Creating Your Resume

A resume is a document that summarizes your qualifications for a professional opportunity, often times employment. It lets the reader know the highlights of your educational experience, skills and other related information. Resumes can be chronological, functional, or a combination of both. 

Quick tips for an effective resume
  • Use categories to help organization your information
  • Use standard non-serif fonts in a readable size (font size 10-14)
  • Leave adequate white space and use headings, bold, bullets to attract and guide the reader's attention
  • Be brief; employers tell us that a one-page resume is often adequate unless you have extensive experience
  • Don't use abbreviations and avoid industry jargon except when necessary
  • Customize your resume for the reader and tailor it to a specific position or opportunity
  • Don't include personal information such as date of birth or marital status
  • Use action verbs to describe your skills, accomplishments, and responsibilities
  • Proofread - and have others review your resume.
  • Use white or off white resume paper only, unless you are in the creative fields.
  • When submitting electronically, save and attach/submit as a PDF to preserve formatting unless otherwise instructed
Creating Scannable Resumes 

1. Remove all graphics; they confuse scanners. This includes italics, underlines, shadows, horizontal/vertical lines.

2. Place your name on the first line and do not include any other text on that line.

3. Move all text to the left margin and remove tabs. Use the space bar to indent.

4. Use common and easily recognizable fonts, preferably sans-serif fonts (without the little "feet" on characters) such as Arial or Helvetica. A common serif font such as Times or Times New Roman can be used as well.

5. Keep all font sizes between 10-14 points.

6. Use standard line spacing.

7. Keep "To" and "From" dates on one line. Use only a single date on college degrees.

8. Remove parentheses around area codes in telephone numbers and replace them with a hyphen.

9. Use white or light colored 8 ½ x 11 paper, printed on one side only.

10. Do not fold or staple.


Content that Maximizes "Hits"

1. Use enough key words to define your skills, experience, education, professional affiliations, and other significant information.

2. Include concrete words rather than vague descriptions.

3. Expand to more than one page if necessary. Computers can handle more than one page and it uses all the information it extracts from your resume to determine if your skills match available positions. Make sure your name appears on every page.

4. Use jargon and acronyms specific to your industry. List all computer competencies.

5. If you have extra space, describe your interpersonal traits with key words like time management, dependable, high energy, leadership, and sense of responsibility.

Information compiled from Resumix, Inc. and www.careerperfect.com

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