What is a resume? And why should I have one?
A resume is a summary of your skills, education, and experience that is aimed to convince an employer to invite you for an interview. The average employer rakes less than 30 seconds to scan a resume, so it's important to have a thorough yet concise resume. A well-written resume is essential for beginning a successful job search!
How should I format my resume?
- Your resume should not exceed one page in length and be written concisely in bullet point format.
- 0.75"-1" margins and font size 11-12
- Best fonts for hardcopy resumes: Times New Roman, Georgia, Bell MT, Goudy Old Style, Garamond
- Best fonts for online resumes: Calibri, Arial, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Lucida Sans
- Bold headings and position titles - do not use italics or underline anywhere on your resume
- Be sure that past experience is described in past tense; positions you currently hold may be described in either past or present tense
What can I include in my resume?
Tailor your resume to the specific position you're applying for. Make sure you market your skills, education, and experience to the job description! General categories include:
- Your Name
- Contact Information: email, phone number, address, and LinkedIn URL if you have one
- Objective: clearly and succinctly state the position you're applying for
- Education: list advanced degress (past high school) and education abroad programs only
- Summary of Qualifications: brief statements on how your background and strengths make you a good candidate
- Relevant Coursework: courses you have taken that are relevant to the position
- Experience: you may list both paid and unpaid positions, including past jobs, internships, volunteer, and leadership experience
- Use strong action verbs and descriptive phrases to convey your skills and responsibilities from each experience. For a list of descriptive words and guidelines on writing action phrases, click here.
- Honors and Activities: list any scholarships, honors, and awards as well as professional or campus organizations you belong to
*Do not include professional references on your resume. Instead, make a reference sheet and bring it to your interview.
How can I tailor my resume to a specific field or skillset?
Take a look at our sample resumes targeted for different fields and levels of experience:
- Functional resume (little to no experience)
- Science resume
- Business resume
- Engineering and Computer Science resume
- Environmental Studies resume
- Film resume
Need more help with your resume?
- Check out our in-depth Resume Guide
- Attend a resume workshop
- Come to the Career Center during drop-in hours with one of our peer advisers for a resume critique
- Schedule an appointment with a career adviser on SlugQuest. To learn about the advisers' areas of expertise, click here.
- Watch a video on how to make your resume "pop" or make it stand out.