Resume Formatting

Step 1: Header

  • Make your name bold and in slightly larger font than the rest of the resume; you want your name to stand out so any employer who reads it will remember you.
  • Below your name list your current mailing address, phone number, and the e-mail address you most frequently use. You may use your permanent mailing address if you wish.
Step 2: Education
  • Always list your most recent education first. Include your college (e.g. Iowa Wesleyan College), major, minor and graduation year.
  • The rule of thumb is to include a GPA of 3.0 or higher. However, you may choose to include any GPA if you would like. You can additionally include a GPA for your major and minor separately, especially if one is higher than your overall GPA.
Step 3: Experience

You will find descriptions and examples of chronological, functional and combination formats by clicking here. These are the most commonly used formats and preferred by most applicants and employers. Remember that relevant experience can include jobs, internships, volunteer experiences and coursework.
Step 4: Activities

This is where you can list any extracurricular activities (ex: athletics), on-campus involvement and/or volunteer experience. It is often helpful to provide a brief description of your responsibilities and accomplishments for each, particularly if your work is relevant to the job at hand.

Step 5: Skills

Important skills to include are:
  • Languages - be sure not to overstate (basic, intermediate, advanced or fluent)
  • Technical skills - list specific and relevant software with which you are familiar (such as MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, or Adobe Photoshop)
  • Social media skills, if applicable to the position (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest)
  • Any specific training or certification programs you have completed that would be relevant to the job
  • You may list these under two separate subtitles (“Extracurricular Activities” and “Skills”) or one (“Skills & Activities”) if you need to conserve space