The Perfect Resume, IMHO pt. 4: Resume Template

9 02 2011

I’ve been lazy.  Winter months took over, depression from the weather began to sink in.  I avoided writing.  Moody and feeling useless.  But to get out of my rut, I’m back.  A huge thank you to Kaitlyn Cole from for this mention and to Will Hsu (if you want to hire a great new grad, he’s your guy – contact me for info) for giving me the big kick in the pants I needed to post.

I conducted some interviews today and my goal was to understand their skills, their accomplishments, and how they got to where they are.  I’m always impressed with the interesting things that people have done in their lives.

Which got me thinking about resumes again.  Really.  How do you pique the interest of the company you want?  Assuming that the interviewer is going to ask you probing questions anyway, how will you draw them in?

My sister asked me for my opinion on a resume that she found that was organized by skills.  Under… say, the “Analytical” section, there was a block of text so dense that my eyes started to water.  It got me back to thinking about that 10-second review.

It sounds so non-progressive, but I was taught to write old-fashioned resumes where it listed sections on Education, Work Experience, Awards, and Extracurriculars with a few bullets under each section.  I actually have a really hard time breaking this format and reading resumes that are not organized this way.  I can’t find anything I need.  I don’t know where they learned the skill or if it’s a recent or past experience.  I’m just confused.  You don’t want to confuse a recruiter or interviewer when they look at your resume, right?

So I gave a sample resume before, but I really just want to drive home that the formatting is often overlooked but super important.   Here is the structure I used on my own resume.  Thanks to all the career advisors that helped along the way!

NOTE:  This probably is only really helpful for new and recent grads.  Experienced resumes (for general business roles), shouldn’t be much different.  Engineering and Science resumes are not my area of expertise, guys!  Sorry… the skills resume format might work for those roles, but I couldn’t tell you.

Contact phone, email


State your objective here


Bachelors of Awesomeness, Field of study,  MM/YY (date received)
Academic awards or distinctions or anything else you want to call out.


Most recent company 1, City, State
Job Title , MM/YY – present

  • Biggest achievement (show results with numbers where ever possible)
  • Second biggest achievement
  • Daily duties that are remarkable or worth calling out

Previous company 1, City, State
Job Title, MM/YY – MM/YY

  • repeat above

Previous internship company 1, City, State
Job Title, MM/YY – MM-YY

  • Just 1 bullet or no more bullets because I’ve been working so long.  Depends on how much more you have to put (and length of the resume)


  • I think I had like one a long time ago.  So I listed it here with the date MM/YY.  You can also list it below and just re-title Extracurriculars to Extracurriculars and Awards (always lead with awards).


  • Org name, Member of the org. that I’m in #1, Date received or MM/YY – MM-YY
  • (you can skip the section above and also put them here)  Awards for talent, merit, academics, or general awesomeness, MM/YY received
  • Volunteering, MM/YY

HOBBIES:  blogging, dancing, yoga, general awesomeness

If you guys spent just 10 seconds reviewing a resume in this resume format, would you be able to quickly grasp my accomplishments in one page?  Just a side note:  I couldn’t move my dates to the right side of the page, but I’d have them aligned there in the experience section.

Draw in these companies in with a shiny object (like results or productivity) and then let them ask you about the rest in your interview.  🙂  You can do it!

P.S. My company is hiring.  In case you guys didn’t see the memo!



8 responses

25 03 2011
Anne Marie

What if you’ve worked for the same company doing the same job at different times? I’m talking about temporary vacation work throughout college. Do you just list a string of months/years next to the company name?

25 03 2011

Hi Anne Marie.

I would do one of two things, but let me know what you think!

Title, Date started – present (most recent), date – date, date – date
– responsibilities 1
– responsibilities 2

Title, Date started – present (or most recent)
– show responsibilities that increased over time
– responsibilities 2

Title, Date started – ended (second most recent)
– show basic responsibilities, but an increase from last summer
– responsibilities 2

Title, Date started – ended (third most recent)
– show basic responsibilities

30 03 2011

thought i’d add my 2-cents for the engineering crowd that tunes in to your blog. when looking at the format of a resume for and engineer i have 2 bits of advice:

1. list the skills and technologies your are TRUELY proficient at in the beginning. it does 2 things, highlights what you’re good at and differentiates you from the other guy who lists every technology under the sun in his/her resume.

2. in each position you’ve held under a company, list the project or accomplisment and mention how you’ve utilized technologies to develop and improve the product. this gives the reader a good idea of your understanding and proficiency at the technology and your thought process.

30 03 2011

Thanks, Scott! When are you writing a post for my blog?

23 05 2011

Please guys help me… Am a fresher and i recently completed my Mech engineer and now am looking for a challenging resume for the interviews…can anyone please help me in preparing a resume for myself… Thanks and Regards

16 06 2011
Resume Formats

Have no words, exactly what i was looking for, cheers!@bose

1 07 2011
Jack Napiare

Nice way of puting it. lol

3 01 2012
Tobi Baker

CV formatting is so important.

After working in recruitment for a year I noticed some correlation between industries and CV’s (Most of my learnings where quite obvious). People in highly academic industries like mathematicians pay much less attention to how their CV looks. And typically creative people make the biggest effort.

The effect that this sometimes has is that you would have to dig far deeper into the the CV of the academic to see that the CV is actually of value. In a poor recruitment consultant the CV could be altogether passed over.

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