Frequently Asked Questions

Here are questions we frequently receive about resumes in the Center for Career Development.

The general rule of thumb is to include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or above. If it is below a 3.0, include your GPA if it is specifically required by an employer or the employer’s minimum GPA is lower than a 3.0. If your GPA is under a 3.0, you should talk with a member of the Center for Career Development to determine the best course of action for your individual situation.

When you discuss these types of programs, be sure you are discussing YOUR accomplishments and AVOID describing the organization/program.

EXAMPLE ACCOMPLISHMENT STATEMENTS:

Eisenhower Institute – Program Assistant, Inside Politics

  • Coordinated and oversaw meetings, events, and travel logistics to Washington, D.C. for fifteen student participants.
  • Led a 4-person communications team in advertising EI’s distinctive programs to the campus community, which resulted in a 30% increase in student applications.

Eisenhower Institute – Participant, Inside Politics & Women in Leadership

  • Developed professional relationships with industry experts through networking events and leadership discussions.
  • Presented research on the First Ladies in Society and Presidential Elections to an audience of 50 .

EXAMPLE:

Leadership Certificate, Garthwait Leadership Center

  • Participated in 50+ hours of specialized training and weekly leadership discussions.
  • Identified a practical leadership experience on campus, established goals, and created and executed an action plan that utilized leadership skills culminating in a research presentation to over 100 students, faculty, and staff. (NOTE: this would need to be made specific to each student based on their chosen experience and relevant skills)
  • Established a positive, ongoing relationship with a leadership coach through monthly meetings

As an undergraduate or recent graduate, a one page document should be sufficient to highlight your experiences and accomplishments. Remember, many employers only spend 10-15 seconds scanning a resume initially, so you want to tailor your resume for each position so that the most relevant information is included and well-organized for that employer.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please talk with a member of the Center for Career Development.

Make sure you’ve reviewed a position description and are highlighting the experiences/accomplishments most relevant to that employer. Employers will notice when its well tailored to the position, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to develop an entirely new document each time. If you are applying to positions that are in different industries or require different skills, consider creating multiple resumes tailored to those industries.

As a first or second year student, it is okay to still include high school information and experiences on your resume. By your Junior year, you should replace that information with experiences from your time at Gettysburg College and, therefore, entirely remove high school details from your resume.

High school information, including the name of your high school, should be removed by the end of your sophomore year. Employers/Graduate schools are most interested in your experiences during your Gettysburg College years. There are exceptions to this rule, so be sure to talk with the staff in the Center for Career Development if you have questions about pre-college experiences you think should be included on your resume

The ideal range is between 10-12pt font, with the exception that your name can be a bit bigger (14-16pt font). Any font size smaller than 10pt font, starts to look like you are trying to squeeze information onto the document and can seem daunting or difficult to read.

The ideal size for margins is within .5 (minimum) to 1 inch (maximum). Make sure they are equal on all sides, which includes the top, sides, and bottom margins. Therefore, if you set the left side at .5, all four margins should be at .5. You can adjust as you need so your information appears centered on the page and minimizes any extra white space.

Bold, underline, and italics are to be used to help highlight and/or separate experiences and sections on your document, so be selective and use sparingly. Make sure you are consistent in using these format options. For example, if you bold your position title in one experience, you should bold all of your position titles.

Your experiences should showcase skills such as customer service, time management, teamwork, etc. to an employer. When discussing these experiences, avoid simply listing job duties/tasks and focus more on your accomplishments and skills.

EXAMPLES:

Server, Uno’s Chicago Bar & Grill, Homestead, PA                           Seasonal 2014-2016

  • Provided quality customer service and a pleasant dining experience to all patrons
  • Enhanced sales of daily specials by 40% through recommendations to guests
  • Earned three “Employee of the Month” awards 

Babysitter, McMaster Household, Pittsburgh, PA                                     Seasonal 2014-2015

  • Managed meal and activity schedules of four children between the ages of 1 and 7 years
  • Created and organized learning activities based on interests
  • Took the initiative to maintain cleanliness of the household by washing dishes and vacuuming, which resulted in referrals to 3 other families in need of babysitting services.

See the Writing Accomplishment Statements section of this website for more guidance on how to focus on your accomplishments.