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Resume How To

Resume Purpose

Your resume is your personal brand

  • You have 6-10 seconds to catch a recruiter’s attention, so be savvy and do the research.
  • Prove your experience, skills and achievements by matching them to the job description requirements.
  • Add value by quantifying specifics. For example, rather than “Coached student teams at summer camp”, use “Coached 3 girls’ soccer teams ages 7-12”.
  • The best received resumes demonstrate excellent written communication skills and encourage the hiring professional to interview you.

Resume Writing Tips

Convey your overall competence through content.

  • Be attentive to detail. Proofread carefully to ensure correct spelling and grammar.

Avoid the use of first and third person pronouns, such as “I,” “he,” or “she.”

  • Keep verb tenses consistent throughout. Use present tense for current activities and employment.
  • Use past tense for activities and employment not presently held.

Use action verbs and concise statements to articulate your relevant experiences

  • Phrases, rather than complete sentences, are generally most effective.
  • Use a variety of action verbs to bring your skills and experiences to life.
  • Avoid using each verb or adjective more than once.

Refrain from using slang, jargon, overused expressions, or anything that might confuse the reader.

  • Spell out all acronyms the first time they are used, followed by the acronym in parentheses.
  • Thereafter, in the same document you may use the acronym alone.

Get your resume reviewed.

  • Have your resume reviewed multiple times. This gives you varied insights and multiple perspectives. The Career Center provides opportunities to have your resume reviewed.
  • Faculty, academic advisors, family and friends can also provide good insight.

Resume Formatting

Distribute the content evenly on the page.

  • Take advantage of white space. Use it as a mechanism to appropriately convey emphasis and organization to your information and skills.
  • Be consistent with alignment and appropriately use left, center, and right alignment.
  • Make use of bold, underline, and italics to emphasize different aspects of your resume.

One-page, conventional resumes are typically most appropriate.

  • The length of your resume depends on your degree level, academic major, and number of relevant experiences you have conducted.
  • Rather than being creative in the design and format of your resume, demonstrate your creativity in the content you choose.

Resume Samples

Additional Resume Samples and Resources

Consider Your Audience and Reader.

When writing a resume, be sure to keep your audience and reader in mind. Information should be clearly communicated, consistent, and relevant so the reader can quickly identify your unique strengths and skills.

Do your homework.

  • Investigate each potential employer and consider preferences for length, format, and content of your resume.
  • Be sure to follow special instructions for supplemental application materials. Provide all documents requested, and determine if appropriate to send additional, e.g. reference list.
  • If possible, save all of your documents in one PDF and attach them to your application.

Customize your resume for each application.

  • Review the job description and consider the responsibilities for each position you apply to. Make changes to your resume accordingly.
  • Resume Reviews – No need to schedule an appointment. Please bring a paper copy to Donna Felty in Bristol 108 or Finley Green in Maclellan 28.
  • Career Coaching – schedule a 30 minute appointment with a career coach.