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How to Format a Resume

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

There are so many conflicting resources online about what a proper resume should look like. We understand it can be really confusing! A resume tailored toward applying for careers in design will look completely different from one used for finance and consulting. So, here’s a beginner’s guide to what a professional resume for finance and consulting should look like.

We’ve created a sample resume for your reference (note that the sample resume was tailored for a first-year student). Of course, this is just an example. Your resume doesn’t have to look exactly like this one!

If you’re an older undergraduate student, here are some things to note:

  • If you’re no longer a first-year, try to remove all your high school-related experiences (except for honors and awards)


Simple is better! Your resume should never be longer than a page and should not include any colors or photos. Make sure you’re submitting a resume with simple formatting and a professional, standard font like Times New Roman.

Work & Professional Experience

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is: “What do I do if I have no consulting or business-related work experience?” As a first year, no organization or internship will expect that from you so don't underestimate what you did in high school! Feel free to include any part-time job experience because oftentimes it’ll speak a lot about your character to your recruiters. For example, a job in retail during your high school years could convey that you are able to manage your time efficiently, interact with customers professionally, and conduct yourself with humility.

The descriptions for each of your experiences are very important. Always start your bullets with a unique action verb! If you’re currently still working in the role, the verb should be in the present tense. If you’re describing a past experience, it should be past tense. In addition, make sure you use the entire line! You want as little white space as possible on your resume. Keeping that in mind, numbers will stand out among the rest of the words, so quantify your experiences. For example, instead of “increased total transactions through implementing social media marketing campaigns,” you should say, “increased total transactions by 9% in just 1 month by implementing 5 unique social media marketing campaigns.”

Leadership & Extracurricular Experience

This is going to look exactly like your “Work & Professional Experiences” section. Remember to always list your experiences chronologically with the most current experiences at the top. For The Bruin Group specifically, we don’t care if you don’t have business-related experiences! Show us what mattered to you in high school and how you made a tangible impact in those activities.

Honors, Skills, & Interests

Your honors should include any academic achievements as well as scholarships you’ve received.

This applies for your entire resume, but it’s extra important in your “Interests” and “Language & Skills” sections:

Be able to talk about everything on your resume in detail.

Finding a cultural fit is incredibly important for not only recruiters but also the applicants. You want to find a group or firm that has people you can connect with, so don’t list things that you think we would like to hear. Be genuine about the activities you put down. In an interview, it’s pretty easy to tell when someone is not actually passionate about what they’re talking about. It’s even worse when you list an interest or skill and you can’t speak about it when we ask you.

Last Steps

Okay! Now that your resume is complete, make sure you do a final check. Careless mistakes show that you lack attention to detail or you don’t care about what you’re applying for, so triple check your final product.

Here’s what to look for:

  • 1 Page

  • Consistent Spacing

  • Same Sized Fonts

  • Matching Punctuation

  • Experiences in Chronological Order

  • Appropriate Verb Tenses


Good Luck!

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