Resume Tips

Your resume makes the most important first impression. For media jobs especially, human resources professionals will look for faultless grammar and perfect presentation. Even a small typo can sink your chances of landing an in-person interview as interviewers won’t take seriously an applicant for a media job who hasn’t caught all of his or her mistakes.

Use these guidelines to ensure that your resume and other submissions will shine:

Resumé Writing Tips

  • Have someone else check your final draft for mistakes.
  • Remember, resumés work best if they are tailored to a specific position.
  • Don’t expect to use the same resumé for different types of jobs.
  • Limit your resumé to one or two pages for most jobs. Include only relevant and targeted information.
  • Do not write your resumé in first person.
  • Your resumé should be accurate, honest, organized and easy to read.
  • Use a concise and specific objective. Avoid long, wordy and ambiguous statements. In some cases, an
  • objective may be omitted. If so, be sure your cover letter contains a specific objective.
  • You may want to create a letterhead at the top of your resumé and include your name, full address, e-mail address and phone number. This look can be used on all of your professional documents.
  • Bulleted action verb statements should be used when describing skills, accomplishments and responsibilities.
  • Reference information can be listed on a separate sheet if you do not have room at the bottom of your resumé.
  • Always include a cover letter when mailing or emailing your resumé to a prospective employer.

Tips for producing a scannable resumé

Many businesses and organizations are using computer technology to scan resumés for information pertinent to evaluating candidate qualifications. The following tips will help you produce an effective scannable resumé:

  • Focus on skills and facts, using keywords for definition.
  • Use concrete words to describe your experiences.
  • Avoid vertical and horizontal lines, italics, underlines, graphics, shadows and boxes.
  • Use standard typefaces, with a font size of 10 to 14 points.
  • Do not condense spacing between letters.
  • Use white or light-colored paper, printed on one side only.
  • Provide a laser printed original.
  • Do not fold or staple.


  • You need three to six references. Type a list of names, titles, addresses and preferred phone numbers of the people who have agreed to serve as references. Use the same paper on which your resumé is typed, if it is a separate sheet. It should have your contact information at the top.
  • Ask people to serve as references before you include their names. Ask them if they feel comfortable recommending you and if they will be complimentary about you in their comments.
  • Ask professors, university administrators, your advisor, former or current employers or supervisors or anyone who knows you well and can comment on your personal qualities, abilities, talents and accomplishments.
  • Take a few minutes to review some of your specific accomplishments with references and supply them with copies of your resumé. If you are asked to send recommendation letters instead of merely a list of references, ask your references to write you letters of recommendation, then provide them with the appropriate recommendation form (if available) and addressed and stamped return envelopes if they need to mail the letter directly to an employer or to a graduate school.
  • The more time you give a person to write a letter of recommendation, the better. You should make sure that your reference knows when the letter is due. It is your responsibility to check with your references to make sure that he or she has completed and sent the letter.
  • Always write your references thank-you notes expressing your appreciation. Stay in touch with your references even after you’ve landed a job or been accepted to graduate school.