Santa Clara University

 Creating an Impactful Resume

Please Review Creating a High Impact Resume Video (20 minutes) 
containing important information for not only building your resume but for the critical approval process for access to GBCM job boards.

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Download the guide to creating an impactful resume  »
Download the companion Impactful resume tip sheet  »

The most widely used format is the reverse chronological format. GBCM recommends a reverse chronological format; it is much easier to follow for the reader who is trying to get a quick snapshot of your background.  See our LSB required resume template and tips sheets on the Resume Resources page »


Include your name, address, phone number and email address that you check daily. If you are currently residing in temporary housing, feel free to display your current along with your permanent address at the top of the résumé. If your relatives or friends do not speak English fluently or have little time to take detailed messages, include a reliable cellular phone number with a professional message greeting that clearly announces your name. Likewise, email addresses should be professional in nature. Be sure the e-mail address that you list on your résumé is one you check frequently!

A resume profile offers applicants a way to stand out among the hundreds of resumes that companies receive. Most employers spend only a few seconds looking at a resume, and most of this time is spent looking at the top half of a resume. Therefore, even if an employer only reads your profile (located directly beneath your heading and contact information), they will still have a clear idea of your unique qualifications. 

In addition, your profile can include resume keywords that will help your application get picked up by the recruiting management software that many companies use to screen applications for job openings. 

  • Focus on the Job Listing
    In your profile only include the skills and qualifications that relate to the specific job for which you are applying.
  • Profile your Relevant Skills 
    A profile is particularly helpful if you have work history that is unrelated to your current career goals – it allows you to highlight only your most relevant experience.
  • Focus on your Fit 
    A profile serves to show what you have to offer an employer – what you will do for the company in the future. Look at the job listing for insights into what the company is looking for in an employee. In your profile, explain how you will meet the company's expectations, and impact their business.

List these credentials in reverse chronological order (SCU LSB graduate program standard: list education and then experience unless your professional experience exceeds ten years.). Include your designated Master's Program if you have an expected degree date, include other graduate degrees, and your undergrad university and its location, degree (i.e. BA, BS, etc.), major(s) or concentration of study, graduation date. 

If coursework is one of the few credentials that sell you for a particular industry, add it. For example, a liberal arts major with an interest in finance would include finance, accounting and economics courses. Indicate your GPA only if you believe it is a selling point. 

Professional licenses or additional training should appear in a separate section, such as Licenses, Training, Certifications, etc. if not directly relevant to your brand, i.e., J.D., CPA, CFA.  If including non-degree coursework or programs from other universities, ensure that your résumé emphasizes the degree-granting institution (i.e., if you attended Harvard Summer Ventures in Management, a week-long program, but didn't attend Harvard College, then Harvard should not be listed in the same manner as your degree-granting institution, you should then list this information in the "Additional Information" section of our resume.

List all positions in reverse chronological order. This section can be organized into paragraphs or bullet points (preferred) and include paid, unpaid and volunteer experiences. Include the name of the organization, location, positions held, dates of employment and a description of your achievements. Rather than providing a long list of job responsibilities, focus on accomplishments that relate to the position you are seeking and begin all skills and responsibilities with action verbs (refer to the list of action verbs provided). 


    This is an opportunity to showcase academic accomplishments, campus and community involvement as well as leadership skills. It's better to serve as a leader and/or demonstrate your impact in one or two organizations versus membership with a number of organizations. If your activities are more relevant to your target industry than your work experience, provide additional details. Similarly, develop bullet points that focus on results.
    You should include specific technical skills as well as any foreign languages that you speak. Use descriptors like fluent, conversant, knowledge of and familiar with to illustrate your proficiency in a particular language. Note: it is assumed that you speak/read/write English fluently, you should not include English proficiency
    You can list the names of the professional organizations to which you belong; however, avoid acronyms. You may also include any interests or hobbies. Certainly include any activity that illustrates your dedication, discipline, work ethic and/or commitment to your community, i.e. black belt in a martial arts, champion of state or national competitions, etc.
    It is not necessary to include "references available upon request" on your résumé because it is implied.  While references are not required for business school application, when submitting your résumé to a company, you should prepare a list of three to five professional references on a separate sheet of paper. Include the name, title, company name, phone number and email address of those individuals that agreed to serve as your reference. Remember to include your name, address, phone number and email at the top of the reference page. References should not accompany your résumé unless requested by the employer.


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