At its core, a résumé is a marketing tool in which the content should be adapted to suit each individual job application or applications aimed at a particular industry. It is advisable to highlight only those experiences and qualifications that the applicant considers most relevant to the desired position, based on the position description and overall industry standards. Many résumés contain keywords or skills that potential employers are looking for via applicant tracking systems, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner. In other words—what makes the candidate the most qualified to perform the fundamental job requirements in an exceptional manner as compared to other candidates?
In most contexts, a résumé is typically limited to one or two pages (or up to three pages with a broader history in the field), using single-spacing and 10-12 size font, preferably sans-serif. The complexity or simplicity of various résumé formats tends to produce results varying from person to person, for the occupation, and to the industry. Résumés or CVs used by medical professionals, professors, researchers, artists and people in other specialized fields may be comparatively longer. Please see Program Specific Resources for more information regarding the variations by profession.
Although current technology allows for limitless opportunities to apply for positions virtually, the mass distribution of résumés to employers can often have a negative effect on the applicant’s chances of securing employment as the résumés tend not to be tailored for the specific positions the applicant is applying for. When it comes down to being selected for interview and eventual hire, traditional networking and relationship-building through “marketing” oneself is key.
- Sample Chronological Resume
- Sample Functional/Skill-Based Resume
- General Scientific Resume (industry)
- Resume Do’s and Dont’s