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A resume is a summary of your skills, knowledge, and relevant experience. You may need to have several versions of your resume specific to each type of job, internship, or educational program that you are pursuing.

Have your resume reviewed often to check for spelling, grammatical, and formatting inconsistencies. Meet with a career counselor to have your materials reviewed before applying.

How to Format a Resume

Consider the type of position that you are applying for when formatting your resume. A creative position may allow for some more unique formats while a financial or business-oriented position should focus on a traditional formatting layout.


Typically a resume should be one page, two pages if you possess extensive experiences related to your goals.


Recommended to be one inch but can be a minimum of 1/2 an inch.


Plain typeface like Arial or Times New Roman in 10-12 point font. Your name should be larger across the top of the page.


Whatever you decide, maintain consistency throughout the resume.


Start with a blank word processing document when creating your resume. Avoid using templates: these give an impersonal feel and can hinder what may be best for the experiences and information you have to include.

Bullet Points

Begin bullet points with an action verb and keep all to 1-2 lines in length. Highlight responsibilities, skills, and accomplishments that relate to the positions you are applying for.

Type of Paper

For career fairs, networking opportunities, and face-to-face interviews, use only resume-quality paper in white, off-white, or gray.

Contents of a Resume

It is recommended that information from high school be omitted from your professional resume by your junior year of college. Have something from high school that is incredibly relevant to the position you are applying for? Meet with a career counselor to discuss if you should include it or not.


Usually a concise statement summarizing the type of position you are seeking. This can be formatted several different ways; meet with career counselor to go over your options and how best to include this information.


List degrees in order with the most recent first. You can also consider including:

  • Minors or areas of concentration
  • Honors
  • Study Abroad
  • Relevant Courses
  • GPA

A Note on GPA: 
Your GPA should match what is on your official University transcript. If your GPA is below a 3.0 consider listing your major and cumulative GPA. Contact the Registrar's office to obtain an official copy of your transcript if needed.


Give details of your accomplishments and responsibilities rather than a general list of duties. Numbers make strong statements and can enhance credibility; these can show volume, percentages, and dollar amounts.

Make sure to list most relevant experience first. Did you have an internship in the same field? Was your part-time job related to the internship you are applying for? Consider the opening and organization when arranging your experience. It does not need to be in chronological order.

Need to gain experience? Learn about the best ways to get some experience to include on your resume while a student.


Technology-based or computer skills, foreign language knowledge, and other field-specific skill sets and certifications are appropriate to include.


Include college, community, professional, and, occasionally, outstanding high school activities. Make sure to list any leadership experience in an organization.

Honors and Awards

This sectional is optional. Include this only if you have several honors. If you have one consider including it in another, relevant section such as skills or activities.

Go Digital
Creating your resume is a key step in building your professional brand. Translate your resume into a Linkedin profile to network and connect with potential organizations.
Learn about crafting your digital resume now.

Resume Action Word List

Describe your experience with dynamic action words on your resume. Pair active words with additional details and data when possible.

Action Words
  • Achieved  
  • Administered               
  • Advised    
  • Advocated
  • Allocated  
  • Analyzed  
  • Anticipated                  
  • Applied     
  • Approved  
  • Arranged  
  • Assessed  
  • Attained   
  • Audited    
  • Balanced  
  • Briefed     
  • Budgeted 
  • Built         
  • Calculated
  • Cared        
  • Coached   
  • Collaborated                
  • Collected  
  • Comforted
  • Communicated            
  • Compared
  • Competed
  • Completed
  • Composed
  • Computed
  • Conducted
  • Consulted 
  • Contributed                  
  • Converted 
  • Coordinated                 
  • Counseled
  • Decided    
  • Delegated
  • Demonstrated             
  • Designed  
  • Developed
  • Devised    
  • Diagnosed
  • Directed   
  • Documented                
  • Drafted     
  • Edited       
  • Eliminated
  • Enforced   
  • Enhanced 
  • Ensured    
  • Established                  
  • Estimated
  • Evaluated 
  • Examined 
  • Exceeded  
  • Expanded 
  • Facilitated
  • Financed  
  • Formulated                  
  • Fostered   
  • Founded   
  • Generated
  • Grained    
  • Guided     
  • Identified 
  • Implemented               
  • Improved  
  • Increased 
  • Initiated   
  • Instructed 
  • Integrated
  • Interpreted                  
  • Introduced
  • Invented   
  • Investigated                 
  • Launched  
  • Learned    
  • Led           
  • Maintained                  
  • Managed  
  • Mastered 
  • Maximized                   
  • Mediated 
  • Mentored
  • Met          
  • Minimized
  • Modified  
  • Monitored
  • Negotiated                  
  • Observed  
  • Obtained  
  • Offered    
  • Operated  
  • Organized
  • Partnered 
  • Performed
  • Planned    
  • Prepared  
  • Presented 
  • Produced  
  • Programmed               
  • Projected  
  • Promoted 
  • Proposed  
  • Provided   
  • Raised      
  • Received  
  • Recommended            
  • Reduced   
  • Reorganized                
  • Reported  
  • Researched                  
  • Responded                   
  • Reviewed 
  • Revised    
  • Screened  
  • Sold          
  • Solved      
  • Strategized                  
  • Streamlined                 
  • Strengthened               
  • Studied     
  • Supervised
  • Supported
  • Targeted  
  • Taught      
  • Tested      
  • Trained     
  • Upgraded
  • Utilized
  • Validated
  • Visualized
  • Won
  • Wrote
“ 63% of recruiters want a resume tailored to the open position from a candidate. ”
CareerBuilder Survey
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