Resume Basics

Resume Basics | What to Include and What to Avoid | Formatting


  • Ensure your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER are clearly listed at the top of the page.
  • Stick to ONE PAGE, especially for an entry-level resume.
    • If your resume does go to two pages, it should fill at least half of the second page and include relevant information. 
  • Resumes should always be formatted with the MOST RECENT INFORMATION FIRST.
    • Use past tense for positions that you no longer hold and current tense for positions you still hold.
  • List your EDUCATION AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR RESUME, unless you are an alumna with at least one professional job.
    • Be sure to include your degree, MAJOR and EXPECTED GRADUATION DATE. Be sure you know which degree you will receive (such as BA or BS).
    • OMIT your HIGH SCHOOL education.
    • Include ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE information. If you transferred from another school without earning a degree, you do not need to list that information.
    • LIST your GPA if it is a 3.0 OR BETTER.
  • Be extremely selective when including information such as hobbies and experiences from high school.
    • Include them only if you have won awards, achieved a significant milestone or demonstrated leadership through these activities.
    • Examples that you can include: achieving Eagle Scout, becoming a black belt or serving as captain of the softball team. 
    • If your hobby/interests relate to the job, then include them. For example, you are applying to work at MTV and you play in a band.
  • Submit or email your resume as a PDF file that includes your full first and last name in the file name, such as: Nick.Foles.Resume.pdf 


  • AVOID USING A VAGUE OR GENERIC OBJECTIVE, or one that states the obvious, such as:
    • Use my skills and experience to improve your company.
    • Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth.
    • To obtain a marketing internship at Subaru.
  • Use an EMAIL ADDRESS that is PROFESSIONAL and one that you check regularly. Ideally, your email address should include your first and last name.
  • HIGHLIGHT ACCOMPLISHMENTS instead of duties.
    • Avoid using phrases like “Responsible for” and “Duties included.”
    • OMIT PERSONAL PRONOUNS like I, me and my. 
  • Include the CITY and STATE (or country if not in the United States) with all schools and jobs.
  • DO NOT include the statement “References Available Upon Request.”
  • INCLUDE recent volunteer work, professional associations and awards/recognition.
  • For students originally from other countries, particularly if you have international work experience or education: If you are authorized to work permanently in the United States, consider adding the statement “Eligible to work permanently in the United States” or “Work Authorization: US Citizen” to your resume. 


  • CHECK FOR TYPOS! Also look for spelling and grammatical errors. 
  • Be sure your resume is EASY TO READ and that the most important information stands out.
  • Ensure CONSISTENT FORMATTING including font sizes, typefaces and punctuation.
  • Using multiple columns and images may make your resume difficult for job application software programs to read. 
  • CAUTION! Be careful using the templates you find online or in Word/Pages.
    • Be sure to consider if they are a good fit for your level of education and experience.
    • Templates from Microsoft Word are often difficult to edit and many are not designed for college students/recent graduates. 

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