Published: July 21, 2020
Resume displayed on a computer

Resumes play a crucial role in selling yourself as a candidate. Recruiters and Hiring Committees are looking closely through your resume to determine how your qualifications align with those required by the position. CU Boulder’s team of recruiters has put together “Resume Dos and Don’ts” to consider when revising or creating your resume.


  • Take the time to step back and think about what you’ve done professionally and what you really want to do next. Make 2 columns on a piece of paper. In the first column, list out where you’ve been professionally; in the second column, list you where you’d like to go in your career. Use the first column as the core of what you call out in your resume; use the second column for search terms as you make your way across the job boards.
  • Read the job description and required qualifications carefully and be sure your resume reflects those requirements. This will help make the connection for the reviewer if you are applying transferable skills.
  • Make sure that if you choose to include a “Summary” and/or “Objective” section at the beginning, that it aligns specifically with the position that you’re applying for.
  • Go through the trouble of creating a professional email address for your job search. Your email address is part of your brand so try to use your first and last name. If you have a more common name, think about adding your profession or the position you are targeting at the end: or
  • Include the dates of employment on your work history/experience. More specifically, indicate mm/yy to mm/yy.
  • Make sure to be cognizant of the length of your resume. For early-career resumes, try to keep it to one page. For later-career, don’t be afraid to go to two pages, but try to keep it to that.


  • Feel obligated to include a “Summary” or “Objective” to open your resume. You can always put that context into your cover letter as a preface to your resume.
  • Use an unprofessional email address. Your email address should not be suggestive, inappropriate, flirtatious, silly, or funny but rather should be simple and professional.
  • List soft skills that use cliches (“results-driven,” “responsible for,” “team player,” or “hard worker” for example) to describe yourself. You will also want to try and avoid using terms like “assisted with.” Instead, identify clear action items you accomplished.
  • Separate out ‘career achievements’ from ‘work experience’ on your resume. Make sure that each achievement/accomplishment is listed under the position/company where it was achieved/accomplished!
  • Just note the company name. Include a 2 - 3 word summary of the company’s market niche or include the type and location of the business if it is not clear. Adding context around the size of the company is helpful as well.