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1. There is no absolute right format. This is your personal work, so create a resume that represents you well and that
you like. However, be sure that you follow basic guidelines:
A. Make sure your resume says the most about you in the fewest number of words (one page is recommended for
Bachelor’s level students, 2 pages for graduate students…but there are some exceptions, e.g. more than ten
years of employment experience).
B. Be consistent with your format! Margins, bolding, capitalization, and style must be consistent as well as order
and style of information.
C. Proofread for typing and spelling accuracy.
2. Only items leading directly to setting up an interview should be included. Keep your resume specific to the job
you are applying for, even if that means having different resumes for different jobs. (E.g. one resume for research-
related positions and another for sales positions.) Salary requirements, supervisor’s names, abbreviations, clichés,
reasons for leaving jobs, personal opinions and personal information such as height, weight, age, marital status,
etc. should be excluded.
A. Required Categories: (Heading) Name, Address, Phone Number (Note: Be sure your phone number is
prominent. Employers who cannot find--or read--your telephone number will not call!),
Email Address; (Body) Education, Experience (Work and/or Activities).
B. Optional Categories: (Body) Objective, Relevant Coursework, Honors & Awards, Activities, Credentials,
Skills, Computer Skills, Publications or Presentations, Professional Affiliations, and
3. If you do include an objective, be sure that it shows your career goals. It must be narrow and specific and include
your strengths as they apply to the position. (E.g. To obtain a position as a Chemical Engineer at a growing
company where I can use my research abilities and excellent communication skills to create advanced products in
a team setting.)
4. Both the resume and cover letter should be examples of your best work! Maintain a positive tone by excluding
negative aspects of your experience.
5. Choose a conservative font such as Helvetica, Times, Courier, Geneva, New York, Palatino, or a sans serif font no
smaller than 10 and no larger than 14. Include as much “white space” as possible for easier scanning by the
6. Make your resume look professional. If you make a hard copy, use only a laser printer on good quality bond
paper. Use white, off white, or a light blue or gray, 8-1/2" X 11" bond paper. (Remember that your potential
employer may photocopy your resume, so be sure that the paper is not too dark or “blotchy” to photocopy well!).
7. Be specific with dates, job titles, employers, interests, and accomplishments. Be complete and descriptive without
being too long. Always be completely accurate and truthful!
8. Use what is called telegraphic style. Omit all personal pronouns (I, we, they, you, etc.) Use incomplete sentences
in list form (no paragraphs!) without punctuation.
9. Use results oriented, “action verbs” in describing your experience. Words such as administered, coordinated,
developed, created, implemented, managed, and prepared are keys in telling employers what you have
accomplished. Use past tense unless you are describing a job you are currently doing (in which case present tense
or past tense is acceptable). Career Services has additional recommendations for action verbs.
10. Do not staple, paper clip, fold, or put your resume in a folder. Use the larger 9" X 12" envelopes to mail and be
sure watermarks, if your paper has them, are right-side up.
For more information or assistance with a résumé or other job search question, please contact us at:
School of Chemical Sciences Career Counseling & Placement Services
105 Noyes Laboratory
217-333-1050 • [email protected]

Are you a serial idea–starting person? The goal is to be an idea–shipping person. | Seth Godin