The anatomy of a resume

As much as we all don’t want to face it, the daunting task of applying for a summer job starts within these next few weeks. For many, creating a resume or editing one that already exists is nothing but tedious and boring. Selling yourself  is easier said than done. Given the proper know-how on writing a resume, however, can make or break your employment. Fortunately for us UTM students, the Career Center has a wealth of knowledge that is ready to be taken advantage of on the science of writing a resume. Here are their basic guidelines on resume writing (for more information, please click here:

General Guidelines 

The Truth About Lying On Resumes

Photo credit: The Society of Human Resource Managers

  • Resumes are usually 1-2 pages
  • Use basic fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial as it’ll minimize any technical problems that may occur when electronically sending or scanning your resume. That being said, don’t use graphics either! (Plus, it just looks tacky if you do.)
  • Keep margins 3/4 to an 1″ and font size 11 or 12 pts
  • Be wary of italics, underlining and bolding as they may not look the same on other operating systems
  • A “reader friendly” resume is one that will use spaces effectively
  • Research employer requirements and make sure to highlight your qualifications that match what they’re looking for
  • Proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors

Contact Information 

  • Include mailing address, telephone number with voice-mail, professional e-mail (none of that stuff!) and make it a few font sizes larger so it stands out
  • Make sure you actually have access to the information you provide
  • Use 2-4 lines for your information
  • Center or left justify


  • You don’t necessarily need one since it can be stated within your cover letter, but if you do decide to include one, make it as specific as you can.

Profile/ Skills Summary/ Highlights of Qualifications 

  • … Are optional
  • If you do choose to have this section, bullet your points and highlight 3-5 skills/qualifications that are relevant to the position you’re applying for


  • Include dates attended, program, areas of study, institution
  • Include relevant courses if related to job posting
  • Include GPA if it’s over 3.0
  • Include high school if you’re in first or second year
  • If you don’t want to include your high school but want to include awards/honours earned while there, you can create an “awards” section

Experience (paid, unpaid, volunteer)

  • Include all types of experience — paid, unpaid or volunteer
  • You can separate your sections into “Work Experience,” “Volunteer Experience,” “Relevant Experience,” or simply “Experience” which would allow you to include all your experience under one heading
  • Order your experiences in reverse chronological order within each section (Earliest to most recent)
  • Begin each point with an action verb
  • Within your experience descriptions, place the most relevant and important tasks first

Extracurricular Activities

  • Include University and High School Activities such as club memberships and leaderships roles. Ex: First year class representative for ANT102
  • Include a brief description of accomplishments and results if possible

Awards/ Professional Memberships/ Interests 

  • Include any awards during high school, university, or as part of a paid job or volunteer experience
  • Include any professional memberships. Highlight your roles, duties and accomplishments
  • Include sports or leisure activities that demonstrate other areas of your life
  • Don’t include references on your resume
  • Alternatively, you could put “References Available on Request.” If an employer is interested, they’ll ask for them

These are just the basic guidelines that the UTM Career Center website offers on how to write a solid resume. They also have a few examples for you to look at just in case you’re unsure of formatting or anything else. For more information, visit their website here. Cheers to a successful job hunt!


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1 Response

  1. Christina says:

    This is the most simplified and best advice on resumes I’ve seen on the Internet. Great article!

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