Writing a Resume

A guide to writing a resume that gets results.

Types of Resumes

Targeted Resume - Tailored to a specific job posting with a particular company. Successful to gain attention of employer.

A Targeted Resume typically includes an Objective, Related Experience (or coursework), and reduces "extra" content that may be less relevant to the job.
Sample Targeted Resume

Untargeted Resume - Used at Career Fairs to give unexpected employers of interest; used when a contact is networking
on your behalf; or used when you do not know what a job entails.

An untargeted resume does not include an Objective, does not label anything as "related," and may include a variety of experiences that are not necessarily connected.
Sample Untargeted Resume

Curriculum Vitae (CV) - Traditionally, in the U.S., a Curriculum Vitae is used to apply to grad school or employment within the field of higher education.

A CV does not include an Objective; typically is 2 or more pages; and expands on Educational experiences and Academic Achievements.
Sample CV
Download the Crafting Your CV Guide

In some countries, the terms "resume" and "C.V" are used interchangeably. When applying internationally, it may be helpful to reference GOINGLOBAL's database of country-specific resume samples. You can access GOINGLOBAL on the homepage of your R-CareerLink account. Learn more about GOINGLOBAL. 

Federal Resume - Typically requires more detailed information than a traditional (or private sector) resume.
Sample Federal Resume 1
Sample Federal Resume 2
Download the Federal Jobs Packet

Writing a Resume

Yes, YOU need a resume! Resumes are not just for graduating seniors. First-year students, sophomores and juniors need resumes to apply for part-time jobs, graduate school, scholarships and internships.

In some ways, writing your resume is a never-ending process. The following 4 tips will help you start building your resume:

1. Compile a Master Document

This document should be updated and reviewed periodically and is your personal history of previous work, volunteer, & internship experiences, as well as club involvement. It should include the following:

  • Names of companies/organizations you worked for
  • Position title
  • Dates you worked there (month and year)
  • Description of duties. 

2. Assess which type of resume will best suit your needs.

3. Do your research.

It is very important to research the company, industry, and/or profession you are hoping to enter. This will provide a more comprehensive view of what the employer is seeking in a candidate.
Learn More About Career Research

4. Know that the purpose of a resume is to land you an interview.

It does not need to become your autobiography (that's your Master Document). Be honest about your experience and level of ability. Ask yourself "what am I trying to convey to the employer" for each item you want to place on your resume.

Download our Resume Guide for Current Students/Recent Graduates
Download our Resume Guide for Professionals with More Experience 
Resume Samples

Resume Format & Style

Your guide to creating the best resume format and style.

Looks matter. While the content of your resume is, of course, extremely important, that content may never be read if the format and style of the resume is displeasing to the eye. A resume must be aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-read. Follow the advice below to ensure your resume is looking good.

Do Not Use Templates or "Resume Wizards"
Although it can be tempting to open a pre-formatted document and just quickly type in your information, the people who designed the templates were not necessarily experts in writing resumes. Usually these styles are not a good fit for a college graduate and they are nearly impossible to edit if you do wish to make a change.

Use Standard Font Styles and Sizes
Times New Roman and Arial are traditionally used fonts for resumes: Times New Roman for a printed resume, Arial if sent electronically. Try to stay away from Courier or other fonts that look like a typewriter. With the exception of your name, the entire resume should use the same style and size (10pt, 11pt or 12pt) font.

Emphasize Specific Information
Your resume will be easier to read and more exciting if you consistently emphasize specific information.
You can try Bold, Bottom Border, ALL CAPS, Italics, and • Bullets.
However, you will want to avoid using too many special tricks so that your resume becomes difficult to read.

Make Your Resume One Page
Resumes should be concise, well-organized and easy to navigate. Current business practices dictate that it is inappropriate for recent college graduates to submit a resume over one page.

Instead of stacking your street, city / state / ZIP and phone, put them on one or two lines that stretch across the page.

Sending Your Resume Electronically
Don't forget to save your resume as a PDF to preserve your formatting. Title it appropriately for each company you submit it to. You don’t want to email an attachment to SunTrust Bank named “Resume for Regions.

Printing Your Resume
Use white or ivory-colored resume paper. Never use regular copy/printer paper.

For more formatting tips, download our Resume Writing Guide.

Center for Career and Life Planning
Rollins College
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