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Creating a Resume


Sample Resumes for Graduate Students

A resume is for most non-academic jobs: industry, non-profit sector, government, and higher education staff (non-teaching/research). Notably,  a resume is shorter than a CV and relies on a description of your skills (e.g., communication, technical, management), as opposed to a full story of your academic accomplishments:

General Formatting

  • 2 pages max;  font size = 10/11; margins = .7” on all 4 sides (1 page for most master’s level resumes); if 2 pages, add last name and page # to footer (smaller size font, italics)
  • No narrative; use all bulleted items

Contact Information

  • Save space by putting all information on one line; insert symbol between sections
  • Use only one mailing address and one email address, plus phone; may include professional website URL for additional information


  • Expected: Education, Experience, Skills
  • Optional: Research, Community Service, Leadership, Industry Experience, Publications/Presentations, Summary of Skills/Qualifications, etc.
  • Summary of Qualifications: can be effective in highlighting skills for specific position; 3-4 bullets may be used; draw from actual job description
  • Research: for research-heavy positions—demonstrate your research accomplishments;  focus on applied part of research activity—writing skill, presentations, lab/tech skills, in addition to substance of research topic; include any improvements/conclusions that have improved knowledge, equipment, computer models;  lab management, or supervising others, can go with research
  • Experience:  emphasize improvements or accomplishments in jobs, assistantships
  • Publications/Presentations: use no more than 2-3 and call it Selected Publications/Presentations
  • Relevant Projects: if your most relevant skills come from academic projects (often the case with master’s degrees), use this category
  • References: not included on resume; but need 3 for most application forms

Keep Your Audience in Mind

  • What is most important to your potential employer? Read the job description carefully–highlight those portions that reflect your skills; visit the company/organization’s website.
  • Mirror the job description in your resume and letter—use their terminology to describe your skills (increases the chance your resume will make it through initial computer screen)
  • Employers are seeking skills and experience they need to be successful.
  • Recruiters read 100’s of resumes—make yours pleasing and easy to read.


  • Don’t give them a reason to take yours out of the “maybe” pile (for small mistakes).
  • Words in all caps: don’t depend on spell-check—it won’t check them.
  • Ask a friend to proofread for you.
  • Have resume reviewed (Walk-ins, Graduate School, 010 Alumni, 4-6 pm Mondays).