September 17, 2021

Helping You Choose The Right Career!

Resume Writing Guidelines | Career Thoughts

3 min read

Resume Writing Guidelines

Your resume is a one-page advertisement about yourself.  Its long-range purpose is to get you a job, but its more immediate purpose is to get you an interview.  How well it is written and presented can be the factor which gets you the interview and perhaps the internship or job.

You can organize your resume in a number of different ways to make a different presentation about yourself.  You make choices according to what you need to emphasize or minimize.  There is no one right resume style; your resume should be designed to meet your individual needs.  Whatever style you choose, your goal is to send a clear and concise message about you!

Most employers are familiar with the chronological resume. It is the easiest to read since you list your education, experience and activities in reverse chronological order.  The target/functional resume places an emphasis on capabilities and skills, while also incorporating a chronological style.

Chronological Resume

Employers are generally most familiar with the chronological resume, and this will be the format that you should use of the time. Chronological resumes put a focus on the education and employment record of the individual.

Functional Resume

If you want to highlight your qualifications without focusing on dates, you probably want to use a functional resume.  Functional resumes are useful if you’ve taken significant time off during your career, or if you want to highlight your skills / abilities over your work history as you’re making a career change.

Keep in mind when writing a resume specifically for an internship or part-time job that you should not be concerned if your experiences are not related or professional. Employers are aware that you probably don’t have much, if any, career-related experience yet.  That is why you are applying for the internship or part-time job. However, any experience that shows you do have basic work skills, can take initiative, are responsible and work well with other people will impress an employer.

Resume Checklist

  • Choose a style or format that best fits your qualifications.
  • Limit your resume to one page.
  • Make it visually pleasing (bullets, underline, bold, capitalize).
  • Use action words to describe duties.
  • Avoid writing in the first person (e.g. I or My)
  • Stress accomplishments.
  • Select best word processing available.
  • Proofread to eliminate all errors.
  • Use high quality printer and resume paper in a neutral color for copies.
  • Omit references supply when requested.
  • Always include a cover letter when mailing or faxing a resume.
  • Proofread again!


Beginning with your name, address, and telephone number, organize the information in a logical, easy-to-follow sequence.  Under education and work experience, your most recent degree or job should be listed first.


Limit your resume to one or two pages.  Most recent college graduates will be best served by a one page resume.


Readability, eye appeal, and a total positive impression should be your goals. General spacing and separation of the components of your resume will help you achieve this effect. Underline, capitalize, or bold key headings, job titles, etc.

Writing Style

Choose the style with which you are most comfortable.  Avoid wordiness; be succinct; regardless of the style, be clear. Excessive detail is unnecessary, especially in job descriptions. Use action words describe jobs, noting examples that follow. Where appropriate, include expressions that show the employer you know the field, e.g., specific nomenclature related to the job.

Making Duplicate Copies

Have your resume duplicated so that each copy looks as good as the original.

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