How to Write a Resume

Whether you just need a quick resume review, help tailoring your resume for a specific opportunity, or maybe you need some advice on how to get started, the CDO is here to inspire, educate and equip you with the necessary tools to make your resume stand-out. Your resume is a marketing tool, and its primary function is getting the person who is reading your resume to want to interview you.

For more information, example format, and sample resumes, check out our Resource Guide [pdf].

While every resume is different, here are some guidelines that are important for you to consider: 

Format, Design & Delivery

Length

The standard length of an undergraduate resume is one page. Some special circumstances require two pages, but one page is usually the maximum.

Margins

Keep your TOP/BOTTOM margins and LEFT/RIGHT margins consistent. No less than 0.5 and no more than 1.0.

Font Type

Use a professional-looking font such as Calibri, Cambria, Arial, Helvetica, or Garamond.

Font Size

Use 10-12 point font. Your name should be bigger than your text, but no more than 16 point.

Keep it Simple

Don’t go crazy with too many italics, CAPS, bold, underlines, indentations, columns, and all combinations thereof.

Bullet Points

Start each statement with an action verb. Include specific details and quantify your accomplishments (#, $, %).

Headings

Divide your resume information into clearly labeled sections. Prioritize the most relevant sections towards the top of your resume.

Print

Laser print your resume on quality 8.5 X 11-inch bond paper that is white or off-white. The CDO provides resume paper.

Email Delivery

  • Turn your resume and cover letter into one PDF file.
  • Create a quick, professional e-mail that states you have attached your resume and cover letter.
  • In the subject line of the e-mail, put information that will easily identify your email, perhaps your name and “resume” – i.e. “John Doe Resume” or position to which you’re applying.