CAREER SERVICES CENTER
42 Amstel Avenue
Purnell Hall, Room 004
Monday-Friday: 8 am to 5 pm
BUSINESS STUDENTS’ GUIDE TO WRITING RESUMES
What is a resume and why do I need one?
A resume is a marketing tool that you use to sell yourself to an employer. It is a written advertisement and summary of your educational background, skills, experience, activities, and honors. Only positive information and strengths are included. Do not ever mention weaknesses on your resume. The primary purpose of a resume is to obtain an interview. Do’s and Don’ts
Keep your font size 10-12pt.
Keep it short and to the point. Resumes for new or recent undergraduates are typically one page in length. Make sure your resume is one full page or two full pages- not a page and change. If your resume is more than one page, put your name and page number on the top of each page. Make your section headings stand out by putting the type in bold, underlining it, or using all capital letters. Keep the format and spacing uniform. Either place your dates immediately after the corresponding item or line them up in the right-hand column but do not do both.
Keep the sentence structure uniform throughout the resume. If you start out using full sentences, finish with full sentences.
Use present tense for things you are still involved in.
Put dates in the format of month and year (example: April 2009) and be sure to include start and end dates for all activities except graduations, certifications, Dean’s List, and study abroad experiences. For graduations and certifications, note only the month and year of completion. For Dean’s List and study abroad it is best to name the semester and give the year such as Spring 2009.
For anything you are still involved in (except education), list the end date as ―present.‖ Remember that if you get into an honor society, you are in it for life unless you are officially dismissed. List all items in reverse chronological order (most recent first) within each section.
Use plain black ink, a simple format, and a simple font style such as Times New Roman or Arial . Use a letter-quality printer, a word processor, or a carbon ribbon quality typewriter. Use paper that is a neutral color such as white, gray, or beige. Using resume paper is optional. Put your resume in a portfolio, folder, or at the very least, a plastic page protector when attending interviews, information sessions, or job fairs.
Fold, staple, spill your coffee on, or otherwise damage the appearance of your resume. Use a lot of decorative line, boxes, shading or shadowing.
Use action words and phrases and be specific when describing responsibilities and accomplishments in your experience and activities sections. Career Services offers a handout containing a comprehensive list of these words.
Include a skills section.
When listing organizations or clubs on your resume, provide a brief description of what the organization is, events participated in, and any leadership roles.
Include a reference list on a separate sheet of paper.
Mention any of your weaknesses or include negative information. Sell yourself short by leaving off skills, community service, and activities where you held leadership roles or accomplished great things.
Use personal pronouns such as, ―I, my‖ etc.
Proofread your resume by hand at least once to check for errors and do not rely solely on your computer’s spell checker to catch everything.
Read your resume out loud after you have finished it as another way to check for mistakes. Also, have someone who may not be familiar with everything you have done read it to see if everything makes sense to them.
Remember that writing a resume is an art, not a science. It is very subjective but the bottom line is...
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