You have 15 seconds to make a great first impression.  We will teach you how to make them count!

Your resume is a vital component of the co-op employment search process and your number one marketing tool.  Your resume is typically the first opportunity for a potential employer to gain information about your education, work experience, skills, leadership, and potential. It should appropriately reflect your individual background and experiences. 

Your resume should:

  • Be created in a Microsoft Word document, other formats are not accepted. The document may be saved as MS Word (.DOC or .DOCX), Adobe Acrobat (.PDF), or RTF format.
  • Be created using a plain document rather than a resume template.   

  • Attract the employer’s attention and prompt an invitation to interview.

  • Be organized, concise, easy to read, and error free.

  • Present the most important and recent information first.

  • Be ONE page in length and definitely not more than two.

  • Use one font style such as Times New Roman or Arial.


A good resume will not guarantee a co-op position; however, it can provide the opportunity to open the door for an interview.



Develop a list of your academic coursework or projects, employment, involvement in social or volunteer organizations, honors and awards, and other interests.  Evaluate the skills you developed through each experience and your interest in using these skills in future positions.


Top 10 Personal Characteristics Employers Seek in Job Candidates 

Does your resume demonstrate these characteristics?

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Work Ethic
  3. Motivation/Initiative
  4. Teamwork Skills
  5. Leadership Abilities
  6. GPA/Academic Achievements
  7. Technical Skills
  8. Interpersonal Skills
  9. Analytical Skills
  10. Honesty and Integrity 


Components of a Resume

Your resume will be organized around a number of elements which will be used to describe your background and experience.  

Your resume should include these elements in this order: 

  • Contact Information
  • Objective
  • Education 
  • Work Experience – include paid work experience and/or volunteer/community experience 
  • Skills 
  • Activities 
  • Honors/Awards
  • References

For further details on how to write each section, please review our Resume Handbook.



The names and contact information for your references should NOT be included on the resume.  Simply list “References: Available upon request.” 

"References: Available upon request," is highly optional because it is a given that you will provide references upon request.  The line can serve the purpose of signaling: "This is the end of my resume," but if you are trying to conserve space, leave it off.

Prepare a separate document listing your references. Your listings should include each reference’s name, title, place of employment, address and phone number. 

Reference Tips:

  • Do not use any family members.
  • Three references are appropriate.
  • Appropriate references can be present/previous supervisors, teachers, guidance counselors, a close family friend, etc.
  • Make sure you ask your references before listing them on your reference sheet.  Contact each reference individually each time you submit references or update your references.

Resume Handbook  Resume Handbook