Your resume is often one of the first things asked of you in the job or internship search process. The goal of your resume, in addition to other application materials, is to get you an interview. Your resume should concisely convey your communication abilities, fit, skills, and strengths for the position you’re targeting. Learn about how you can create an effective resume and what to be mindful of when creating a resume through this resume guide.
Not sure where to start?The most common advice we give is to use our CNS Resume Template.
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Content & Formatting
Learn about the different components that go into creating an effective, polished resume:
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
Many recruiters and employers use an ATS to track and evaluate candidates throughout the recruiting and hiring process. You must ensure that your resume is ATS-friendly. Otherwise, your resume might never reach the hiring manager! Our resume templates are ATS-friendly so all you need to do is tailor your resume for the roles you are applying for.
Applicant Tracking System Tips and Tricks
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have 2 positions at the same company/organization, do I list the company twice?
If you have two positions at the same company/organisation, you can put both positions in a single experience entry in whichever section you deem most relevant or appropriate. For example, if one position is more leadership-related and one is research-oriented, place the whole experience under the section that you would like to emphasise more for the opportunity you are applying for.
Student Organization Example:
This would be an example where you would want to show you are a member and in a leadership position in an organisation.
Global Public Health Brigades, UT Austin Chapter, Austin, TX, August 2019–Present
Fundraising Chair, August 2020–Present
- Improved infrastructure by building latrines, showers, water storage units, and stoves for families in El Cantón, Honduras on a one-week public health brigade trip
- Planned fundraising opportunities and coordinate meetings for members going on public health brigade trip
Research Experience Example:
Stream Name, Freshman Research Initiative, UT Austin, January 2019–May 2021
Research Mentor, August 2019–May 2021
- Promoted to mentor position after displaying strong research and leadership skills in the lab environment
- Mentored 10 new undergraduate researchers as they learned essential laboratory techniques and guided them as they acclimated to a rigorous research program
Undergraduate Research Assistant, January 2019–August 2019
- Performed molecular and genetic analysis on two regulatory loci, the Transparent Testa Glabra2 (TTG2) locus and the Glabra2 (GL2) locus, and explored the regulation of plant pigment pathways
- Isolated and identified mutants and genes in pigments such as trichome, testa, and anthocyanin
Is it okay if my resume has color on it?
Sometimes this can be okay, but color on a resume can cause issues for Applicant Tracking Systems and can be distracting to hiring managers trying to quickly skim a resume. We generally recommend avoiding color on resumes. Just keep the text black! Get more information on ATS by reading through the following: Tips and Tricks for ATS
How can I customize my LinkedIn link?
When you first sign up for LinkedIn, you will be given a link that has a bunch of numbers in it like linkedin.com/in/jane-smith-930185163/ but you can customize the link so it looks like linkedin.com/in/jane-smith/ which is much tidier in the contact info of your resume.
To customize your link all you need to do is click “edit pubic profile and URL” in the top right corner of your LinkedIn page. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or you haven’t filled it out, then you don’t need to put it on your resume.
How should I include study abroad experiences on my resume?
We usually recommend adding it as a bullet within the Education section similar to where you put minors/certificates.
UT Austin Maymester in Costa Rica: Land Issues in Costa Rica (May-June 2020)
OR (if it was through another university or program):
CIEE Study Abroad in Seoul, South Korea, Sciences Program (June2021-August 2021)
If you did a significant project as part of the experience then you can also add an entry in the “Projects” section with a brief description and make it clear that it was part of their study abroad.If you had an internship abroad experience, then that should be its own entry in the “Experience” section.
If I transferred to UT, should I keep my previous university/college on my resume?
You can keep it on your resume or remove it. If you keep it, you should include the dates and a line that says “Completed basic coursework”. Also don’t add a degree name unless you actually completed the degree, ex. “Associate of Science.”
How should I write out the dates on my resume for jobs that I’ve had multiple times during summer and winter breaks?
We suggest writing “Summers 2019 & 2020” or “Summers 2018-2021” where the dates should go.
H-E-B, Sugar Land, TX, Summer 2019 – Summer 2021
- Enthusiastically served customers while bagging their purchased groceries
- Assisted in carrying out items to customers’ vehicles when desired
- Managed high-volume traffic and pressure by communicating with fellow team members
Should I list internships or experiences that were canceled due to COVID in the experience section?
You can include experiences that were cancelled due to COVID on your resume with the dates filled in as “canceled due to COVID,” but as soon as you have any other experience to replace it on your resume, we suggest you remove it to make room for things you were able to do and complete.
When it comes to the Projects section on a technical resume, how should the descriptions be formatted?
Use the general formula “built (app/project description) using (language/tools) to do (description of what it does)” but this can vary depending on the project. See our technical resume example for more project examples.
Twitlist - Created a Spotify playlist from the hashtags used by a given twitter account. Uses Flask, Mako templating, and Requests, along with the Spotify and Twitter APIs
Should I bold words on my resume for emphasis?
We suggest that if you would like to bold certain words on your resume, they should be programming languages or tangible platforms/hard skills. Don’t bold soft skills or soft skill-related key words. If you use bolding, make sure your bolding is consistent throughout the resume.