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The Focus Is You

The Resume

Formatting Suggestions

Sample Resumes

Basic Formatting Rules of Resume Writing

  • Use 8 ½" by 11" white or off-white paper, 20-pound bond or better
  • Watch overuse of the pronoun "I"
  • Make all headings uniform
  • Vary the font size between 10 and 12 points, except for your name, which may be in 18 to 24 point type
  • Don't make anything larger than your name
  • If the resume has two or more pages, include the heading on each page
  • Never use a staple or a paper clip
  • Don't get too cute with novelty graphics, gothic fonts, shadowed letters, or fancy borders
  • Prepare the resume using a word processor and print using a laser quality printer

Usual Headings

  • Personal Data (Name, Address, Phone, and Email) (NEVER include information concerning marital/family status, religion, nationality, height, weight, etc.)
  • Objective
  • Education
  • Experience
  • Activities/Honors
  • References

An Outstanding Resume

  • Sells yourself (Detail skills, talents, and abilities that are transferable to the workforce)
  • Brief and concise (A one-page resume works well for recent graduates)
  • Easy to read (list information/headings in descending order of importance)
  • No more than three to five headings (Education, Experience, Honors, Activities/Memberships, Skills, Languages, References, etc.)
  • Tasteful use of font sizes, italics, boldface print, underlining, and capital letters
  • Uniform margins, preferably no smaller than an .8 inch
  • A crisp, clean, professional look
  • Power words (see below)
  • No typos and no misspelled words
  • Tenses agree (mainly referring to job descriptors)

An Unacceptable Resume

  • Handwritten
  • Typos and misspelled words
  • Long sentences that ramble on and on
  • Lack of organization
  • Use of the pronoun "I"
  • A "crowded" look with little white space
  • Poor print quality
  • Handwritten corrections or information that has been crossed out
  • A worn appearance (bent corners, creases, smudges or stains)

Power Words
Words that bring a resume to life

Verbs

Achieved
Acquired
Acted
Addressed
Administered
Attained
Advised
Advocated
Applied
Assisted
Attained

Briefed
Brought
Budgeted
Built

Cared
Checked
Coached
Collaborated
Collected
Comforted
Communicated
Compared
Completed
Conducted
Coordinated
Counseled
Created

Delegated
Demonstrated
Developed
Directed
Designed
Displayed
Documented
Drafted
Drove

Edited
Enabled
Encouraged
Ensured
Established
Evaluated
Examined
Expedited

Facilitated
Formulated
Gained
Gathered
Gave
Generated
Guided

Handled
Helped

Identified
Illustrated
Implemented
Improved
Increased
Influenced
Initiated
Installed
Instituted
Instructed
Interacted
Interviewed
Introduced

Judged

Kept

Learned
Led
Logged

Made
Maintained
Managed
Mastered
Mentored
Met
Molded
Monitored

Negotiated

Observed
Obtained
Offered
Operated
Ordered
Organized
Oversaw

Participated
Perfected
Performed
Planned
Prioritized
Produces
Programmed
Promoted
Provided

Ran
Recorded
Recommended
Reported
Researched
Resolved
Revamped
Reviewed

Scheduled
Selected
Set goals
Shaped
Specialized
Strengthened
Studied
Succeeded
Supervised
Supported

Taught
Tested
Trained
Troubleshot

Updated
Utilized Won

Skill Words

Active
Adaptable
Adept

Broad-minded

Committed
Competent
Conscientious
Creative

Dedicated
Dependable
Determined
Diligent
Disciplined
Effective
Efficient
Energetic
Enthusiastic
Exceptional
Experienced

Fair
Familiar
Firm

Honest

Independent
Innovative
Instrumental

Keen

Logical
Loyal

Mature
Methodical

Objective
Open minded
Outgoing

Personable
Pleasant
Positive
Practical
Productive

Receptive
Reliable
Resourceful

Self-motivated
Sensitive
Sincere
Strong
Successful

Tactful

Well-organized

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The Focus Is You