What is a resume and why do I need it?

A resume presents to an employer a summary of your relevant educational credentials, experience, skills, and extracurricular involvement. In many situations, your resume is the first impression an employer has of you. You want to make sure it is the strongest statement possible of your assets and reflects the “true” you.

Employers spend a short time reviewing the resume of a potential candidate. It is essential that you have a well formatted, descriptive document that highlights what you offer the employer. Your goal is to advance to the next step in the job search process, which is usually the interview!

Quick tips when writing a resume

  • As you begin to apply to different job positions, consider changing the sequence of information on your resume to emphasize particular job experiences, skills, or educational/research experience that match the position sought.
  • Avoid using computerized templates for your resume because they typically do not produce the best resume formats.
  • Typically, your resume should not exceed 1-page in length. There are particular industries and job targets that would allow for more. Check with a Career Team member for more information.
  • In relation to font sizes and types, Times New Roman, Arial, Palatino, and Century Gothic (10-12 point) are common fonts. Margins should be approximately one inch on all sides.
  • Check carefully for correct grammar and punctuation. Spelling errors are unacceptable! Always ask 2 – 3 people to review your resume for grammatical or punctuation errors before you send it off to an employer.
  • The average resume requires 4-5 drafts before reaching a satisfactory version. Edit each draft to improve word choice, emphasize relevant experience, and reduce redundancy. Update your resume frequently as you continue to obtain new employment experiences, leadership positions, skills, certifications, and extracurricular activities.
  • Print out the final draft on white or ivory resume paper using a laser printer.

Resume Guide