Resumes & More

Get expert advice for writing your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), view samples and templates, and learn how to tell your unique story.

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A resume is a one- to two-page document that outlines your education, skills, accomplishments and experience. Its purpose is to help you capture the attention of an employer so you can get an interview.

What To Put On Your Resume

When seeking a job or internship, design your resume to highlight your most related experience and skills. Write about internship(s), related volunteer experiences; academic or individual projects depending on your field of study or career goals.

Here are some typical sections to include:

Objective (optional): An objective is used to explain why you are creating this resume and can be an opportunity to connect you to a specific job/internship, but they are not mandatory

Education: List your degrees, majors, minors, study abroad and/or any other relevant training/opportunities.

Experience: Any employment, internships, significant campus leadership offices, volunteer work and class/research projects.

  • Explain what were your key tasks and outcomes/results by using bullet points and action words.
  • Avoid passive phrasing such as “duties include,” “responsible for” or “project was completed by using.”
  • Quantify information by including numbers, percentages and dollar amounts.
  • Freshmen/sophomores: List high school experiences.

Skills: Use this section to highlight skills that are specifically related to the job/internship you are seeking.

Relevant Projects: Projects that you did in class that are related to your major/career interest.

  • Identify team/classroom/individual noteworthy academic projects.
  • Concisely demonstrate your skills and knowledge.
  • Integrate other skills when communicating specific accomplishments.
  • Include your individual contributions and outcomes. 

Involvement: List clubs, sports, leadership roles and/or volunteering that you've done. This is especially helpful when looking for internships or part-time job without having a lot of work experience. Include accomplishments using strong action words.

Achievements: Indicate noteworthy academic, athletic, community, club and employer recognition.

Note: If you are only listing 1-3 honors, consider incorporating into education section rather than creating separate section. 

Resume Formatting Checklist

Resume Length

The length may vary but a general rule is keep your resume between 1-2 pages, preferably 1 page if possible.

Margins

1-inch margins are best, but you can use .5 inches if you need room.

Text

Keep your text and bullet points aligned-left to keep your resume clean and easy to read.

Document Format

Save your resume as both a Word (.doc) document and as a PDF.

Font

Use an easy to read font like Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica or Times New Roman.

*Choose one font and stick with it.

Font Sizes

  • 14 to 16 for your name and bold text.
  • 11 to 12 for phone number, email and LinkedIn URL.
  • 10.5 to 12 for body text.

Online Tools & Resources

Coursera

Enroll in our How to Write a Resume course, an online course that guides you to create an eye-catching resume, letting your professional strengths shine.

*This course is free when you create an account using your @buffalo.edu email.

UB Career Connector Network

Have a UB alum who's an actual industry insider review and provide feedback about your resume during a resume critique consultation.

UB Career Connector Network is powered by Firsthand.

Tips From Recruiters

  • Customize your resume to each application.
  • Pick a format and stick to it. Use consistent spacing, font and format and save as a word document.
  • Try to avoid the use of first and third person pronouns, such as “I,” “he” or “she.” 
  • Spell out all acronyms the first time they are used, followed by the acronym in parentheses e.g., University at Buffalo (UB). 
  • Use a variety of "action words" to bring your skills and experiences to life and avoid using each word more than once. 
  • Use Keywords. Scan the job description, see what words are used most often and make sure you’ve included them in your bullet points.
  • Refrain from using slang or jargon.
  • Name Your File Smartly. Save it as “Jane Smith Resume” instead of “Resume.”
  • Proofread, Proofread, Proofread. Ask family or friends to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Get it reviewed by an expertHint: We are available during a drop-in hours, Monday through Friday.

What's Next

I'm Ready!

Have us review your resume during drop-in hours.

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