Build Your Resume – GradPlan

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Build Your Resume

Peep this guide to help you make a new resume or revise an existing one

What is a resume and why do I need one?

Most companies will require a resume when you apply for a job. Your resume is an opportunity for you to share with the employer the skills you possess that make you a great candidate for the job, previous work experience, and any relevant achievements or honors you have received.

How do I create a resume?

You can use an online template to create your resume, or draft one from scratch in a Google Doc, Canva, or Zety. If you use Google, try the format we suggest below. However you decide to design your resume, pay close attention to text size, spacing, and spelling. The more consistent and even your resume can be, the better!

What do I add to my resume?

The basics are your contact information, your work experience and your education, but there are several additional elements you could add, such as your work-ready skills, achievements you accomplished or foreign languages you might speak. Check out our sample resume design below and see if this works for you:


Contact Information

Make sure you write out your first and last name at the top of your resume. Add an email address you check regularly and your phone number. You don’t need to include your street address, but you might want to include your city.



List the high school you attended or are attending, and any college you may be enrolled in. If you have over a 3.0 GPA, great work! Note your GPA on your resume.


Work Experience

Add the place(s) you worked, your job title, the dates you worked there and the duties you performed at your job. Don’t panic if you’ve never had a job before, consider changing this section to “volunteer work experience”, to describe things you’ve done at school, church or in the community.


Extracurricular Activities

List the activities you participate in outside of classes, and the responsibilities or activities you do there. If you have a leadership position note that as your role.



List what you are good at and make sure you know examples to back these up. Some skills you might have are public speaking, leading teams, problem-solving, social media, and written communication.

Here’s an Example

Based on the categories of information you just read about, here is what a sample resume might look like:


Tips for a Strong Resume

  • Utilize spell check and grammar check tools
  • Include actions words when describing your previous job responsibilities
  • Have someone else proofread your resume when you are done
  • Always start with your most recent work experience first and then work backwards

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a one page document that explains your interest in a specific job and demonstrates how you write and talk about yourself. Use this opportunity to detail why you want to work for the company and why you are a good fit for a specific job.

Some jobs will list cover letters as optional. Think twice before skipping this step. A cover letter may strengthen your application and help you stand out, especially when it is optional.

For a strong cover letter, use spell and grammar check and have someone proofread your letter before you submit it.


Check out more tips and sample cover letters »

That’s it!  You now have the information you need in order to make a competitive application for the jobs you are interested in. If you found this page helpful, please share it with a friend!

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"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist