How to Create a Resume: Part 1

Here’s a quick and simple guide to creating an effective resume that allows you to communicate your skills, contributions, and experiences to employers. Click here if you’d like to see a few examples before reading this guide.

1. Two Resume Types

Decide the resume style you prefer to use, based on the message you want to convey to employers:

  • Chronological – Highlights information starting with the most recent. This method is most commonly used among students and is recommended for your first resume.
  • Functional – Highlights information by placing them in skill categories (e.g. sales experience, design experience).
  • See some Chronological and Functional resumes →

2. Formatting Your Word Document

Keep the following rules of thumb in mind when preparing the resume:

  • Margins – Top: 0.8″ – 1″; Sides and Bottom: 0.5″ – 1″.
  • Font Size and Style – 10-12; simple, readable fonts (e.g., Calibri, Georgia, Arial, Cambria, Times New Roman.
  • Balance – Make sure there are no excessive white spaces on your resume.
  • Length – Undergraduate level – 1 page; Graduate and Ph.D. – 2 pages; Education, Nursing and Medicine can have more than one page.
  • Order – Heading, Objective (if needed), and Education are listed in that order, before any other sections.

3. How to Organize Content on Your Resume

  • The top two-thirds of your resume will contain the most important content on your resume.
  • The sections you feel an employer would want to see should go first (e.g. your Projects section may go before your Experiences section).


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