Resume Tips

Before you write your resume, take time to do a self-assessment on paper. Outline your skills and abilities, as well as your work experience and extracurricular activities. This will make it easier to prepare a thorough resume.  Select skills you want employers to know about you and make sure your resume supports those skills in your bullets.

Employers receive a lot of resumes and have little time to devote to reading each one fully. They tend to initially review resumes for 30 seconds to one minute, so you want to make sure your information is relevant, upfront and concise.

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Resume Content

Name, address, telephone, email address.
All your contact information should go at the top of your resume.

  • Avoid nicknames.
  • Use a permanent address.
  • Use a permanent telephone number and include the area code. Record a neutral greeting for your voice mail and choose your ringback carefully.
  • Include your e-mail address - many employers find it useful. Choose one that sounds professional.

Objective or Summary

  • Many employers do not find objectives helpful and are often considered optional. In its place you may put "Position Sought" instead. It should be customized for every position.  
  • Skills summaries are effective and can make key words stand out and catch their attention.

Bilingual new graduate with 4 years experience in Microsoft Office Suite, customer service and market research. Led student organization through meeting organization, budget monitoring and team building skills.

  • Be careful you do not over-generalize or make it so specific that it limits your options.
  • If you choose not to use an objective, be sure to describe your goal in the cover letter.
  • If you have a work history, consider using a summary of experience rather than an objective.

May be listed before the Experience section if it is more relevant to the employer than your jobs. If you are out of school for more than five years, Experience section should be first.

  • Your most recent educational information is listed first.
  • Include your degree (A.S., B.S., B.A., etc.), what your degree is in (Accounting, etc) institution attended, city and state of institution, minor/concentration and yea of graduation. If you have not graduated, list dates of attendance. If you do not have a degree, list a major.
  • A short list of relevant classes or projects may be included. 
  • High school information is excluded once you have a college degree, unless it contributes to an overall vision.
  • Add your grade point average (GPA) if it is higher than 3.0.
  • Mention academic honors.

For Graduates:
Carroll Community College                                   Westminster, MD
Associate of Arts, Business Administration            2011

For Non Graduates:
Carroll Community College                                    Westminster, MD
Major: Business Administration                              2007-present

Work Experience
Briefly give the employer an overview of work responsibilities that have taught you skills. Use action words to describe your job duties (i.e. devised, implemented, created, utilized.) Do not embellish or elaborate skills you do not have. Include your work experience in reverse chronological order—that is, put your last job first and work backward to your first, relevant job. For career changers or students who have only had a little paid experience and some volunteer work, you may want to consider a "Related Experience" section and an "Other Experience" Section. Format this section exactly as the Education section so it has a consistent presentation.


  • Title of position
  • Name of organization
  • Location of work - do not include employer address (town, state)
  • Dates of employment
  • Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific skills and achievements. Bullet each statement. 
  • Do not use words like I, me, an, a, or the. 
  • If possible, quantify your accomplishments using number, percentages and other measurable tasks (i.e. resulting in 20% increased sales.)

Other information
Career Development can advise you on other information to add to your resume. You may want to add:

  • Key or special skills or competencies
  • Leadership experience in volunteer organizations
  • Service-Learning
  • Internships
  • Participation/leadership in sports


  • Do not include your reference information on your resume.
  • You may note at the bottom of your resume: "References furnished on request" or add it as a second or third page that you can include if references are required by the job posting.
  • When using references, obtain permission from the person first. Give your reference a copy of your resume and keep them informed of the employers that may be contacting them.

Resume Format/Checkup
Be sure to take the following steps to ensure a quality resume.

Run spell-check on your computer before anyone sees your resume. Ask a professor, friend or family member to proofread for grammar. The more people who see your resume, the more likely misspelled words and awkward phrases will be seen and corrected.


These tips will make your resume easier to read and/or scan into an employer's database.

  • Use white or off-white paper.
  • Use 8-1/2- x 11-inch high quality paper.
  • Print on one side of the paper.
  • Do not include graphics or pictures of yourself.
  • Use a font size of 10 to 12 points.
  • Use plain fonts, only use 3 additional options such as underlining, bolding or italicizing 
  • Choose one font and stick to it.
  • Use a consistent format throughout the resume.
  • Use bullets to break up dense paragraphs (limit to two to five bullets per experience).
  • Use descriptive phrases rather than complete sentences (periods unnecessary).
  • Do not use horizontal or vertical lines, graphics or shading.
  • Do not fold or staple your resume.
  • If you must mail your resume, mail it in a large envelope.
  • Use no more than two pages; aim for one, but do not use less than 10 point font.
  • Avoid abbreviations that are not common; every word should be spelled out
  • Make sure your resume is personal and truly reflects your skills and abilities. 

This information was adapted from


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