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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 which means tailoring each time when directly applying to a specific job or company.

Formatting Tips

  • Use an easily legible font style; be cautious using serif fonts.
  • Stay between 10- to 14-point in size.
  • Keep your formatting and spacing consistent throughout the entire document.
  • Start bullet points with action verbs when describing your experience. Do not use paragraphs or personal language (i.e. “I,” “we.” Or “my”).

Sample Résumés

Must-Have Sections

Contact Information

  • Your name, telephone number, and email address should always be placed at the top of a resume.
  • Consider adding any websites, such as a LinkedIn profile, with your contact information.


  • 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 hereInclude the institution name, city/state, degree, and graduation (or anticipated) date.


  • This can include professional roles, internships, volunteer positions, and assistantships (research and teaching).
  • Each experience should list your title, name of the organization, location, and dates.
  • Research projects without a designated or formal role, such as an independent thesis or dissertation project, can be included as experience.
  • 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.
  • Describe your experiences concisely, quantifying where appropriate.
  • Include key words from the job description.

Optional Sections

PROFESSIONAL Summary or Profile

  • Brief statements that introduce you to the employer broadly, typically the first section of the resume under your contact information.
  • Professional summaries can clarify the skills and abilities you will bring to an organization, especially if your background is not an obvious match to the position.


  • Demonstrate this work the same way you would professional experience including using bullet points to highlight 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.
  • Consider your audience when deciding which activities to include. Keep it relevant!

Honors and Awards

  • List your top honors in your education section 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 typically focusing on technical/computer, coding & programming, laboratory & research skills, and software knowledge.
  • Avoid complicated or unclear self-appraisals of your skills (i.e. words such as “proficient” or “intermediate”). Demonstrate how you know a skill by incorporating them 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. The ability to communicate in foreign languages does impress employers.
  • Use clear wording to designate your level of skill (e.g., fluent in Spanish, reading proficiency in German and Latin). Consider quantifying by putting the number of years you have known and used a language.

Publications and Dissertation Information

  • List any publications, posters, and presentations that are relevant to the position you are seeking.
  • Use appropriate citation format for your field.
  • If an entire section is not warranted, consider including 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.
  • Hobbies or other irrelevant personal information.