Resume Guide

Resume Guide

Getting started

  • A resume is a marketing tool.  It highlights achievements, strengths, and expertise.

  • Collect relevant information including: education, certifications and licenses, internships, work experiences, volunteer experiences, projects, presentations, research experiences, professional development, and special skills.

Layout and appearance 

  • Font should be easy to read.

    • No smaller than 10 pt. and no larger than 12 pt., with the exception of name, contact information, and headings. 

  • Use default margins for resumes.

  • Templates are not recommended.  They can be difficult to edit and tailor to your own experiences.

  • There are a variety of formatting options and resume styles (e.g., chronological, functional, or combination). The key is to be consistent with resume style and formatting. 


  • Don't assume potential employers are going to read the whole resume. Key points should be easy to find and read quickly.

  • Those with a master's degree or doctoral degree can be up to two pages long.

    • Place name and page number on each page.

  • Place key words and phrases from the job announcement in the resume.

  • Resume should reflect career goals as well as the needs of the potential employer.

  • List accomplishments in an intentional order, with the most relevant accomplishments appearing first in the list. 

  • Focus on accomplishments, not tasks, and use action verbs.

    • Task: Completed documentation according to agency standards.

    • Accomplishment: Reviewed and updated agency documentation forms to improve staff efficiency.

    • Quantify when possible: Reviewed and updated 10 agency documentation forms, which improved timely submission of documentation by over 15%

  • List references separately. Maintain a separate and up-to-date list of references for potential employers upon request. There is no need to include "references available upon request" at the bottom of your resume. 

Finalizing your resume