DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Creating Your First Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide

By: Courtney Redd, DePaul University PR and advertising major ‘16, and Jane Bradley, health sciences major ‘17

Creating your first resume can be an intimidating task. According to researchers from TheLadder, employers spend an average of six seconds looking at your resume. So, how do you impress an employer enough in six seconds to secure an interview? Follow this step-by-step guide to make sure your first resume is compelling and marketable.


Think about past experiences that helped you gain useful skills. Focus on more than just paid work experiences; you can include volunteer work, internships, organizations, relevant coursework, class projects, and more.

Put it Together

Open a blank word document, avoid using a resume template, and begin to list all of your experiences by section. Some section headings might include education, work experience, activities, and skills. Make sure your resume is clean, consistent, and easy to read. Readability is everything when you’re working with a six-second window! To get more formatting ideas, check out the Entry Level Resume Guide.

Get Writing

Use bullet points to highlight your skills. A good bullet point starts with an action verb, is concise and specific, and addresses transferable skills relevant to the position you are applying for. View the Entry Level Resume Guide for more examples of bullet points.

Self-Critique of Best Practices

Use this check list to make sure your resume is application-ready!


Get Help

Peer Advisors are available to review your resume and provide feedback before you send your resume to employers. Walk-in appointments are available Monday-Friday in both Lincoln Park and the Loop. You can also email your resume to to receive feedback electronically.

While building your first resume can be a tricky and intimidating task, the Career Center is here to help! If you follow these five steps, you will be on your way to impress any employer in six seconds, and secure the interview you were hoping for!


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