Resume Writing Tips


Use the questions below to create the content for your resume. The numbered instructions and sample resume format, will help you with the rest.

  • What are your strongest skills?
  • What are your accomplishments? For example what have you done that improved things, added value, made things more efficient that saved time or money for your employer? Show what you have accomplished in your resume, rather than simply presenting a list of duties/tasks. What have you done that was more than expected?
  • What awards, recognition and promotions have you received?
  • What certifications, or  training do you have?
  • Does your resume include specifics showing how you have the skills and experience for the job you are interested in applying for?

    Resume Length  Although there are not any set rules regarding the length of one’s resume, try to be as succinct as possible.  The average employer spends under a minute initially scanning a resume,  so make sure that it is attractive, easy to read, and errorless. It is better to have your resume well organized and detailed, than trying to limit the length. 

    Preparing the Resume  Organize your resume into the following classes of information below:

  • Name And Address Under the first heading list your full name, your current address, email address, and telephone number with area code (many interview invitations and job offers are made by phone and email).  Be sure to indicate the best time to be reached.
  • Summary of Qualifications or Skill Summary Highlight your strongest skills, work experience, certifications, and accomplishments. If you are applying for a position that requires relocation, state whether you are willing to relocate and how soon you are available to work. If you need a state license then list whether you have it already or are in the process of applying. It is also good to mention whether you need or already have things like:  permanent residency or need visa sponsorship, languages you are fluent in, strongest technical skills (any computer systems or equipment worked with, particularly if they are related to the position for which you are applying). 
  • Education, Certifications, Licenses, Training List the school, date completed degree or attended, degree or certification and location of school. Note your GPA if you do not have work experience and if it is 3.0 or above. If you have experience, then list your GPA if it is 3.5 or above. Any certifications that you have are important to note, as well as advanced training. Include the following: Name of school, location, type of degree/field of study, year graduated.
  • Technical Summary This is an optional area that can be added into your resume.  It is a list of all the equipment, software, procedures/tests that you have worked with.  You can also rate your skills with expert, advanced, intermediate, and entry level.
  • Professional Experience  People with technical skills should be as detailed as possible on their work experience.  Using a bullet format can make it easier to write, since you do not have to worry about making all your sentences flow together.  Make sure to describe in detail the environment, what your role was, duties, and what you accomplished. A resume is a way to show how you communicate effectively and a chance to sell yourself.  Therefore, take the time to clearly and concisely document your accomplishments in your resume. Make sure that you include promotions and changes that occurred which added new skills to your background.

    What to list, and how to format it: Include your work experience in reverse chronological order, current dates first; Include the name of the company, the position, and dates of employment; List roughly three important tasks, accomplishments, or skills gained at each job. Use action verbs to describe your achievements; avoid passive phrases such as responsible for and duties include. Action verbs include: increased, decreased, enhanced, upgraded, initiated, created, accelerated, advanced, initiated, surpassed, instituted.

    Accomplishments: An important part of your resume are your accomplishments.  If you have them, “you will stand out.”

    1) Quantify Estimate the level of change that you delivered in your role and quantify it. For example: Reduced patient wait time by 15% by implementing a new system for patient scheduling. Also, a good strategy is to highlight your accomplishments using boldface so they stand out.
    2) Qualify Use qualitative language to express the amount of change. For example, you could say: Improved patient care satisfaction scores significantly. However, Accomplishments will be more convincing if you include the ways you generated or achieved results, such as: Improved patient care satisfactions scores by implementing incentives for staff that received positive comments from patient surveys.

  • Proofread:
    1.Spelling Mistakes: Don’t use words with which you aren’t familiar; Use a dictionary as you write; Perform a spell check on your finished resume; Carefully read every word in your resume. If you write “from” instead of “form,” your spell check will be unable to detect your mistake.
    2. Punctuation Mistakes: Check for periods at the end of all full sentences; If you are a mature applicant who learned to type on a typewriter, make sure that there is only a single space (not two spaces) between the period ending a sentence and the new sentence.; Be consistent in your use of punctuation; Always put periods and commas within quotation marks (for example, Won awards including the “Distinguished Service Award.”); Avoid using exclamation points; Try to avoid using comma splices (where two complete sentences are connected with a comma).
  • Check Grammatical Mistakes:  Do not switch tenses within the sections of your resume – be sure they are consistent for each job you list. Your present job should be in present tense (for example, write reports), but the ones you may have performed at all previous jobs should be presented in the past tense (for example, wrote reports); Capitalize all proper nouns; When expressing numbers, write out all numbers between one and nine (for example, one, five, seven), but use numerals for all numbers 10 and above (for example, 10, 100, 1325); If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that numeral (for example, Eleven service awards won while in the Army.); Make sure your date formats are consistent throughout your resume (such as , 11/22/17 or November 22, 2017).
  • Check for Word Usage: Be on the lookout for the following easily confused words such as:
    accept (to receive) except (to exclude);
    all right (correct) alright (this is not a word);
    affect (a verb: to bring about change effect (a noun: result)
    personal (private) personnel (staff members);
    role (a character assigned or a function) roll (to revolve).
  • Check Dates, Contact Information, Abbreviations, and Spacing : Check your resume for correct dates on your work history. Check you address, phone number, and email – Are they correct and current? Check the number of spaces separating your categies, so they are consistent. Check abbreviation of state names. All state abbreviations are two letters and have no periods. For example, New York is abbreviated NY.
  • Resume Design: Don’t overcrowd your resume. Allow for plenty of white space. Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum — two at the most. Use a conservative font that is easy to read, like Ariel or Verdana. Do not justify the lines of type on your resume. Do not overuse capitalization, italics, underlines, or other emphasizing features. Make sure your name, address, phone number, and email address appear on your resume and all correspondence, preferably at the top of the page. For a paper resume, print your resume on white or cream paper, using a good-quality printer.
  • What to Omit from a Resume: Omit your salary history. Also, omit sex, age, race, marital status, or other similar personal information (unless you are writing an international CV). You do not need to have “References available on request” because it is a given that you will give references when requested. 
  • Have a friend Proofread it: People who are less familiar with a document can often see errors more clearly. Ask a friend (or better yet, a couple of friends) to edit your document for you. Encourage them to follow these tips listed above for a more thorough editing job.

Sample Resume Format:

Your Name
Your Address
City, State Zip

Highlight experience, strongest skills, certifications, and strongest accomplishments

EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS, LICENSE, TRAINING (if new grad, put education here; if experienced list after your experience)
List: College, Degree, school location: city, state, year graduated/completed degree, most recent dates first
Certifications,: List them with date earned
License: List States you are licensed in that are active
Training: List training location: city, state, year

List of all equipment, software, machines, tests and skill rating

Company, City, State
Title, (Dates of employment, use consistent format)

List a combination of 3 or more important tasks, skills and accomplishments. Bullet format is easiest. Include more detail on most recent positions. Include equipment, software, or procedures.

Company, City, State
Title, (Dates of employment)
List a combination of 3 or more important tasks, skills and accomplishments.
Include equipment, software, procedures, tests
(include most recent 10-15 years of experience)

EDUCATION (Put here if you are an experienced candidate)
List: College, Degree, school location: city, state, year graduated/completed degree, most recent dates first
Certifications,: List them with date earned
License: List States you are licensed in that are active
Training: List training location: city, state, year

Cover Letter:

  • The cover letter is used to explain the basis of your interest in a position. You can also explain how your values motivate you to pursue a job, or why the culture of a company appeals to you.
  • The cover letter conveys why you are qualified. Focus on the skills and experience that you have that are a match. You need to be to the point. Keep the letter to a few paragraphs in length.
  • You do not need to share any personal information about yourself or your family.

Cover  Letter Length: Half page to one page in length.
Font and Size: Use a traditional font or such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Your font size should be between 10 and 12 points. Align text to the left.
Format: A Cover letter should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Use about 1″ margins and align your text to the left like most business letters.
Proofread: Be sure to edit your Cover letter,  or have someone review it for you.
Email or Mail: Many positions are online and require online response.  If you have a referral from someone it does make an impression to send a letter by regular mail.
Header: Start with your name and contact information on a letter. (If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature. )Then date your letter or email.
Heading: A letter should include the employer’s contact information (name, title, company name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. An email can just be addressed to the person without the heading.
Salutation: Use his or her formal title (Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. XYZ) or use the full name when you do not know gender, like Kelly Doe. If you do not have a person then use Dear Hiring Manager, or Dear Hiring Team.
Paragraph 1: Title of position you are applying for and where you learned of the position.
Paragraph 2:  Why you are qualified for the job.  Match your skills to the requirements of the job and be specific.
Paragraph 3:  Why you want to work there. Read up on the company to mention, why you are interested. 
Paragraph 4:  Show how this opportunity will help you reach your career goals.
Paragraph 5:  Thank the person you are sending the letter to, for being considered for the opportunity.
Close: Use a kind but formal closing, such as “Sincerely.”
Signature: Your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information.

Sample Cover Letter Format:

Your Name (mailing letter, start here)
Your Address
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date (email letter, start here)

City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Name/Full Name/Hiring Manager, Hiring Team,

I am interested in the (title of position), on, or from______________(from who or where you learned of the position). My (number of years)________________experience as a ___________ , make me an ideal candidate for your position.

My skills include _________________. You can use bullet format to match your skills to the job requirements, and show why you are qualified.

You can also add 2-3 sentences, on why you want to work there, from your research on the company.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and discuss my qualifications and how they fit your current needs.


Signature, (handwritten if mailing letter, then add your typed name and enclosure)

Your Name Typed (this replaces your signature for an email; add phone number below your typed name, for an email letter; do not use your work number)