Resume and Cover Letter Format
- Your résumé should be kept to one page if possible. If you must go to two pages put your name and Page 2 on the top left hand side of the paper. Your name should be the first readable item on each page.
- Use 8 1/2x 11-inch paper. Center your résumé on the page from top to bottom. Top and side margins should be one inch.
- Your résumé is to be typed. Make it easy on the eyes. Some students use the services of a professional printer. The majority of students, however, type their résumé on a computer and save it on a computer disk so they can control expenses and update it periodically.
- Use the "Chronological" type of résumé unless you have significant permanent work or graduate school experience.
- We recommend the use of a laser printer. Photocopying your résumé is not advised. Use a font size of 10 to 12 points.
- Use popular, non-decorative typefaces.
- Good quality paper (cotton fiber bond paper) should be used.
- Avoid Italic text, script, underlined passage and open "bullets".
- White and ivory are the most widely accepted colors of résumé paper. Avoid staples and folds.
- Use large envelopes so you don't have to fold your résumé/ CL.
- Use words specific to your career field to maximize the number of matches between what the company is looking for and what you have to offer.
- Your résumé should be well organized, concise, professional in style and appearance, and easy to read. Make your words count. Avoid long paragraphs and superfluous details.
- You should stress accomplishments while being honest and accurate. Fraud is sufficient reason to be eliminated from consideration for a position.
- Spelling, grammatical, punctuation or typographical errors are inexcusable. Have several people proofread your résumé.
- Don't use words such as I, my, she, they, their, etc.
- You should use phrases instead of complete sentences.
- You may use some abbreviations on your résumé (Example: Inc., Co.). For the most part, however, they should be avoided. Do use abbreviates for State names.
- Do not include personal information that is not related to the position you are applying for (Example: race, age, sex, marital status, # of children, height, weight, health status).
- Use caution also when including information related to political and/or religious affiliations.
- Proofread carefully, using a dictionary, your board of advisors, and spell check.
- Save your résumé/ CL with your name, i.e.; johnsmithrésumé.doc or johnsmithcoverletter.doc
View sample résumés
- Your résumé should be accompanied by a cover letter when mailed to prospective employers.
- Type the cover letter on the same color and quality of paper that you used for your résumé.
- You should single space the letter and double space between the paragraphs.
- Your cover letter should be prepared individually for each employer. Ideally, you should research each employer and be able to note something unique about that organization or position.
- Personal characteristics such as reliable, dependable, strong work ethic can be included in the cover letter. You should, when possible, note evidence of these; i.e. examples.
- Maintain a professional style of writing. Avoid clichés. Again, grammatical, punctuation, typographical, and spelling errors are inexcusable. Keep the tone of the letter positive. Don't apologize for any deficiencies in your background. Focus on the positive.
View sample cover letters