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College of Arts & Sciences
Writing Center


RESUME WRITING HINTS

FORMAT

Do:

  • Keep it to one page, especially if you're applying to a large corporation in a big city.
  • Use word processing. Change font size and use bold type judiciously for job titles or school or company names.
  • Center your name (usually the way you sign your name officially) at the top of the page.
  • Include lots of white space on the page.
  • Print it on the best quality cream or white bond paper you can afford. Unless you are in the arts, you don't want to be remembered as the person with the purple paper that gave everyone a laugh.

Don't:

  • Use multiple fonts. It's too confusing and looks messy.
  • Use a font size so small it is difficult to read.
  • Staple the pages (if you absolutely must go beyond one page).
  • Abbreviate anything: spell out address information, numbers, titles, etc.

CONTENT Do:

  • If you use both your campus and home addresses and phone numbers, put one on the right and one on the left two spaces under your name.
  • If you use only one address and phone number, center them under your name. You can skip one space and use a slightly smaller font.
  • Unless you've had a great deal of work experience in your field, begin with education, listing higher education institutions in reverse chronological order, with location and dates of attendance or degree conferred.
  • List work experience in reverse chronological order, with town and state and dates.
  • If you want to highlight a specific type of experience, put it under a special heading, e.g.,TEACHING EXPERIENCE, then show other work under OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE.
  • List under separate headings any special skills (such as computer expertise, second language fluency), any honors and awards, any volunteer experience.

Don't:

  • Write "Résumé" at the top of the page.
  • List references or write "References Available Upon Request" at the bottom.
  • List high school experience. It got you to college; now college will get you the job.
  • Waste space describing such jobs as server, cashier, salesperson unless you've done something special, such as created forms or done window displays.
  • List courses taken, unless they're outside your degree and are particularly relevant to the position.
  • List any personal information such as age, SSN, or marital status.
  • List hobbies or interests.
  • Try to sound important.
  • Lie.

OBJECTIVE:
If you have an objective, make sure it is specific. An objective such as "Seeking entry-level position in ______, utilizing analytical, supervisory, and organizational skills" is both worthless and irritating.  It says nothing, and irritated people are not likely to call you for an interview. Many people recommend omitting an objective, since it adds nothing relevant to your résumé.

ERRORS:Proofread your résumé carefully. Have other people proofread it. One error will send your résumé to the round file (the trash can), under the theory that if you care so little about detail on something this important to you, you won't care much about detail on the job. If your errors are glaring enough, they might be circled/commented on and your résumé tacked to a bulletin board to provide a little office humor.