Resumes and Cover Letters

Your resume is oftentimes your first impression. An employer will use your resume to consider whether to bring you in for an interview or not. This document is critical and could be your only chance to convince the employer you are qualified for the position you applied for. Employers often spend anywhere from six to 30 seconds scanning your resume, so building one that is a compelling depiction of your skills and experiences can help grab their attention. 

Here at the Career Center you can stop in for a quick resume review or make an appointment in Starfish with our Career Counselor to have an in-depth look at your resume, and resource sheets and websites to help you develop your resume and cover letter.


General Templates (click text to open samples)


6 Quick Tips To Building The Perfect Resume

1. Develop Your Own Resume
Start by thinking about your skills and experiences. Write down highlights from your education, coursework, jobs, internships, activities, honors, publications, language skills, study abroad experiences and community service. This should encompass the past three to five years.


2. Connect What You Have to What the Employer Needs

It’s up to you to convince the employer that you are worth an interview. Through your resume, you want to demonstrate how your academic, extracurricular, and work experiences connect to the job and offer the employer some evidence that you have the potential to be a good fit for the job and organization. You want to provide the employer with evidence that you are worth taking a closer look at through an interview.

Research the organization and position so that you'll have a clear idea of what to showcase as you tailor your resume to the specific job. Read the job description carefully: Use it to identify keywords, skills, and requirements. Find the similarities between the job and your experience and qualifications.

Highlight the skills specific to the job at hand, and use the keywords, phrases and buzzwords. Make matches between your knowledge, skills, and experience apparent.

3. Format for Easy Reading

In general, what matters most to employers are your experience, skills, and education, so make it easy to find and understand these by offering a clean, well-organized, easy-to-read resume.Don't make the employer hunt for critical information. Don't clutter your resume with irrelevant, unrelated detail.

Yes, those applying for a graphic design or similar position, for example, should think about how their resume can act as a "show and tell" of their skills and abilities. And some job seekers have created clever, web-based resumes filled with interactive visuals in their quest to secure a web development job. But many jobs don't lend themselves to that level of creativity. In fact, you can hurt your candidacy by providing a resume that doesn't match the job. A potential employer will look at your resume for a matter of seconds: Make those seconds count.

4. First Impressions Matter

What does your resume say about you? Ideally, it says you warrant a closer look and an interview.

But your resume can also say negative, unintended things about you that may lose you the interview. Your resume can say you don't pay attention, don't care about details, and/or aren't interested in the company or job.

Instead of showcasing your skills, your resume might be a showcase of typos, spelling errors, misplaced punctuation, and poor grammar-any of which may lead the employer to put you in the "no" pile. Details count: Spellcheck and proofread your resume, and have someone else proofread it, too.

5 What Matters?

When examining resumes, employers say they look for evidence of:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Leadership skills/experience
  • Written communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytical/quantitative skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Initiative
  • Technical skills
  • Detail-orientation
  • Flexibility/adaptability
  • Computer skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational abilities

6. Edit, proofread and seek advice.

Use the job description of the position you are applying for as a guide for how to tailor your resume. Order your experiences and sections on your resume with the most relevant information first.

Set up an appointment with the Career Center to review your resume. We can work with you on effectively conveying the right skills, experiences or accomplishments.

Typos and improper use of grammar are not well-received by employers. Proofread!


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