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Career Center

Career Center
phone: 208-885-6121
fax: 208-885-2816
Idaho Commons, Room 334
875 Perimeter Dr. MS 2534
Moscow, ID 83844-2534


M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Drop-in Hours: M-F 11:30-1:00

Satellite Office at CBE -
ALB 013B: W 2:00 - 4:00

A Resume


A resume is a document used as a marketing tool to potential employers as part of the job application. It lists qualifications for specific targeted positions by concisely describing your skills, accomplishments, experiences, and education. Below you will find tips for writing and formatting resumes, as well as examples of resumes created for you by the University of Idaho Career Center. 

  • Writing and Formatting a Resume
    • The overall design of the resume is a personal choice, but should be neat, balanced and consistent on the page, easy to read, and logically organized. 
    • Typically, resumes are one page, but can be two. Check with any of our career advisors if you are not sure about length.
    • The categories of the resume (such as experience or education) should be listed in order of importance according to the position sought.
      • The specific experience under each category (such as specific jobs) should be listed in reverse chronological order—most recent first.
        • The details under each specific experience (such as skills gained or accomplishments achieved) should be listed starting with the most significant or relevant detail to the desired position.
    • Focus on describing accomplishments or skills developed, rather than merely listing duties. This will make you stand out from the crowd. Almost anyone can perform a duty, not everyone accomplishes or learns from an experience.
    • Use active verbs to begin the lines of the details under each specific experience to avoid sounding passive. It also is a good place to use key words from the job description to show your fit for the position. For a list of Action Verbs please download this PDF.
    • We find that employers tend to prefer bulleted, concise, relevant, and accurate descriptions for the details under each experience. A short line is easier for the employer to pick out the details they want to see.  Dense paragraphs are not preferred because good details often get lost in the middle.
    • Avoid the use of personal pronouns—especially “I.” It is your resume—so it is obviously about you. Plus, avoidance of personal pronouns puts more focus on the skills and experiences.
    • Margins should be consistent all the way around. One inch to approximately .5 inch margins are recommended.
    • The font should be size 10-12—headings can be larger. The font should also be in a conservative style, such as Ariel, Times New Roman, or Tahoma. 
    • Use graphics, bold, italics, and underlines judiciously. You do not want styling to distract from the content.
    • Proofread many times. Then let a couple of others, such as a Career Advisor and a professor in your field, proofread it. 
    • If you print it, use resume paper. If you send it electronically, save as a PDF in order to retain formatting.

  • Resumes May Include
    • Name, mailing address, phone number, email address, links to portfolios and/or Linkedin 
    • Education and training 
    • Work, internship, volunteerism, and other significant experiences
    • Skills such as technology, equipment, and foreign languages
    • Licenses, accreditations, and/or certifications 
    • Honors, awards, achievements, recognitions
    • Service activities, leadership, clubs, organizations

  • Resumes Do NOT Include
    • Personal data such as height, weight, age, marital status, race, ethnicity, religion, date of birth, or a photograph
    • Social Security number
    • Reasons for leaving a job
    • Salary (If requested, it is better to discuss in a cover letter)
    • Early childhood experiences
    • Weaknesses, demands, or exaggerations
    • Long paragraphs—use short statements or bulleted lists
    • Hobbies—unless pertinent to position sought
    • References are typically listed on a separate document and given only when requested

  • Resume Examples