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Getting Started on Your Resume

The purpose of your resume is to secure an interview so think of it as an effective marketing tool. Your resume should catch the attention of employers and interest them in talking to you.

How do I get started on my resume?

Start with a blank word document and list all your college experiences - work, leadership, and/or volunteer. Focus on brainstorming what you accomplished within each role and how you utilized the skills you gained. Next, organize them into the sections listed below.


Required Sections

  • Heading: include your name, mailing address, phone number, and a professional email address
  • Education: List college degrees, most recent first. Also include your graduation dates, even those in the future. Do not include high school graduation or activities unless you are a first-year student. 
    • Optional: GPA, related coursework, relevant academic achievements.
  • Experience: List work, leadership, and/or volunteer experience, most recent first. Include your job title, organization name, location and duration of employment.  Focus on describing accomplishments and relevant skills – not just your duties or responsibilities and what you spent the most time working on.

Optional Sections

  • Summary of Qualifications: Highlight 3-5 points that demonstrate why you are an invaluable employee. These points should be measurable results or achievements and not vague keywords
  • Relevant Skills: List skill sets in which you are proficient that would be an asset in your field
      • When citing language skills, include your level of expertise
  • Leadership/Volunteer Experience: Share relevant experiences on campus, in the community, at a religious organization, or elsewhere.


  • Do not include references or the phrase "references available upon request" on your resume. Create a separate document with the same header as that of your resume. 

Formatting Your Resume

  • Keep your resume to one page unless you have enough relevant experience to warrant a second page
  • Balance the layout by making all four margins about equal in size
  • Arrange your sections from most important and relevant to least
  • Within each section, list information in reverse chronological order (most recent first)
  • Use fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial or Garamond for legibility
Last Updated: 6/28/18