A resume is a brief account of one’s experiences and qualifications for the purpose of securing an interview.
1. Focus – The resume should be able to stand alone without a cover letter. The reader should be able to immediately recognize the purpose of the resume.
2. Qualifications that match the job – Identify skills, core attributes, experiences, etc. that show your value to the reader – tell the employer what you can do for them.
3. Action Verb + Skill + Task =Result – Use this formula for writing bulleted phrases that define your work experience.
4. Balance – Document must look aesthetically appealing
- 1-2 pages, only if second page is full
- Recommended font Size: 10-12 pt.
- Recommended font Styles: Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial
- Must be scanned in 15 seconds or less
- Avoid using or purchasing templates – Why should I avoid using templates?
- References should appear on a separate page and should not be included in the resume
5. Error Free
Click here to check out the NDSU Career and Advising Center resume handout and rubrics for further information. Drop by the Career Studio in Ceres Hall 306 with further questions or to get your resume and curriculum vita reviewed! You can also submit your resume and cover letter for review by filling out our Resume & Cover Letter Review request form.
Resume vs. Curriculum Vita (CV)
- Demonstrates a candidate’s full professional work history and experiences, therefore has no page limit
- Is often required for higher education or research positions
- Is based off of credentials rather than competency
- Is a comprehensive biographical statement focusing on professional qualifications and activities
- May include publications and professional presentations
Do I need a resume if I put all of the information into the application? – A resume is necessary to include regardless of what other information you’ve provided in a previous application. The resume is often referenced during an interview because of how easy it is to scan and assess a candidate’s experiences. Skipping a resume or application demonstrates to an employer lack of interest in the position at hand.
If I have a resume, do I need a cover letter? – Typically cover letters are required alongside a resume, but if it is optional, it is recommended to include. A cover letter goes into more depth than a resume about your abilities and passion for a position. It is an additional way to prove yourself to the employer, demonstrate professional writing ability, and earn the interview.
Can I make one resume and use it for all the positions I’m applying for? – Although it is time consuming sometimes, it is worth tailoring every document to the position description in order to show what relevant skills you can bring to the table. Even if the positions you are applying to are similar, you will still want to be sure to highlight different skill sets and experiences based on the place of employment as well.
I have a lot of experiences. How do I limit my resume to two pages? – A resume is a condensed version of your experiences, and therefore doesn’t need to be an exhaustive list of everything you have ever done. You can pick and choose your most relevant experiences and highlight those in your resume. If you would like some assistance, come by the Career Studio in Ceres Hall 306 to have the document reviewed by a trained Career and Advising Center staff member.
Do I need an objective? – Objectives are optional. An objective typically appears at the very top of your document to indicate the specific position and employer that you are applying with. Objectives can be very useful if you are attending a Career Expo or another event when recruiters might be seeking to fill multiple types of positions.