Resume Assistant

There are several situations for which you would need a resume -- job hunting, applying to graduate school, and applying for undergraduate research programs are the most common. You should prepare and maintain a master resume, which can be quickly adapted for specific needs.

Often the words resume and CV are used interchangeably.  Strict interpretations tend to be that a resume is more brief.

Resume tips

  • Make it professional looking but not gratuitously flashy.
  • Don't make it too densely packed
  • Adjust, edit, and rearrange it for specific job applications
  • This resume can work well for temporary undergraduate research positions (REUs), graduate school applications or can be adapted to regular full-time jobs
  • Remember that a resume you send out should be one page, although this rule is relaxing, it is not likely that a fresh graduate would need more. A publications list does not count as part of the one page limit.
  • Absolutely, positively have at least one other person read your resume and cover letter critically. Mistakes are fatal. Run them by a faculty member.
  • Refer to the links below for more tips

Web resources... for resumes, cover letters, and interviews

Starter Template

Don't worry about format initially, just get everything there. Remember, this is the master resume, and you don't actually send it to anyone. It is edited down to a form you would send out. So go ahead any put things in it even if you aren't sure they will go out. Do NOT include a photo or information about age, marital or family status, disabilities, or religion. On the master resume it is OK to include information about your US citizenship or residency status. On specific resumes you send out this information may or may not be appropriate for inclusion.


Name, phone, email


Degrees: degree name, and expected date, Institution

Concentrations/minors (don't bother with high school stuff)


Key coursework. Usually don't worry about things such as Cinema History, but do include the math, science and computer stuff. If your GPA is something to brag about include it. If not, leave it out. It is OK to give either your overall GPA or your GPA in the major if it would do you some good.


Research programs or projects (REUs, other summer or academic year special projects). Include dates and brief project description/title.  What did you do?  What skills did you aquire?


What platforms do you have experience on? (Mac, PC, Unix, Linux...)

What special programs are you comfortable using (Mathematica, IDL, Photoshop...)

Can you program? What languages?  How well?


Do you have any experience with special instruments? Have you operated an FTIR, STM, Logic Analyzer, spectrophotometer, PET Scanner, flux capacitor....? List special hardware expertise or experience.


Relevant work experience. Generally prospective employers won't care that you were a dishwasher. So only work experience which has technical or managerial aspects.


Are you a good writer or speaker? If so, how do you know? Can you convey this very briefly to a potential employer?

Language skills e.g., fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Polish. Even some language proficiency is good.


List your publications and presentations (at conferences, workshops, etc.) -- titles, dates...