Not sure how to set up your resume and apply for jobs? Here's a great place to start.

Why Write a Resume?

Resumes are necessary if you want to get a job, internship, or apply for graduate school or scholarships. They can be challenging to write, but if you spend the time on it you'll find your resume will open doors for you. Your resume serves as an advertisement. It is used for the same purpose as television commercials and print ads: to sell a product. Only, in this case the product is you.

By giving an employer your resume, you are essentially trying to sell yourself to that employer and should therefore draw attention to your strengths and skills and highlight your relevant experiences as they relate to the position for which you are applying.  Not only is the content of your resume important, but the way in which you organize your resume is as well. A television commercial is typically 30-60 seconds in length, therefore a company needs to figure out a way in which to make consumers want to buy their product in a very short amount of time. The same is true for a resume. 

Because of the large number of resumes an employer may receive, they are typically not going to spend much more than 30-60 seconds reviewing your resume. For that reason, you need to make it as organized, concise, and easy to read as possible. Most college students should keep their resume to one page maximum when applying to an opportunity.

*However, it's always a good idea to keep a "master resume" which contains all of your experience, not just what fits onto one page. If you are just starting to draft a resume, don't worry as much about limiting it to one page since it's more important to first list all of your experience so you and a staff member can then go through and determine what items are most valuable for the position you are applying for. 

Resources to help you get started:

  • Resume Basics- understand why to write a resume and what should go in each section. 
  • Resume Starter- see how to begin listing your information to create a first draft. 
  • Sample Resumes - observe a few of the different formats to see which styles may suit your information best. 
  • Resume Action Verbs- avoid a stale-sounding resume by starting with stronger, more descriptive verbs in your bullet points. 

Whatever stage of writing you're in, whether it's brainstorming or final polishing, the Career Engagement Center can help. To set up an appointment fill our our online form here, or stop by the office on the middle level of the Thomas Commons. You can also always reach us by emailing

Other sites to consult about resumes:

Resumes for America

Other Resume Tips websites

Top 5 Resume Mistakes

Use Keywords to Get Eyes on Your Resume