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Dos and Don'ts of Building a Resume

As summer approaches, you may be starting to look for job opportunities. Applying for a job or internship can be overwhelming and you may not know where to start. Here’s a list of some “dos” and “don'ts” for creating a professional resume that employers can’t refuse.


  • Highlight original skills. Your skills should set you apart from other applicants. Think about what skills you’ve learned and how they can help you succeed in the job you're applying for. Try to avoid using the skills that show up on Google because these are likely skills that other applicants are listing. Make sure your skills show why you are perfect for the job.

  • Alter your resume to be specific. All jobs are different. Make sure that if you apply for multiple jobs at once, you focus your resume on each job individually. For example, if you’re applying for a social media marketing job, you could list your interest in media trends, engagement metrics, and skills in video creation. If you also apply for a public relations job at the same time, it could be a good idea to alter your interests/skills more towards media relations, building media lists, and writing/grammar skills.

  • Use a grammar correction tool. Make sure your resume is spotless before submitting it. Tools like Grammarly can ensure that there are no mistakes on your resume.

  • Update your resume. Alway keep your resume current. As you gain more experience, you should add it to your resume. Each semester, make sure to update things that may have changed like your skills, involvement, achievements, and GPA.

  • Follow basic design principles. Only use two different fonts at a time to ensure that your resume is neat and professional. Always group headers and body text and differentiate between the two groups by using the underline tool, bold tool, or changing the font.


  • Fluff your resume. It’s okay to fluff your resume because you want to show that you’re the best applicant, but don’t fluff it so much that it’s untruthful. For example, if you created a media list one time, put “experience creating a media list,” not “exceptional at media list building.” If you fluff your resume too much, it will show immediately. Also, make sure you don’t include activities you aren’t involved in.

  • Don’t use abbreviations. Never use jargon or abbreviations because not everyone knows what it stands for. Always make sure to write everything out, especially honor societies and Greek organizations.

  • Talk about unrelated interests. Only include interests that relate to the job you’re applying for. For example, “media trends” or “graphic design” would be great for a social media marketing job, but “crafting” wouldn’t.

  • Feel pressured to have a personal logo. Not every resume needs to have a logo. If you have a well-designed personal logo, feel free to add it. Otherwise, you can just include your name in a large print font at the top of your resume.

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