student in media lab

Design Tips

  • Resumes are viewed quickly from top to bottom and left to right. Arrange your information so the most important items are towards the top and on the left.
  • Make important information stand out. Indentation, capitalization, bold type, and surrounding white space all help emphasize important points. Caution: Avoid visual clutter! Employers say they find it cumbersome to read resumes that contain too many different styles, type fonts, and font sizes.
  • Make your section headings distinct. Readers will quickly scan your headings first, so make them easy to spot by using one of the "stand out" techniques mentioned above.
  • Using reverse chronological order, list most recent items first within each section. This means that your current experience goes at the top; then, activities you're still doing but began some time ago; then, recent experiences with an end-date; and lastly, older experiences.
  • Keep to one page if possible. Many employers will make an initial assessment based on a glance at the first page. If you do go to a second page, make sure the most relevant information is on page one. Note: Nonprofit employers are generally more accepting of longer resumes.
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