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General Guidelines

Resume: Your Most Important Tool

A resume is a summary of your background and experiences written to interest a potential employer of your qualifications. It is not a biography. The sentences should be short, the words and jargon active rather than passive, and business-oriented. Be sure to spell words correctly.

In case your experience is unrelated to your objective, you must focus attention on the skills you have learned in past jobs. Simply list the position titles and phrases in a section provided for this purpose. Information unrelated to your objective should not be included (e.g., a picture, height, weight, Social Security number).

The format of a resume is traditional. You should focus on content and not on layout. Standard length for a new graduate resume is one page; a longer resume indicates you are trying to say too much or are stuck on yourself. Try to avoid the use of "I" and have the resume typeset. You can use different resumes for different jobs, with the information slanted accordingly.

Generally, resumes include these components:

  • Contact Data: Name, addresses and phone numbers.
  • Career Objective: Be specific. Try to avoid more than one.
  • Education: Indicate your degree, major, and minor. List your grade average if it would be to your advantage.
  • Activities: Include those activities which would show evidence of leadership.
  • Work Experience: Include co-op programs and internships as well as part-time or summer jobs. Explain what you did in a concise manner, concentrating on the skills used as well as your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Personal Background: Include only if the information would be a positive contribution to the resume.
  • References: Write "Available upon request." Remember to have the individual's permission before you provide any reference.
This information was provided by NACE.
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