Your resume is your chance to impress an employer with your skills and accomplishments. An industry-backed resume focuses on results, uses dynamic language, and appears organized, clean, and free of mistakes.
Heading includes all first-order information the employer needs.
- Include name, phone number, professional email address (instead of Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, or university email, consider Gmail), city and state/province, postal code, and full hyperlinks to LinkedIn and your portfolio (if applicable).
Summary section. Try to include at least three to five of the following:
- Title of role pursuing (do not identify as a student).
- Background experience that connects to the role you are pursuing.
- Two to three transferable skills (e.g., logistics, task monitoring, communication, project lifecycle management).
- Years of related experience (keep below 10 years).
- Accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards.
- Training or certificates.
- In the technical skills section, ensure programming languages and technologies conform to standard spelling and style for the industry.
- Up to three of your strongest projects, with brief descriptions, languages used, and written links to code.
Experience clearly laid out with accomplishments highlighted rather than job duties.
- Experience listed in reverse chronological order, with job title, job description, company name, city and state/province, and dates of employment.
- If applicable, include previous field-specific experience.
- Start every bullet with an action verb; don’t use the same verb more than once (see next section).
- Cite accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards (do not list job duties).
- Bullets are concise, direct, and listed in order of importance.
- Quantify work as much as possible (e.g., “managed five projects per quarter.).
- Briefly define job role and team size where it provides context to the scope and depth of your work.
List education in reverse chronological order with locations and certifications.
- List education at the end of the resume unless you don’t have much professional experience or you have particularly relevant degrees.
- Include your completed program as the most recent item in education.
Pass the applicant tracking system.
- Include standard heading titles (Summary, Skills, Experience, Education).
- Spell out acronyms and abbreviations (abbreviated months are acceptable).
- Use bullets instead of asterisks.
- Avoid images, icons, or photographs.
- Avoid colored text, columns, tables, text boxes, and graphs.
- Use keywords that match the job description and align with skills required for each role.
Design and Format
- Clean and simple design.
- No template language or blank areas.
- Design does not get in the way of necessary text/content.
- Text fills the page without overcrowding.
- Balanced margins, between 0.5”-1.”
- No more than one page if new to the field, two pages if have relevant experience.
- Name and headlines stand out.
- Few (or no) hanging lines (where just a few words take up an entire line).
Consistent and Professional Text
- Font size of 11 or 12.
- Consistent and professional font style. It’s okay to use different fonts for the headings and body. Professional font styles include: Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Georgia, Helvetica, and Times New Roman.
- Consistent use of bold, italic, and underline. Same bullet-point for all lists.
Correct Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation
- Consistent punctuation throughout.
- No grammatical or spelling errors.
- No personal pronouns (I, we, he, or she).
- No abbreviations or acronyms unless necessary.
Clear and Professional Tone
- No jargon, slang, or superlative adjectives like “great,” “good,” or “awesome.”
Here are templates and competitive samples that you can use to get started on creating your resume or CV. Simply save a copy of them so you can edit and adapt. Be sure to replace text in blue with your own, and follow the instructions in brackets when utilizing the templates.