Brainstorm ideas for your cover letter and resume. What can you do to make your cover letter stand out? What are the expectations of your chosen job opportunity? What experiences do you bring to the job that are unique?
Notes for reference:
Cover letters are included with resumes in order to expand on some of the information contained in your resume. Your cover letter should attempt to address why you are the best choice for the job. Your cover letter is typically no more than 1 single-spaced page. It must include the following:
- Heading: Include the date, your address, the address of the organization to which you are applying. You may also use letterhead.
- Salutation: Address the letter to a person if you can and avoid “To Whom it May Concern.” You can say “Dear Name,” or, if you cannot find a name, you can use the job title of the person to whom you are writing.
- Opening: Introduce yourself and say why you are applying for the job. You can also discuss how you found the job and express your enthusiasm for the position.
- Body: Discuss the particular experiences and skills that you have that apply to this particular job. It is best to leave out irrelevant information in the cover letter. Talk about how your particular abilities will fit with the organization to which you are applying. Always use the “you” attitude, which is focused on what you can do for them, not on what they can do for you. Your body section can be more than one paragraph.
- Closing: Reaffirm that you are enthusiastic about the job and tell your reader how to contact you.
- Signature: Make sure to sign it with something like “Sincerely” or “Regards.”
Tips for Cover Letters:
- Research the organization for which you are applying and tailor the letter to that job. Do not use the same letter for every job you apply for.
- Adopt a tone of confidence without sounding like you are bragging. This can be very challenging and can feel uncomfortable at first.
- Don’t go over one page, unless it is the convention for your discipline
Creating your resume is pretty straightforward. You can find templates online. You resume should follow guidelines for your discipline. Most resumes should be no longer than a page, and, as you gain experience, should not include materials from before college. Your resume should contain the following:
- Heading: Include your name, address, and other contact information.
- Education information: include degree information, such as what schools you have attended (high school is not necessary), major/minor, expected graduation date, any honors, and, possibly, your GPA.
- Job Experience: include all relevant job experience. You may include other jobs if it shows a commitment to work. List them in reverse chronological order. Include the dates you worked at each job
- Other experience: include any other experiences you have, such as volunteer experience or internship experience.
- Skills: include the skills you have that are applicable to the job.
- Hobbies: include any hobbies
- Any other relevant information: include any other information that is relevant to the job.
Tips for a Good Resume:
- Avoid gimmicks like pictures or weird document design.
- You don’t need an objective. It is clear your objective is to get the job for which you are applying.
- Don’t include your GPA if it is low.
- Use good document design. I recommend looking at resumes online to find good examples. Make sure your document design is consistent.
- You do not need to include references or the statement “references available on request”