How Employers Look at Your Resume

  • Employers scan a resume in less than thirty seconds.
  • Employers scan your resume to determine if your education, experience, skills, and interests will be of value to the organization.
  • Employers use resumes to screen applicants and determine who to interview.
  • Employers use your resumes to develop interview questions.
  • Even if you lack specific, relevant experience in your chosen field, employers use your resume to determine if you possess attributes that are transferable to the workplace.

For example, a leadership position in a Student Organization translates into leadership potential in an organization. If your resume provides specific, concrete information describing your activities and accomplishments, it will stand out among the hundreds of resumes employers receive.

Resume Format

Although no one format works equally well for everyone, CSPD recommends the chronological resume format. CSPD believes the chronological format is ideal for undergraduates in the Fox School of Business & Management. This format will allow you to describe your achievements and responsibilities in a context of growth and continuity at the Fox School of Business & Management.

Elements of a Chronological Resume


Include name, address, e-mail address, (if you check your e-mail regularly) and telephone number.


Opinions differ widely among employers and career professionals as to the value of including a career objective. In general, an objective on your resume is helpful, but it is not an essential component of a successful resume.

Your objective should convey specific information about what you are seeking. Examples of effective objectives follow:

  • To obtain an internship in Accounting.
  • To obtain an entry level position in finance or financial services.
  • An entry level position in Human Resource Management, with special interest in Employee Benefits.
  • To obtain a position in Marketing, with an emphasis on market research.

Note: Many non-traditional students approach this section by using a summary of qualifications, or profile, which describes skills and experience in relation to a specific career interest. Although this approach is less widely used, it does offer the opportunity to highlight one’s important assets at the top of the resume.


Please use the guidelines in the sample resume. Note that you are a student at TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, Fox School of Business & Management. You are a degree candidate for the Bachelor of Business Administration.

Your major(s) will be Marketing, Accounting, Finance, etc. Include your cumulative GPA.

If you attended another college before coming to Temple University, include it only if you make reference to it elsewhere in your resume or cover letter.

Do not include your high school unless is it nationally recognized (Baldwin, Shipley), or perhaps, in a country or region where you want to work (Girls High, Central).

Activities & Awards

  • Activities – List your school community and service activities.
  • Awards – List honor socities and academic awards.

Note: If you have one or two academic awards, such as dean’s list and honor societies, incorporate them in the education section. Include only scholarships based on merit.

Selected Courses

List courses (up to six) that are pertinent to your objective and employer needs. For example a Marketing or Human Resource Management major may wish to demonstrate quantitative and analytical ability.


This section should include diverse experiences, both paid and unpaid. Include part-time and full time work, summer jobs, co-op’s, internship experiences, volunteer experience, and extracurricular activities. Describe experiences that demonstrate you can succeed in the position you are pursuing.

Examples of descriptions follow:

Reorganized inventory procedures, shortening order fulfillment time from three to two days.

Designed and implemented recruitment strategy for new members, increasing membership by 25%.

Coordinated activities of 20 volunteers, whose efforts resulted in raising $5,000.

Computer Skills & Languages

List computer languages and programs, foreign languages, and any technical skills not elsewhere listed. Omit references to “e-mail and internet.” If the foreign language you speak is not widely recognized, provide the country or continent name. Place in context any information that might not be generally understood.

Resume Do’s and Don’ts


  • Keep the layout simple, balanced, and well organized
  • Use a one inch margin on all sides (can be modified to ‘.09 on all sides)
  • Maintain consistent indentation, capitalization, font style and spacing
  • Write out months in full rather than abbreviate (e.g., September 2003 NOT Sept. ’03 or 09/03)
  • Quantify accomplishments when possible
  • Place all dates on the right-hand side of the page
  • Avoid abbreviations
  • Use high quality bond in white, ivory, or light gray


  • Use meaningless words or phrases such as “seeking a challenging position” or “working with people.”
  • Exaggerate your experience.
  • Round up your GPA.
  • Begin phrases with “I” or use complete sentences.
  • Start phrases in the experience section with ‘my responsibilities included’.
  • List e-mail or internet as computer skills.

Scannable Resumes

Whereas “eye appeal” is important for conventional resumes, simplicity is the key for scannable resumes. Scannable and conventional resumes contain the same basic information, but the presentation for each differs significantly.

  • Scanner technology is designed to search resumes for keywords that relate to skills and experience the employer seeks. The scanning process combines and condenses keywords into skill sets. For example, “assessed client needs” might be scanned as “customer needs analysis.”
  • Make liberal use of keywords (nouns) that define your experience.
  • Use two pages for scannable resumes, rather than crowding it all onto one page.
  • On page two be sure to put your name at the top
  • Avoid vertical lines, and use horizontal lines sparingly.