A resume is one of the most important documents in your internship or job search. It is a personal marketing tool that may lead to an interview. Think of your resume as a highlights summary of the skills, experiences and knowledge that you will bring to a specific position or industry. Remember to include a cover letter when asked when sending a resume to an employer.
Guidelines for ALL Resumes
Error Free: An employer views your resume as an example of your best, careful work.
Clear Organization: Make your information easy to find! Your reader may only take a few seconds per document, make it easy to find information in your resume.
Honest: The truth should NOT be stretched. This includes your GPA; fabricating your cumulative or departmental GPA is an academic integrity violation that can also have long-term employment consequences; if your employer requests a final transcript and the GPA listed is not what you stated on your resume, your offer could be rescinded.
Consistent: Remember that consistency throughout your document matters more than style. Punctuation, use of white space, date formats, and role and education font effects should be consistent throughout.
Targeted / Customized: Consider and address the needs of the position you are seeking and the organization you are targeting.
Business Guideline: Internship and entry-level resumes are one page. As you progress in your career and develop more and more skill sets, two or more pages can be strategic and expected.
Undergraduate and Graduate Resume Creation Resources
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Sample Resumes: Harvard Style and Reverse Chronological (LEAD format)
Samples and Checklist Guides
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LEAD 1050 (early career student) Sample Resumes and Checklists
LEAD 2000 and 3000 (mid-career student) Sample Resumes and Checklists
For VMOCK template downloads, see LEAD 1050 category above.
Graduate Student and Alumni Resumes
Resumes for graduate students and those who have been working for many years may contain sections not typically included in entry level resumes. Depending on your goals (are you looking to switch industries? Move up with your current employer?), your resume may look different for each position you apply for: strategic and intentional customization is key.
- Sample MBA resume (current graduate student)
- Working example document for GSM students
- Recent GSM/new alumni sample resume
- Master of Science in Accounting sample resume
- Harvard style resume - Use this resume format for applications related to investment banking and investment. Business Career Center staff encourage students to use the Harvard style template using bullet points. However, within this resume style, there is also a paragraph-style option. Source: Harvard University Office of Career Services.
- Remember, if you are applying for investment banking jobs, it is either a Harvard style OR a reverse chronological resume; a combination of the two will look disjointed and may lead to your resume not being read.
- High school education is expected on Harvard style documents, but you do not need to include SAT, SAT II, ACT, TOEFL, etc scores unless specifically asked.
- Inclusive resume - Initial career development and the internship/entry-level position search can often intersect with explorations of gender identity or sexual orientation. This can lead to lots of additional questions and concerns about how to navigate the application process with use of chosen names, deadnames, etc.
Note: Per the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII." For more information about LGBT-related sex discrimination claims, see https://www.eeoc.gov/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-sogi-discrimination
- The National Association of Colleges and Employers also has a resource page on career considerations of LGBTQ+ students available here.
- Online Resume Tutorial - As you begin or update your resume, review this tutorial to format your header, education and skills sections optimally. This tutorial was previously used as a LEAD 2000 class assignment; you may disregard the request for your MUID number in the final screen.
Quick References and Diagrams
The following contains section-by-section guidelines and suggestions for resume creation and/or updating.
Posting your updated resume to Handshake
As students and alumni complete a Handshake profile, you will be asked to upload a resume. You may upload additional materials to your Handshake profile including cover letters, transcripts and work samples.
To upload a new document, select the “documents” tab from your profile homepage. Review video instructions. Pay close attention to whether or not you wish to make a document public. If your profile is public, employers will be able to view documents that you also label as public. Consider making your primary resume public and keeping materials uploaded for specific job applications private.
If you would like Business Career Center staff to review your resume, please schedule an in-person or virtual (phone, Microsoft Teams) appointment through Handshake. You are also welcome to e-mail your resume as a MS Word document to email@example.com. For e-mailed resumes, we will do our best to provide feedback within three business days.
Other Application Resources
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A cover letter is another marketing tool that allows candidates and potential talent to market themselves and their skill sets to a particular employer and position. A cover letter is NOT a regurgitation of your resume; in your cover letter, you want to focus on specific experiences that relate back to the position you are applying for, and how you'll apply the skills you have developed in previous roles to the new role. Your letter and resume should work together in presenting you in an effective and concise manner. While not all employers request a cover letter at the point of application, knowing how and when to craft one is important.
Through your cover letter, the reader will learn about you through your:
- Writing style.
- Content shared: about the employer and about your experiences.
- Attention to detail: like a resume, cover letters follow a standard format and should be customized and error-free.
E-mailing your letter? You will typically attach your cover letter to your email, and not send it in the body of your message. The e-mail text can be very brief:
Dear Ms. Smith:
It was nice to meet you at the Marquette University career fair on Wednesday. As we discussed at the fair, I am very excited about the Procurement Intern position and have attached my cover letter and resume to this email. Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything else from me at this time.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
References are listed on a separate page, not as the second page of a resume
Follow Up: Should I? If so, when? How?
You've updated your resume, crafted a stellar cover letter, and clicked the apply button...and haven't heard anything in two weeks. Now what?
It is great to follow up - really! Checking in on the organization's hiring timeline demonstrates your continued interest in the role, and also allows you to have more information for your own decision making process and priorities/timelines. We recommend waiting at least two weeks between the point of application and the point of follow up.
- Look for a contact
- Did you address your cover letter to the recruiter you met with at Marketing Networking Night? Do you have their direct contact information? Start with them! Typically Handshake positions include the name and email of the employee responsible for the role; this may be a recruiter or the hiring manager directly. LinkedIn is a great place to confirm/check on their job titles.
- Don't know the recruiting contact or it isn't public on Handshake? Ask the BCC - we can help! Remember that "Dear Hiring Manager" is not as personal or as well researched as "Dear Jane Smith/Dear Ms. Smith." Do your research and rely on your network to ensure you have the correct contact at the organization.
- Send an email
- Sending an email over calling or visiting both allows the recruiter/contact to keep a paper trail of your interest and outreach (many applicant tracking systems log how many touch points potential talent has had with an organization) and allows for a faster response, especially during "busy season," recruiters are on the road at career fairs and other campus events more than they may be in their office. Emails can be read and responded to more efficiently than a voice mail.
- Use a clear and direct subject line
- This allows the reader to know the purpose of the inquiry.
- Include a posting number if applicable, eg "Mary Marquette Follow Up: Procurement Intern Application (position #556932)"
- Include any relevant updates or additions, but keep it brief
- Did you win a case competition since you applied? Let your contact know, but don't turn your email into an essay of accomplishments. Remember, you're looking to check in on next steps and to ensure your application has made it to the right team.
- Reiterate your contact information and thank the reader!