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Career development resume guide

A resume is a personal marketing tool that provides an opportunity to highlight a person's knowledge, skills and accomplishments relevant to the job he or she is seeking. It is not a biography.

The Career Development staff will review a student's resume. To schedule an appointment, email or call 309-794-8612.

Resume basics

A resume may take hours to prepare. Students should give themselves time to write and re-write.

The resume should be customized for each position. Use key words from the job posting in the cover letter and resume so the reviewer can make a clear connection between the applicant and the job.

A one-page resume is preferred for most students. The resume does not have to list every position a student has ever held or every activity in which he or she has been involved. Only experience that is relevant to the position sought should be included.

Appearance matters. Make sure the resume is laid out well and keep the following in mind:

Set margins at 1/2 -1 inch

Use 8 1/2 x 11 inch white or off-white resume paper, printed on one side only

Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond, or Calibri fonts in size 10-14 points work best.

Whenever possible, submit the resume as a PDF document so that that formatting stays intact. Free online programs like CutePDF or PrimoPDF can turn documents into PDFs.

Students should write with action verbs, such as "created" or "delegated" rather than passive verbs like "took" or "had." For past experiences, use past tense verbs. For current activities, use present tense verbs.

Bold print, italics, bullets and indentations — used judiciously — help guide the reader's eye to the main points. Information should be isually appealing and easy to scan.

The resume should focus on collegiate experiences. High school experience should be included only if it is relevant to the position sought.

Edit and proofread, and ask a friend or colleague to proofread the resume, also.