Resume Formatting

Formatting Guidelines

The purpose of the resume is to communicate your skills, technical skills, and qualifications with a variety of individuals, including and not limited to, on and off-campus jobs, graduate school, involvement opportunities on campus, and ultimately with industry employers. Follow the formatting guide and check out our downloadable template and examples below.

  • Formatting: Your resume should be tailored to 1 page. It can expand to a full 2 pages if you have enough experience, and the most relevant items should be on the first page, towards the top. Have a minimum of 11-point font and make it easy to read using Times, Arial, Cambria, and Calibri. Create your resume using Microsoft Word, that you will later convert to a PDF when sending to employers.
  • Consistency is Key: Formatting should remain the same throughout the entire document.
  • Section Headers: Common headers include- Education, Relevant Experience, Work Experience, Leadership Activities, Technical/Lab Skills, Additional Experience, Related Projects, Research and Publications, Community Service, Memberships/Affiliations, Certifications, etc.
  • The Best Goes First: Your resume should be in reverse chronological order by date, but most important and relatable content should be towards the top of your resume. If your current/most recent position is not what you want to highlight first, move it to a lower section. Additionally, the more important the position, the more bullet points (3-4) and the less relatable ones can have less (1-2).

Bullets

  • Be Clear: Make sure that job activity descriptions give a very clear idea of what you did and what population you served (e.g., develop peer tutoring program for undergraduates at the University of Vermont majoring in computer science)
  • Quantify: Use data and numbers to quantify work accomplishments whenever possible (e.g., inventoried 1,000 culverts).
  • Verbs: Start out every bullet point with a strong verb. See our verb list below under the resources tab. The verb tense should also match when the position was (past tense for previously held jobs, present tense for positions you are still in). Make sure you are not using personal pronouns before verbs (I, me, my, we).
  • Technical Skills: Ensure you are highlighting the technical skills and programming languages you’ve gained from classroom experiences, ei. Java, C++, MATLAB, Python, etc.
  • Bullet Point Formula: Action Verb + Skill, Task, Accomplishment You Want to Highlight + Outcome/Impact/Result

References

References should be separate from your resume and given upon request and/or at the interview. Ensure you have at least 3+ references by the time of graduation. These can include: supervisors, coworkers, professors, coaches, and professional staff members you have a relationship with. Friends and family do not count!

Resources

BEGINNER CEMS RESUME TEMPLATE: DOWNLOAD HERE

CEMS RESUME EXAMPLES: DOWNLOAD HERE

VERB LIST: DOWNLOAD HERE

Cover Letter Formatting & Guide

The purpose behind the cover letter is not to re-iterate everything on your resume, but to highlight and expand upon your skills and qualifications to prove why you are a great match and fit for the position. Check out the examples and tips below.

Formatting:

  • 1st Paragraph: State the position you are applying to, introduce yourself and the degree you are studying, and why you are interested and a good fit for the role.
  • 2nd Paragraph: Elaborate on why you are the ideal candidate. Explain specific, relevant experiences and skills and how they are relevant and will be utilized for the job you are applying for.
  • 3rd Paragraph: Re-express interest and excitement for the role, thank you employer for their time, and indicate how you can be contacted/how you will contact them.

COVER LETTER EXAMPLESDOWNLOAD HERE

COVER LETTER OUTLINE: DOWNLOAD HERE

COVER LETTER WORKSHEET: DOWNLOAD HERE