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Resumes & Cover Letters

Purpose of a Resume

Typically a resume is a one page summary of your professional and academic highlights and achievements. A resume is a great marketing tool that helps to convince employers of your qualifications, and potential, leading to an interview. A typical employer will spend 30 seconds or less reviewing your resume, so your resume should only contain the most relevant information for each position you apply to.

Basic Tips and Pointers for Resumes

To create a resume with a strong image of your potential and value:

  • Limit your resume to one page
  • Quantify as much as possible: $’s, #’s, and %’s are great on resumes and help you show results for what you have done
  • Begin your resume with the information that is most relevant/important for the position you are applying to, there is no set order for a resume
  • Don’t include any personal pronouns such as: I, me, my
  • Tailor your resume to the job you are applying to, include things that ‘fit’ the job you are applying to
  • Keep things simple, specific, and be concise, complete sentences are not needed
  • Use action verb statements to describe your experience and include keywords from the job description where possible
  • Be consistent and honest

What NOT to Include

  • Photos
  • Personal information including: age, religious affiliation, marriage status, gender, etc.
  • Information that does not relate to the position you are applying to
  • If you worked part time don’t worry about including the number of hours worked per week
  • References should be on a separate paper and given upon request, not included as part of your resume

Resume Layout and Formatting

  • You can have a variety of sections on your resume, but always include your contact information at the top
  • Other resume sections could be: Education, Work Experience, Skills, Volunteer Experience, Academic and Group Projects, Leadership/Club Experience, Related Coursework
  • Make sure your resume is easy to read: Font Size should be 18-20 for your name, 14 for your section headings, 12-14 for your contact information and 12 for the body of your resume
  • Keep the text in your resume black and in a font that is easy to read
  • Right align all dates that you use for education/work experience
  • 3-5 bullet points is a good rule of thumb for each item of experience
  • You can include a QR code on top right corner of your resume, link it to examples of your work or your LinkedIn profile

Finishing Touches

  • Check for flaws/inconsistencies and have others review your resume
  • Make sure there are no punctuation, spelling, or grammatical errors on your resume
Resume Examples & Templates

Purpose of a Cover Letter

A Cover Letter typically accompanies your resume and introduces you and your interest in a particular organization. A Cover Letter should entice an employer to read your Resume and emphasize how you fit a need the company has.

Cover Letter Basics

  • Address your Cover Letter to the contact from the job posting or a hiring manager.
  • Indicate what position you are interested in and how you heard about the opportunity, include a named referral if you have one.

Basic Tips and Pointers for Cover Letters

  • Do not exceed one page
  • Do not hand write your letter
  • Have your Cover Letter checked for grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors
  • Do not repeat your resume
  • Do not have lengthy paragraphs with run-on sentences, keep it simple
  • Show you have done research on the company/organization and position
  • Do not forget to sign the letter
  • Make a unique Cover Letter for every job application you do

Cover Letter Layout and Formatting

Your Cover Letter should start out with the basic formatting of:

  • Your Contact information across the top, similar to your Resume: Name, City, State, Zip Code, email, and phone number
  • The current Date
  • Name of Contact, Title, Organization, Street Address, City, State, and Zip Code
  • Dear Mr./Ms. _________ (Or ‘Dear Hiring Committee’ if you can’t find a contact person):
  • A first paragraph/section demonstrating the research you have done that shows why the organization is a good fit for you
  • A second paragraph/section demonstrating your qualifications and how you would fill a need within the organization (without repeating your resume)
  • A final section/paragraph including: A thank you, a statement of how you are excited/look forward to the opportunity to work with the organization and your preferred contact method
  • A salutation: Sincerely, Enthusiastically, Best regards
  • Your signature
  • Your typed name

Finishing Touches

  • Check for flaws/inconsistencies and have others review your Cover Letter
  • Make sure there are no punctuation, spelling, or grammatical errors on your Cover Letter
Feel free to visit us for a personalized resume review at:
  • Career Center Building (behind Business Building), Ephraim
  • Washburn Building Room 155, Richfield