Resume Tips

Read below for some general tips on writing a resume.

General tips

  • On average, a recruiter will spend 6 seconds looking over your resume. You need to make sure the information is easy to read, includes relevant information, and flows well.
  • References do not go on your resume and you do not need to list “References available upon request”. Your Reference page should be a completely separate document.
  • Do not use a resume template- these are oftentimes hard to manipulate and cause frustration. Use the skills you have learned in your classes to create a professional looking document in Microsoft Word.
  • Customize your resume for every job you apply for. This means you will have a different resume for every job.
  • Do not include an objective. This is for the cover letter. Use a profile - 1 to 3 sentences about your technical skills related to the job description.
  • Your education should only include school where you completed a degree, unless you are within 12 months of graduating - then use "anticipated month/year. Do not include high school. Only use graduation date.
  • Your duties should include accomplishments and how you made a difference. These accomplishments should include quantifiable results if possible.
  • Duties should be outcome based, not duties based. It's not good enough to just tell the employer what you did, but include how well you did it.
  • The preferred length is one page. However, depending on your industry and your experience, two pages may be acceptable. If you include a second page, it should include information that is directly related to your field and have your name at the top.
  • Make sure you do not have any grammatical or spelling errors, or typos. Many employers will discard a resume as soon as they see a mistake.
  • Do not include information about your gender, marital status, religion, race, etc. Also, do not include a photo.
  • If you print out your resume, use high quality resume paper.
  • Always submit your resume in the format that was asked (Microsoft Word, PDF etc.). Avoid using Open Office to create your resume, as this does not always upload correctly.

Woman with resume folder

Formatting Tips

  • Do not use paragraphs on your resume (with the exception of a summary). Employers prefer bullets because they are easier to scan.
  • Use a size 10-12 font size for the text. Your headings should be larger. Choose a professional font, like Arial, Garamond, Calibri, Tahoma, or another font that looks professional.
  • Make your headings easy to identify.
  • Avoid large white spaces by utilizing both sides of the page.  Putting your dates on the right hand side of the page is seen as more modern and makes your resume easy to read.
  • Be consistent in your formatting throughout the resume.
  • Use italics, bolding, underline, etc. to draw attention to specific items on your resume (such as company names or titles). However, do not overuse them.
  • Do not set margins smaller than 0.70 all the way around.