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Pages from a resume, including work experience, contact and profile information


What is a Resume?

Your resume is the most important marketing tool in your job application process: it is the first impression recruiters have of you and the first step to get a job interview. It is also a high-level snapshot of your skills, experience, and accomplishments. It is your own story and how it matches the requirements of the job you are applying for.

What should your resume look like?

Employers take less than 20 seconds to review a resume: they want to quickly find out what your responsibilities and experiences helped you accomplish and what your value is to the organization.

Your resume should be easy to read and mention relevant information: use a good design, a simple layout and traditional fonts, use bullet points, be concise and specific, use keywords and action verbs, mention technical and transferable skills.

It should tell your story and be tailored to the position you are applying for, present information that adds value. Think of categorizing and prioritizing the information.

Most importantly, be honest and be YOU!

What should you include in your resume?

The usual sections include:

  • Personal information: your first name and last name, phone number and e-mail address where recruiters can reach you, and your LinkedIn URL if you have an account.
  • Summary and skills: write a few sentences highlighting your qualifications and experience, mention your skills (technical and transferable), and what you have to offer. This should match the requirements of the job description.
  • Education:
    • Your Education will come first if you are a recent graduate, but after your Professional Experience if you have more than 5 years of relevant experience.
    • List your degree first, followed by the name of the institution (and that for all your degrees).
    • Start with the degree you are currently pursuing, or the most recent one.
    • If you are a recent graduate (less than 5 years), you may mention the graduation year, your GPA if it is above 3.0/4.0, and academic awards (ex.: Dean’s list, Honor Society, etc.)
  • Professional experience: recruiters are looking for relevant information for the job you are applying for, not for a job description.
    • Use 3 to 5 bullet points to describe your duties for each position.
    • Use this formula to describe your duties and responsibilities: Action Verb + Skill + Task = Result
    • Use the Present Tense for current duties, and the Past Tense for past duties.
    • Limit your Professional Experience to 10 to 15 years maximum.
  • Memberships, affiliations and community involvement (if relevant).

Additional Resources:

Contact us if you need assistance building your resume.