20 Tips for a Stand-Out ResumePaper Clips 1  

Follow these proven strategies to help your student affairs resume get the positive attention it should.


  1. Tailor your resume for each position to which you apply. You will often have multiple copies of your resume for the different positions in which you are interested. Focus each resume on the skills needed for that position.
  2. Quantify your results whenever possible. Focusing on facts and figures can help build a convincing resume.
  3. When summarizing your work experiences, specify the skills that you demonstrated in each of your bullet points. For example, you can emphasize your time management, multi-tasking, communication, leadership, advising, or research skills.
  4. Use descriptive action verbs or phrases in your bullet points to highlight your experiences. Refrain from using passive phrases such as “responsible for.”
  5. Include your contact information in an easy-to-find location, preferably at the top of the page underneath your name. Be sure to list both your phone number and e-mail address.
  6. Remember that it is OK to be unique, but keep it professional. Refrain from using colored fonts, colored paper, graphics, or pictures on your resume.
  7. Include your references on a separate page. Remember that it’s more about quality than quantity. Carefully select your references based on strong professional relationships.
  8. Always obtain permission from your references and send each of them the most recent copy of your resume.
  9. Do not exaggerate your experiences. Find a position that matches your current skill set.
  10. Absolutely no typos! This is one of the quickest way to have your resume declined. Ask a friend or colleague to proofread your resume prior to sending it out.
  11. Based on the job description, make a list of the skills that are needed to successfully perform the job duties. Tailor your resume to specifically emphasize those skills.
  12. If including a career objective, explain the benefits of your skills. Focus on how you can help the institution for which you are applying, not how they can help you.
  13. Use an appealing format. Don’t overcrowd the page by using too small of a font (no less than 10 pt.) or decreasing your margins too much. Instead, provide a good balance of information that appears organized and easy to read. Also, keep formatting to a minimum (e.g., bold, italics, and underlining). Keep it simple, yet compelling!
  14. When listing employment dates, include both the month and year of the beginning and end date to avoid any confusion about the length of your employment. If seasonal, you may list the season and the year (e.g., Summer 2009).
  15. Showcase two or three of your most exciting and relevant accomplishments. This approach is more successful than making a grocery list of all of your job duties. Make each accomplishment stand out by quantifying your results and stating the skills you demonstrated.
  16. Avoid Acronyms. Programs and language vary from institution to institution, so try not to assume that the person reading your resume knows what a particular acronym means.
  17. Consider creating an online portfolio that portrays your experiences in the field. Be sure to make it user-friendly, well-organized, and professional. Carefully select fonts and graphics that will appeal to all members of your audience.
  18. Update your resume regularly to keep it fresh. Consider keeping a "resume notes" document to jot down any exciting projects or successes that you have so that you don't forget to add this information to your resume.
  19. Do not include any personal information unless it is particularly relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  20. Remember that your resume is your first impression. Take the extra time to make it stand out. It will be worth all of the time and effort when you land that perfect job!



Updated May 8, 2015