Resume Instructions

Employers view hundreds of resumes a week, quickly discerning pertinent information from a resume and often making an interview/no-interview decision in less than 30 seconds.  

Always keep the reader in mind.   The Professional resume allows you to present your experience in a format that is easy to read and commands attention from the reader.   Too often, job-seekers write their resumes as a list of tasks and responsibilities.   Remember, this is not a job description but rather your personal marketing document.   An effective resume helps the reader put your experience into context and highlights your accomplishments in the positions you’ve held. Make sure that after 30 seconds the reader has gotten to the bottom of the page and wants to learn more about you.

The Elements of the Professional resume:


Include your name, address, email address ( address is best), and telephone number.   The heading needs only 2 lines on your resume.


While an objective on a resume can be helpful to the reader, a poorly-written objective that is vague or non-specific is better left off the resume.   Your objective should convey specific information about what you’re seeking, such as:

  1. To obtain an internship in Fashion Design with an emphasis in knitwear
  2. To obtain a position in finance or financial services
  3. To obtain a position in laboratory research with an emphasis in Synthetic Chemistry.

Note:   Job seekers with significant years of experience approach this section by providing a summary of qualifications which describes skills and experience in relation to specific career interests.   The summary of qualifications is not an effective approach for entry-level positions.


List your education as it appears on the template, including Philadelphia University , your degree, your (anticipated) graduation date, your major and your minor concentration (if you have declared one) and your GPA. 

If you transferred from another college or university, list it below Philadelphia University (space permitting) following the same format.


An optional section of your resume, coursework should be included only if it enhances your candidacy or eligibility for positions and should be selective to the industry or position for which you’re applying.


You can separate your activities and awards under its own heading or incorporate them under your education.   It’s a personal decision usually based on the extent of your involvement.    Activities - list your community, school and service activities.   Awards - list honor societies, academic and scholarship awards (include those based on merit).


This section should highlight your work experiences including paid, unpaid, internship, co-op, volunteer, summer work.   Bullets should be written to highlight your accomplishments, quantifying and qualifying accomplishments where appropriate.


List computer languages and programs and any technical skills not listed elsewhere on the resume.

Writing Effective Bullet Points

Bullet 1:   Remember to keep your reader in mind.   Place your job in context with regard to one or more (not all) of the following:  

•  Do you need to describe the industry, or is it obvious? 
•  Do sales revenues give the reader an idea of your work, or do the number of customers served daily give a better picture? 
•  Would the reader automatically know what industry you work in by merely reading the name of your company?   You may need to inform/assist the reader. 
•  What is the product or service?   Small, medium or large law firm?   How many seats are in the restaurant?   How many servers? Is it fine dining, a bar, family style? 
•  How many hotel rooms?   4 star?   Commercial or residential mortgages?

Example:   Receptionist position:

•  Handle incoming phone calls and schedule appointment  becomes 
•  Coordinate office and technical support for small paper company specializing in invitations, stationary, and specialty printing.     

Bullet 2:   Describe significant milestones, promotions, etc.


Example :   “started as server:   promoted to hostess/trainer.”

            What if there have been no promotions?   Discuss additional options.   There are several ways to place job progress in context.   For example, do you interface with high level executives, high volume retail customers, special attention clients, vendors?

Bullet 3:   Demonstrate how you add(ed) value as an individual contributor.

Example:   Introduced improved internal inventory tracking system, converting from paper process to the utilization of tracking software; trained staff in use.

            Are you the one they always count on when others routinely call out sick?   Does your employer rely on and trust you to do inventory control and log in merchandise?   Are you the one who always fixes the cash register?   Can you calm down an irate customer?  



Resume Do’s and Don’ts


  • Limit your resume to one page
  • Use a one-inch margin on all sides
  • Avoid abbreviations
  • Quantify accomplishments wherever possible
  • Place all dates on the right side of the resume
  • Maintain consistent font style, spacing, indentation, capitalization and bullet style
  • Use a font size that is easy to read – 11 or 12 pt. is recommended
  • List experience in reverse chronological order
  • Use phrases that start with ACTION VERBS
  • Maintain consistency with verb tense with phrases in the experience section


  • Use meaningless words or phrases such as “seeking a challenging position”
  • Start phrases in the experience section with “responsible for” or “my responsibilities included”
  • Begin phrases with “I” or use complete sentences
  • Exaggerate your experience or your GPA
  • Use a font smaller than 11 pt.
  • Include any demographic information (age, race, gender) or photographs on your resume


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