Resume Writing

Building a Successful Resume

Refine Your Resume.

For many, a résumé is a necessary evil in the world of job hunting. Some love writing them, but for others, it’s a difficult and cumbersome task. Perhaps you’ve dusted off your résumé recently, perhaps not, but certainly at one point in your career, you relied on a well-written résumé to secure a job interview. Use the following resources to help equip your student with tools to develop a stand-out résumé that will get him or her to the top of the stack.

13 Resume Writing Tips

Making Your Resume Stand Out
  • Always be Honest and Ethical
    • Do not lie about your past experience or education. This includes leading someone to believe you received a degree when you may have only completed coursework.
    • Do not exaggerate your skill sets or your impact; give credit where credit is due.
  • Include your Contact Information at the Top
    • Clearly list your full name, address (spell out abbreviations), phone number (including area code), and email address at the top of your résumé.
    • Make sure your email address is professional. (NOT “” )
    • Double check to make sure that all of your information is correct.
  • Forgo the Traditional 'Objective Statement'
    • Objectives are not only bland and can come across as self-absorbent, but they are also by and large obsolete. Forgo the traditional ‘Objective Statement” and instead include a ‘Summary of Qualifications.” Examples of poignant statements include:
      • “Consistently delivers quality work on-time and under budget.”
      • “Active listener that seeks to understand the greater system of operations.”
  • Put Most Important Things First
    • Did you just graduate? Then most likely, your education will be the most important part of your qualifications. Prioritize it by putting it first (after your contact information and summary of qualifications).
    • Have you worked in your industry for several years and have a lot of experience? People who received their degree years ago will likely prioritize their professional experience over their education.
  • List Jobs in Chronological Order
    • More than likely, you will want to list your past jobs in order of most to least recent (unless you are writing a functional résumé, which is not structured by time but rather by skills and experience).
    • Avoid gaps in employment if possible, and be ready to explain why months or years passed in between jobs. Common reasons include: raising a family, school, unemployment, and travel.
  • Use Compelling Action Verbs
    • Begin every bullet statement with a compelling and strong action verb (this is known as parallel structure). In describing your current position, use present tense; for past positions, use past tense. Examples include:
      • “Develop and execute innovative training program for new sales employees.” (present)
      • “Collected and interpreted survey data regarding customer satisfaction.” (past)
    •  For a full list of action verbs by skill or industry, download our excel file:
    • For even more verb ideas, visit:
  • Integrate Job Keywords
    • With many large corporations, a computer, rather than a human being, will weed through résumés by scanning for keywords related to the education or experience required. In customizing your résumé, read through the job posting, circle what you to believe are key competencies or skill sets required, and integrate those keywords into your résumé and cover letter. These keywords are normally nouns. Be sure not to plagiarize or be overly obvious, which can come off as disingenuous.
    • For a helpful article, visit:
  • Show off your Accomplishments
    • Focus on accomplishments and outcomes in addition to your responsibilities. Potential employers are interested in how well you reached goals, increased efficiency, and delivered beyond expectations.
    • When applicable and available, include numerical evidence of your accomplishment. For example, “Increased sales by 12% in the first quarter by acquiring three new clients.”
    • Include awards, honors, and promotions.
  • Keep it Brief and Concise
    • How much experience do you have? Most college graduates will only have enough professional experience to warrant a one-page résumé. However, if you have enough relevant experience including internships, apprenticeships, volunteer positions, and career positions, a two-page résumé is acceptable. Beyond that, you are more than likely a high-level executive (hopefully, someday!).
    • Revise bullet statements to make sure they are clear, concise, and emphasize one major point.
  • Avoid Simple Mistakes
    • Omit jargon and slang.
    • Don’t include your age, photo, or ethnicity.
    • Don’t write in the first person; delete pronouns.
    • Exclude hobbies unless they are extremely relevant to the position for which you’ve applied.
    • Spell out abbreviations the first time and put the abbreviation in parenthesis after. For instance, say “University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS)” for the first occurrence, then just UCCS for every subsequent occurrence.
  • Don't Include References
    • Because it is standard practice to ask for references once you’ve reached a certain point in the interview process, it is not necessary to put “references available upon request” on your résumé.
    • Have three or four references on standby when you are actively applying for jobs. Ask them if they would be willing to act as a professional reference and make sure to have their correct contact information. Notify them when a particular employer has requested their information so they can expect to receive a phone call or email. Consider asking them to write you a letter of recommendation.
    • Appropriate references include current or former employers, supervisors, professors or teachers, clients, coaches, advisors, mentors, or volunteer leaders. Friends, family members, and acquaintances do not qualify as appropriate references (unless they are providing a character reference).
  • Shoot For Good Design
    • Use only one or two complementary fonts. Make headers stand out by bolding, italicizing, writing in caps, or making slightly larger than copy text. Avoid underlining.
    • Group like elements, and utilize white space to make your résumé easily readable and uncluttered
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
    • Ask one or two other people who are detailed-oriented to scan your résumé for spelling and grammatical errors in addition to re-reading it yourself at least three times. It’s easy to miss mistakes after staring at something for a long time. One careless mistake can make you look sloppy and unprofessional, or worse, it can even take you out of the running completely!
Different Resume Formats
Chronological Format
Functional Skills/Format
Combination Format
Curriculum Vitae (CV) Format

Writing A Summary Statement

Summary Statement

A powerful and poignant way to communicate your skills to your future employer. A summary statement is a branding of who you are, and selling yourself as a professional. The link bellow will give you a good idea on what a summary statement looks like and how to write one!

Summary Statements  

Writing A Cover Letter

Cover Letters

Cover Letters allow you to create connections between job requirements and your qualifications to outshine the competition.

Writing a cover letter sample 

Submitting Your Resume and Tracking

The Final Step! 

Before you apply, scan the job posting to make sure that you’ve included appropriate keywords and phrases in your résumé. Once you send your resume out, it is estimated that somewhere between 60-75% of medium to large companies  employ an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) in managing and screening applications. To learn more about this system, click the link bellow! 

Submitting / ATS 

Resume Building Questionnaire

Building Your Perfect Resume.

The best way to build your resume is to use certain tools to make sure you're making yourself profitable to other companies. The link bellow will allow you to get a good idea on how to build a resume, what words to use, and a sample of an appropriate resume!

Resume Building