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Preparing Your Resume

person holding a resume at a job interview

A resume serves as a concise overview of your professional background, encompassing your work experience, educational history, and achievements, crafted specifically for job applications. The key to an effective resume lies in its ability to present information clearly in an easily readable format, allowing your prospective employer to quickly grasp your strengths. Beyond its content, the overall appearance of your resume conveys a sense of pride in your identity and accomplishments, subtly communicating, "I am proud of who I am and what I have achieved."

How To Develop Winning Resume

Unless you have more than 10 years of experience, your resume should be no longer than one page. Use a simple layout.

Know what you want.

Compose a clearly stated job objective. State what you want to do, for whom, where, and at what level of responsibility.


Stand out from the crowd.

Instead of just listing your job skills, describe the benefits and results of your performance. For each permanent job or staffing assignment, develop a list of major accomplishments, placing the most emphasis on your recent achievements. What problems or challenges have you faced? What actions did you take to overcome them? How did your actions benefit the company? Keep in mind that most companies value workers who enhance profits and save time and money.


Sell yourself.

You only have one shot to make a great impression. Your resume is a word picture of yourself. Showcase your strengths and one or two outstanding skills or abilities. List your education, training, and any relevant awards.


Never list the reasons for termination or leaving a job on the resume.

The reader can find negative connotations for even the best reason. You’re far better off explaining employment lapses in person.
Make sure the resume and the cover letter are error-free.



  1. Think Relevance. Your resume is not an autobiography; it is a compilation of what you’ve got that the employer is seeking!
  2. Limit the resume to one page. Most of the time, recent college graduates do not have the experience to justify a two-page resume. If you need two pages, make them two complete pages.
  3. Accuracy counts. Make sure your resume is organized and neat. It should contain NO spelling and/or grammatical errors. Have several people – CDC staff, professors, classmates, supervisors – read it to look at it with “fresh eyes.”
  4. Use action words. Avoid passive or weak phrases.
  5. Be consistent throughout the entire resume with display techniques, punctuation, verb tense, dates, and spacing.
  6. Avoid abbreviations.
  7. Never include high school information on your resume.
  8. Use bullets to describe your duties/responsibilities. They create the illusion your resume will be quick and concise to read. Begin each bullet with an action verb.
  9. Do not include references on your resume.
  10. Your resume should look professional. Use white, cream, or gray bond paper. Do not include fancy fonts, pictures of yourself, personal information, or unusual bullets.
  11. Personal information (religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, etc.) is irrelevant.
  12. Font size: 10 (minimum), 12 (maximum); Headings may be larger.
  13. Margins: 1 inch (ideal); ½ inch (minimum)