What is the purpose of a resume or CV?
Depending on the opportunity you’re applying for, you may be asked to submit a resume or CV. A resume is a targeted summary of your skills and experiences relevant to the application you are submitting whether that be a job/internship, a research opportunity, or a scholarship, whereas a CV is a complete list of ALL academic credentials and experiences.
To help you succeed on your job hunt, we explain exactly how to write a good resume following basic steps, and provide detailed examples along the way:
- Choose the best resume format
- List your contact information
- Write a winning resume introduction
- Highlight your relevant work experience
- Create a clear education section
- Add relevant skills for the job. Does your résumé address the requirements stated for the position?
- Tie in key certifications, awards, & honors
- Pick the ideal resume layout
- Write a matching cover letter
- Proofread your resume
Please, please, please keep your resume on one page! Choose a form/style that is aesthetically-pleasing to you, and easy to read. Play around with the placement and titles of each section. Utilize shading, spacing and underlining to draw the readers’ eyes to particular words, phrases and roles. The white space on your resume is as important as the content. While some fields tend to be flexible about resume formats from potential candidates, others remain quite traditional. Take note of your roles of interest, and do a bit of research to learn more about company culture. We strongly encourage you to preview the resume samples listed above for assistance, but there are many templates that are useful.
When selecting a resume font (and there should only be ONE), please keep in mind the industry(ies) that you’re applying to. Maintain consistent formatting throughout your resume. Make use of the list of action verbs available on our resume guide to put forth a detailed and concise description of your roles and activities. Prioritize, consolidate, and cut when necessary. After completion, proofread for spelling AND grammatical errors.
Last, but not least, have fun! There is no one way to create a resume, so feel free to explore formats, styles and fonts
What Employers Look for on Resumes
The attributes employers seek on students' resumes
|Attribute||Percent of Respondents|
|Ability to work in a team||81.0%|
|Communication skills (verbal)||73.2%|
|Communication skills (written)||72.7%|
|Strong work ethic||65.4%|
|Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)||57.6%|
|Strategic planning skills||28.3%|
|Fluency in a foreign language||3.4%|
Source: Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update, National Association of Colleges and Employers
Problem-Solving Skills Top Attributes Employers Seek on Resumes
|Attributes||% of Respondents Seeking for Class of 2022|
|Ability to work in a team||76.3%|
|Communication skills (written)||73.3%|
|Strong work ethic||71.0%|
|Communication skills (verbal)||58.8%|
|Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)||56.5%|
Source: Job Outlook 2022, National Association of Colleges and Employers
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that complements your resume. The cover letter gives you space to show the employer how your experiences and skills relate to the position you’re applying for. Customize your letter for the employer and position to stand out from the competition! While not always required, you can strengthen your application by writing a cover letter whenever you have the opportunity to submit one.