Resume formatting guidelines

The contents of the resume should be centered on the page, both horizontally and vertically.

Like items should line up with each other.

The following elements should be included:

  • Objective
  • Summary of Skills
  • Education
  • Work Experience (if any)
  • “References available upon request”

 The following elements are OPTIONAL, but the more information, the better:

  • Other Interests and Activities
  • Volunteer Experience (especially if you don’t have paid work experience)
  • Travel
  • Awards and Honors
  • Related Coursework (*under Education, if applicable)
  • Languages
  • Community Service
Your name should be highlighted in some form at the top of the page:  bold and a larger font are the best ways to achieve this result.

Your work and volunteer experiences should appear in descending order, from most recent to least.

ALWAYS include the location of your employment and school, usually to the far right of the line.

Consistency – be consistent in all things:  font size, bullet points, verb tense, amount of space between sections.

Verb tense – if you are currently doing something (work, volunteer, etc.), use the PRESENT tense; if you don’t have that job anymore, use the PAST tense.

For the resume, we suggest you use full year, i.e. 2008, or Summer, [comma optional] 2006, or September 2007-February 2008; numbers-only formatting (9/2007 or 9/07) may be acceptable as well.

Avoid abbreviations, symbols, and conventions; try NOT to use etc. or the / mark! – these indicate that you are either leaving out information or are too unconcerned to write “and” or “or.”

In terms of font, bold, italics, etc.:

  • Use them sparingly, otherwise the page looks cluttered
  • Suggest:  use bold for job titles, italics for employer
  • Be consistent in font size – stick with ONE as much as possible
  • Avoid too many Capitalizations

Saving space: go to FILE menu, from there to PAGE SETUP; make margins as small as you can.

Avoid e-mail user names that are obscure, or suggestive; DO consider creating a 2nd account with a more straightforward representation of your name. For example, use rather then