Resume Tips


Key Points

  • Make resume professional, attractive, and easy to read.
  • Place most important information first.
  • Bold, italicize, capitalize, or underline critical facts.
  • Do not include personal information (birthdate, race, etc.).
  • Stress results, skills, and accomplishments rather than performed duties.
  • Use the correct tense when describing past/present activities.
  • Proofread for misspelled words and grammatical errors. (Have someone else proofread your resume).
  • Use resume to market yourself.
  • Choose headers to highlight your individual strengths (Leadership Skills, Computer Skills, Relevant Coursework, etc.).
  • Begin sentences with action words.
  • Avoid personal pronouns (I, me, my).
  • Confine your resume to one page if possible.
  • Do not use abbreviations, slang, or jargon.
  • Laser print on good quality white or off-white resume paper.

Resume Categories


  • Include your name, permanent and local addresses (include zip codes), phone (include area code), email address, and WWW homepage if applicable.


  • Brief statement summarizing the type of work you want to do and a career field in which you are interested.
  • Let reader know your specific interests; provide a focus for the rest of the resume.
  • Focus on skills; begin with active verbs such as "seeking," "desire," or "to obtain".


  • Summarize your educational achievements (colleges attended, their locations, graduation dates, certificates, academic majors, minors, and course concentrations).
  • Start with most recent degree awarded and work backwards.
  • Do not list high school or earlier education unless exceptional or relevant in some way.
  • GPA is optional, include if you feel it will enhance your resume.
  • Include any relevant coursework (specific to your objective) or training (laboratory techniques, computer skills, etc.).
  • If you had paid for part of your college expenses through scholarships or work, you may include that in this section.


  • Any experience relevant to your stated job objective, whether paid or unpaid, is significant and should be included in this section.
  • You may include full-time or part-time work experience, volunteer jobs, internships, or cooperative education placements, and clinical experiences relevant to your field.
  • Focus on transferable skills (communication, analysis, teamwork, research, leadership, writing).


  • Emphasize any significant activities you participate in outside of work (community service, extracurricular, etc.).
  • List activities that demonstrate leadership ability, initiative, good communication skills, and perseverance.
  • Highlight leadership roles you have held.

Honors and Awards

  • If award or organization is well known, listing your honors/awards may be sufficient.
  • If not well known, write out identifying information or qualifications for award.


  • For most resumes, it is sufficient to state "References available upon request."
  • You will need to create a separate reference page that should include the person's name, title, address, and phone number.
  • Ask individuals (supervisors, professors, advisors) if they will serve as a positive reference for you.

Additional Information

  • Areas of Knowledge: special qualifications, language skills, military experience, etc.
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Personal Data (only if it relates to position you are applying for).