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Resume Basics: Home

So you need a resume. Maybe you want to look for your first internship, or a job or scholarship has asked you to provide one. Start here!

Getting Started

The first step is to make a list of:

  • Every position of responsibility or job you have ever had, on or off-campus, paid or unpaid
  • What you learned from each one in 5 words or less - think specifically 
  • What you did well to fulfill the responsibilities of the position

Next: Follow a standard resume format. Key elements of a basic resume:

  • Your contact information (top of the page, centered)
  • Optional: objective *or* key skills
  • Experience (paid or unpaid work, campus activities, etc.)
  • Education (in reverse chronological order)
  • References with contact information

Remember:

  • You are writing for a very specific audience.
  • Be succinct.
  • Proofread, proofread, then have someone else proofread. There can be no errors on the page.
  • Everything on one page!
  • Save as a PDF to avoid formatting or access issues for your reader.

Writing Tips

Formatting and writing tips:

  • Use these action words and consistent tense.
  • Do not exaggerate; plain, clear language about your skills and experience is more trustworthy.
  • Use consistent font, headings, and text sizes. Use bold or italics for special emphasis but don’t overdo it.
  • Strive for readability, not length. Shorter can be better.
  • Use technical language if it is appropriate to the field you are pursuing.
  • Be clear about your objective if you have one, but keep it short.
  • See Further Resources below for links to classic formats and stick to them. 

Resume Tips

Further Resources

LinkedIn

  • Start a LinkedIn profile now to connect with your Kent friends and classmates and other contacts.
  • Use a mostly serious, but friendly looking profile picture with a plain background.
  • Follow hashtags related to your field(s) of interest and skills. Be sure to join the Kent School Alumni Association group!
  • Update whenever you have new job or education-related information.
  • See this recent article with profile suggestions from the Harvard Business School.

Helpful Ebooks in the Collection

Knock 'em Dead Resumes

Knock em Dead Resumes--A killer resume gets more job interviews. 11th edition of the best-selling resume book ever. Step-by-step guide for how write a resume that really works, with 100 plus examples. Includes how to build a resilient brand; how to understand what the customer really wants; how to build a resume that really works.

The Elements of Résumé Style

In The Elements of Résumé Style, Bennett shows readers how to craft clear, compelling, targeted résumés and cover letters that actually work. In this new edition that includes social media and online-application tips, readers will be provided:* More than 1,400 action words, statements, and position descriptions that help sell your skills and experience* Hundreds of words, phrases, and vague claims to avoid* Advice for handling employment gaps, job-hopping, and requests for salary history and requirements* Sample résumés, response letter, inquiry letter, informational interview request letter, references, and more*