Your Résumé V 2.0

At the end of four years at Grinnell, your résumé will reflect a variety of experiences. Remember that telling the story of your academic degree is a part of your résumé.

For your own reference, keep a growing résumé file that includes ALL of your experiences. This will be a lifelong practice that will make creating a customizable résumé much easier.

To update your résumé:

  • Include sample coursework: either highlight particular challenges in your major(s) that not all students pursue or list relevant but surprising coursework from outside of your major(s).
  • If your GPA is above 3.5, include it. Otherwise, use your judgement (or check with your CLS adviser).
  • If you’ve had a busy four years, you may need to reserve your list of specialized and soft skills for your cover letter. Characterizing these in an intriguing way will demonstrate your ability to communicate clearly.
  • Volunteerism counts, especially where it can be shown to further your experience toward your ultimate employment goals. Ditto for your involvement on campus.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile and consider highlighting this or your personal website address in your contact information header. GitHub also can be listed here. Dynamic online links are more important that your residential address, so if space is a premium, prioritize these.
  • Think outside the box when it comes to other experience—campus involvement, professional organizations, international experience, externships, and job shadowing opportunities—all of these and more show your dimensions.
  • Any time you make an addition to your résumé, be certain someone else looks at it. While résumés with errors can still get jobs, the more polished, the better.

Review the sample Grinnell Senior Résumé, a document built on the actual experience of one of our graduates. Some useful notes:

  • To keep all of this great information to one page, margins here are narrower than ideal, but this allows the student to get full use of the width and length of the document.
  • The font is Ariel, 10-point, still readable but small. Don’t go any smaller or use a condensed font. Trim words/lines instead. If there’s no way to fit everything on one page, work with a CLS adviser to either make the second page count or make deeper cuts.
  • Contact info is all on one line, instead of the usual two. If you have a URL to list but need to save space, don’t include your mailing address. Your phone number and email address are the most important.
  • This résumé strategically employs adjectives to describe multiple types of experience across several sections.
  • Clear section breaks make the résumé easy to tailor; for example, if the student had been using this to apply for a research assistant position, she would simply move that section to be the first experience listed.
  • Bullet points are concise and no more than four for any experience.
  • The campus involvement section is very compressed! This still illustrates the depth and breadth of the student’s story, but it doesn’t take up a lot of space or include bullet points for each experience. These activities are not slight things, they are just not as relevant for the purpose of this résumé.
  • Additional Work Experience: The beauty here is that it adds to the breadth of the profile and shows more of what the student does outside of class, but only takes up two lines.
A resume representing four years' growth and experience.
View Printable Resume