Resume & Cover
FAQ by Category
What are some common components of a resume?
||Your name, address, and
home and/or message phone number with area code, and
e-mail address should be placed at the top of the
||Describe your career or
professional objective in clean and concise
language. Be specific and include what you want to
do for the employer -- not what you want the
employer to do for you.
If you don't include an objective, you may lead the
employer to think you do not know what you want to
do or are unable to commit. Employers insist on
knowing what you want.
||Used by the candidate
with experience; briefly state your achievements,
the range of your experience and the environment(s)
in which you have worked.
If your background is so varied that the employer
may be easily confused as to why you are applying
for a particular position, a summary can often
assist you in clarifying the information.
||Describe your work
history in reverse chronological order, (most
History recent first).
Be sure to include start and end date (month and
year), name of organization, location (city and
state), position title, description of duties,
responsibilities, accomplishments and skills
Include action words and quantify when possible.
experience, most recent first. List college or
university name, city and state, degree conferred
and date, major or area of study.
If you are currently working towards the completion
of a degree, list it first and be sure to include
projected completion” month and year.
Also list any certifications or credentials that you
have obtained or towards which you are working.
||Include foreign language
fluency, knowledge of computers including specific
hardware, software, operating systems and anything
else that may be relevant.
||List any volunteer
efforts, including name of organization, dates,
Activities position held (if applicable), and a
brief description of your (optional) activities and
organizations to which you belong or with which you
were formerly associated, years associated with the
organizations and tile held (if applicable).
Focus especially on those organizations related to
your field of employment.
references on a separate page. If you have space at
the end of the resume, you may want to state that
references are "available upon request."
Do you have some examples of resumes and cover letters?
How long is the standard
Most college graduates seeking entry
level employment and students seeking internships and part-time
employment utilize a one page resume. Sometime however, because
of a greater amount of relevant experience, leadership, or
co-curricular activity, resumes expand to two pages. The general
rule of thumb is to use enough space to provide all relevant
information about yourself.
What resume style is
preferred by employers?
There are three resume
styles; Chronological, Functional, and Combination.
Chronological resumes present your work history and
experience most recent first. Use this format when your
career direction is clear and your employment goal is
similar to your education and experience. Functional
resumes focus on the skills and abilities that have been
acquired and can be applied to new career opportunities.
Use a functional resume when you lack direct experience
and or when your educational experience does not match
your career goal. Combination resumes combine elements
of both the chronological and functional formats. Use
this format when you have a record of strong performance
in a career track and want to move up to a higher level
in that field.
What is the purpose of a
A cover letter tells a
potential employer that you are available, qualified, and
interested in employment. Cover letters personalize your
resume by briefly highlighting your strengths as they
relate to the position sought.
What are the basic
components of a cover letter?
In addition to the return
address, address of receiver, salutation, and signature,
cover letters have 3 basic components, the Opening, Body
and Closing paragraphs. Opening Paragraph - The purpose is
to capture attention, set the tone for the letter, and
begin to build a match of your qualifications with the
needs of the employer. In the opening paragraph, consider:
stating purpose of letter; naming position sought,
department, and company; mentioning name of mutual friend;
stating source of lead; stating your top credentials. Body
Paragraph(s) - Here is your chance to communicate your
main selling points. Use this paragraph(s) to demonstrate
to the employer that you are the one candidate in 100 that
can most benefit them. Prove that your skills match the
employer's needs. In this paragraph you should: create
interest; use action verbs; illustrate personality; point
to achievements; offer proof of skills and abilities; and
build credibility. Closing Paragraph - Use your last
paragraph to reemphasize your strengths and make a request
for further action. You may consider: asking for an
interview/meeting etc; restating position and company
name; stating time line for follow-up options; including
specific contact information; and expressing appreciation
cover letters be personalized to match each job
Yes! The cover
letter is your chance to personalize the resume to
highlight your strengths as they relate to the needs of an
employer. Often this means simply changing the address,
salutation and opening paragraph to specify the employer.
When seeking several different types of positions, it is
often necessary to personalize each cover letter. The rule
of thumb is to personalize the cover letter in any manner
that you can. Personalized cover letters assist in
grabbing the attention of an employer.
cover letter always be included with a resume or
letters explain what you are seeking, and relate your
strengths to an employer's needs. Always include a cover
letter when you send your resume or an application to a
contact person or potential employer.