How to Build a Resume

by Rachel Pope
Marketing Intern

Like many young adults starting off, building my resume was something that intimidated me. What font should I use? What needs to be on my resume? How many references do I need? I was completely unsure! Through a little research, I learned how to best build my resume. I then decided to share some of my knowledge on building resumes to help other students who were in the same position as me. In just a few steps, I am going to teach you how to build an awesome resume!

Make your Resume “Skimable”

The purpose of a resume is to get an interview, but many people don’t know what employers are looking for. Bring attention to your best assets! On average most employers only SKIM a resume, so use bold and italics to bring attention to important things such as your education, and work experience.

“Above the Fold”

Be aware of “Above the Fold,” meaning your most important information should be at the top of your resume. If you’re wondering what this is, if you are a newly graduated student, or are still attending school your school information needs to be “above the fold.” However, if you have been out of school for five years or more your work history should be “above the fold.”

What Needs to Be on Your Resume?

There are several things that are necessary for your resume, however there are several categories that are subjective. Contact, education, work experience are obviously all necessary when creating your resume. However, there are several things that employers like to see, but isn’t completely necessary such as honors, awards, student and professional organizations, and volunteer activities. Obviously these aren’t completely necessary, however it is something employers enjoy seeing!

Contact Information

The first think that needs to be on your resume is your contact information. This is obviously an important part of building your resume, however doesn’t need to need to take a large amount of space. Your contact information should take up three lines or less. Your name can be a larger font, however don’t make it too large. Your contact information should include your email, phone number, address, and if you have a personal website/LinkedIn page.


If you are a student or are recently graduated, the next portion of your resume should be your education.  It should first include the title of where you are attending college, what degree you are pursing, your GPA, and your expected graduation date. Make sure to bring attention to your education by using bold, italicizing, or underlining the name of your college or university.

Work Experience

Following the education portion of your resume, then comes your work experience. The work experience section of our resume is so important, and even if you have not yet worked in your attended field, chances are you have worked somewhere with transferrable skills such as customer service, initiative, teamwork, and work ethic. Many employers prefer resumes in bullet form to paragraph form. Make sure to write well-constructed sentences for each bullet.

Final Section

Your last section includes: honors, awards, student and professional organizations, and volunteer activities. This section is subjective, and depends on how much information you have to add here. If you have a lot of information for each section, most definitely


Finally, your references. Your references should not be located on your actual resume, however should still be included on a separate document.

New Expectations

Before I got to college, I always had my mother help me with my resume. She worked in the educational field for a long time, but just remember resumes change just like everything else! A younger generation of employers expect a different resume than what employers from the Baby Boomer or the Gen Y generations expected.

Keep up with your resume, it is expected of you by your future employer. I hope this helps ease a little stress when creating your resume.

Looking for help?

For more help with your resume, be sure to check out staff and alumni resources through Ivy Tech’s Career Development.


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