Build a Resume

Employers spend less than a minute evaluating your resume. Catch their attention by tailoring your resume to meet their needs. Here are some suggestions.


  • Templates: Avoid resume wizards and resume software templates. They are difficult to edit and do not allow you to present information in the most effective way.
  • Length: For most employees, use a one-page resume. If you have over 10 years experience, a two-page resume is appropriate.
  • Font: Choose a basic, easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman or Arial in 11-12 point size. Use black ink.
  • Spacing: Margins should be 1 inch on all sides.
  • Layout: Use bullets, bold, capitalization, and underlining sparingly to call attention to the most important information. Leave some white space to create an uncluttered look.
  • Format: Present information in reverse chronological order. Common headings include: Education, Experience, Skills, Community Involvement
  • Professionalism: Eliminate all typos by asking others to proofread.


  • Image: Decide what image you want your resume to communicate. Does it show that you are a leader, a team player, an artist, an innovator, a salesperson, or something else?
  • Content: Select three core qualities that define you and are of importance to the position for which you are applying. Make sure that your resume focuses on skills and accomplishments that reflect these core qualities.
  • Style: Start off sentences with action verbs to convey enthusiasm and achievement. Sample verbs include: Advised, Analyzed, Assisted, Coordinated, Created, Developed, Evaluated, Guided, Handled, Implemented, Increased, Led, Maintained, Managed, Organized, Performed, Planned, Presented, Processed, Researched, Served, Sold, Taught, Trained, Wrote.
  • Avoid: Do not list your own website if it includes personal information. Never reveal confidential personal data such as social security, driver’s license or credit card numbers on a resume.


  • Consult NWTC Career Services, instructors, family, friends, and professionals in your field.
  • When you receive feedback, decide if the changes suggested are useful.

Electronic resumes and technology

  • E-Mail text resumes: If you copy the text of your resume into the body of an e-mail, use left-hand justified, plain text format. Avoid the use of tabs, bullets, underlining, bold and graphics.
  • E-mail Attachment resumes: If you e-mail your resume as an attachment, use your name in the document title, not just resume.doc.
  • Be sure you are sending your resume in an easily opened format (.doc or .pdf are preferred)

For resume and cover letter reviews, email Please allow a one week turnaround for resume and cover letter reviews.