Students testing evidence in lab.

Resumes

A great resume is important in the job search and it is worth the time to get it right. But don’t fear—it doesn’t have to be that difficult! Career Services & Professional Development (CSPD) can assist you in developing a resume that will effectively present your background and qualifications to prospective employers, and get you noticed. We can also help you in creating a professional cover letter and LinkedIn Summary, and articulating your brand during the interview process.

There are two main elements in writing a resume: format and content. The format should be clear, concise and organized. The resume is divided into sections, beginning with the heading. Each section should be formatted the same and be designed so that it appears graphically pleasing and easy to read. There is not just one way to format the resume, so look at sample resumes for different options. The content should be written in professional English and contain words used in a typical job description in your field of interest.

Take some time to consider what you have to offer an employer. This is your “brand,” which is a short description of your abilities and what you can contribute to an organization. When thinking about your brand, consider these questions and take time to write down your answers. What are your values, interests and goals? What kind of a job interests you? What knowledge, skills and talents do you have? Now think about why an employer would select you over others and how that could benefit them.

The Basics

  • Before beginning, look at examples of resumes for content and formatting ideas.
  • Your resume is a professional summary of your experiences, skills, abilities and successes. 
  • Make it easy for the employer to see that you are the top candidate. Start by describing your experiences in terms of the employer's ideal candidate.

Use Our Worksheet

  • On average, employers only take 10 seconds to review your resume. Keep it simple and concise.
  • Complete each section of the Resume Worksheet to make sure you highlight all of your skills and accomplishments.
  • Summarize your experiences in a way that shows your specific responsibilities and the level of your impact in each.

Review & Revise

  • Be sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Nothing says "unprofessional" or "I don't pay attention to detail" like having an error on your resume.
  • Get your resume critiqued by at least three different people.
  • In addition to using our services, it is always a good idea to have someone in your field look at it for field-specific content.