Resumes and cover letters should be well thought out and customized for each individual position that you will apply for. Career coaches are available to help you build your resumes and cover letters, so you can create the perfect first impression and land an interview.
Your resume should be updated regularly, so you can keep track of your specific achievements and experiences. Be honest about your skills and experiences; do not embellish.
Pro Tip: Tailor your resume for each job application but have a "master" resume, where you keep track of all of your experiences and accomplishments.
Fast Fact: Employers want to know what you have to offer in the first 10 - 15 lines of your resume (about 6 seconds of reading), so you will want to show your strongest skills first.
The heading is your contact information and should be consistent across all documents you submit to the company. Provide your best contact number, professional email address, and LinkedIn profile address. No need to include your home address.
Skills & Qualification Statements
The skills and qualifications statement should capture the reviewer’s attention and highlight your skills, abilities, knowledge, and accomplishments. Be sure to align your skills with the required qualifications in the job posting.
List jobs in reverse chronological order. Include the organization's name, city/state, your title, and start/end dates (month and year format). Showcase your job duties, and be sure to include your accomplishments, using language from the job description to explain how your prior experiences will transfer to the job you are applying for.
Internships and volunteer experience should be included!
For seasoned job seekers, listing your last five jobs will be sufficient. If your experience is from ten years or more ago, you do not need to include it.
List your highest degree first. No need to list your high school diploma. New graduates should list their education right after the skills and qualifications statement. Seasoned job seekers should list their education after their experience.
You may also include honors, activities, professional memberships, and certificates or licenses on your resume.
References should always be listed on a separate piece of paper and only provided when requested.
Cover letters introduce who you are, explain why you are submitting your resume, and establish a connection between you and the organization.
Pro Tip: Tell your story by highlighting what you can offer, what you have accomplished, and why you want to work there. Show specific examples of your qualifications and how those qualifications make you a better fit for the company and its culture.
Fast Fact: Most employers will throw out your cover letter if it is not customized and if there are spelling errors.
Cover letters are formal letters and should include: