Career Development

Tips for Maximizing Your Resumé

  • If in doubt, err on the side of formality.
  • Fonts should be no smaller than 10 points. Avoid wild fonts or multiple font styles. You might wish to use a different font for your name in the Contact Information section. Otherwise, stick to a single font, but use italics and bold variations consistently to emphasize certain information.
  • You may use color or the highlighting function selectively, but keep in mind the potential employer may not print out an electronic resume or may only print it in black-and-white.
  • Use abbreviations carefully.
    • For academic degrees (BS, MA, PhD).
    • For names of organizations only if they will be known by employers (APA, ACLJ, CCCU).  If in doubt, spell it out the first time, including the abbreviation in parentheses. Then you may abbreviate it in subsequent references.
  • Very simple graphic elements, such as rules/lines beneath each section heading, can add to the readability and overall visual impact of your resumé.
  • Your resumé should be perfect, including spacing, grammar and spelling.  PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD and PROOFREAD.
  • If you will be sending a copy of your resumé electronically, consider saving it as a PDF to ensure that it will open correctly.
  • If you are printing hard copies of your resumé, select high-quality paper in a neutral tone. Copies should be close to white but could be off-white. Avoid textured paper if it will interfere with the quality of printing. Also avoid paper with color variations that may not fax cleanly. If the paper has a watermark in it, make sure to print the resumé with the watermark right side up.

Tips for using your new resumé

  • Resumés are most effective when distributed to people you know who will pass them on to a decision-maker, if necessary.
  • If you provide an email address or cell phone number on your resumé, be sure to check those frequently, and respond promptly to everyone who contacts you.
  • If your contact information or employment status changes, be sure to notify everyone who is assisting you in your job search.

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