Resume Tips

What’s the difference between a Resume and a CV?

These two documents differ in length, purpose, and what is included.

  • A Resume is a brief summary of one's education, skills, and experience.  It includes short descriptions of work experience and accomplishments and may include a brief statement of employment objective(s). Some specific examples that highlight relevant qualifications and bolster credibility may be included. References may also be included, if requested for a particular application. 
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a longer, more detailed compilation of one's educational and professional accomplishments.  In addition to a summary of education / academic background, it may include teaching experience, research pursuits, publications, presentations, awards, professional affiliations, and other accomplishments. Typically a CV exceeds two pages, and the CV of an accomplished professional may be many pages in length.

Formatting a Resume

  • Choose fonts that are easy to read and standard on most computers; 10 or 12 pt for the body text is most often recommended.  Sans-serif fonts (such as Arial, Calibri or Helvetica) may be preferred for headings, while serif fonts (such as Times New Roman, Trebuchet, and Century) may be preferred for body text.
  • Microsoft Office and other online resources have formats that can be downloaded and edited to build a resume. Make sure that the format you choose highlights your skills, is easy to read, and flows nicely.
  • Avoid the use of personal pronouns.
  • Make certain there are no spelling or grammar errors.  Have someone you trust proofread.


What Should be Included in the Resume?

  • A resume should have contact information, education information, work/skills information, and highlights of accomplishments. For some situations, it may be appropriate to include an Objective(s) section; if an Objective(s) section is included, be sure it is tailored to the position to which you are applying. Summaries should be brief. References may be included in the resume or may be requested separately as a Reference List.  Be sure to carefully follow any instructions given by the hiring institution.
  • List education, jobs, and experiences in reverse chronological order (most current to past). Be sure to give a small detailed description highlighting skills from each experience.
  • Use action verbs.
  • If struggling for content, check out Susan Adams of Forbes Magazine article here. In the article, Adams discusses ways to look at past job experiences and extracurricular activities in a new light and encourages highlighting skills in the position to tie into the position one is applying for. 

What Should NOT be Included?

  • Once the bachelor's degree has been attained, high school information should be omitted. Personal data beyond contact information (such as date of birth / age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, health information, etc.) should not be included. Photos are generally not recommended.  Salary history and unrelated work experience should also be omitted.