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?

  • Your resume is a summary of your education and experiences. It should be focused on what is relevant to your industry.
  • Chronological resumes have educational and employment history organized by date. This resume works well for students who have related experiences within their field.
  • 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 resume format works best for students lacking relevant work experience or changing careers.
  • Combination resumes are a combination of the chronological resume and functional resume. It focuses on skill sets, but also lists employment history. These types of resumes are most commonly used for someone who wants to change their career path entirely or have limited experience.

Quick Tips

  • 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?

Cover Letters introduce 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.

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