8 Common Résumé Questions

typewriterCareer and Professional Development offers résumé review drop-in hours every day. Here is a list of the most common questions I get asked:

  1. How small can I make my font size or margins?

Margins can be anywhere from .5 to 1 inch; use your best judgment and keep it easy-to-scan. Font size should be 10 point or larger to keep your résumé from being too crowded or difficult to read.

  1. Can I put high school experiences on my résumé?

It depends on how old you are and how much university experience you have to discuss. As a freshman or sophomore, you may have some high school experience on your resume until you become more involved on campus or attain a part-time job/summer internship.

  1. How can I make one résumé for all my applications?

It is not best practice to use one generic résumé because each job position or graduate program has different requirements or preferences. Every résumé you create should be tailored to display the skills and experiences desired for each application. You may want to create one “master résumé” that lists all your accomplishments and experiences and then choose which items are most relevant for each job or graduate opportunity you pursue.

  1. My résumé is a page and a half, is that okay?

If you are an undergraduate student, your résumé should really be one page. Graduate schools may require a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or longer résumé, but if it is not specified, try to keep it to one page. There are some exceptions. If you are unsure, ask a career advisor.

  1. Should I include my work experience from part-time jobs in restaurants or clothing stores?

Absolutely! Show off your relevant and transferable skills (customer service, communication, etc.) from all your work experiences! However, you may not include them if you have more relevant experiences you want to discuss or run out of space on your one-page résumé.

  1. Do I have to include a profile or objective statement?

No, these are optional résumé components. It may be helpful to have a profile if you are applying to a job that does not necessarily align with your major or past experiences because it gives recruiters a better idea of who you are and why you are applying. Objective statements can be helpful for career fairs where recruiters are hiring for multiple jobs and you want to clarify which position you are seeking.

  1. Should I put Microsoft Office skills on my résumé?

There is no need to list Office unless the job posting specifically mentions these skills or you have completed a certification or specialized training. Most companies will assume that you know how to use those programs.

  1. Is it okay to list out my skills (team-player, effective communicator, etc.)?

The best strategy for a skills section is to demonstrate skills with concrete examples rather than simply listing them. To see an example of how to do this effectively, come by our office and pick up a CPD Guide!

Written by Kristin Koch, Graduate Apprentice for Career and Professional Development

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