Checklist for a Winning résumé

  • Your résumé should have a visual appeal that is easily read. Use a clean font (such as Arial) with 11 - 12 point type. Be consistent with formatting - always place information in the same place within each entry. The average amount of time spent viewing a resume is 8 seconds. 
  • Organize information to have maximum impact on the reader - use reverse chronological order because your most important and applicable experiences (education, etc.) are likely to be most recent.
  • When describing your experience use actions words (see list below) to create more powerful sentences.
  • Results sell - include quantifiable measurements and stress actions that resulted in accomplishments . Avoid filling up the résumé with a laundry list of functions and responsibilities. Instead, grab the employers attention with specific projects, skills that you used, and initiatives that you took.
  • Speak the employer's language. Include industry specific jargon, computer experience, trends,required skills that you have experience with. You can obtain this information from the job posting in the job description or qualifications section.
  • Include a targeted cover letter addressing the specific requirements in the job description.
  • Avoid "I" statements
  • Proofread your résumé to ensure there are no spelling, typographical, or grammatical errors.
  • Choose a good quality 100% bond paper in a conservative color such as white or off-white.

Current Students and Alumni may send a copy of your resume for review to

Elements of a résumé

Categories that MUST be included:

  • Name, one address, phone number and e-mail. (only one of each, otherwise it can be confusing)
  • Education (includes degree, institution, location of institution, G.P.A. (if > 3.0), and date of graduation)
  • Experience (arranged in reverse chronological order with the most recent dates first)

Categories that should NOT be included:

  • Demographic data (such as height, weight, age, marital status, sex, race, picture of yourself)
  • Social security number
  • Salary
  • Reasons for leaving previous job
  • Some demographic data are required for Federal or International resumes

Categories that COULD be included:

  • Objective (concisely describes what kind of job you are seeking)
  • Leadership/Activities (include student government, Greek life, sports, bands, clubs, and organizations)
  • Honors, Awards, Foreign Languages, Research Projects, Publications
  • Computer Skills (include any software and/or applications that you are familiar working with)
  • Military Experience

Sample Categories and Headings:

Academic Background

Additional Skills
Community Service and Activities
Computer Languages
Computer Skills

Exhibits and Shows
Honors and Awards

Internship Experience
Military Service
Related Courses
Research Experience
Special Skill(s)
Study Abroad
Travel Abroad
Volunteer Activities
Workshops Attended

Sample Duties, Responsibilities, Accomplishments using action verbs:

  • Provided customer service through resolution of problems, explanation of bank services and policies, and knowledge of financial planning, resulting in greater customer satisfaction. Selected as Customer Service Employee of the Month for June, August, and October.
  • Implemented strategic staff monitoring and incentive programs which resulted in: enhanced staff morale; optimized productivity levels by 77%; and reduced staff turnover by 20%.
  • Successfully designed and implemented systems to streamline office procedures, increasing productivity.
  • Developed a creative marketing strategy that increased customer base by 18%.

Sample Verbs for resume

 Sample Resumes