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Jun 19, 2024

Tuck Admissions Insights: Resume Writing Guide

By Kristin Roth
Associate Director of Admissions, Evaluation

Make your resume a concise and compelling representation of your work and community impact, skills, and interests. A well-crafted resume highlights specific meaningful aspects of your experience. This guide will help you use your resume as the vehicle to translate your experience for others. 

Experience. This should take up the bulk of your resume. Use this section to showcase results and accomplishments from your career to date. In this section:

  • List employer(s’) name(s), position(s) held, including job title, and dates of employment.
  • If you held several positions with the same employer, break out those positions and accomplishments in reverse chronological order.
  • For every position held, organize your bullets from most important to least. Think carefully about what makes an accomplishment significant and focus on the outcomes that had the greatest impact rather than the ones that took the longest to achieve.
  • Write about your achievements. You do not need to repeat your job description.
  • Describe the context in which your work was done (i.e., resource constraints, deadlines, declining market share, etc.).

Composing effective bullet points for the experience section of a resume is the most challenging part of the resume writing process. A way to approach this is to structure the bullets as a verb + result + action/skills. Formatting bullets according to this structure will show the reader what problem you addressed, what actions you took, what results you achieved, and possibly what skills you developed in the process. Here are two examples of well-structured bullet points:

  • Developed audience expansion strategy for gaming products by assessing consumer adoption trends, competitive offerings, and emerging technologies.
  • Grew revenue 20% year over year by leading a team of five members located in Canada and Germany through strategic planning and execution to optimize client’s return on investment. 

Education. This section of your resume is just as important as the experience section and is used for the same purpose—to showcase your achievements and transferable skills. Use this opportunity to show more than just the school(s) you attended. 

  • Unless you are currently pursuing your degree, position the Education section below the Experience section.
  • Include all relevant education in this section: undergraduate and graduate degrees (if relevant), and study abroad programs. 
  • Specify your major(s) and minor(s), dates of attendance, degree(s) received, and academic distinctions (Dean’s List, cum laude, etc.).
  • Include merit-based awards, positions, athletic involvement, and significant activities, especially if you held/hold leadership roles.

Personal/Other. This section rounds you out as an individual beyond your professional and academic accomplishments. It provides a glimpse into a more “informal” side of your profile, and our interviewers will often ask interview questions about statements in this section.

  • This is a good place to include language abilities, community service, professional memberships or societies, professional designations (CFA, CPA, etc.), extracurricular activities, and unique interests.
  • Whenever possible, list specific interests. For example, instead of “baking and reading,” write “mastering sourdough bread baking and reading about Baroque composers.”

Format and Appearance. Below are some general tips to help organize and structure your resume’s appearance. Your final goal should be a resume that is one page long and easy to read.

  • Position locations flush right
  • Position employment period(s) flush right, underneath the locations
  • Use reverse chronological order within each section, listing most recent position(s) and/or activities first
  • Organize information into easily digestible bullet points
  • Keep your bullet points to one or two lines
  • In the experience section, start each bullet point with an action verb in past tense (e.g., Executed, Headed, etc.) if for a former position or in the present tense (e.g., Execute, Head, etc.) if for a current position 
  • Use concise, focused language
  • Emphasize results (quantitative or qualitative) when possible to give your reader a better understanding of the scope of your work and how it contributed to an organization
  • Use a readable font size (10 to 12 point font)
  • Include white space and margins for easy skimming
  • Proofread to make sure you have no mistakes

Curious how this looks at a glance? Here is an example of a resume template that is similar to what our students use while at Tuck.

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