Resumés are an important topic in the fourth semester AEC 149, Preparation for Employment in AEC course. Students seeking part-time employment before that, though, often want advice about how to write a resumé. Below is a sample that might be useful. It's designed specifically for AEC students. The numbers to the left of the sample refer to notes farther below.

  1. Your name. 12 to 14 pt. bold text. Leave a space after it.

  2. Your address. 11 or 12 pt, regular text. Two lines. A street address is preferred over a P.O. box address. Use a box address only if you have an important reason.

  3. Phone and e-mail. Do not identify the phone number as a work, home, or cell phone number. Simply show the one number where you want to be contacted. Be sure to answer the phone in a professional manner. Other phone numbers can be shown on the job application. Make sure the e-mail address is not look silly or unprofessional. It is easy to obtain a new e-mail account with a better-looking address if necessary. Leave a generous space below the phone and e-mail line.

  4. Objective. 11 or 12 pt. bold text for the title. Regular text for the rest. This item is optional on a resumé, and it is frequently suggested that it not be included. If your resume is fairly short, you might want to include it. If you have trouble fitting everything on one page, though, this might be the first thing to leave out. Do not be too precise about your objective. It might turn out that the position you have in mind is already filled, but maybe there is another position open in the firm that you'd like to consider. Remember that the potential employer is looking for someone to help the firm, so focus on what you might be able to contribute, rather than on what you'd want the firm to do for you. Do not mention pay or any future goal that might suggest you would not stay with the firm for at least a couple of years.

  5. Education. 11 or 12 pt. bold text. Education appears before work experience if your work experience is either short, or in another field. This is usually the case for students whose AEC training will likely be their most important qualification for employment in an AEC firm.

  6. Educational institutions. List these in reverse chronological order -- most recent first. Underline the names of the institutions so they stand out from city, state, dates of attendance, etc. Say more about your related college training than your high school general education. Always include the degree received or expected, the date of it, and your major at the institution.

  7. Pre-college schools. Show the high school(s) you attended, but do not list intermediate or elementary schools. Do not include extra-curricular activities here, but GPA (above 3.0) or valedictorian/salutatorian is okay.

  8. Experience. 11 or 12 pt. bold text for the title. Military experience and important (job-like) volunteer experience should be included under this heading, especially if recent.

  9. AEC-related employment. This is most important to potential employers, especially if the experience covers a year or more. Be sure to mention your most important job functions to give the employer a general idea of the level of your experience. Expect that the former or current employer will be contacted.

  10. Recent part-time employment. List this unless it was very short or far afield of the job your are applying for. Part-time work usually indicates motivation, even though for you it might only mean rent or car payment money.

  11. Other employment, volunteer experience, or military service. List these only if they are somehow related to the AEC field and more than six months or so in length. If none are related to AEC and you are left with maybe only one to list, do include them, but describe the job functions as professionaly as possible ("retail sales," for example, sounds better than "sold cookies to kids," just as "building maintenance" sounds better than "emptied the garbage"). Also, think of leadership, teamwork, etc. that were involved in unrelated jobs but that might be beneficial in an AEC job. There is, though, no requirement that you list every job you've ever had. One is acceptable for a current student who was in high school just a couple of years ago, two or three for others, and probably four at the most. More is not always better. Too many jobs might indicate restlessness, career indecision, or a pattern of job dissatisfaction.

  12. References. Never list references on a resumé even if you think the names or company or community affiliations might be impressive. You can give references at an interview or later when you are closer to being offered the job. People given as references do not like to be contacted more than a very few times. If they are contacted 10 or 20 times, you can be sure that their recommendations will not be as enthusiastic or supportive as they were the first few times.


  1. Keep the resumé to one page. Center it on the sheet. If it's too short, make the section separations greater, or otherwise stretch it out.

  2. Add a short "honors" or "interests" section, but include only a few and only important honors, awards, or interests. Items involving professsional organizations are best. Be very short on sports (tennis, golfing, and sailing are best) -- employers want to know that work will come first. Do not include things related to reading preferences, entertainment, religion, or politics.

  3. Make sure that spelling is perfect. The more frequently misspelled words are "architectural" (as in Architectural, Engineering and CAD Technologies), "restaurant" (related to former employment), and "auto CAD" (as in AutoCAD). Use spell check, and always preview the resumé before giving it out.

  4. Use a good quality paper, but nothing too bright, no background images of cats or movie scenes, etc..

  5. If sent in the mail, include a cover letter, but this is another story that would require too much explanation here.