On average, employers spend around 7-10 seconds pre-screening a resume, so you want to make an impact and stand out as fast as you can. The purpose of a resume is to:

  • Present a positive image
  • Detail what you have done
  • Describe qualifications
  • Provide a framework for an interview. 

Creating a Resume

Highlight your skills and outline your educational background, extracurricular activities, and paid or volunteer work experiences. Before you begin, create a list of all your experiences and involvements during your collegiate time 

Word or Google Docs are the best programs for creating and editing your resume. You often can find resume templates through word processing programs or you can purchase separately, but we do not recommend using these templates. These templates can be difficult to work with due to settings like font size, spacing, margins, and categories being locked which cannot be changed. Here are instructions for creating a new resume from scratch.

Basic Resume Tips

  • Be positive. Be honest. Stick to the facts. 
  • Avoid abbreviations. 
  • Appearance is important- do not clutter your page.
  • Generally, 0.5-1” margins are used.  
  • Font size should be between 10-12 pt.
  • Fonts that are easy to read like Arial and Calibri are best for applicant tracking systems.
  • Bold print, italicizes, and capital letters can emphasize important items. 
  • Customize your resume for each job application
    • Ensure language and skills on the job description is reflected in your bullet points.  

Create a master resume that includes everything you have ever done for record purposes. Then, create a tailored resume simply by cutting and pasting information back in that is relevant to the specific position you are applying to.

For more comprehensive information, examples, and resources check out the Job Search HandbookIf you think your resume is ready to send out to employerscompare it to our ”Resume Ready Checklist” on page 14. 

The Biggest Resume Red Flags