A Resume Should

  • Be clear and concise! Make sure that it is easy to read. (this could refer to font, margins, alignment of information, etc.)
  • Follow a format. Not a template - a format. This refers to where your information is in the document. Titles? Places? City, State? Dates? Details?
  • Include an objective. Employers need to know what you're applying for and where to send your documents.
  • Expand on relevant experience/education. Focus on what is going to be most important to the employer. What does he/she need to know about you? Research? Volunteerism? Internships? Leadership? Presentations? Positions held?
  • Be personal and unique. It's about you and your experiences. Each one should look different.
  • Document your experiences. Whether it was a paid position or an unpaid internship, if it is relevant to the position you are applying for, it should be there.
  • Be honest. There is no room for fibs or exaggerations. The truth never changes; a fib will come out as a fib in an interview.
  •   Focus on transferable skills. Using past tense action verbs, describe what you were able to get out of each experience. These can be in bullets under the position or education listed.
  • Be as long as it needs to be. Unless an employer states specifically that only one page will be accepted, the old "1 page" rule does not apply. While we don't want to include "fluff" you want to make sure the important information is all there.

 

A Resume Should NOT

  • Include any experience that you have not yet started. On the first day you begin an experience, you can include it and not until.
  • Get into long descriptions or use paragraphs. Keep it short and to the point! You can expand on an experience in the cover letter and in the interview.
  • Use slang or bad grammar. Let other people take a look to edit your work. Don't ask anyone that you're not willing to take criticism from. (i.e. significant other, parents, or your bff)
  • Include high school information. At some point after your freshmen year, you should have enough experience to fill the document without old information.
  • Include a photograph. The only time a picture is acceptable is if you are an actor or on-air personality
  • Discuss salary information. Salary negotiations are another topic entirely. See Career Services for questions or concerns.
  • Include personal information. Nothing about age, sex, religion, political affiliation, social security number, relatives, marital status, or children (whether you have them now or want them in the future).