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Resume Development Guide

A resume is a self-marketing tool highlighting selected academic, professional and leadership accomplishments that demonstrate a fit between you and the opportunity you seek. It should address the needs and requirements of your targeted audience.

Use this guide to help create a compelling resume. Avoid resume templates and tables, as they often make editing more difficult. Remember good writers revise, and a resume is a living document that is constantly revised, updated and tailored. A resume is example of your writing skills, it should be well written, perfectly punctuated, honest and concise. Have your resume reviewed before submitting it or sending to a networking contact. Visit Hiatt to have your resume reviewed and learn about Hiatt's Resume Approval.

General Formatting

 Accuracy and Consistency

  • Spacing and layout of information should be consistent including: tabs, bolded, italics, bullets, indenting, punctuation, dashes, capitalization and state names (e.g. MA, NY, CA)
  • Avoid gimmicks such as pictures, graphics, bright paper or creative fonts
  • One professional font throughout, such as Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Helvetica, Times, Verdana in 10 to 12-point font
  • Use section headers (e.g. Education, Experience) to break up information and draw the reader’s attention, these should be flush with left margin
  • One page resumes are preferred for most positions and when you plan to bring a resume to a networking event
  • Two page resumes may be accepted for some non-profit, government, education, science, graduate school or fellowship applications
  • The second page should be at least half a page of text, with your name and "Page 2" on top of the second page
 Spacing And Margins
  • Keep it clean, simple, consistent with margins of .5” to 1”
  • Any graphic lines (optional) should begin at left margin and end at right margin


The header with your contact information is generally centered at the top of the document. Use same font as body of resume, in a larger size (14-18 point) for the header only.


  • Your name
  • Your current address (home or school depending on where you are applying to)
  • Include one phone number with a professional voice mail message (don’t forget to check your voicemail)
  • Include your Brandeis email, or a professional, appropriate email address -- creative, silly or offensive usernames are strongly discouraged
  • You can also include relevant links to professional online content (LinkedIn page, Twitter handle, portfolios) 

Education Section

The education section is generally the first entry on your resume. Once you’re in college we generally stop including high school in the education section, but all schools or programs are listed as most recent first.

 It must include:

  • School Name, flush with left margin
  • City, and state
  • Degree earned, abbreviated or written out, flush with left margin
  • If you are double majoring only list one bachelor's degree - either a BA or a BS; consult the registrar's office with questions
  • Include any declared major(s) or minor(s)
  • Date of graduation/attendance aligned on the right
  • If degree is incomplete, include “Anticipated” or “Expected” before date of graduation

 It may include:

  • Coursework: select only classes that are substantive and relevant to your audience
  • GPA: Use only one or two numerals after the decimal point. Do not round up your GPA (e.g. 3.457 becomes 3.45 not 3.46)
  • Study abroad programs or previous schools
  • Certification/licensure(s) with correct title, number and date completed (or indicate in progress)
  • Latin honors (cum laude, etc.)
  • Awards and honors
  • Thesis/ independent research/significant academic projects
    • Include name of project and short description if necessary
    • Indicate title and if the work is still in progress
    • May include advisor’s name if relevant to audience

Experience Section

Experience comes from everything you do and may include paid and unpaid work, full and part-time jobs, volunteering, campus leadership positions, athletics, academic/classroom project work, research. Tailor your experience section for each position, including what is most relevant and related. 

Experience Guidelines

  • Use headers: “Relevant Experience,” “Additional Experience,” “Research Experience,” “Leadership Experience,” "Volunteer" and/or “Activities” as needed
  • List experiences in reverse chronological order within each section
  • Employer/Organization name, flush with the left margin
  • Title/role: under the employer, flush with left margin
  • City, state (or employer, city, country if outside of the US), aligned to the right
  • Dates (month year – month year) aligned on the right
  • Current experiences are listed as “Start Date – Present” (e.g. Aug 2013 – Present)
  • Use bullets to describe responsibilities, tasks, and accomplishments for each position
  • Begin each bullet with a descriptive, action verb and avoid “Duties included” or “Responsible for” and “Worked”
  • Use past-tense action verbs for previous experiences and present tense action verbs for current experiences

Describe Your Work

Consider What you did (an overview of your role), How you did your work (what tasks were you responsible for) and Why (what was the result or outcome of your work). Use numbers to quantify your experience and help the reader understand your role.

Leadership/Volunteer/Class Projects/Activities

  • These optional categories help demonstrate additional skills, if they are relevant and related to the positions you are applying for, they may be included in a "Relevant Experience" section
  • Use the same format as other experience sections

Skills Section

  • Use this section to showcase relevant skills
  • Include skills such as Language, Computer, Certifications, Laboratory Techniques
  • Avoid generic qualities "good with people," "hard working," or "excellent communication skills” in the skills section, incorporate these skills in the descriptions of your experiences

Resume Details

Hiatt guidelines and suggestions for clean and concise resumes


  • Spell out the full month or use standard abbreviations (Sep – Dec 2015)
  • Do not use seasons such as fall or summer


  • Periods are not required after bullets
  • Semicolons can be used to join related items in one bullet, do not use colons in section headers
  • Do not use dashes in place of a comma, if you have dashes between dates be sure to use a space before and after the dash
  • Use colons to list items (e.g. “Collected items for shelter: batteries, dry food, water, clothing”)
  • Use colons in formal title such as Bachelor of Arts in Health: Science, Society and Policy
  • Use ampersand (&) for industry terms or branded company (e.g. Bain & Company)
  • Do not use ampersands as substitute for “and” within titles such as Bachelor of Arts in Health: Science, Society and Policy & Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
  • Use ampersands to connect compound titles such as in the example above

Resume Approval

Hiatt approves resumes as part of becoming #EmployerReady and for some positions and applications on campus. An approved resume indicates you have met the basic minimum standards and followed the suggested guidelines to create a clear and concise resume. Students may need a non-senior or a senior resume approval. You can view your resume approval status by looking for the “non-senior resume approval" or the “senior resume approval” label in the Labels section on your main B.hired profile page.

To start the resume approval process, stop by during drop-ins. Resume approval may take a few revisions, so plan ahead.