A resume is a summary of your education, work and internship experiences, skills and accomplishments.
Your resume is a prospective employer’s first impression of you, so it must be organized, well-written, and highlight you as their perfect candidate.
Use these resources from Career & Professional Development to create or reinvent your resume
- Using this resume worksheet will help you get started with your resume by allowing you to brainstorm what you would like to include on your resume and getting something down on paper.
- Here are some samples of categories for resumes and what they should include. You do not need to use all of them, and you may come up with some of your own.
- This list of action words will help you describe your job responsibilities.
- If you applying for a research or academic position, you may need a curriculum vitae (CV).
Sample resumes are a great way to get ideas for your resume. Take a peek at these samples to help jump-start your resume building process.
Make your resume stand out above the rest with these tips from Career & Professional Development.
- Avoid using a template.
- Use even margins throughout your resume. One inch margins are best.
- Keep the most important information along the left margin and closest to the beginning of each section of your resume.
- Write bulleted statements for each job listed. Keep statements short and use them rather than complete sentences.
- Avoid listing detailed descriptions of unrelated job duties.
- Use capitalization and bold throughout the resume to highlight important information, but don’t overdo it.
- Don’t use “the,” “a,” “an” or other articles throughout your resume.
- Try to keep your resume to one page, but don’t force it. Two pages are acceptable but don’t go beyond two pages.
- It is not appropriate to include salary information on your resume.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread! And then have someone else proofread it!
- Print resume on high quality bond cream/ivory paper (at least 20 lbs) with a laser printer.
- Use a paperclip to attach documents, not a staple.
- Mail your resume in a 9”x12” envelope. Don’t fold your resume.
- When mailing your resume, ask for delivery confirmation to ensure the receipt of your resume.
- If you are e-mailing your resume, attach the document as a .pdf to ensure your formatting does not get changed.
Resumes for Federal Jobs
Federal jobs require a different resume style than our traditional template. While a traditional resume template is less detailed and kept to 1-2 pages, federal resumes require in-depth information about your experiences and are typically 4 pages. The style for federal resumes also provides very little individuality with a consistent format that must be followed. Watch this video from USAJobs on creating a federal resume before filling in our template. You can review this informational sheet about federal resumes and view another possible format. Additional resume advice and resources are available on the USAJobs website.
Resumes for Professionals
After graduating with your degree and starting your professional career, it is important to maintain information on your resume even if you are not looking to change jobs. It is recommended to create a “master resume” that includes everything you have been involved in starting from college and thereafter. While all of this information does not need to be included on your professional resume, you may need to pick and choose from your experiences in the future depending on your purpose.
In general, as a professional you no longer need information about coursework, athletic experience, and campus involvement unless it is relevant to what you are doing or will be doing. For example, you may keep athletic experience on your resume if you wish to coach a sports team. Or you may keep campus involvement on your resume if you hope to work with a similar club/organization in the future. It is also important to revisit honors and awards to only include the more exclusive, important awards/honors.
Resources for Veterans
Military experience is extremely valuable and should be included on your resume. It is often helpful to have two versions of your resume: one for civilian positions and one for government/military positions. If you are having difficulty translating your experience into civilian language, ResumeEngine.org can translate that experience for you. Sign up for an account under your military branch, enter your experience and skills, and the website will provide a civilian translation.