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Baseline Resumes

The next step in the process is creating your strongest baseline resume. If you are pursuing more than one basic type of job, for example sales OR marketing (they require very different skill sets) have a baseline resume for each job type. Later you will target your resume even further based upon the targeted organization’s specific needs that you have uncovered during your research and networking.

Format Options

There are several resources in the Career Center Library, including a resume tutorial. Resumes & Professional Letters Writing Brochure (Fall 2009) that should prove helpful in producing your baseline resumes.

  • Chronological Recommended for Recent Graduates, this format focuses on work history and experiences. List most relevant activities first, starting with the most recent. Remember to list internships and co-ops before part-time work, even if part-time work is more recent.  This format can also accentuate where you worked which could be as attractive as what you did.
  • Functional A functional resume focuses on skills developed through experiences. Typically, this format is recommended for Former Students with extensive full-time work experience.
  • Combination This format incorporates aspects of both the chronological and functional resumes. It allows you to provide descriptive information about your work history while highlighting specific skills.

Appearance Checklist

  • Spelling and grammatical errors provide the fastest route to the trash can for many otherwise powerful resumes. Have someone else proofread spelling and grammar for you. Do not rely on spell-check to correct errors! Spell-check will not differentiate between led and lead or between to, too, and two. The best rule of thumb is to read your resume backwards. That is when spelling and grammatical errors really stand out.
  • Make sure the resume is concise and easy to read.
  • Too much ink on a page may be an indicator that you have information that is not relevant to that specific employer. It can create resume noise that keeps the reader from seeing your obvious matches with their urgent hiring needs.
  • Use a consistent font throughout the resume. Fonts such as Times, Optima, Helvetica, Courier, and Arial are professional in appearance and easy to read. The text in the body of the resume should be 10-11 point. Headings can be 12 point, with your name between 14 and 16 point.
  • Use bold print to highlight each section or heading. However, avoid excessive use of underline, italics, bold, or graphics. This adds unneeded emphasis and may make the information difficult to read. Margins can be set at 1” on all sides. If you need space, reduce the top and bottom margins first. All margins should never be smaller than .7 or .8”.
  • Always use high quality paper.
  • Print the resume in black ink only and use a high quality text printer.
  • Limit resume to one page, if a Recent Graduate. Often a second page is essential for extensive work and relevant details for experienced Former Students. The most relevant experience must be on the first page to increase the likelihood that it will be seen.
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