A pair of green glasses upside down on a cover letter

Your resume is oftentimes your first impression. An employer will use your resume to consider whether to bring you in for an interview or not. This document is critical and could be your only chance to convince the employer you are qualified for the position you applied for. Employers often spend anywhere from six to 30 seconds scanning your resume, so building one that is a compelling depiction of your skills and experiences can help grab their attention. 

6 Quick Tips for Building the Perfect Resume

General Resume Templates

Evaluate your skills and interests

  • Start by thinking about your skills and experiences. Write down highlights from your education, coursework, jobs, internships, activities, honors, publications, language skills, study abroad experiences and community service. This should encompass the past three to five years. 
  • Create a rough draft of your resume.

Do some industry research

  • Visit job posting sites, like Handshake. Review job descriptions that are of interest to you and discover what qualifications you may need. 
  • Highlight keywords, phrases, industry buzzwords and acronyms tied to your field of interest. Your resume will get more traction if you utilize these words and phrases.
  • Compare your experiences to employer requirements and decide what to highlight on your resume. 

Compose your first draft

  • Decide on the structure of your resume. Place your experiences into appropriate section headings. Organize your resume so that the most recent/relevant information appears at the top of each section.
  • Be concise when writing about your qualifications. Your resume should not exceed one-page. 
  • Avoid using first-person pronouns (I, me, my) and remove articles (the, an, a).

Create multiple versions

  • Tailor your resume for various industries or positions you are interested in. After conducting your research, you may find that specific industries, or even employers, seek different qualifications. 

Edit, proofread and seek advice

  • Use the job description of the position you are applying for as a guide for how to tailor your resume.
  • Order your experiences and sections on your resume with the most relevant information first.
  • Typos and improper use of grammar are not well-received by employers. Proofread!
  • Use the free VMock online resume-review tool that leverages data-science, machine learning and natural language processing to provide personalized feedback on your resume based on criteria gathered from employers and global best practices.
  • Set up an appointment with a career development advisor to review your resume. We can work with you on effectively conveying the right skills, experiences or accomplishments.

Save in different formats

  • Make sure your resume looks good in various formats. Convert into both PDF and text versions.