WHAT IS IT?
The résumé is essentially a summary of your experiences and a reflection of how those experiences have tailored you to become the ideal candidate for a job. This guide will help you write and edit your résumé.
FORMATTING: KEY TIPS
• Make the résumé no longer than one page.
• Maintain margins at an even distance all around the page. A margin of 0.5 inches ("narrow" setting in Word) is ideal. The margins should not be less than 0.3 inches.
• Be consistent with font styles, sizes, spacing and alignment. Font sizes should be readable and no smaller than 10. Consistency is key! Typical resume fonts include: Calibri, Times New Roman, Georgia and MS Sans Serif.
• Be sure you're utilizing space effectively. Too much white space makes it appear as if you don't have much to offer.
Check the sample résumés in the office for formatting examples.
Download sample Microsoft Word letterheads here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please refer to this frequently asked questions document as well as the content below regarding resume structure to ensure you have a competitive resume.
Below, you will find information and tips on how to format each of the main sections found in a technical engineering résumé.
Here is a standard format that you can use on your résumé:
Binghamton University, State University of New York, Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Expected May 2014
Minor in Sustainability Engineering
Major GPA: 3.70/4.00, Cumulative GPA: 3.52/4.00
TIP! If you need another line on your résumé elsewhere and you can fit your minor on the same line as your degree, feel free to place them after your major and before your graduation date.
TIP! Place the higher GPA first on the line, but ensure that you specify which GPA it is. Round your GPA to the nearest hundredth and keep this rounding consistent for both GPA's. Always specify the maximum GPA possible, as some schools may use a scale higher than 4.00. If your Cumulative GPA and your Major GPA are approximately equal, just write your Cumulative GPA.
TIP! Awards and honors such as Dean's List or an honors program can be listed along with your education information. Keep your awards relevant and timely!
This section will give the recruiter a quick outline of both technical and professional
skills depending on what you want to emphasize and what matches the job description.
It compiles the applicable skills you have that will show how you will excel.
Example: C/C++, HTML, Creo CAD Software, VHDL, Verilog, Matlab, Soldering, Microsoft Excel, Six Sigma
This section will highlight your job, internship and laboratory experiences as well
as other activities you feel relate to the job in which you are applying. To effectively
communicate your experiences, you want your bullet points to encompass the three following
• WHAT: Start your bullet point with a strong action verb. Refer to the list of action verbs available on the website. Thesaurus.com is also your friend, and will help you avoid using the same action verb twice!
• HOW: What skills did you use? What tools did you use? After your action verb, elaborate on how you accomplished something. Transition words for the "how" aspect would include "by," "through," "utilizing," and more.
• RESULTS: What was the final outcome? Why did you do what you did, and what was the point? Discuss your goals and results to complete your statement. Transition words for the "results" aspect include "in order to," "resulting in," "achieving," accomplishing" and more.
TIP! You can separate your experiences into different sections such as "Leadership Experience" or "Research Experience." This will make your resume easier to read and will allow you to highlight specific skills.
TIP! Each experience should have at least two bullet points. If you cannot make two strong statements about it, then it appears you gained little to nothing from the experience. Do not indent bullets and use only one level of bullets. In other terms, your résumé should not look like an outline.
TIP! You don't always have to include the three aspects of a strong bullet point if it causes you to be too wordy. Keep it concise by emphasizing either the HOW or RESULTS.
TIP! List your experiences in reverse chronological order; however, relevance is a priority over timeline. If you have an experience that is more relevant to the position, consider creating a "Relevant Experience" section and highlight the experiences. Pay attention to tense. If the experience is ongoing, refer to it in the present tense. Otherwise, use past tense.
• Proofread your résumé! Get it critiqued by the Fleishman Center and ask friends,
family, relatives, professors, advisors, etc. to read it before you send it to an
employer. You may also have it reviewed by Watson Career and Alumni Connections for
further fine tuning.
• When sending your résumé via internet, it is best to save it as a PDF in order to retain your formatting.
• When submitting your résumé in person, it is best to print it on résumé paper, preferably with shades of off-white or beige.
• Know everything on your résumé, inside and out. You may be asked about anything on it, so be prepared to talk about every point on your résumé.