University Union 133
Division of Student Affairs
A résumé is meant to market you to a potential employer by drawing attention to the
skills and accomplishments that the employer values. It is a critical piece in your job
search portfolio and deserves an investment of time. You must be willing to write
and edit until you have a well-organized document that emphasizes your most mar-
ketable qualifications relevant to the position you seek.
Studies show that employers initially spend less than thirty seconds reviewing your
résumé. In this short time you need to convey the information most critical to the
hiring organization. How do you do this? Where do you start? First of all, you need
to know what a résumé is and what it is designed to do. Make those thirty seconds
Be concise: Use phrases, not sentences, and carefully chosen words.
Think in terms of the reader: Gear your résumé to the skills, experiences
and qualities employers seek in a candidate.
Use a formal writing style: Use abbreviations only for states (NY), GPA,
and degrees (BA, BS, MA, PhD).
Make your résumé easy to read: Use an appealing layout and font (10-12 pt);
make important information easy to find; set margins between 0.5 and 1.0 inches.
Length: Begin with a “ master résumé” that captures all experiences, re-
gardless of length. When applying for positions, pull relevant information from
your master résumé into a 1-2 page document.
Final Draft: Proofread carefully and don’t rely on spell check alone! If you
are sending your résumé electronically, save it as a PDF to insure your format
is maintained when opened on a new computer and give your résumé a name
that will be recognizable to employers (i.e. Firstname.Lastname.doc)
Chronological: Most common and generally what is recommended for cur-
rent students and recent graduates; Present information in reverse-
chronological order (most recent first) within each category.
Functional: Emphasizes skills, qualifications and accomplishments rather
than position titles, employers and dates. Can be effective for career changers
or those with limited or erratic work histories.
Combination: Combines the functional and chronological styles. Experi-
ence is organized chronologically with duties and responsibilities presented
through skill clusters.
Curriculum Vitae (CV): Typically for academic or research positions. It is
usually longer than a résumé and includes comprehensive information related
to the field. More information can be obtained from the “Writing a Curriculum
Vitae” Quick Reference Guide on the Fleishman Center website.
CREATING A RÉSUMÉ: HOW TO BEGIN
Create a master list of all positions and activities in which you have been involved.
Review the list to identify those that relate most to the employer’s needs, either
through direct experience or through transferable skills. These are the positions on
which you will focus.
Next, choose appropriate categories. How you order and label the sections of your
résumé should be based on what aspects of your background are most relevant to
the position(s) you seek. Readers give the most attention to the top and left-hand
side of your résumé. Make sure information critical to them is placed appropriately.
Need Your Résumé Reviewed?
First, use this guide to create
and edit a first draft based on
what you’ve learned through
the information provided
Next, make use of the
Fleishman Center’s group
appointments for initial feed-
back on your document
Finally, visit the Fleishman
Center in UU 133 with a print-
ed copy of your document to
meet with a staff member dur-
ing Walk-in hours