Your resume is a powerful marketing tool to land an interview. Employers typically scan a resume for 15-30 seconds, so craft a resume that is clear, concise, and demonstrates how you meet their needs.
Make a list of special qualities that set you apart from other applicants. Employers will be looking for examples of:
Think of specific examples of where and how each skill or attribute led to a tangible result or achievement. Include work experience, internships, volunteer activities, clubs and organizations, research projects, sports, etc. Consider the following as you get started. Have you:
Show measurable results to an employer. Quantifying and qualifying your accomplishments gives prospective employers a sense of how you went about an assignment or project and the bottom-line results of your performance. Numbers speak volumes to people who make hiring decisions. Qualifying your results is also important so prospective employers can see the impact of your services. Here are a few examples of how you can turn your bullet points into powerful statements that demonstrate your accomplishments.
Instead of: “Organized all sorority philanthropic events.”
Write this: “Organized all sorority philanthropic events which resulted in contributions of over $4000.”
Instead of: “Served food.”
Write this: “Developed tact and diplomacy when dealing with customers in a fast-paced environment”
Instead of: “Responsible for typing and filing.”
Write this: “Commended for efficiency and accuracy in completing office duties”
Writing a stand out resume requires the perfect combination of formatting and content. Make sure your resume is easy to read, understand, and digest.
Name & Contact
Margins & Spacing
Tables & Text Boxes
Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan resume submissions for keywords. Avoid tables, text boxes, and other complex formatting, as they may make it difficult for the ATS to scan your resume.
Length & Paper
Include only those categories that best represent your qualifications for the position. The order of your resume categories should be based on the needs of the position.
Honors & Awards
Do Not Include
There is a formula for creating detailed, compelling bullet points. The content of each bullet point should contain the following:
What did you do?: What were your duties, responsibilities, and/or projects?
How did you do it?: Specific tools, resources, or technology (transferable skills)
Elaborate with details: How often? How many? What was the purpose? Who else was involved? (Use numbers when possible.)
What were the results?: What did you accomplish or improve? Did you meet or exceed a goal? Did you create something new? (Use numbers when possible.)
Download the "Build Your Bullet Points" worksheet here.
A Curriculum Vitae (CV) may be requested in lieu of a resume, typically for academic, scholarly or research opportunities. For undergraduate students, the differences between a CV and a resume are limited.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
* Audience: Academics, researchers, or teachers
* Goal: To obtain an academic or research position, grant, or fellowship
* Structure & Format: Complete history of your academic credentials - research, teaching, awards, funding, service
* Focus: Your academic achievements and your scholarly potential
* Unnecessary Information: Activities not related to academic pursuits (ie., personal information, irrelevant work experience, hobbies, etc.)
* Length: Flexible
Your Skills + Their Need = Connection
Steps to Target Your Resume
To see a variety of sample resumes targeted to specific positions and industries, download Chapter 6 of the Career Guide at the bottom of this page.
A cover letter should communicate your strong interest in the company and your enthusiasm for the position or internship you’re applying for.
There are cover letter samples in Chapter 6 of the Career Guide and in Vault.
For more information on Resumes & Cover Letters, download Chapter 6 of the UCLA Career Guide.