Building Your Resume

Reviewing Your Resume
Writing Your Cover Letter

Building Your Resume

A resume is your personal marketing tool used to show interest in a job, internship, honors society, or graduate school. Resumes should speak to the specific job or industry you are seeking to enter. In many cases, students and alumni will create multiple resumes to target different career objectives.

Resume Builder Tool

Take advantage of the Resume Builder Tool available in the Career Services section of your Student Portal entitled Job Search and Resume Builder before applying for jobs in the Job Search tool. To utilize the resume builder:

  • Log into the Ashford University Student Portal
  • Visit the Job Search And Resume Builder link under Career Services
  • Go to the My Documents Tab
  • Select the Resume Builder Tab
  • Create, save, and edit several resumes to meet your job application needs

From an Employer's Perspective

What will employers look for when they read your resume?

  • Relevant industry information
  • Your demonstrated accomplishments
  • Easy readability with traditional font style and size
  • Consistent formatting demonstrating your attention to detail
  • A detailed yet concise one-to-two-page document
  • Attractive header, sufficient white space, and appropriate font size (10-12)
  • Documented results of your hard work/accomplishments

Resume Writing Guidelines

Consider the information below when writing your resume:

  • Collect and write down your experience and post secondary education for up to the past 10 years.
  • Commonly used headers and titles on your resume include: Education, Experience, Activities, Professional Associations, Service, Skills, and Research.
  • Use Microsoft Word, but do not rely on a template from Word.
  • Keep your resume to one page maximum.
  • Use keywords on your resume that are found in the industry in which you are seeking employment (for example, an aspiring teacher could include "design curriculum.")
  • Tailor your resume specifically to the position for which you are applying.
  • Keep your resume consistent in formatting and font.
  • Have another professional double-check for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Print your resume on neutral white paper.
  • Make sure to include your most current information.
  • Use exact numbers, percentages, and amounts of money to show specific, measurable results when describing your experience and accomplishments.
  • Leave out pronouns and begin each sentence with a strong action verb (e.g., managed, researched, coordinated, assisted, etc.).
  • Instead of repeating phrases like, "duties included" or "responsible for," simply state what you actually did, starting each sentence with a verb.
  • Have your resume reviewed by a friend, professional, or by an Ashford University Career Specialist.
  • Keep an electronic version of your resume saved in MS Word or PDF in order to use it to apply for positions online.
  • Be sure to update your resume prior to applying to new positions including address, email, phone, current employer, and education.

Resume Checklist

Below are suggestions for what to include in a typical resume:*

Personal information:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Cell or home phone number
  • Home address

Career title/objective:

  • Your career title or objective (e.g., Health Care Administrator)
  • Core competencies (optional)


  • Name of organization
  • City, state
  • Your title
  • Start month and year – end month and year (write "present" as end date if still working there)
  • Description and accomplishments


  • Degree
  • Name of the institution
  • Major
  • Minor
  • Expected graduation date (month and year)
  • GPA
  • Awards and honors

Community involvement (volunteer experience and activities):

  • Name of organization
  • Your title or type of involvement (volunteer, member, or participant)
  • Description and accomplishments (optional)
  • Dates of involvement (optional)

Skills (computer, technical, other skills):

  • Be sure the names are spelled correctly (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint)
  • Only list skills that are relevant to the job you are seeking

*Resume format will vary depending on your past experience and education.

Informative Videos

Reviewing Your Resume

To have a Career Services Specialist review your resume, write to and include the following:

  • A rough draft of your resume
  • A summary of your background
  • Indicate whether you're a student on campus or online
  • Tell us in detail how Career Services can help you plan your career

Writing your Cover Letter

View more information on writing cover letters, including a sample that can be used as a template when writing your own.

Career Services abides by the principles of professional conduct set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
The University's courses, programs, and services are designed to prepare students and graduates for further study or to pursue employment in their field of study or related field; however, the University does not guarantee that students or graduates will be placed in any particular position or employment. Any statistics referenced on its website and attributed to a source other than the University have not been independently verified by the University.