Undergraduate Career Services

Resume Basics

Resume Guidelines

  • Resumes should be 1-page for those with less than 10-years of professional experience
  • Proofread your resume several times for spelling, grammar, formatting, and wording. One error on your resume will leave a poor first impression with an employer.
  • Prospective employers will spend less than 30 seconds reviewing your resume.
  • Have your resume reviewed by a Career Services staff member.
  • Use a plain, easy-to-read font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, no smaller than a size 10-point font.
  • Be consistent with formatting, including bullets, bold, underline, italic, and all caps.
  • Do not abbreviate anything except for states (i.e. PA, NJ).
  • If using acronyms, consider spelling them out on the first reference followed by the acronym enclosed in parenthesis, for example, Drexel Finance Association (DFA).
  • No personal pronouns (i.e. I, we, you, he/she).
  • Begin phrases with strong action verbs to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Use past tense verbs with jobs in the past, and present tense verbs for current positions.

Sections of the Resume

Contact information

  • Include your name, local address, phone number and email address.
  • Ensure your email address domain is professional, for example, john.smith@drexel.edu


  • List all post-secondary institutions in reverse chronological order (most recent to oldest).
  • List major(s), minor(s), certificate(s) and expected graduation date with the month and year.
  • Do NOT list high school information.
  • List GPA (only if it is above a 3.0)

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Anticipated Graduation: June 2017
Majors: Finance and Marketing
GPA: 3.2


  • All experiences should be listed in reverse chronological order.
  • Experience can include full-time/part-time positions, internships, co-ops, academic projects, or volunteerism.
  • Include the organization’s name, your title, location, and dates.
  • Use bullet points for descriptions and no more than five bullets points should be used per experience.
  • Bullet points should be listed in order of importance.
  • Add relevant business terminology, and include major responsibilities and outstanding achievements.
  • Use strong action verbs and descriptive information to describe responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Include specific examples of significant accomplishments and describe the positive results or outcomes of your actions or duties by quantifying results whenever possible.

Activities and Leadership

  • List clubs, committees, and organizations in which you are a member. Include: sports, student organizations or clubs, Greek affiliations, community service/volunteerism, etc.
  • Highlight leadership positions in any activity you are involved in where you have responsibilities above and beyond a general member.


  • List computer competencies (list applications in order of importance) and foreign languages.
  • Provide the level of competency (i.e. proficient, familiar, basic, fluent, etc.).
    • No need to state fluent in English for domestic job searches.

Writing Accomplishment Statements

Accomplishment statements illustrate the skills you used or actions you took in your jobs and showcase the results of your work.

Emailing Resumes

  • Include a relevant subject line in the email, such as Marketing Coordinator position #123 and include an introductory message.
  • Name your resume file by your first and last name (i.e. john.smith.doc).
  • Attach your resume to the email as either a Word or pdf file.
  • View document before sending to double check formatting. Your formatting may look fine in Word but different once converted.

Common Resume Errors

  • Missing contact information
  • Spelling errors, typos and poor grammar.
  • Too vague and failing to explain relevant accomplishments
  • Formatting issues, such as inconsistent font size or using templates or tables
  • Listing irrelevant information
  • Using weak action verbs, such as, “helped”, “assisted” or “responsible for”