Resumes & Cover Letters

Your resume and cover letter are the first impression you make on employers. They should demonstrate your personal brand - who you are as an employee and what skills and qualifications you have.

You can always make an appointment to have your resume or cover letter reviewed by a career advisor in the Career Center.

Resumes

Your resume is a personal marketing tool that is designed to grab the interest of an employer and distinguish you from other candidates. The goal of your resume is to get you an initial interview.

It is important to build your resume in multiple stages focusing on content and formatting to present your skills and strengths concisely, precisely, and most relevantly for your career goals.

Resume & Cover Letter Guide

Looking for additional resume and cover letter tips and templates? Download the full Resume & Cover Letter Guide here for your reference.
Download the Guide [PDF]

Please note that these are samples for review, and some content has been adapted from original candidate resumes; as a result, please do not copy descriptions, but rather use them as models from which to brainstorm and draft specific reflections on your own experiences.

Characteristics of a Good Resume

Each person’s resume may look different – depending on their purpose for writing, target audience needs, and personal intentions. We offer suggestions that keep in mind a range of current patterns in a diverse set of industries.

If your resume takes a different approach, it is important to recognize why you have chosen to include or not include something in a particular way (word choice, format, etc.).

To learn more about the most common types of resumes across industries, review the articles below:

If you have additional questions about your resume formatting, content, or intentionality, you can always make an appointment to strategize with a career advisor in the Career Center. In the meantime, consider the following features of a strategic resume.

Succinct
Your resume should tell a story and it should be easy for employers to navigate and understand in a short amount of time. If an employer only looks at your resume for 5 seconds, what will they remember about you?

Targeted
Your resume should be targeted to fit the specific jobs that you are applying to. Use industry vocabulary and connect relevant terms (skills, qualifications, achievements) from your experiences to the job description. Put your experiences— education, employment, leadership, community outreach —into categories that highlight your most relevant skills and abilities. Create multiple versions of your resume if you are applying to different types of jobs to tailor language most relevantly per position.

Accomplishment-based
Develop descriptions for roles you have held with leading action verbs. Be specific, including results when possible. Visit our Resume Starter Kit for samples of more action and results-driven resume descriptions.

Accurate
There should be no typos, errors, incorrect or outdated information on your resume. Be attentive when updating different resume versions and customizing per specific roles; an employer will look for relevance to the role they oversee to determine your candidacy moving forward.

Consistent in Formatting
Your resume should be as easy to read as possible. Organize it strategically and apply consistent formatting throughout the document to facilitate review for your readers. Your resume should usually be no more than 1 page; however, depending on your experiences, role type, and industry of application – a resume may read at 2 pages.

To learn from one of our previous workshops on resumes and cover letters, review the videos below:

Design Your Best Resumé

Compose Your Cover Letter