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Whether you’re applying for an on-campus job, leadership position for a campus organization, or a summer internship, a resume is important because it reflects who you are, what you are interested in, and what you have accomplished. The purpose of the resume is to convince the reader that you have the qualifications for the position you are applying for. If you’ve never written a resume before, it can be an intimidating process. Where do you begin? Here are some tips to present your best self on paper, so that you can work towards the job or leadership position you want!

In a resume, you want to outline your relevant experience, skills, education information, and more. Many studies have found that most resumes are only reviewed for 6 seconds, so professional word choice, formatting, and design are important. Here’s our advice on how to make your resume the best it can be.


Choose Words Wisely

People are attracted to language that is captivating. When creating a resume, it is crucial to select your words wisely. For example, instead of saying “I am a team-player,” you could say, “Effectively collaborated with team to produce a presentation on why our company should invest in the new firm.”


Focus on Formatting

Each resume has specific sections. You need contact information, education, extracurricular experience, previous work experience, and skills – but you are not limited to this. Depending on the job or position you are applying for, you may want to include community service, awards, etc. For some jobs or positions, you may be asked to include one or two references – people they can call to ask about you. See our examples to get a better understanding of what the sections should look like.


Tailor the Information

Your resume shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. By this, we mean that your resume should change a little for each job or position you’re applying for. For example, you wouldn’t want to list the same experience and skills on a resume for a job at the campus recreation center as you would on a resume for a leadership position in a campus organization like student government, because these two positions require different skill sets. For the campus recreation center job, you would want to list previous experience working related jobs, and skills such as “ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way” or “Volleyball, Cross Country”. For the student government position, you would want to list previous extracurricular experience in leadership roles, maybe in clubs in high school.

Tip: Look at the job or position description while you write your resume will to ensure you’re meeting all of the criteria and desired qualifications. Re-use some of their language into your own resume, and highlight experiences that are directly relevant to the responsibilities of the position.


Keep it Clean

A clean resume design will communicate a high level of professionalism. Stick to plain fonts in black ink for readability. You can use the resume templates provided by Microsoft Word, or our examples, to help you get started.


  • Your resume should change as your activities change. Periodically update your resume as you gain new awards, experiences, positions, and jobs.
  • Always be accurate and honest with your resume information.
  • Be careful of grammar mistakes, typos, and formatting inconsistencies. Have a parent, friend, academic advisor, or career counselor look over your resume.

For a step-by-step resume breakdown, visit

Below you can see examples of resumes for someone applying for a student government position and one for a job at a recreation center. Look at the sections, style, and descriptions. Also note how the two different resumes are tailored to a specific job and position.

Resume Example 1 & Resume Example 2