A step-by-step introduction and instructional guide for résumé writing.
The Purpose of a Resume
To get you an interview. Your resume is your chance to convince an employer, in about six seconds, that they should meet with you.
Tailor Your Resume
Tailor your resume for each organization. Take a look at their job description, their mission statement, and what you can learn about their culture. Let your resume demonstrate that you are the perfect fit for their organization.
Preparing Your Resume
- Keep it to one page! There are exceptions, like education and nursing, but for most students, one page will be sufficient.
- Follow the format recommended in our samples. Our format maximizes the space on the page so you can tell enough of your story to capture their interest.
- No typos or grammatical errors. These will disqualify you immediately.
- Start with your education. As a college student, this is the most important part of who you are.
- Include your GPA, if it is above 3.0.
- List any courses related to the job opportunity.
- Describe all of your relevant experience in reverse chronological order. This will include both paid and unpaid experiences.
- Use simple bullets, either squares or circles.
- Always begin each bullet point with an action verb.
- Describe your accomplishments, the results of what you did.
- Quantify wherever possible. How many students did you tutor? What size budget did you manage?
- Periods at the ends of bullets are optional. Just be consistent!
Here are some things NOT to put on your resume:
- High school activities after sophomore year.
- References. If they want them, they will ask.
- Abbreviations. They just look sloppy and aren’t always clear to the reader.
- Graphics. Unless you are applying for a creative position. Use that space to tell your story.
- Photographs. Unless you are applying for a performing or on-camera role.
For sample resumes and other examples, view the samples page.