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A resume is an application document that presents your education, experience, and skills in an easily understandable way. The resume should emphasize your most relevant qualifications when directly responding to a specific job or company. Remember to tailor your resume for each application.

Formatting Tips

  • Use standard font styles between 10- to 14-point in size.
  • Clear and consistent formatting creates an easily readable document.
  • Start bullet points with action verbs.
  • Describe and quantify experiences as much as possible.
  • Include key words from the job description.
  • Place the most relevant information at the top of the document.
  • Read closely for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Sample Résumés | Mandatory Sections | Optional Sections

Mandatory Sections

Since resumes should be structured to emphasize your strengths, choosing the sections to include depends upon the goals of the resume and the audience. The order of the sections of a resume may also vary to represent your strengths and experiences in the best possible light according to the job description. References and very old or irrelevant information, such as hobbies or salary history, should not be included as sections in a resume.

Contact Information

  • Name, address, telephone number, and email address, should always be placed at the top of a resume.
  • Never include information about age, sex, race, marital status, or citizenship status on a resume unless it is an important component of the job for which you are applying.


  • Include the institution name, city/state, degree, and graduation (or anticipated) date.
  • Listing significant honors such as Phi Beta Kappa or magna/summa cum laude under education is appropriate.
  • If your thesis or dissertation is relevant to the job, you may also include it here.


  • This can include professional roles, internships, volunteer positions, and assistantships (research and teaching).
  • The first line of each experience should consistently detail your position, organization, location, and dates.
  • Relevant tasks should be described in concise bullet points. Avoid long phrases and blocks of text that will be difficult for employers to read quickly.
  • Highlight specific skills and accomplishments in your descriptions.
  • Research projects without a designated or formal role, such as an independent thesis or dissertation project, can be included as experience.

Optional Sections

PROFESSIONAL Summary or Profile

  • Brief statements that summarize and introduce you to the employer, typically the first section of the resume under your contact information.
  • Summary can clarify the skills and abilities you will bring to an organization, especially if your background is not an obvious match to the position.
  • Sample professional summary: "Excellent verbal and written communication skills, honed from several years of teaching undergraduate students. Proficient using software packages such as Microsoft Access, FrontPage, SPSS, and SASS. Strong organizational, marketing and leadership qualities, as demonstrated by previous teamwork experiences."


  • Include relevant and significant course activities using bullet points to describe the skills and accomplishments of your specific contribution to each project.
  • Consider using a project title and/or name of the course in place of a position title.


  • List activities, campus or professional organizations, and leadership positions held. Demonstrate these roles the same way you would professional experience including using bullet points to highlight skills and accomplishments.
  • Emphasize experiences where you utilized skills relevant to the position for which you are applying, such as management or leadership experience.
  • Remember to keep your audience in mind when deciding which activities to include.

Honors and Awards

  • Consider choosing your top honors and including them in your education section, listed as bullets under the degree in which you received them.
  • Unless you are a listing an extremely prestigious and widely known honor, be certain that you provide a context (e.g.: awarded to the top graduate English student in a department of seventy-five students).


  • List of skills including technical/computer, coding & programming, laboratory & research skills, and software knowledge.
  • Incorporate these skills into the bullets of your experience section in addition to a skills section.

Language Skills

  • Include on resume, particularly if they are relevant to the job to which you are applying. Proficiency in foreign languages does impress employers.
  • Be certain to designate your level of skill (e.g.,: fluent in Spanish, reading proficiency in German and Latin, basic skills in reading and speaking French).
  • International travel (such as study-abroad programs) might also be mentioned in this section, if pertinent to the position sought. These items might also be listed in your education section if they do not warrant their own separate section.

Publications and Dissertation Information

  • List only those publications, dissertation topics, posters, and presentations that are directly relevant to the position you are seeking.
  • Use appropriate citation format for your field.
  • Can include a phrase under teaching or research experience indicating publication experience, such as "Co-authored and published three articles in professional journals."

Do Not Include

  • Citizenship, unless indicating U.S. work authorization
  • Personal information such as Social Security Number, age, marital status, sex/gender
  • Picture of yourself