Resume Construction

Constructing a resume which best represents you involves much more than simply listing your experiences. You need to experiment with layout arrangement as well as description structure to find what is the most readable and most attractive appearance for you. This will probably mean doing at least two or three rough drafts before you are satisfied with the results.

Because of the importance of your resume to your job search, you should take your time and DO IT RIGHT! The resumes you send out should be of the highest professional quality. Sloppy, or hastily drawn-up resumes, will end up in the trash.


Keep your resume as brief as possible without leaving out anything you consider important. It should typically be one page, never more than two, unless you have a wealth of relevant experience. Employers skim resumes and may not get as far as a second page. The Center for Career and Vocation can help you determine the appropriate length for your experience. And, if you do need a second page, it should be a complete second page. For academic curriculum vitae, this may not apply. Talk to the Center for Career and Vocation about this.

Layout and structure are very important. The eye should be able to travel easily down the page (and use the same format throughout). Attractive arrangement of headings and spacing are important as well. Be consistent. Sentence structure should be choppy. Use sentence fragments, phrases and key words rather than complete sentences.

Avoid the use of personal pronouns and articles (a, an, the).Instead, begin sentences with action verbs, concrete nouns and positive modifiers.

Must be free of errors - spelling, grammatical, typographical. Get a free review in the Center for Career and Vocation.

Be concise. Edit and rewrite until it gives a tightly drawn summary of your strengths. Do not include salary requirements, reasons for leaving past jobs or information that will leave a negative impression.

Have a clear job objective in mind. While you may want to leave it rather broad for general use, don't make it so broad that it says nothing. Tailoring each resume for different types of positions really is your best option.

Your resume should be printed on quality resume paper if not sent through email. Conservative colors such as white, ivory and gray are most widely acceptable for resume reproduction.

There is no one "right" way to organize a resume. No matter how you do it, there is bound to be someone who doesn't like it or would suggest doing parts of it differently. You need to use these general guidelines and apply your own best judgment on what will reflect you the most positively.

Contact the CCV to make an appointment today if you have questions.