In your college and career experience, one of the most important documents that you will prepare is your resume. Completing a resume is a fundamental step towards obtaining a job. The document should set you apart from other candidates and position you for potential interviews. These interviews can result in jobs. Therefore it is important to understand what an ideal resume looks like and how it functions from the perspective of the employer. It is important to look at what the employer sees in a resume and why they choose one resume over another in an interview.  Here are some tips to help you improve your resume and become more marketable:

General Formatting 

  • 12 point font, serif font if you plan to print the résumé, and a sans serif font if you plan to email it or send it electronically 
  • Length: 1 full- page if you have less than 10 years of job experience; if needed may be up to 2 pages 
  • Keep design flair to a minimum (unless you are an Arts/Design major) 
  • Right-align all dates to show timeframe of work length and experience 
  • Visit the Career Center and Writing Center for feedback 

Heading 

  • Include first name, last name, phone number, and email address at the very least 
  • A physical (postal) address is optional.  However, some employers like to see that applicants have local addresses 
  • Add your LinkedIn profile address (optional)  and create a shortened LinkedIn URL  - www.linkedin.com/in/yourname 

Body

Organize your résumé into sections based on application/job posting.  As a general rule, be sure to include Education, Professional Skills, Professional/Work Experience, and Leadership Experience.   

Education:

  • This section should include: degree (e.g. Bachelor’s of Arts: Finance) college (W.P. Carey School of Business), expected graduation date, and cumulative GPA. 
  • Avoid putting details about high school or prior school attendance.   
  • You can also list names of scholarship(s) that you have received 

Professional Skills:

  • Highlight points from the job/scholarship/position description for this section. 
  • Be prepared to demonstrate your work and academic experience based on skills you have listed. 
  • Be Specific.  Don’t simply say you are “Proficient in Microsoft Office.”  The entire Microsoft Office suite consists of over 10 applications.  Unless you’ve mastered all of them, pick and choose one or two to highlight that are relevant to the position/description. 

Professional Experience:

  • This section includes paid/unpaid jobs and internships. 
  • Include: title/role of position, Company name, Location (City, ST), and MM/YY. 
  • Quantify all points – “organized a dinner for 500+ club members” is more effective than “organized a club dinner” 
  • Use the STAR format for each bullet point  
    • description of the situation 
    • description of task at hand 
    • action you took  
    • result of above action   

Leadership Experience:

  • These sections should be formatted in the same way, except this details clubs, organizations, community service and related volunteer experience.   
  • Include: title/role, Event/Club/Organization name, Location (City,ST), and MM/YY. 
  • Quantify your points; list hours worked for volunteer/community service 
  • Use the STAR format for each bullet point 

If you need or would like individual help on tailoring your resume, the Career Center or Writing Center would be an ideal place to go.  See the guide above for a sample resume.

*Tips, guide and sample courtesy of the ASU Writing Center