Developing a Resume

If your resume was in a stack with 100 others, would it be read or thrown in the trash?  Employers often spend less than 20 seconds scanning a resume to determine if that applicant should be considered for an interview.  Therefore, it is important to prepare your resume.  Read on to learn tips for preparing your resume for the job market.

Your resume should focus on your positive attributes and how those attributes meet the needs of the employer.  Be sure to keep your resume brief, one to two typed pages.  Focus on the achievements you have made in jobs, volunteer experiences, and academics.

The Basics of a Resume

  • 1 - 2 pages
  • Chronological resume (reverse chronological order-your most recent position is always lisetd first)
  • White, off-white, or ivory paper
  • Font size 10-14 (NO BIGGER)
  • No creative fonts or colors
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Consistent format

Parts of a Resume

  • Contact
  • Career Objective
  • Education
  • Relevant Coursework
  • Experience
  • Skills (may have subcategories)
  • Memberships and Service
  • Awards and Honors
  • References

You do not have to include all of the above, but should make sure to at least include your contact information, education and experience.  If you do not have an experience to include in a category above, do not include the category.  You should not have to 'stretch' for information to go on your resume.

Contact Information

Do not put the word 'Resume' at the top of the page.  Instead, put your name and contact information for the employer.  Include telephone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses where the employer may contact you.  Do not include any inappropriate email addresses.

Career Objective

The career objective is optional.  If you decide to include it, make sure it is geared to the job or industry to which you are applying.

Education and Relevant Coursework

Include the name of the institution you attend or attended, the date you attended, and the degree earned or expect to earn.  Do not include high school credentials.  Include your GPA and courses that may set you apart from others (do not include general courses, but more major specific courses).

Experience and Skills

This can be listed as one section or two.  BE HONEST!! This section usually draws the most attention and needs to be clear, concise, and action oriented.

Membership and Services/Honors and Awards

This is a place to list your honors, awards, and volunteer experience.


References are optional to include.  If you do not have space, do not include them.  If an employer is interested, they will ask you for references.  You may always put 'References available upon request' if you do not feel comfortable leaving it off.


If you would like your resume reviewed or need more help formulating a resume, please see Mrs. Pam Steele in the School of Business (Suite 221 of Lundy-Fetterman).

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