Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

Based on my experiences, I made do’s and don'ts that will hopefully help you make your resume stand out and showcase your skills.

Every resume is different and unique, just like every job. I have had many careers from casting to international event planning and with each role my resume has grown and changed. In my time as an advisor, on search committees and a mentor, I have seen some amazing resumes that show poise and polish and I have seen resumes that immediately that cause an applicant to no longer be a candidate. Based on my experiences, I made do’s and don’ts that will hopefully help you make your resume stand out and showcase your skills. Remember there is a time and place for all of your skills, but your resume should adapt to each job.


  • Have a nice and clean format that allows for white page space and is pleasant to the eye.
  • Have your name stand out on top.
  • Submit a PDF of your resume.
  • Include phone, email, Linkedin and other social media, if appropriate.
  • Use bullet points to explain what you did in each role you held. Be as specific as possible and include metrics and data where you can that show your success.
  • Include a reference list at the bottom.
  • Keep everything on one page.
  • Include skills or technology programs you have experience using.
  • Tailor your resume to each job you apply for, take words from their job description and add it into your resume, if it does relate to a job you did previously. This will help make you stand out.
  • Have someone spell check and then read your resume aloud before submitting it.
  • Print it before sending. Is it too busy? Are the formatting lines clear?

Don’t :

  • Generally, don’t overdo the formatting. It should not look like a Pinterest board. Sometimes less is more. Exceptions might be if you are a designer and want to use your resume to showcase some of your skills.
  • Don’t use font sizes small than 10 point. It becomes hard to read.
  • Don’t include your full address. If you want to include something, add your state and town. This typically takes up too much room and is no longer necessary information to include.
  • Don’t include your Instagram, Facebook or social media if it isn’t used for professional purposes and the employer hasn’t asked for it.
  • Don’t overfill the page with information or go over one page.  
  • Don’t include irrelevant work or experience. Tailor the resume to include work experience that gave you skills you will use in the new role.
  • Don’t LIE. You want an employer to hire you for the credentials and experience you currently have. Lying on your resume will only lead to problems for you down the road.

There are plenty of other ways to make your resume stand out. Including your experiences and skills gained as a sorority woman is one way to do that.

Clare (CJ) Smith

CJ is a member of Delta Delta Delta from the Alpha Tau chapter. CJ attended Carnegie Mellon University where she earned a bachelor’s in theatre studies and Colorado State University where she earned her master’s in higher education. CJ now works at the University of Arizona as a recruiter.

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