Student Life

Resume Basics

Resume Video

Here are some brief tips for creating your resume. If you are encountering trouble, please contact our office (298-1838) to arrange an appointment with a staff member to assist you. At this appointment, you will receive guidance, input, and example resumes. We DO NOT write your resume, we give you the tools to create your own document. Feel free to bring your laptop to the appointment.

  • There is no one-way to write a resume, create a document that fits your needs and the requirements of the job that you are applying for
  • Be creative! If you are a design major, make sure your resume reflects your creativity and uses graphics and color. If you want a career in gaming/computer technologies, create an interactive online game that highlights your accomplishments. If you are a business major, include a URL to your business development plan.
  • Include your LinkedIn, professional Twitter, or online portfolio URL's within your resume header. This will invite the employer to view those pages and get a better understanding of your skills, competencies, and your professionalism.
  • Target your resume to the type(s) of jobs/positions you are applying for (closely read over the job description and required qualifications)
  • Look at the resume from the "readers" point of view rather than the "writers" point of view. Imagine you are the hiring manager, if you were looking at multiple resumes, would yours stand out?
  • Back-up your resume on a thumb drive

Paper: Use Heavy Weight (24lb) Bond Paper. The colors that work best are White, Ivory, Off-White, or Light Grey

Font: Use fonts like "Times-Roman", "Garamond", "Perpetua", or "Arial". The sizes should range from 12, 11, to 10 point

Typesetting: The most popular choice is Microsoft Word. Try to avoid using a resume template because they can be restrictive

Length: Most students just starting out will be fine with one (1) page. However, there is nothing wrong with having a two (2) page resume as long as the second page is full of relevant material and not just fluff and filler

Format: Use the "Bullet Point" (*) format rather than a paragraph to highlight your accomplishments. Use boldface, capital letters, and italics, to highlight items that you want the reader to notice

Professional References

Determining who should serve as a professional reference takes longer than just a quick email to a professor you had for one class, three semesters ago. Here are a few quick tips for locating and listing professional references.

1. You should ask individuals who you've known longer than a year. It is not acceptable to ask an instructor who you talked to only once or twice after class. References should be people who know you very well and can speak positively about your work ethic and experience.

2. When you ask someone to serve as a reference, you should say: "Can you serve as a positive reference for me when I apply for internships?" Using this language allows the person to say "no" if they do not feel adequate or comfortable serving as a reference.

3. If you write a letter or email the person, make sure you fully explain what you are applying for and attach your resume. Review professional letter etiquette at this link.

4. Read this article for more advice on professional references.

Creating Reference Pages

Create a separate page to list your references, providing the references name, title, place of business, phone number and email address.

Seek out those individuals that will give you an "excellent" reference. Current & former employers and current & former teachers, etc.

You should try to have 3 to 4 different references. Remember to use either Ms, Mr, or Dr before the persons name, unless they are military (use their rank) or in the clergy (i.e. Pastor).


Sarah Someone
123 Somewhere, City, State
(555) 000-0000

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Tip: Make sure to ask permission from potential references.

Ms. Victoria Langer - Vice President
The Consulting Group
222 East Chestnut Street
Chicago, Illinois 60000
(312) 123-4567 -

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Tip: Consider organizing your references so that your strongest contact or contacts are first.

Reference #2: Full Name
Job Title
Company Address
Business Phone Number
Email Address
Relationship to Reference

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Tip: Whenever feasible, let your references know the job you are applying for or at least the type of position you are seeking.

Reference #3: Full Name
Job Title
Company Address
Business Phone Number
Email Address
Relationship to Reference

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Tip: If possible, give a copy of your resume to those that you include as references so that they will be familiar with your qualifications, experience, education, and so forth.