A cover letter should accompany every resume you send out. Its primary purposes are to indicate your interest in a particular position or employer and to highlight the skills, knowledge, and qualities in your background that relate to the needs of the employer.
- An introduction of yourself and why you are interested in the position
- A dynamic and concise description of your qualifications, particularly as they relate to the major needs and requirements of the employer
- Quantified accomplishments
- Action words
- Limit letters to one page (generally 3-4 paragraphs).
- Use your own natural writing style, but with language that is simple and to the point.
- Edit and proofread. Typos, spelling or grammatical errors are not acceptable. Try to have someone else proofread as well.
- Handwritten letters are unacceptable.
- Use high quality stationary, preferably the same color and stock as your resume.
- Find out the name and title of the hiring manager and address your letter to her/him.
- Always cite your referral source, if you have one.
- Sign and make a copy of the letter.
A resume is like your marketing brochure. It is designed to grab the interest of the employer, distinguish you from other candidates, and generate an interview. Just as an advertisement can't say all things to all audiences, a resume can't be so general that it is appropriate for all jobs. It should be focused and targeted to your prospective employer.
- Contact information: name, address, phone number and email
- Objective: a concise statement of the field or functional area you desire
- Education: Reverse chronological order: most recent/advanced degrees first, followed in descending order by other degrees. This can include certificate programs, coursework, other training, etc.
- Experience: Highlights experiences, work activities, and accomplishments related to the objective
- Special Skills: such as computer software/language skills and foreign language skills
- Professional Affiliations: especially organizations related to your objective
- Interests: optional, but may provide evidence of community involvement, well- roundedness, and travel experience
- References: not necessary to include on this document
- Keep it accomplishment and results oriented.
- Utilize action verbs in your text.
- Keep it to one page if possible.
- Error free- no grammar, spelling or formatting mistakes!
- Make it visually appealing: professional: clean, succinct, easy to read, well-formatted.
- Highlight key assets and strengths.
- Use boldface and upper case appropriately.
- Use high quality print (laser) and resume paper.