Resume design

While there are several traditional ways to organize information and key components you must include, the design of a resume is flexible.  Regardless of format or style, the resume should be only one page in length for current students and recent graduates. (People with advanced degrees or substantial work experience may lengthen their resumes.)  To conform to a one page limit, you may adjust font styles, sizes and margins to accommodate your information, but be careful that the resume does not become too packed and cluttered.Things to include in a resume (in this order):


1.  Contact Information

  • Full name (as it appears on transcripts)

  • address

  • phone number

  • website (if applicable AND professional)

  • personal contact information should not be included on website version


2.  Education

  • List most recent education first

  • Degree (in full)

  • School, city, state of school

  • Date of graduation.  If you are still in school, state:  Pending, May, 2018.

  • If GPA is 3.5 or above, mention it.

  • You can list awards and honors here, or if there are many of them from other venues, these will be mentioned in a separate heading.


You do not need to mention high school, the exception might be if you were applying for a teaching position and attended high school in the same school district, and you wanted to convey your familiarity with the community.  OR, if it is an exceptionally prestigious padding.


3.  Related Experience

  • List most recent experience first.

  • This experience can be paid or unpaid, an internship or a substantial class project, volunteer positions, or positions held in clubs, etc.  Emphasize the skills used in these experiences that are most akin to the job you are seeking.

  • This can include Service Learning experiences, too.  Or, you can put this under its own header.


NOTE:  If you are still in school, or still in a job - use present tense (I develop ...) .  If the experience is in the past, use past tense (I developed ... )


If you do not have related experience, you should still list your employment background. This shows an employer that you have learned basic work ethics and skills such as taking responsibility, working cooperatively with co-workers, customer service, time management, or other characteristics that are important to any work environment. Think about skills you used that are transferable to a different work setting.  List the following:


  • The job title, name and location (city and state) of organization

  • Dates of employment (month / year) - displayed in a way that is easy to scan for gaps

  • Concise description of your accomplishments. Use phrases; not complete sentences.




9/2009 - 5/2011

Community Crisis Center Volunteer, Midland Shelterhouse, Spokane, WA.

— Distributed community resources for various citizen needs.

— Made referrals for mental health and social services issues.

— Scheduled other volunteers for telephone hotline shifts.




4.  Art Shows.


Small Works.  Long Beach Island. Found. of Arts & Sciences.  Juror:  Jeff Guido, Director, Clay Studio, Philadelphia.

Works on Paper.  Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth, TX.  Group show.

Saints, Goddesses, and Bodhisattvas.  Marnie Scheridan Gallery, Nashville, TN.  National juried exhibition of figurative art.


5.  Activities, Honors, Leadership (one, two or all words)

Your accomplishments and extracurricular activities tell an employer about your interests, motivations, and skills (e.g. organizational, leadership, interpersonal, etc.).  You may include scholarships, awards, recognition of academic achievement, etc.


6.  Skills

Most resumes can benefit from having a skills section. The heading might simply read "Skills," and include a list of various skills, including computer skills, laboratory skills, foreign language skills, writing skills, etc.  This is a good place to write down the art and technology skills you would be comfortable teaching:  watercolor, Adobe Suites, digital photography, raku pottery, etc.


Resume Language Tips:

  • Specific rather than general

  • Action-oriented

  • Fact-based (quantify or qualify – use numbers and dollars when appropriate)

  • Skill, not task based – i.e., not “answer phones” (task) but “provide customer information over telephone” (skill)

  • Articulate, not “flowery”

  • Value added – make sure each word counts!


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