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Resume Guidelines


  • Length: Resume must be one page; maximize space via margins, spacing, etc. DO NOT USE TABLES, GRIDS OR TEMPLATES.
  • Font: No smaller than 10-point; choose an easily readable, professional typeface (i.e. Times New Roman, Arial, Arial Narrow, Calibri or Verdana).
  • Margins: Right and left margins are consistent with a minimum of a ½ inch on all sides.  
  • Alignment: Align headers, entries, bullets, dates and content throughout (use consistent font and spacing).
  • Bullets: Use the same style throughout (i.e. all circular: ●).
  • Dates: Cite only month and year consistently (i.e. January 2016–Present vs. 1/16–Present). List experience in reverse chronological order with the most recent experience listed first within each section (e.g. 2017, then 2016, then 2015). 
  • Contact Information: Name (should be the largest font on the resume), postal address, professional email and phone number at the top. 
  • Social Media: It is not necessary to include on your resume. You may include a link (i.e. linkedin.com/in/NAME) to a complete and professional LinkedIn profile in your contact information (ensure it does not look cluttered). Use this: LinkedIn Profile Check List.  Do not include links to any other social media.

If you are pursuing CIS roles, you may want to include your github or personal webpage with a link to projects built and provide a sample of coding ability.

  • Sections: Your resume should have the following sections: 
    • Name and Contact Information 
    • Education 
    • Work Experience or Professional Experience – Internships and jobs (usually PAID)
    • Leadership Experience and/or Professional Development – Leadership, volunteer, development programs, etc. (usually UNPAID)
    • Honors/Awards – Not required, so include only if you have honors/awards to mention
    • Skills and/or Interests 
  • Other Sections: Do not include an “Objective” or “References” on your resume. 



  • GPA: Include Cumulative or Overall GPA. Do not include a GPA below 3.0. Depending on industry, you may not wish to list your GPA if it is below a 3.5 (i.e. for consulting or financial services). If your Major GPA is higher, you may list it along with your overall GPA.
  • Relevant Coursework: If you have a clear target career, highlight relevant coursework under your Education section (i.e. Business Statistics, Accounting, etc.).
  • Scholastic Awards, Honors or Study Abroad: Competitive awards, honors and study abroad should be listed under Education (i.e. Deans List, competitive scholarships like Gates Millennium Scholarship, relevant study abroad experience, etc.)

Work/Professional Experience: There should be 2 or more impact statements under every experience. Your impact statement should include an accomplishment or impact on the job (usually quantifiable). See below for how to quantify your impact.

Leadership/Professional Development Experience: Leverage the Leadership section to highlight your accomplishments and impact, especially if you have limited professional experience. Present 2 or more impact statements under your most significant (and/or most relevant to your target industry / function role) Leadership / Professional Development endeavors. If your resume is at risk of going beyond one page and you have maximized your space, margins and font size, then you may list some of your leadership roles (or memberships / affiliations) and organizations without impact statements.

Honors/Awards: May include professional or club recognition. If an award or recognition is not widely recognized, provide a short description to provide context. 


  • Social Media: Social Media use should not be included as a skill.
  • Technical Skills: Fluency/Proficiency in coding languages and other technical skills should be included in this section.

Languages: Indicate level of proficiency (i.e. knowledge of, conversant, fluent). Do not reference English. 

Interests: May include personal interests, but ensure the list is brief and professional (i.e. Reading, Soccer, Running, Public Speaking, Volunteering, etc.).


  • Voice: This is not a narrative; do not use first person or personal pronouns (i.e. I, our, my, etc). Do not use contractions; use an active voice. throughout.
  • Abbreviations: Spell out acronyms on first reference (i.e. Career Prep (CP), Latino Student Association (LSA), etc.). 


Impact vs. Task statements:  Your resume should be filled with impact or accomplishments vs. tasks.  A task is what you did.  An impact statement is what was accomplished because of what you did.

Impact Statements: Quantify your accomplishments and impact on an organization. How did you make it better? What is different as a result of you working there / your contributions? 


  • Bullets should quantify your accomplishments.
  • Bullets should always start with an action verb. DO NOT start bullets with any of the following: 
  1. Responsible for… (passive voice) 
  2. I… (first person) 
  3. [Any noun] 
  4. Duties include… (“Duties” is a noun) 
  • Use present tense verbs for current activities and past tense verbs for past endeavors. 
  • List your bullets in order of significance and relevance to your target industry. Share details to provide context and highlight tangible and quantitative results to convey IMPACT. 
  • For each experience, list 2 or more bullets. 

SAMPLE BULLETS – Task statement versus IMPACT

Task Statement: Appropriate the organization’s budget and organized a fundraising event. 
Impact Statement: Manage a budget of $12,000 and orchestrated a fundraising event that raised over $8,000 for the largest community service organization on campus. 

Task Statement: Organized teen workshops on the health risks of tobacco use. 
Impact Statement: Organized over 20 informational workshops on the health risks of tobacco use for teens, reaching over 300 teens in the Washington Heights community in New York City. 

Task Statement: Helped execute in-store events with the retail marketing manager. 
Impact Statement: Partnered with the retail marketing manager in the execution of in-store promotional events, like the Yes Campaign that resulted in a 35% increase in fitness merchandise sales that month. 


Action Verbs are dynamic and indicate high-energy, initiative and creative action. They are typically the first word used to describe an accomplishment. Find additional action verbs on the web. 






















Other Powerful Action Words

You Led a Project

If you were in charge of a project or initiative from start to finish, skip “led” and instead try:

  1. Chaired
  2. Controlled
  3. Coordinated
  4. Executed
  5. Headed
  6. Operated
  7. Orchestrated
  8. Organized
  9. Oversaw
  10. Planned
  11. Produced
  12. Programmed

You Envisioned and Brought to Life a Project

And if you actually developed, created, or introduced that project into your company? Try:

  1. Administered
  2. Built
  3. Charted
  4. Created
  5. Designed
  6. Developed
  7. Devised
  8. Founded
  9. Engineered
  10. Established
  11. Formalized
  12. Formed
  13. Formulated
  14. Implemented
  15. Incorporated
  16. Initiated
  17. Instituted
  18. Introduced
  19. Launched
  20. Pioneered
  21. Spearheaded

You Saved the Company Time or Money

Hiring managers love candidates who’ve helped a team operate more efficiently or cost-effectively. To show just how much you saved, try:

  1. Conserved
  2. Consolidated
  3. Decreased
  4. Deducted
  5. Diagnosed
  6. Lessened
  7. Reconciled
  8. Reduced
  9. Yielded

You Increased Efficiency, Sales, Revenue, or Customer Satisfaction

Along similar lines, if you can show that your work boosted the company’s numbers in some way, you’re bound to impress. In these cases, consider:

  1. Accelerated
  2. Achieved
  3. Advanced
  4. Amplified
  5. Boosted
  6. Capitalized
  7. Delivered
  8. Enhanced
  9. Expanded
  10. Expedited
  11. Furthered
  12. Gained
  13. Generated
  14. Improved
  15. Lifted
  16. Maximized
  17. Outpaced
  18. Stimulated
  19. Sustained

You Changed or Improved Something

So, you brought your department’s invoicing system out of the Stone Age and onto the interwebs? Talk about the amazing changes you made at your office with these words:

  1. Centralized
  2. Clarified
  3. Converted
  4. Customized
  5. Influenced
  6. Integrated
  7. Merged
  8. Modified
  9. Overhauled
  10. Redesigned
  11. Refined
  12. Refocused
  13. Rehabilitated
  14. Remodeled
  15. Reorganized
  16. Replaced
  17. Restructured
  18. Revamped
  19. Revitalized
  20. Simplified
  21. Standardized
  22. Streamlined
  23. Strengthened
  24. Updated
  25. Upgraded
  26. Transformed

You Managed a Team

Instead of reciting your management duties, like “Led a team…” or “Managed employees…” show what an inspirational leader you were, with terms like:

  1. Aligned
  2. Cultivated
  3. Directed
  4. Enabled
  5. Facilitated
  6. Fostered
  7. Guided
  8. Hired
  9. Inspired
  10. Mentored
  11. Mobilized
  12. Motivated
  13. Recruited
  14. Regulated
  15. Shaped
  16. Supervised
  17. Taught
  18. Trained
  19. Unified
  20. United

You Brought in Partners, Funding, or Resources

Were you “responsible for” a great new partner, sponsor, or source of funding? Try:

  1. Acquired
  2. Forged
  3. Navigated
  4. Negotiated
  5. Partnered
  6. Secured

You Supported Customers

Because manning the phones or answering questions really means you’re advising customers and meeting their needs, use:

  1. Advised
  2. Advocated
  3. Arbitrated
  4. Coached
  5. Consulted
  6. Educated
  7. Fielded
  8. Informed
  9. Resolved

You Were a Research Machine

Did your job include research, analysis, or fact-finding? Mix up your verbiage with these words:

  1. Analyzed
  2. Assembled
  3. Assessed
  4. Audited
  5. Calculated
  6. Discovered
  7. Evaluated
  8. Examined
  9. Explored
  10. Forecasted
  11. Identified
  12. Interpreted
  13. Investigated
  14. Mapped
  15. Measured
  16. Qualified
  17. Quantified
  18. Surveyed
  19. Tested
  20. Tracked

You Wrote or Communicated

Was writing, speaking, lobbying, or otherwise communicating part of your gig? You can explain just how compelling you were with words like:

  1. Authored
  2. Briefed
  3. Campaigned
  4. Co-authored
  5. Composed
  6. Conveyed
  7. Convinced
  8. Corresponded
  9. Counseled
  10. Critiqued
  11. Defined
  12. Documented
  13. Edited
  14. Illustrated
  15. Lobbied
  16. Persuaded
  17. Promoted
  18. Publicized
  19. Reviewed

You Oversaw or Regulated

Whether you enforced protocol or managed your department’s requests, describe what you really did, better, with these words:

  1. Authorized
  2. Blocked
  3. Delegated
  4. Dispatched
  5. Enforced
  6. Ensured
  7. Inspected
  8. Itemized
  9. Monitored
  10. Screened
  11. Scrutinized
  12. Verified

You Achieved Something

Did you hit your goals? Win a coveted department award? Don’t forget to include that on your resume, with words like:

  1. Attained
  2. Awarded
  3. Completed
  4. Demonstrated
  5. Earned
  6. Exceeded
  7. Outperformed
  8. Reached
  9. Showcased
  10. Succeeded
  11. Surpassed
  12. Targeted