A resume is a brief summary of your professional qualifications designed to get you an interview. At initial screening, employers may spend only 6 seconds reviewing your resume; therefore, the information must be conveyed in a clear, well‐organized style. It is imperative that your resume is flawless. Errors are the #1 reason resumes get removed from consideration. Also, 80 percent of a recruiter’s attention focuses on things you can’t change, including candidate name, employer name(s), job title(s), dates of employment, and schools attended. 

What does this mean?  

You should spend more time building your network through conducting career conversations than applying to jobs where you have no connections during your job/internship search. You DON’T need to agonize over your resume! “While you should expect to spend 100 hours on your job/internship search overall, you should strive to spend NO MORE THAN 3 hours working on your resume,” Steve Dalton – The Job Closer

Downloadable Sample Resumes

Note: A resume serves as a concise and informative document that outlines your skills, education, and professional experiences, usually limited to one page. On the other hand, a curriculum vitae (CV) has a slightly different purpose. CVs are commonly used in academic contexts and focus on providing a comprehensive overview of qualifications, particularly those pertinent to academia and research, such as publications, presentations, and references.

Advance to:

Create a Basic Resume

Before you start designing your resume, review your educational and professional history. Open a blank document on your computer and type up a list of everything you’ve done that might be useful to any employer, someday. This document will be your “running resume.” You may want to keep it for future applications.

Step 1: Create A Header

Every resume begins with personal contact information. The heading includes:

  • Your name (big and bold), Your phone number, Your email address, Your mailing address (optional), Your customized LinkedIn URL and/or website (optional). Some students also choose to include their pronouns in their headers.
  • Should you include a physical/mailing address?
    • If you are doing a local search, you may want to showcase your familiarity with the area.
    • If you are searching in a new geographic area, you may choose to leave your current address off, as it may be viewed as a relocation challenge.
    • Do not include a separate “campus” and “home” physical address
  • Do not label “phone” or “email address”, just list them


Joe Hornet

269-555-5555 ~ ~

Remember, an employer may contact you at any time!

  • Be sure to list a phone number where you can be reached and receive messages. Be sure to record an appropriate voicemail greeting.
  • Your email address should be as professional and simple as possible; your K email is a great option. While it is acceptable to use Gmail or other email addresses, usernames such as littleprincess49006 and soccerchamp2022 are not appropriate for a job search. Use an email account you check regularly. Log in and check for messages at least once per day during a job search.

Step 2: Add Your Education

As a student or recent grad, your most recent experience is your education. This is one reason why it is located near the top of the resume. If your experience has stronger relevance to the job, you can list experience before education; consult with a career advisor to plan an effective strategy.

  • Spell out Bachelor of Arts rather than B.A. Everyone from K is getting a Bachelor of Arts, no matter your major
  • Include major, minor, concentration, GPA (optional), study abroad/away, honor/awards, SIP, ICRP, etc.
    • Sometimes SIPs are simply included with their title in the Education section. Often they are instead listed in the Experience section, with descriptive bullet points.
  • Include year of graduation but not starting year
  • Learn more about including study abroad/away in your resume.

Step 3: Add Your Experience

Your experience section is the most important section to employers. This section may include: Full-time/Part-time/Seasonal Jobs, Internships, Work-study employment, and ANY other relevant experiences that relate to the job in which you are applying. This means that Volunteer opportunities, Student-organization involvement, athletics, research projects, etc. all can count as experience!

At a minimum, each listing contains the following:

  • Name of the company or organization
  • Location (City, State)
  • Title of the position you held (this can be Independent Researcher or Volunteer if you didn’t have an “official” title)
  • Dates of employment



Childcare Provider, Self-Employed, Kalamazoo, MI May 2021 – July 2022

  • Served as caregiver for children of various families, 3 through 10 years of age, approximately 15 hours per week
  • Organized daily activities for children and monitored safety at all times

Remember that experience does not have to be paid. For example, if you want to include your SIP in your Experience Section, you may give yourself the title Independent Researcher and then use the bullets to describe your SIP process/results/etc.

Step 4: (Optional) Add Activities/Community Involvement

Many students will create a separate resume section for their Activities or Community Involvement. This varies from student to student based on their individual experiences. This category allows you to highlight your role in campus organizations, civic engagement, community service projects, athletics, or club affiliations and to provide information that might help you demonstrate your qualifications to an employer. Note: You may include these in an Experience section, or in a separate section, but not both.

The title of this section will vary depending on the type of activities you choose to list. It may be called: Leadership Experience, Campus Involvement, Community Involvement or Volunteer Experience – or simply Leadership, Involvement, or Service.

Format your experiences in this section the same way that you format your other experiences.

Step 5: (Optional) Add Skills Section

This section highlights your technical skills, not your people skills. Soft skills (such as “team player” or “creative”) should be included in experience descriptions. Wou will list primarily Computer and Language skills. If the job you’re applying to asks for specific experience/skillsets, include as many of them that apply to you as possible.



Computer: Microsoft Word, Excel (Advanced); Canva Pro (Proficient); Python (Novice).
Language: Fluent in Spanish and English
Other: First Aid Certified (June 2025)

Step 6: (Optional) Add Additional Information (if applicable)

Some students may choose to include Certifications, Awards, or other topics in a separate section of their resumes. Alternatively, these may be incorporated within other sections, such as in an Education or Skills section.

Resume Formatting Tips

After you have your basic information on a resume, you may want to make a copy for editing for a specific application. Consider the following formatting tips:

  • Keep the finished product to one page. Keep a longer “running resume” on your computer/in the cloud for reference.
  • Keep margins .5 inch to 1 inch.
  • Use fonts that are easy to read.
  • Save your resume as a PDF so that all formatting remains regardless of who opens the document.
  • Keep formatting consistent throughout, including dates, hyphens, italics, punctuation.
  • Do not include an Objective statement. These are outdated and take up unecessary space on your resume.
  • Avoid Summary statements, which are typically unecessary for recent college graduates.
  • Avoid “references available upon request”. References may be requested, and if they are you can include them on a separate page.
  • Avoid columns, text boxes, or tables, which are hard for an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to read (and hard to edit!)

Writing Better Bullet Points

Bullet points provide an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and highlight your accomplishments. While you don’t have to improve all of your bullet points immediately, begin with bullet points that feature skills and accomplishments that set you apart or connect to specific jobs or industries to which you are applying. Strengthen your bullet points by following these steps.

Step 1: Begin bullet point with a STRONG ACTION VERB:

Check out: 185 Powerful Action Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome


Instead of saying

  • Responsible for tutoring elementary school children.


  • Designed and delivered math lessons for elementary school children.

Note: Don’t include personal pronouns (“I” created and led…) or articles (“the” math lessons). 

Step 2: Show your ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

These bullet points include what you specifically did, not what you were supposed to do in general. They include your projects and the key actions you took to complete them. Use CAR (Challenge Action Result) to build them:

  • Challenge: the problem you were trying to solve 
  • Action: what you did to tackle the problem 
  • Result: what happened as a result 

Check out: Resume Revamp: How to Turn Your Duties Into Accomplishments and use the CAR Matrix developed by author Steve Dalton to collect and organize your stories (for both your resume bullets and for interview prep).


Instead of saying

  • Designed and delivered math lessons for elementary school children.


  • Designed and delivered engaging math lessons for elementary school children to increase understanding of math concepts and test scores.

Step 3: Add the IMPACT of your work and QUANTIFY RESULTS:

The best resumes often have fewer but stronger bullet points featuring best or most relevant accomplishments, not all your projects, but rather your “greatest hits.” Check out: How to Quantify Your Resume Bullets (When You Don’t Work With Numbers).

  • Designed and delivered engaging math lessons to 23 elementary school children, contributing to increased participation in class and 20% increase in math test scores.

Still struggling to identify accomplishments and impact?

Use the LET’S TALK ABOUT sample resume action statements in the K Story Guides developed by K student focus groups. See:

Read through some Behavioral Based Interview Questions. Sometimes seeing these types of questions will remind you of your accomplishments.  

Consider breaking larger projects into smaller projects, as often projects have multiple phases (i.e. research, strategy, implementation) and each of these may include accomplishments to highlight. 

Think about your strengths (by taking the Clifton Strengthsfinder or other strengths assessment). What accomplishments are reflective of these strengths?  

Tailor Your Resume to Your Field of Interest or Application

Advice on resumes varies by industry and changes as fast as the job market is changing. Articles below offer up-to-date, wide-ranging, and sometimes-conflicting advice from industry professionals:

When to Break the “Rules”

Sometimes you’ll break the “rules” listed above. We base our advice on current standards, but we aren’t the resume police (there is no resume police). The most imporant rule is to not agonize for hours over making sure every other rule is followed. For example:

  • Maybe you are applying for a fellowship that asks for a 2-page resume. Maybe you’re applying to roles within public education where a multiple page resume is standard. It’s rare for a recent grad, but it happens.
  • Maybe you want to highlight your experience before your education and downplay that you just graduated (for a job that typically would go to a more experienced person).
  • Maybe you have an interesting/unique experience that isn’t “relevant” to the job you’re applying to. If it fits, and you want to include it, do so. You don’t know everything that this job will and won’t entail.

Need Help?

  1. Upload your resume into our ResumeAI platform within Big Interview. Log in with KNET credentials and click on Resumes at the top of the page.
  2. Visit the Career Studio for feedback.
  3. Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach via Handshake.