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The nation's largest network of college job seekers. November 25, 2020
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CCN Writer's Guide: The Write Stuff

Terrified by the blank white page or just not sure where or how to start? The Write Stuff can help you find the words.

Brief is Better

No one has time to read a long résumé, no matter how stunning your experiences may be. A résumé should be one page. If you find that you're running onto two pages, you're not being brief enough. Edit and edit again until you have a résumé that concisely shows your work experience and education.

Paint a Picture

Metaphorically, we mean. Use words that create strong, positive images for the prospective employer. Address their needs with a clear and compelling résumé. Create short, easy to read paragraphs with action words that emphasize your accomplishments. Avoid using the passive voice (i.e. "was instrumental in developing.") if the active voice is possible (i.e. "developed"). Be specific. Include objective measures and verifiable examples whenever possible. Employers will be more impressed by "saved the company $4500 during the previous fiscal year," than by saying you "effectively managed department budget."

Looks do Count

Create a good first impression with potential employers by developing a great looking résumé. Use a good, non-textured paper stock in white or ivory and select a simple, pleasant, easy-to-read type style. Use normal margins and leave ample white space between sections. Carefully proofread your résumé for proper grammar and correct spelling. You don't want to ruin your chances of getting a job by submitting a résumé filled with mistakes.


Make it clear what you can accomplish for the employer. If you're pursuing jobs in very different industries, customize your résumé to meet the needs of employers in each field.

Points to Ponder

Don't include your age, height, and marital status. Employers can't ask you about this information directly so you shouldn't volunteer it. If you have room, and feel it may help you, you may mention any hobbies or interests that are pertinent to the job. You don't need to say "References available upon request." Employers will ask you about them only if they feel it's necessary.

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