Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Resume Guide

What does your resume say about you? Your resume summarizes your professional background, skills and accomplishments; however, it also helps to make an impression about you. Is it professionally written, formatted and presented? This guide will help you get started on a professional format that represents you well.

Resume Templates Describing Your Experiences
Digital Resume LACS Resume Guidelines
Download the Resume Guide Resume Dos and Don'ts
Tailoring Your Resume   

Resume Templates

Templates are pre-formatted Word documents allowing you to simply insert your information into a structured, professionally designed document. Download the template as a Word document, insert your content into the template, and save the document continuously while writing your resume. Please do not copy these resumes verbatim.

Once your resume is complete, visit Liberal Arts Career Services for resume assistance to ensure that your content highlights your talents and abilities. We can also help you target your skills to the intended application. Schedule an appointment or visit during our walk-in hours.

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  • Resume Template 1 is designed for non-business type opportunities with an emphasis on nonprofit, community service and leadership experience and interests. Download this resume in Word or PDF.
  • Resume Template 2 is designed for government, public and law-related careers with an emphasis on legislative, professional and research experience. Download this resume in Word or PDF.
  • Resume Template 3 is the McCombs Business School resume template. This would be best utilized for those interested in going into investment banking or consulting, or for those attending the BBA Undergraduate Career Expo in the fall and spring semesters. Download this resume in Word or PDF.
  • Resume Template 4 is designed for first-year students with high school-level experiences and minimal university-level experiences. Download in Word or PDF. And download the first-year cover letter example here.

Tailoring Your Resume

Increase your competitiveness by tailoring your resume and showing the employer that you have done the research, understand the position and want this particular job at this particular organization. Get help tailoring your resume with these tools:

  • Job Posting Analysis: Use this tool to learn how to analyze a job posting and identify the key elements/key words to craft a strong, targeted resume.
  • SWOT Analysis: Use this tool to help evaluate your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to help strengthen your resume.

Digital Resume

Recruiters regularly skip the traditional resume and search for candidates online. With that in mind, what does your online brand say about you? Students should spend as much time on their online brand as they do on their resumes. As with your resume, highlight your skills, experiences and accomplishments on your digital resume.

Below are three types of digital resumes that you may want to consider incorporating in your personal brand. Remember that not all of these options are for everyone; the vast majority of candidates solely combine their traditional resume with a LinkedIn account.

  • LinkedIn: Think about your LinkedIn profile as an online resume with more of a marketing format. LinkedIn is typically the easiest way to create your digital resume and is relevant to many industries and fields. Learn how to build your LinkedIn profile and brand at our LinkedIn page.
  • Online Portfolio/Website: A well-done online portfolio and personal website will market your work, much like a traditional portfolio, and your skills and abilities, much like your traditional resume. The advantage of this format is that employers can explore samples of your work while also reviewing your resume-like background. Students who typically have online portfolios go into such fields as digital marketing, PR, advertising, design, content creation and related fields.
  • Digital Creative Resume: Creative resumes are for students who are interested in fields that are inherently more creative, including such fields as graphic design, advertising and marketing. Make sure that your design doesn’t distract from the content on your resume. Check out Glassdoor’s 5 Online Resume Tools You Need To Try article to help you brainstorm ideas for your creative resume.

Check out Fast Company's The Ultimate Checklist For Digitally Upgrading Your Resume article for tips and tricks!

Describing Your Experience

Crafting Resume Bullets & Using Action Verbs: Download this guide for help crafting strong, results-oriented bullets using action verbs to describe your experiences and accomplishments.

Action Statements: Action statements are often called bulleted statements because they usually begin with a bullet and they indicate an action you did as a result of a problem or situation.This is called the STAR technique. In action statements you should:

  • Identify the Situation that existed or the Task you were completing
  • Describe the Action taken
  • Describe the Results of your action (which could be a skill demonstrated or an outcome of your action)

A good action statement should contain:

  • An action verb describing what you did rather than simply your duties/responsibilities
  • The scope of your activities (how much money did you raise? Number of people served? Did you have to meet deadlines? What kind of research?) – Quantitative data is a plus!
  • The results of your activities, which can be:
    • Outcomes given in measurements such as, numbers/percent, amount of money, or value-added for customers
    • And/or specific skills you gained or demonstrated in that experience
  • Served 50 customers per hour, quickly and efficiently, as team member in fast-paced restaurant
  • Edited 10 news articles per week while consistently meeting deadlines for The Daily Texan, a student produced campus newspaper with a 12,000+ daily circulation
  • Supervised the well-being of 12 girls aged 14-17 at an academic summer camp for intellectually gifted high school students
  • Maintained organization’s security protocol to ensure confidentiality of over 200 client files

LACS Resume Guidelines

The guidelines included below are based on employer feedback received regarding student resumes. These guidelines are used by LACS as requirements for all resumes uploaded into the BTT Gateway system. When you upload a resume to BTT Gateway, a Career Coach reviews your resume and approval is based on the following criteria.

There is a two business day turnaround for resume reviews, and your resume must be approved in order to apply for jobs and internships through BTT Gateway. Resume uploads are reviewed daily, Monday through Friday. For the best experience, verify your resume is one page (CVs and/or 2+ page documents will not be approved), uses bullet points and action verbs within experience descriptions, and incorporates a consistent, easy to read formatting style.  Please note once your resume is approved you will not have to go through the review and activation process again.

Get online help by accessing our resume writing guide and resume templates and bullet crafting/action verb guide to help you get started or revamp your resume.

Resumes do not get jobs; they get interviews!

  • Resumes should convey your unique skills and abilities
  • Resumes should not include every detail about you (i.e., achievements from middle school)
  • Resumes should not be so short or so vague that an employer has no idea what your skills are or what you did at your last job
  • HR professionals know that the best predictor of future performance is past performance

Make your resume easy to skim: The average employer will spend 15-30 seconds reviewing a resume!

  • Use one font style throughout resume; avoid script fonts. Times New Roman and Arial are good choices
  • Do not use graphics, shadowing, clip art, or decorative bullets
  • Use bold, italic, or underlining appropriately but sparingly
  • Put key information on the left and near the top of the page whenever possible

Resume Considerations

  • Objective Section: Not required for BTT Gateway resume or for applications that include a cover letter
  • Grammar: Avoid passive writing and the use of personal pronouns (I, we) and most being verbs (was, were, am)
  • Proofread: Review for grammatical, spelling and formatting consistency (do not rely on spellcheck)
  • High School & Transfer School Information: Not required if beyond your first year of study at UT
  • References: Include on a separate document and only provide when the employer requests them

Typical Resume Sections

Heading

  • Include your name, phone number, address, and email
  • Make sure your email address is professional
  • Professional voicemail (when employers call for interviews!)
  • Your name is generally bold and a few points larger in font size than the rest of your resume

Education

  • Degree (e.g., Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts)
  • Major(s)
  • Minors, concentrations, or areas of emphasis
  • University name, city, and state
  • Month and year of graduation
  • GPA(s) (typically if above 3.0) – If you list anything other than your overall GPA, be sure to specify which GPA you are using
  • No high school information
  • May include study abroad university

Relevant Coursework/Academic Projects

  • Include course name and semester
  • Bullet points and action verbs for descriptions
  • Include relevant coursework only if it is directly related to the position you are applying for and only if the coursework is not typical of your major (ex: do not include macroeconomics if you are an economics major)

Experience

  • Include the position title, employer/organization name, location (city, state), and dates with months and years
  • Typically your experience is listed in reverse chronological order with your most recent experience first
  • Highlight transferable skills and abilities rather than describing work duties and responsibilities. Think about the types of things that you did in your job or activities that relate to the types of things you will be doing in your future professional positions
  • For example, “Interviewed, hired, and trained new team members” or “Led closing of store by assigning roles at the appropriate time, balancing the cash registers, securing all cash, and setting the alarm.”
  • Describe your experience in a result-oriented fashion because employers know the best predictor of future performance is past performance

Academic Honors/Awards

  • Include name of award, scholarship, or certificate and date awarded

Skills

  • Computer software, hardware, research databases, and programs
  • Languages (make sure to specify competency level)
  • Social media
  • Any additional licenses or certifications you deem relevant

Resume Dos and Don'ts

Don't: Use MS Office templates or go overboard with the resume design.
Instead: Use LACS template and keep it simple.

  • Templates provide helpful guides on how to format content; however, you want the employer’s focus to be on your skills, not the fact that you used a template.
  • Employers care about content and how your experience relates to their needs.
  • Unless you’re going into a creative industry where design matters, it is best to keep the format simple and easy to skim.

Do: Make your resume easy to skim by using consistent format and layout throughout your resume.
Don’t: Focus too much on aesthetics at expense of content.

Don't: Exaggerate job titles or include a list of generic tasks under your job responsibilities.
Instead: Use compelling bullet points to describe how your contributions added to/improved your employer’s goals.

  • Use action oriented verbs and numbers to describe and quantify the results you helped achieve, whether through paid employment or volunteer work.

Don't: Submit a resume that is over one page.
Instead: Keep your resume to a single page.

  • Studies have shown employers spend less than 20 seconds reviewing a resume.
  • Focus relevant info above the fold (top 1/3 of page if employer were viewing from a screen).

Don't: Include an objective or references on your resume.
Instead: Focus on the relevant and transferrable skills you gained from past work, internship or volunteer experiences.

  • If references are requested, submit them in a separate document.
  • Explain your objective in your cover letter, not your resume.

Don't: Forget to proofread for grammatical and spelling errors.
Instead: Ask a career coach to review your resume for an extra set of trained eyes.

  • Make sure formatting is consistent throughout your resume.
  • Use headings and bullet points to help reader find what they’re looking for.

Don't: Mix up first and third person or present and past tense.
Instead: Start out using active verbs for each bullet point and remember to use past tense for prior jobs, present tense for current roles.

Don't: Include high school information once you complete your first year of undergraduate study.
Instead: Focus on the activities you’ve participated in during undergrad.


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  • Liberal Arts Career Services

    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508
    512-471-7900