Resume Building Guidelines: Does Your Resume Get Noticed?

December 3, 2020

By Connie Harrington
Associate Director of Career Development and Employer Relations

Employers give resume about a six-second review.  Does your resume get you noticed? Are you getting calls from employers? If not, your resume may need improvement.

Your resume is a “working” document so it will change as you move through your career. You should be building on to it and revising it as you accomplish relevant tasks but reviewed at least once a year to keep it up-to-date.

Be sure your resume addresses the skills listed in the job post. This is important because online job boards use “Applicant Tracking Systems” (ATS) to scan for these words. If they are not in your resume you will not go forward in the screening process. Revise your resume for each position you are applying for to ensure the skills you have, match the job requirements, and do the same when you write your cover letter.

Tips to Get your Resume Noticed:

  • DO NOT USE A TEMPLATE. Although templates may look nice, they do not transition well into Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
  • The focal point of a resume is the top third so of the page, so the most relevant information should be there and typically falls in this order: Summary, Technical Skills, Education including Relevant Coursework (if applicable), Course Projects (if applicable), Internships (if applicable), Work Experience (listing relevant skills) and other related information such as Extracurricular Activities, Associations Honors/Awards, etc.
  • “Objective” statements are no longer necessary as they describe what type of work you are seeking from the company and since you are applying to specific positions and/or fields, they are obsolete.
  • A “Summary” statement, unlike the resume “Objective” statement, focus more on the company’s needs, not the needs of the job seeker. A resume highlights the job seeker’s skills and the proven ways in which they’ve used those skills to achieve results. “Summary” statements use work history to show the hiring manager why the job seeker is the best fit for the position.
  • The closer you match the position and show the employer how you would add value to the organization, the better your chances of job search success. Analyze the job posting to get more information. Try to match the skills you have to those listed in the job requirements.
  • Include your course work to show what you have learned. It will help with matching the job requirements particularly if you do not have any directly related work experience
  • You do not need to list high school on your resume since it is required to have to get your bachelor's. You can include honors and awards in a separate section at the bottom titled Honors/Awards
  • Add any internships and/or course projects that you had related to the positions you are seeking to tie in some directly related experience

Formatting “Rules”:

  • Are written in reverse chronological order: present or most recent experience listed first
  • Should be attractive and easy to read; no templates
  • 0.5” – 1.0” margins
  • Be concise—one page is typical for college students and recent graduates but it is okay to go onto a second page as long as the information is relevant to the position you are applying to
  • Single spaced; consistent use of bolding, underlining, italics, and font sizes
  • Be careful—no errors!
  • Do not fold, staple, or mutilate
  • References are expected to be given in a separate document so they do not need to be referenced or included on your resume.

Resumes are required for several Career Services and University-related activities/events so you should be proactive and prepare your resume in advance If you would like assistance and/or additional information please contact Career Services. Appointments can be made by email at, or through Symplicity at All meetings will be held via Zoom.