A resume is a brief outline of your education, experiences, activities, and skills used to convey your strengths to a potential employer. Together with the cover letter, resumes are an integral part of any job application. Strong resumes help people get interviews.

Write it:

Use the template available here to begin.

Need more? Review this annotated resume or use these samples to get you started.

The advice below and the sample resumes above represent one way (not necessarily THE way) to compose a resume. Your resume may have additional information that isn’t modeled here. And that’s perfectly OK. Take ownership of this document – it is your career story – and choose a style that best reflects your graphic design sensibilities.

When composing your resume, consider these things:

Show your strengths. Review your current skills and experiences, and think critically about how they apply to the job you are hoping to attain. Experiences will likely include your education but may include anything you’ve done that could bring added strength to your resume. The most recent experiences (whether education, employment, or otherwise) should go in reverse chronological order, where the most recent event is first.

Connect your experiences to the job. Review the job description, and think deeply about the connections that exist between this job and your previous experiences. Categorize your experiences to highlight these connections. If you’re applying to multiple jobs, create resumes for each specific position.

Be clear, easy-to-read, and concise. Use action verbs and quantifiable outcomes to show your abilities. Do not use personal pronouns (I, me, my). Organize the resume in such a way that it is easy to read, follow, and understand – be mindful of font style and size. Use wording and white space to direct your reader to what you want them to focus on, and aim to keep it between one and two pages.

A resume is a piece of writing. Most writers go through multiple drafts, so be okay with going through multiple drafts of your resume before finding the final document. Further, as you grow in your career and employment experience, your resume will evolve as well.

Review it:

All good writers have their work edited. It is very important that you have your resume reviewed and critiqued by a career counselor or your advisor.

  • Click here to make an appointment with Stephen Davis.
  • Click here to make an appointment with Cyndi McShane.

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