Resume Approval Checklist

Your resume can make the critical difference in whether you’re offered an interview. Before you upload your resume to send to employers or submit for on-campus interviews, follow the checklist below and see our Resume Guide.

These are the criteria CDC advisors will use to determine whether or not your resume is approved.

Content

  1. Error-free. Proofread your resume several times for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors (these small errors can really hurt you.)  Ask others to do the same for you, and don’t rely on spell check.
  2. Geared to field of interest and job description. Appropriate keywords, headings, and details.
  3. GPA included for finance and consulting firms. Cumulative or major, whichever is higher, or both.
  4. Accurate and honest in describing experience. Never embellish or misrepresent.
  5. Action verb phrases used consistently. Instead of “Responsibilities included proofreading and editing ad copy,” say “Proofread and edited ad copy.”  See the Resume Guide for list of action verbs.
  6. Concise. Think in phrases instead of sentences and choose your words carefully.
  7. Accomplishment and skill-oriented with numbers and details as appropriate. Instead of “Worked with budget” say “Managed $1000 budget.”
  8. Consistent throughout regarding dates, punctuation, spacing, language style, and order of information.  Common pitfall: switching between 2009 and ’09 notation.

Format

  1. One page long. Focus on the most relevant and/or transferable skills and experiences.  Frances Perkins students changing careers and students applying for international positions or graduate school requiring a c.v. may be exceptions to this rule.
  2. No confusing abbreviations or acronyms. Instead of “WCL” say “Weissman Center for Leadership.” 
  3. Font style and size easy to read. Familiar fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond, and Helvetica in 10-12 point size suggested.
  4. Margins and balance content on page. No smaller than .5 (.7 to 1.25 preferred.) inches.  Utilize the whole page with your text instead of having most of the text on the left side of the page.
  5. Consistent format.  Same kind of information in same place and order throughout resume, use “tabs” to align text (not the space bar).
  6. Visual elements draw reader’s attention to important information. Such as: 
    • Bullets: action phrases  
    • Bold: name, headings, titles, organizations, schools 
    • CAPS: name and headings  Italics: subheadings and/or titles 
    • Underlining: adds emphasis