Resume Creation Guidelines

1. Create your resume in Microsoft Word or Google Docs

Starting with a resume in this format allows you to make changes as you evolve and apply to different types of jobs.  Never share your Word/Docs file with employers!

2. Save/Export your resume into a PDF

Your shareable resume should always be in a PDF format!  It’s the best format to apply for jobs online and can’t be altered easily.

3. Have two types of resumes

Applying to jobs online is done best with a simple resume that highlights your skills and work history. Exclude images, graphs, videos, columns, fields, headers, and footers. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can’t read these and will distort your application. 

If you want a flashy resume to bring to an interview or want to include that as an attachment then that is highly encouraged as well. This will be especially useful for majors that require a little flair. The fancy resumes are great for bringing to the interview but not for passing through applicant tracking systems!

4. Never use different fonts or symbols

Computers are very smart but different fonts can mess with ATS.  The goal is to get your resume through to the hiring manager and using different fonts and symbols can make this difficult for you.

Try using: 

  • Times New Roman
  • Garamond
  • Arial
  • Calibri

5. Capitalization does matter

If you do not capitalize your name, your employer, or your job title then the ATS will think it’s a spelling mistake and instantly reject your resume. 

6. A proper heading

A heading is different than a header.  Be sure to put your name in your heading with your email (make sure your email is professional and clean!), phone number, and a link to your LinkedIn profile. DO NOT include your address!

7. Highlight yourself with a summary/objective*

A summary or objective will give the hiring manager an overview of who you are and what you are looking to do. The average hiring manager only spends 6-10 seconds on each resume before making a decision to move on. So make it count!

*Some schools don’t recommend this so double-check with your career advisor.

8. Use common titles

For each of your sections, you should use common titles that hiring managers and ATS are used to seeing. Title your sections with Work Experience, Education, Objective, and Summary.

9. Follow the same format for education and work experience

Use something similar to the following when listing your  school:

University Name                                  Start Date-End date

Degree & Major

Use something similar to the following when listing your  experience/jobs:

Company Name                                   Location

Job title                                                  Start Date-End date

You should list your collegiate history and work experience in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent experience/degree. DO NOT include extra space between your dashes for your dates of employment AND education.

10. Do not skip an end date

Even if you are still in your current role be sure to mention that.

Example:  July 1776-Current

Looking for an easy-to-follow template, click here!

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