The goal of the resume is to summarize and tell the story of your experiences as they relate to a specific job description. Refer to our sample resumes for formatting guidelines and ideas. Remember, your resume should represent you and also catch the employer’s eye. Resume guidelines may vary from industry to industry, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with specific industry examples.
The following are a few general guidelines to keep in mind:
Resume Writing Format
- One page. Printed on resume paper or saved as a PDF.
- Be concise. Use brief, succinct statements in the form of bullets or sentences.
- Keep font size to 10, 11, or 12 points and set margins to no less than 0.5 inch all around.
- Do not use the word “I” or other first-person pronouns.
- Use past tense in describing past positions and use present tense for your current position(s).
- Be consistent with punctuation use throughout the document.
- Refer to our “Action Verbs” page — these are more descriptive than common action verbs such as “do/did,” “completed,” “responsible for,” etc.
- Always customize. This means tailoring your resume: detailing work and extracurricular experiences applicable to the job and industry you are targeting.
- Include multiple titles and responsibilities if you had multiple roles at one organization.
- Do not lie, exaggerate, or include something that you would not want to discuss in an interview.
- Do not use Georgetown jargon or acronyms without explaining (e.g., GUSA, NHS, GPB).
- Do not include personal data (e.g., birth date, marital status, photograph).
Last-Minute Check Before Submitting Your Documents
- Create a log of applications you send, including: position description, date, contact information, follow-up date (if appropriate), and follow-up communication notes.
- Has someone else looked it over? Do not rely on spell-check! Remember — review the names of companies and people.
- Are your documents saved as an appropriately named PDF? Example: M.CrawfordEventPlannerResume.
- Is your voice mail greeting professional on the phone number you list on your resume?
- Is your email address professional (for instance, no “firstname.lastname@example.org”)?
- Is your email subject line relevant, such as “Application for Event Planner Position #4420”?
- Are all documents printed on neutral resume paper? Use a laser printer if you’re handing in a hard copy.
Resume and Cover Letter Templates
Check out our online resume builder for help with formatting and other common issues. Visit Georgetown's Optimal Resume site, create an account with your NetID, log in, and click on ‘Document Center’ to get started.