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Résumé Basics

Many of the résumé tips you may have picked up over the years do not apply to online application systems used by many employers, including the UW.

Preparing electronic documents for website use

Keep it simple. The UW jobs website will convert your résumé/cover letter to text only, so do not use italics, underlines, shading, bullets, graphics or fancy formatting. Follow these guidelines:

Once you're ready to submit your application, select all of the text in your document, copy and paste it into the résumé text box in the online application. Do not attach your résumé unless the job posting specifically requests you to do so.

When to use a formatted résumé

Although you’re required to apply for UW jobs with electronic documents, you'll need to have hard copies of your résumé on hand for interviews. If you are applying for a job outside the UW, use a formatted résumé if the job posting requires you to email, fax, or send through US mail. You should target your formatted résumé to the job for which you are applying.

Best tip for all resumes! Have someone proofread your résumé before you submit it or bring it to an interview. Most jobs require "attention to detail" so make sure your résumé doesn't make you look sloppy.

Typical categories of information to include

Résumé styles

How to stand out from the crowd

A word about references

It is not necessary to indicate on your résumé that your references are available upon request. Most employers will assume that you will supply the names of references, if asked. Instead, you may create a separate reference sheet that can either accompany your résumé when you submit it or can be brought with you to an interview.

Additional resources for getting started:


Ryan, Robin, Winning Résumés. Second Edition. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

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