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RESUME WRITING TIPS FOR POSITIONS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR
(BUSINESS, CONSULTING, FINANCE, ENERGY, AND BANKING)
PURPOSE
A resume describes who you are, where you have been, and where you are headed. When composed thoughtfully and
with attention to detail, it becomes an effective marketing tool that presents you in the best possible light to potential
employers. The skills and qualities you include in your resume should demonstrate that you are an appropriate candidate
for a position and help you secure an interview.
The following guide provides information designed to help you construct an effective resume for the private sector,
including business, consulting, finance, energy, and banking positions. The style, format and content suggestions are
based on feedback from employers in those fields. At the end of the guide is a sample resume that illustrates the tips in
each category.
FORMAT
Page Size
Use only U.S. letter size (8.5x11).
Length
Keep your resume to one page unless you are applying to a senior level position, or you have 5+ years of full-time
experience in the field to which you are applying. When you apply to a specific job you may have to modify your
resume to meet the employer’s requirements.
Margins
Margins should be between .5 1 around the entire document. Be sure to maintain enough white space so that the
resume doesn’t look crowded, while including sufficient detail about your skills and achievements.
Line Spacing
Spacing between lines should be consistent throughout the document and look balanced.
Font
Use a simple font such as Times New Roman, and keep it consistent throughout the resume. Text should be between 10
and 12-point type, with the exception of your name, which might be slightly larger, and your contact information, which
might be slightly smaller than the rest of the document. Keep things simple; don’t overdo bold or italic type and avoid
using excessive indentations (bullets within bullets). All text should be left justified.
Page Header
This is where your name and contact information go and it is important that it is clear and easy to read. A common
format for the header is as follows: Name centered at the top of the page; on the line below, also centered, put a local
mailing address, followed by email and phone, each separated by a simple bullet or symbol. The whole header should be
in bold, followed by a single line that extends between the two side margins.
420 W. 118th Street, Room 420
New York, NY 10027
P: 212-854-4613 • F: 212-854-6190
www.sipa.columbia.edu/ocs
Resume Writing for Positions in Finance and Banking
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