Career and Leadership Development

What is a Resume?

Resume Basics Presentation

A resume is an evolving document that summarizes your qualifications for employment. It lets the reader know the type of position you seek, and highlights your education, experience, skills, and other related information. Ultimately, the goal of your resume is to generate a job interview.

Resume Formats:

While there are some generally accepted parameters for resumes, you have the opportunity to create a resume that is uniquely yours. The three most popular resume styles are:

Chronological - The Chronological resume is used most frequently by new college graduates and people with a continuous employment history. Information about yourself is presented in reverse chronological order to give a detailed account of your education and experience.

Functional - The Functional, or skills-based resume, is most often used by individuals whose education and experience do not match their career objective, or when there are noticeable gaps in work experience. In the Functional format, you highlight the skills you have developed.

Combination - This format combines the Chronological and Functional formats, thereby combining relevant experience with skills developed that best match the job for which you are applying.

Other resume Formats Include:

Have your resume reviewed by a Career Counselor!

You may contact Career & Leadership Development: 262-472-1471, to schedule an individual appointment with a counselor to discuss your resume. Online students are encouraged to attach your resumes to an email and send to A career counselor will review and respond to you within seven work days.

Resume Rubric

Tips for Writing an Effective Resume:

  • Always remember that a resume essentially is a marketing tool, an advertisement. Its main goal is to secure interviews.
  • Consider using the following categories to help organize your information:
  • Objective
  • Related Skills or Qualifications
  • Education
  • Related Experience
  • Other Experience
  • Honors, Awards, Scholarships
  • Organizations and Activities
  • References (use a separate page if lacking space)
  • Use bullet points within descriptions to help organize information and make it easier to read.
  • Write out everything - don't use abbreviations.
  • Be brief and to the point, placing the most important information to the employer first.
  • Proofread! Eliminate all errors.
  • Font - use standard non-serif fonts such as Courier, Arial, of Times New Roman in a readable font size (no smaller than 10 point and no larger than 12 point).
  • Margins - have a good text/white-space balance, and centered on the page. Use 1/2 inch to 1 inch margins for top, bottom, right, and left.
  • Style - highlight important facts and headings by bolding, underlining, indenting, capitalizing and/or using bullet points to attract the reader's eye.
  • Action Verbs - use action verbs to begin statements describing skills and responsibilities.
  • Length - be concise; a one-page resume is often adequate unless you have extensive experience that is applicable (exceptions are fields like Education, Human Services, and Higher Education).
  • Paper - use white or off-white resume paper only, unless you're in the arts/creative fields. Buy stationery and envelopes to match.