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A professional resume is a necessity today for any individual seeking employment.  The resume is one of the initial steps in your job search.  It is a valuable investment; therefore, you must be willing to spend time to develop a resume that will be a key selling tool for you.


Choice of format depends on your personal preference, career goals and past experience.  The two main formats with many variations include:

pen and portfolioChronological
  • The most commonly used format, but sometimes not always the most effective for new college graduates and career changers.
  • A listing of information presented in reverse order of occurrence and demonstrates a steady employment/education history by dates.
  • Works very well for those moving upward in a career area.
  • Emphasizes capabilities, skill levels and accomplishments rather than job titles or time spent at various jobs.
  • Very effective for those who have limited work experience and want to emphasize skills, those who are changing careers, those re-entering after an absence from the job market or emphasizing a different aspect of your career.
  • Do include an employment section after listing your skills and accomplishments.


Mandatory Categories Optional Categories

Contact Information

Personal Skills
Special Skills
Professional Trainings
Honors and Awards


Resume Check

  • Has it been critiqued by a staff member in Career Services?
  • Does it fit on one page - maximum two pages?
  • Is it correct - no typos or grammatical errors?
  • Is it easy to read?
  • Is the writing style clear and concise?
  • Is important information easy to find?
  • Is it reproduced on a good grade of bond paper?
    -Preferably resume paper-24lb, watermarked, 100% cotton.
  • Is it copied by a high-quality photocopier or laser printer?

Cover Letters

The cover letter introduces your resume.  If well written, a cover letter will get the employer’s attention and motivate him/her to carefully read your resume.

Always include a cover letter with your resume, unless you are distributing it at a Career Day/Job Fair.  Whenever possible, distribute your cover letter and resume in person.  This allows you to make personal contacts.

Cover Letter Guidelines/Example (pdf)

page last updated 10/6/2015 1:11 PM