Resume Tips

As you build your resume, here are some tips to keep in mind.

What NOT to Include

  • Personal details: U.S. resumes should not list your age, gender, religion, political affiliation, marital status or social security number. Only consider that information in a resume you are sending internationally.
  • Photos: While inclusion of a photo is the norm in certain international settings, it should not be used on a CV or resume intended for a U.S. audience.
  • Salary information: Don’t include salary expectations or salary history on the resume.
  • Hours for part-time work: If you worked part-time, it is not necessary to include the number of hours worked per week.
  • “References Available Upon Request.” This went out of fashion some time ago, and employers will ask for references if they want them.


  • Font: Use an easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Cambria, or Garamond.
  • Size: Stay between 10 pt. and 12 pt. Your name can be larger than 12 pt.
  • Margins: Ideal margins are .75” all around, and no smaller than 0.5”.

Electronic Submission

Many organizations scan resumes and maintain databases from which they screen applicants. Other firms use online databanks, which store scannable information about job seekers.

A different approach.

Electronic resume submissions will differ from traditional resumes. Because computers typically scan your resume in as an image, not as text, there are some guidelines you should follow:

  • Use white or light-colored 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper.
  • Be sure to print only on one side. Use a laser or high-quality Inkjet printer.
  • Left-justify the entire document.
  • Do not fold or staple the document.
  • Choose a standard 10 – 14 point font type. Use ample white space to separate sections of your resume.
  • Keep name, address and phone numbers on separate lines.
  • If you are a more experienced candidate, be sure that your name is at the top of the second page.
  • Don’t use italics, underlining boxes, shading, graphics, hollow bullets or other design features.
  • Avoid parentheses, brackets, horizontal or vertical lines — they will not scan properly.
  • You may use ALL CAPS or a boldface type to indicate section headings.

Know how you need to submit it.

If you are sending your resume electronically, you may need to send it in ASCII or “text with line breaks” format instead of regular/formatted text. However, more and more employers are accepting Word attachments. Send a cover letter if you are responding to an ad.


Use keywords, based on field research. These may include degrees, names of schools, licenses or certificates, honors/awards, abilities and training. Results and accomplishments may be more helpful than duties. Try to use industry-related terms. The more keywords that you match, the better your chances will be.

International Resumes

Resumes in different countries may call for a different format. In Sweden, for example, the resume includes a date of birth. A personal photograph paper-clipped to the right-hand corner is included in the German resume. It is important to be aware of these different practices when preparing a resume.