Career Development Office - Job Search Tips

WHAT IS A RESUME? [sections of the resume]

A resume is a summary of your relevant experiences and skills. It serves as your written presentation during the job search. The resume will stimulate organizations to request an interview, where you can elaborate on your background, experiences and skills.


Each person's resume is unique. While there are various layouts and styles to use for a resume, there are basic guidelines you should always follow. You want it to be easy to read, highlighting pertinent information for the reader. You should focus on achievements and accomplishments. When writing, use action words within your descriptions.

Do NOT use resume templates. You have more control and flexibility creating your resume as a Word document. If you need to upload your resume in a web based application program or email your resume as an attachment, Microsoft Word is generally the most universal program to use.


  1. The layout should be appealing and easy to read. A resume that is too crowded and does not have spaces between listings is harder to read.
  2. Use bold, italics, CAPS, and indentations, in order to highlight certain items, such as title and organization. Remember to not overuse the highlight fonts
  3. Produce final copy using a laser or good quality printer. Use quality bond paper (8 1\2 by 11"). There are many shades of white, off-white, and gray. Use matching blank paper for cover letter and matching envelope for a professional look
  4. If you are uploading your document to a website, make sure it uploaded correctly. Check the layout.
  5. Proofread for spelling and grammatical mistakes; have a friend read it to catch any mistakes! Pay close attention to these details.
  6. Be honest and do not exaggerate.
  7. Keep the resume to one page. For those just graduating, the pertinent information should fit on one page. Remember a resume summarizes and highlights your experiences and skills.

Review our online workshop: "Writing Effective Resumes"To have your resume or cover letter critiqued, drop off a copy at the Career Development Office. Expect a response in 48 to 72 hours.

Please contact the Career Development Office by phone to set up an appointment if you need assistance with resumes or cover letters.

Sample Resumes
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