Putting Together an Effective Resume
Your resume has only one purpose and that is to get the attention of an employer and make them want to
interview you. The initial screening process is often based more on the quality and clarity of your resume
than on actual abilities and accomplishments. A targeted resume that is customized to specifically
highlight the experience you have that is relevant to the job you are applying for is the most effective.
What to include:
o Contact Information: Your name, home address, telephone number, and e-mail address
should be easy to locate at the top of your resume. Note: Your email address and voice
mail message should project a professional image.
o Education: If you have a college degree or higher education, name the institution and your
degree. Include your GPA only if it was a 3.0 or better. Include any courses or areas of
focus relevant to the position you are seeking.
o Experience: Chronological format is preferred with the most recent job first. List both paid
and volunteer experience. Include the job title, dates of employment, and company name
and location for each job. Briefly describe your responsibilities for each position with an
emphasis on achievements.
o Skills: List computer skills and other skills relevant to the position you are applying for.
Also list proficiency in foreign languages if applicable.
o Additional Information: Include hobbies and membership organizations only if relevant to
the job you are seeking.
o References: References should be listed only when requested.
What to avoid:
o Typos, spelling errors, and poor grammar.
o Missing or inaccurate contact information.
o Unexplained gaps in employment.
o Meaningless objectives or introductions.
o Personal pronouns such as "I" and "we."
o Personal information such as weight, height, sex, health, age, social security number,
religious affiliations, or personal details about your family.
Keep it brief - one or two pages in length. Margins should be no less than 0.5". Keep sentences and
paragraphs short and concise.
Most resumes are scanned and entered electronically into company databases.
Accommodate this by:
o Avoiding fancy formatting, pictures, graphics, and URL links. Extensive page formatting
can get lost, causing text to become unreadable in the scanned version.
o Printing your resume on plain white bond paper.
If e-mailing your resume, make sure you save it as a file type that can be read by the
recipient. Microsoft Word is an acceptable format for most companies.
Have someone proofread your resume to be sure the spelling and grammar are perfect.