A resume is a snapshot of your professional experiences and skills. It will evolve over time as you change or focus your career goals and as you gain more experience. Read over this resume checklist for a comprehensive look at how to make your own resume as compelling as possible. 

The average recruiter or hiring manager spends 6 seconds reviewing a resume. The top 6 factors in determining whether your resume moves to the next step in the process are:

  • Formatting – is it well organized and easy to follow?
  • Appropriateness for Role – does it convey relevancy to the job description and requirements?
  • Evidence of Impact – did you present relevant skills with accomplishments aligning to the role; what involvement did you have outside of class in college?
  • Job History – where are you in your career and does it align with the position?
  • Content – does the content relate to the job and does it communicate impact?
  • Complimentary Online Presence – is your LinkedIn profile engaging and consistent with your resume; have you shared additional content to demonstrate your abilities?

Source: Glassdoor, August 2, 2017 “This is Exactly What Hiring Managers and Recruiters Look for When Scanning Resumes”

Here are some sample resumes to help you write your own:

Here are some additional useful resources:

  • Action Words - A list of verbs categorized by skill, to be used on a resume. 
  • Skills by Category - How do you express your skills in my resume? Organized by skill set
  • Resume Checklist - Provides a brief outline for the construction and content of a resume
  • The Reference Page - Need to provide a list of references? This PDF gives a brief guide on creating one.
  • SEC Resource Library (Books) - We have a great library of resources for job search and resume development in Reid 219.

Cover Letters

A cover letter often serves multiple purposes, mainly to tell your professional story and provide a more detailed explanation of your skills and experiences. Try to create a cover letter that is both informative and interesting to the reader. Do not send one generic cover letter to multiple employers. If you want to catch their attention, you must tailor the letter to each individual organization.

Additionally, your cover letter demonstrates your writing skills. Make sure that your cover letter is grammatically sound and free of spelling mistakes.

Here are some resources to help you write a cover letter:

Curriculum Vitae

View an example of a Whitman student CV.  

Also called a CV or vita, in the United States the curriculum vitae is used almost exclusively for academic professions and applying to graduate school.  

"The most noticeable difference between CVs and most resumes is the length. Entry-level resumes are usually limited to a page. CVs, however, often run to three or more pages. (However... you should try to present your information concisely.)... While the goal of a resume is to establish a professional identity, the goal of a CV is to create a scholarly one. Thus your CV will need to reflect your abilities as a teacher, researcher, and publishing scholar within your discipline."

-Source: Purdue OWL (10.28.2010)

Language Skills

Do you have language skills that you want to include on your resume or CV? View the Interagency Language Roundtable webpage to assess your level of proficiency on the scale used by government agencies, including the Peace Corps, the State Department, and many more.