Alumnae Resume Guidelines

Whether you are a recent graduate, a senior executive, or are navigating a career pivot, your resume highlights information that is used to introduce yourself to prospective employers and people in your field. Impactful resumes require customization and optimization for specific job applications. As you update your resume throughout your career, focus on featuring your most relevant skills, recent experience, and what is most important for an employer to know about you. Consider making an appointment with an alumnae career adviser or a career community adviser in your industry to discuss how best to communicate your background and accomplishments on your resume.

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Purpose of Resume (Overview)

Your resume is generally a one-page document that clearly presents your current and past experiences and accomplishments so that your reader can understand the unique value that you bring to the table. As you begin to draft your resume, consider the following. Your resume is:

  • Your first opportunity to make an impression. Step back from the details to consider what story you want to communicate.
  • Foremost, about the content and demonstrating your experiences. Begin by writing your resume in Google docs or Word, and avoid using templates that focus on form over content.
  • A living document that you will tailor to specific positions and will evolve throughout your career.
  • Not a laundry list of every experience; it is a carefully curated list of relevant experiences. 
  • Easy to read. Consider font type and size, formatting, and a balance of text and white space.
  • Shared with potential employers as a pdf document.

Resume Header

The header provides your full name and contact information (email address & telephone number). This section should not include personal information (e.g., sex, date of birth, marital status). Items that may be included in your header:

  • Wellesley and/or home address: If you choose both, be sure to label each address accordingly. 
  • Personal website, links to professional social media (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) 


Education Section of Resume

If you are a current student or recent alumna, the education section should be just below the heading, with the most recent education listed first. Generally, you should not include your high school on your resume; however, first-year college students may include relevant high school experiences. Necessary information includes:

  • Your institution and its location (City/Town and State) 
  • Your degree (Bachelor of Arts), any major(s) and/or minor(s) 
  • Expected graduation date. 
  • Optional: Study abroad programs and institutions where you cross-registered for classes. 


Experience Section of Resume

In this section, provide details about your various experiences, highlighting accomplishments, learning outcomes, and transferable skills. “Experience” is broadly defined and can include full- or part-time work, summer jobs, internships, research, academic projects, campus leadership, volunteer opportunities, etc. Describe your experiences using strong, specific verbs, and emphasize the results and impact of your work. You can create separate and distinct Experience sections to highlight those positions or skills (e.g., Research, Leadership, Extracurricular, or Volunteer). 

  • List experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent first). 
  • Include name and location of the organization where this experience took place and the title of your role. 
  • Include start and end date for your experience. If it is ongoing, list your end date as “Present.” 
  • Describe your experience in accomplishment statements, using short phrases starting with a strong verb. Be specific and quantify your experiences whenever you can. 
  • Create 2-5 accomplishment statements for each experience. 


Skills Section of Resume

This section provides an immediate view of the kinds of tasks you are ready to undertake. While you will want to be selective and only list relevant skills, these might range from technical skills, like expertise using a digital tool, to experience-based skills, like project management or database design. This section can also include certifications, languages, etc. In general, it’s best to avoid general skills like people skills, time management or critical thinking. As this section grows, you may divide it into several distinct skills sections, like Software Expertise, Language Skills, Teaching Skills, Design Skills, etc.

Resume Checklist

Is your resume... 

☐ Easy to read? 

☐ Simple, clean font (e.g. Times, Arial, Garamond) 

☐ 10 to 12 pt. font 

☐ 0.5 to 1 in. margins 

☐ Error free (grammar & spelling)? 

☐ Devoid of personal pronouns (I, me, my, we)? 

☐ Concise? 

☐ Reverse chronological? 

☐ Tailored to the type(s) of opportunities you are seeking?

Does your resume… 

☐ Effectively communicate your relevant skills and experience? 

☐ Effectively communicate your personal brand? 

☐ Use consistent formatting for dates, job accomplishments, etc.? 

☐ Display your strongest or most relevant qualifications near the top of the page or section? 

☐ Highlight all your related/transferable experience? 

☐ Utilize action verbs and results-oriented language to describe your experience?

☐  Display on the screen without formatting errors as a pdf attachment?