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Resume & Cover Letter

It is important to put careful consideration and effort into your resume and cover letter when applying for positions. Employers will quickly scan applications in order to determine the top candidates, so it is essential for your resume and cover letter to stand out and to be easy to read.

Resume

Your resume is one of the most important parts of any job application. Employers want to see your relevant experience and achievements to determine how well you would perform in the role. Most employers will scan your resume very quickly, so it needs to emphasize the most impressive points and should be completely free of errors in order to make an impact. In addition to our tips here, please be sure to check out the University Career Center's helpful resume resources.

Appearance

  • Keep the formatting consistent and easy to quickly scan. Sections should be clearly marked and separated.
  • Your name, contact information, and LinkedIn page or eportfolio should be included as the header
  • In general, keep your resume to one page.
  • Save it as a PDF to preserve the formatting, unless directed otherwise.

Content

  • Don’t just list your responsibilities; focus instead on achievements - quantitative and qualitative. Numbers can make a lasting impression.
  • Use strong action verbs to convey leadership and positive impact.
  • Craft your resume specifically for the position. Notice key words or themes in the job description and incorporate them into your resume.
  • Don’t include information from high school after your freshman or sophomore year in college.
  • Proofread! Grammatical or spelling mistakes are an easy reason for employers to discard your application.
  • Constantly update! You never know when that dream position will come along, so you want to be prepared.

Cover Letter

A cover letter is your chance to show the employer why you would be a good fit for the position. The employer wants to know why you are interested in the position, how your skills and experiences would contribute to the company, and the quality of your writing skills. Always include a cover letter with your resume, even if it isn’t specifically asked for. In addition to our tips here, please be sure to check out the University Career Center's helpful cover letter resources.

Appearance

  • Use the same heading and style as your resume.
  • Address the letter to a specific person if possible: Find the name of the hiring manager or the position’s supervisor.
  • Keep the cover letter to 3-5 paragraphs on one page or less.
  • Save it as a PDF to preserve the formatting, unless directed otherwise.

Content

  • Don’t just repeat your accomplishments stated in your resume. Your cover letter is a chance to show your personality and explain your interest in the position.
  • Similar to the resume, craft your cover letter for the specific position. Don’t submit the same cover letter for every opening.
  • Research the company and its position. How do your skills relate to the position? What can you offer them? Address the needs of the company instead of your own needs.
  • Wrap up by thanking the employer for their consideration and referencing future contact.
  • Just like your resume, proofread, proofread, and proofread!