Career Development

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Resume Help

Quite often, before you’re invited to interview for a job, it’s your cover letter and resume that express your interest and qualifications for that position. Therefore, both pieces need to be written with care. Because of their difficulty to edit and maintain, avoid using Microsoft Word Resume templates when making a resume. Use the following resources as a guide. For assistance in writing your resume, please make an appointement with Career Services.

Resume Types

There are three basic types of resumes. Depending on your career field, your resume
may be different, but it is safe to start with one of these three. The majority of collage
students and recent graduates will have a function or chronological resume


  • Chronological: for those who have job-related experience;
    focus is detailing those experiences.

  • Functional: for those with little or no job-related experience;
    focus is detailing skills obtained through life experiences.

  • Targeted: for those with extensive experience in a career field;
    focus is detailing only those experiences related to the industry.

Resume Guidelines

Text: Use standard typeface such as Times new Roman, Arial or Century Gothic. Indent the body for consistent paragraph line-up.


Font: Font size should be 10-12 point for the body text. Only your name should be larger, up to 18 point. Subject Headings may be bolded or ALL caps. Italicize or bold categories or highlights if you want to. Avoid underlining or shadowing...keep it simple and crisp.


Margins: Side margins should be between 1.25 inches and .5 inch; Top and bottom margins should be between 1 inch and .5 inch.


Name: Use your legal name with middle initial (Jane C. Smith) unless you go by your whole name; If you go by your middle name, use only the first initial of your first name (J. Carol Smith). NO nicknames.


E-Mail: Your e-mail address MUST be professional. If you don't have a professional looking e-mail, get one. Hotmail, Yahoo and many others are FREE. INAPPROPRIATE e-mail: APPROPRIATE e-mail:


Address: You should include your school address and permanent address if you have both. Phone numbers (at both locations) should include area codes. Don't list a number you don't want to be contacted at. Your voice mail must sound professional.


Headings: Should be aligned on the left hand side of the paper in ALL caps, bolded if you like. These will include Objective, Education, Work Experience, Skills, etc...


Paper: Should be white, ivory, or light colored; high quality, cotton fiber, 8 ½” x 11” paper only. NO staples, paper clips only.

BASIC Subject Headings

Aside from “Objective”, which should be placed first in all cases, these subject headings should be placed in the order in which they are relevant. The following are listed on most resumes, regardless of type.


OBJECTIVE: States the type of position sought, with field/division/department (if applicable) and related qualifications (degree, skills, etc.)


EDUCATION: Colleges you have received a degree from or are currently enrolled in. Include City, ST. Do not list High school once you are beyond your sophomore year in college. List in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Include degree, major, minor and GPA (optional) only if above a 3.0. Graduate students should include Theses or Dissertation information here as well.


WORK EXPERIENCE: List all paid and unpaid work experience, internships, externships, military, etc…List in reverse chronological order. Chronological resumes should also include bulleted explanation of duties/tasks beginning with Action verb (see back of this book).


SKILLS: List any special skills including computer, languages, etc… Functional resumes should pick 3-5 skills to highlight (with explanation) in lieu of bulleted work experience. Functional Skill ideas: Management, Customer Services, Leadership, Communications, Technical, Accounting, etc...


HONORS: All athletic & academic awards, perhaps some others (i.e. Eagle Scout). Avoid high school level awards. Includes dates.


ACTIVITIES: This should include most organizations that you are/were involved with, including social, academic, athletic, community, church related, etc...Should include affiliation and level of responsibility (member, president, chair, etc.). Include dates.


You may be combine two headings into one (i.e. Honors & Activities)

Additional Subject Headings

The following are optional and may be put in your resume wherever you feel they are relevant (usually this is after the above headings).


VOLUNTEER: Any volunteer work you have been involved with including continuous or one-time experiences. May list in bullet form or in paragraph form, separated by commas/semi-colons


CERTIFICATIONS: Any professional Certifications. Include dates.


PUBLICATIONS: Any professional publications (i.e. professional journals) including title of publication, location, and dates. Include topic if not obvious.


REFERENCES: Your actual references will be on a separate page (see below), however, you may list this as “Available upon request” on your actual resume. ONLY list this as such if you are NOT including your References Page with your Resume.


PORTFOLIO: Collection of articles, designs, research, presentations, artwork etc. This will obviously be an addition to your resume. Like References, this can also be listed as “Available upon request” unless you are including it with your resume.


Reference Page

Your reference page should be separate from your resume. For consistencies sake, repeat your name and contact information exactly as it appears on your resume.


Your references should include a variety of people (3-4) who can attest to your work ethic, character, talents and abilities. Avoid using 3 coaches or 3 professors. Use a professor, a coach, a former employer, an advisor, etc. Avoid friends unless they served in the previously listed capacities. DO NOT USE FAMILY.


Include the following information for all references: Name, Title, Company, Complete Address, Phone and e-mail.


Your Header should be References in ALL caps. Align your header with the text on the left OR center of the page.


DO NOT include a reference until you obtain their permission.


It is courteous to send a note to your references to let them know when you will be applying for jobs, so they can expect to be contacted.


General Resume Rules to Remember

  1. Your resume is an extenuation of yourself, your abilities and your achievements. Make sure it reflects that.
  2. Your explanation/descriptions should be written in sentence fragments NOT FORMAL SENTENCES.
  3. Resume information should sound detailed but not wordy. Don't make it sound too fancy. If you don't understand what you wrote, no one else will.
  4. Generally, resumes for recent college graduates should be one page long. It MAY be longer than one page ONLY if it contains relevant information. Make sure it isn't just wordy. If you are only a few sentences over one page, play with your margins and/or font size to make it fit on one page.
  5. Avoid including personal information (hobbies, family information, etc…) as interesting as it may be, this is not appropriate for a resume.


Resume Links

CareerDrive: Finding the right style-resume/curriculum vitae


CollegeGrad: Tips plus 140 customized templates


Job Choices Online: Resume worksheet plus tips and samples


Monster Resume Tips: Action verb list; how to write a good objective; sample resumes


Princeton Resume Online: Resume tips and advice