Resume Guidelines

All resumes MUST abide by these requirements detailed below.

Earth & Environmental Engineering Required Resume Format

  • One (1) page document. If multiple pages are submitted, only first page will be included in resume book.
  • Create document in Microsoft Word (MS Word).
  • Page Size: Must be ‘Letter 8.5” x 11”. Be sure size is not set to anything else, including “A4” which is often standard in Europe and Asia.
  • Instructions in MS Word: Click on ‘Page Layout’ and then ‘Size’ to set page to ‘Letter 8.5” x 11”.
  • Sections: Each section clearly outlined, font doesn’t have to be, but can be slightly larger (size 13 or 14) than body font size.
  • Font Style: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Garamond or Tahoma.
  • Body Font Size: No less than size 10, and maximum size 12.
  • Title Font Size: Your name should be largest size on page, and no less than size 12 and no larger than size 22. Your home address, phone number and email address and (optional) website listed beneath your name in the title section can be smaller, but no less than size 9.
  • Margins: No less than 0.5” on each side.
  • Consistency: Required to use only one Font throughout.
  • Set Proofing Language to ‘U.S. English’ to allow Spelling and Grammar check to pick up errors in U.S. English.
  • Instructions in MS Word: Click on ‘Review’ then ‘Language’ then ‘Set Proofing Language’ and choose “English (United States).”

Resume Sections


  • Name: Legal First Name followed by Legal Last Name
  • If using a Preferred Name, the recommended format is:
  • Preferred Name (Legal First Name in Parentheses) Legal Last Name
  • Address: Where to mail physical offer letter
  • Phone Number in the U.S. with 3 digit area code (no +1) only
  • Email: Must be professional and if using a Preferred Name, change your email ‘Display Name’ to reflect this format. Remember this is the email address employers will use for correspondence, you want to be easily identifiable. We strongly recommend utilizing your Columbia email address.
  • Webpage (LinkedIn Profile or other professional site such as a blog)

Education: School and Degrees- in order of attendance starting with the most recent

  • Do not list high school (this is not acceptable U.S. Format)
  • Clearly indicate name of undergraduate institution, the location, degree program and month and year of graduation (required)
  • Include any additional graduate degrees in the same format as undergraduate institution
  • Performance indicator (i.e. GPA, honors, awards). If GPA is not on 4.0 point scale, you can indicate ranking or percentile.
  • List titles of relevant courses (no course numbers) if applicable (this is optional)
  • Briefly summarize projects or thesis, if applicable (this is optional)

Professional, Research, Academic Experience- in order of experience starting with the most recent

  • Name of organization
  • Location of organization
  • Title of position
  • Duration of experience (month and year began and month and year completed). Always include Month (i.e. October, or Oct), do not use season (i.e. Spring, Summer)
  • Description of experience
  • Required to use action verb to start all bullet points (examples of verbs)
  • Verb tense: Past experiences should begin with a word in the past tense and current experiences should begin with a word in present or active voice
  • Tailor the resume to the job or purpose, use 3-5 target job descriptions to guide your choice of buzz words and skill sets
  • Quantify your skills and highlight accomplishments- For example, include cost savings in dollars or number of people you managed
  • All bullet points should be in the third person (no I, Me, Us, We...)

Skills and Certifications

  • Skills: Language(s), Computer, Finance, Programming, Other (i.e. equipment)
  • Certifications/Licensure: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Interests and Activities
  • Interests: Select interesting ones and try to be specific
  • Activities: Describe transferable skills and leadership

DO NOT Include

  • Personal Information (too personal)
  • Age, gender, marital status, number of children
  • Repetitious use of words “Responsible for...Duties include”
  • Your GPA, if less than 3.0
  • Long narrations
  • List of references or “Reference Available Upon Request”
  • JPEGS, TIFFs, Animation