Resumes and Cover Letters
Your resume represents you when you aren’t there. It is your professional “snapshot”. Your resume determines if you get an interview, and interview determines if you get a job. Take the time to do your resume right! Creating a resume is a process; don’t expect a perfect resume on your first try.
We can help! Attend our workshops for the basics on resume and cover letter writing. Get ideas from the hundreds of different sample resumes available in our career library. Have a staff member critique your resume for content, formatting and accuracy, no appointment necessary!
What is a Resume?
There are three different types of resumes. Your resume is an individually designed summary of your personal, educational, and experiential qualifications. It should be well organized and presented in a manner that will interest potential employers.
The chronological resume has educational and employment history organized by date. This resume works well for students who have progressive and related experiences within their field. This is the type of resume most students will use and employers prefer.
Functional resumes focus on skill sets gained through a variety of activities, such as educational course work, clubs and organizations, as well as internships and volunteer work. This format works well for students who do not have much employment history or who have a work history that is not directly related to their career objective.
Combination resumes are a combination of the chronological resume and functional resume. It focuses on skill sets, but also lists employment history.
- Send your resume with a cover letter, in response to a specific position.
- Keep it current! List your most recent accomplishments so the interviewer knows what you are capable of doing now.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread; ensure there are no grammatical errors.
- Don’t be modest! This is your chance to shine, you are competing for this position!
Drop-in Resume Critique
Once you have completed a draft of your resume, you should ask at least one other person to review it before submitting it to a prospective employer. Our peer advisors are available during drop-in hours to critique a hard copy of your resume. Please plan to attend a Resume workshop before coming in for your critique.
What is a Cover Letter?
An effective cover letter introduces you and your resume to prospective employers. The content of a cover letter can be broken down into three basic parts:
- Introduction: Why are you contacting this person? How did you learn about the job? Who are you? What do you know about their organization (research)?
- Body: How can you benefit them? Tell how you are an ideal match for the job. Expand on relevant education, skills, and experience to offer additional details not found on your resume.
- Conclusion: Focus on the next step: the interview! Thank the reader for their time and consideration. Request an interview to further discuss your qualifications.
- The Cover Letter (Video)
General Tips for Professional Correspondence:
- Your correspondence should be professional (content and format)
- Ensure there are no mistakes (typos, misspellings, factual errors)
- Always limit correspondence to one page
- Be sure to sign any correspondence