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This guide features samples and guides for resumes, cover letters, interviews, and more. Questions? Schedule a meeting with PGP through Handshake.

Resume Resources

Resume Tips

No Need for “I” on a Resume 

A resume is all about you so rather than say I created, or I taught, or I worked, just start with the action verb.

For example: Designed car parts for electric vehicle model using SOLIDWORKS.

Think Recent and Relevant when Creating your Resume 

Newest things should be listed first unless a previous experience or project is more relevant to a job for which you are applying.

For example: If you worked as a cashier at a local market this summer but during the spring semester you were machining parts for your robotics team and you are applying for a mechanical engineering internship, it would be best to list the robotics team example first.

Think Technical, Be Specific 

When choosing which experiences to put on a resume, or what to say about each – ask yourself these questions – What did I learn? What tools did I use? Include details to answer these questions. If it was a team project, be sure to talk about your individual contributions.

Provide Context 

If a project or project team needs additional information to help the recruiter understand the context, be sure to incorporate a description into the bullet points.

For example:  

Lead Fabricator – Olin Electric Motorsports 

Designed vehicle frame elements using SOLIDWORKS for student run electric vehicle team. 


Include technical, coding, fabrication skills as well as any foreign language fluencies. Soft skills are best incorporated in your: cover letter, LinkedIn Profile or the about section of your portfolio website.

Keep it to a Page 

Although it might be tempting to list all your high school activities, it is best to keep it to a page by only including the most relevant ones. Write concisely, keep your descriptions succinct, avoid wordiness.

Be Consistent 

  • With font size and color 
  • Spacing and margins
  • Formatting
  • Punctuation

Check for Typos

Your resume is a chance for you to shine and showcase all of your talents; you don't want a spelling error to limit your chances of submitting a successful application.

I'm a first/second year; what experience should I put on my resume?

As an Oliner you'll quickly gain experience from class projects, clubs, and other activities. You also likely have recent high school experiences that would be beneficial to your resume. Remember that experiences aren't limited to jobs you get paid for. Projects, volunteer work, research, clubs, and more can all go in your experience section. Here are a few things you might want to include.

High School Experiences

Did you work a job during high school? Complete a personal project? Give a presentation outside of your school (e.g. a research presentation, a product pitch, etc)? Participate in clubs or activities? All of these could be potential experiences for your resume.

When considering what to include, think about the story you want to tell employers and what skills you want to demonstrate. Framed correctly, a tutoring job could highlight your skill at breaking down complex concepts into layperson terms, or a club lead position might demonstrate your organization, management, and teamwork skills. Make sure to focus on specific skills and knowledge you demonstrated in this role, especially if the role was non-technical. You don't always have to describe exactly what tasks you performed; instead, focus on the skills and tools you used. For example, if you worked at an ice cream shop, instead of saying "Served ice cream" you could say "Interacted with over 100 customers a day in a professional manner" to highlight professionalism and people skills.

Class Projects

In your first semester you'll already be working on complex, technical projects in your classes. Your resume might feature your hopper project from Desnat or your facial recognition project from QEA. Later in your time at Olin projects such as your CD (Collaborative Design) project, a Mech Proto sculpture, or your SoftDes midterm might demonstrate relevant, technical skills. As your coursework advances at Olin so will your projects. so be sure to replace older projects with newer, more relevant ones as time goes on.

Olin Clubs

Participating in Olin clubs such as Baja, DBF, Formula, etc. is a great way to gain technical experience. When reporting clubs on your resume make sure to mention what you specifically are working on, such as what sub-team you are on or a particular project you took ownership of.

On-Campus Jobs

On campus jobs are another popular experience at Olin. Think about what technical and people skills you are practicing in your job and whether they might be relevant to your resume. If you CA'd a class, maybe you understood complex, technical topics in sufficient detail to teach them to others. Working as a peer advisor you likely practiced a variety of communication skills. As a shop assistant you might be developing advanced knowledge of specific tools and manufacturing techniques. Any of these jobs might demonstrate relevant skills for your resume.


Olin has lots of research going on over the summer and throughout the semester too. Similar to formatting group projects, make sure to highlight what parts of the research you took ownership of and what your specific contributions were. If any products, papers, presentations, or other deliverables resulted from your research, you might consider including a short link to those in your resume.



What program should I use to create my resume?

There are many options for creating your resume. A good place to start is a text editor such as Google Docs or Word. If you'd like to add more artistic elements or use a non-standard layout, programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Figma, and Canva are popular choices.

Should I use a template or build my resume from scratch?

Most programs offer a variety of resume templates. Benefits of using a template include an easy to follow format and often a more polished and artistic look. That being said, we've heard from many students that templates, particularly those in word processors such as Google Docs and Word, can be restrictive and difficult to modify. It's often a good idea to take inspiration from templates but to build your resume yourself so that you understand any special artistic elements that have been added and have complete control to adjust sections in the future.

What should I include in my contact information?

Your contact section should contain a professional email address that you check frequently, such as your Olin email. Beyond that, it is entirely up to you. Some things you may wish to include are a phone number, a LinkedIn profile, and/or a link to a portfolio or personal website.

Do I need an activities section?

Activities sections are great for filling up space on your resume or if you have a variety of non-technical experiences that you don't have much to say about. We generally recommend activities sections for first years to help fill out your resume with high school activities or recently joined clubs. As your resume evolves you will want to replace the activities section with additional experiences or skills.

I can't fit everything into one page; what should I do?

As an undergraduate, your resume should always be one page. Most potential employers will only look at your resume for 30 seconds to a minute, so it's important to keep your resume concise. The goal of your resume is to highlighting your most important skills and experiences, not to present every detail. Below are a variety techniques for keeping your resume to one page.

1. Include the most recent and relevant content

The relevancy of content is very situational and will depend on what position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a mechanical engineering internship you can likely omit your experience as a camp counselor from last year. But if you are applying for a summer institute teaching position that experience would be much more relevant. If you plan to apply to a few different types of positions, you may benefit from keeping a "master" list of your experiences and pulling from that list to choose which experience to highlight on your one page resume for a given application.

2. Consider the other parts of your application

Your application is more than just your resume. Cover letters, portfolio and personal websites, and interviews are all opportunities demonstrate your skills and experience. If you are struggling to fit all of the details on your resume, consider writing a paragraph about the experience for your cover letter, detailing it in your portfolio or personal website, or using the story to answer an interview question.

3. Make sure you are using the available space efficiently

Check that you are filling every line as much as possible. Make sure you don't have places where a single word or two is taking up a full line. If you aren't already, consider using horizontal lists instead of vertical bullet points. If you just need a tiny bit of extra space, try adjusting the margins of your page (just make sure to keep things symmetrical) or decreasing the font size by a point or two.

4. Modify the styles or template of your resume

If you're still looking for that extra bit of space, using a different style or template can create a lot more room on your resume. In particular, double column styles are often able to fit more information onto the page. Consider creating your resume in an artistic program such as Adobe Illustrator or Figma; these will likely give you more room and flexibility than a word processor.

What is the difference between a resume and a CV (curriculum vitae)?

While a resume focuses on your experience generally, a CV is focused more on academic achievements. This often includes references to papers you've written, publications, teaching experience, conference activity, and more. Unless you are applying for an academic position or grad school, CVs are rarely used.