlisted formulated influenced
interpreted lectured mediated
moderated motivated negotiated
persuaded promoted publicized
reconciled recruited spoke
translated wrote  
Teaching Skills
adapted advised clarified
coached communicated coordinated
developed enabled encouraged
evaluated explained facilitated
guided informed initiated
instructed persuaded stimulated
Facilitating Skills
assessed assisted clarified
coached counseled demonstrated
diagnosed educated expedited
facilitated familiarized guided
referred rehabilitated represented
Research Skills
clarified collected critiqued
diagnosed evaluated examined
extracted identified inspected
interpreted interviewed investigated
organized reviewed summarized
surveyed systematized  
Quantitative/Financial Skills
administered allocated analyzed
appraised arranged audited
balanced budgeted calculated
compiled computed controlled
developed examined forecasted
inventoried managed marketed
planned programmed projected
revised researched solved
tested    
Attention to Detail
approved arranged catalogued
classified collected compiled
dispatched executed generated
implemented inspected monitored
operated organized prepared
purchased recorded retrieved
screened specified systemized
tabulated validated