Your resume should get the attention of the reader because in it you showcase your strengths, accomplishments and experience and demonstrate how you are a great match for the job. As you write about the direction of your career path, your personality and interests are reflected in the internships you have held; the jobs you have had; and the activities you have chosen to spend your time doing, such as clubs, sports, or volunteering. Always thoroughly proofread your resume, and ask others to proofread it, too, so you don’t overlook any mistakes!
A cover letter should be included whenever possible. This is your opportunity to add detail about your experience! Be sure to tailor the cover letter to the specific position to which you are applying.
Analyze the Job Lead
- Use this analysis worksheet to dissect your background, as well as the job lead
- Education: Is your degree one that is targeted or desired by the employer?
- Skills (technical or analytical): Do you have a basic knowledge of any required skills?
- Experience: Please note that many employers will count internships and volunteering if the experience is pertinent to the position applied for.
- Leadership/Involvement: Have you had the opportunity to put your skills to the test?
Writing Your Cover Letter
Step One: Review format of cover letters
Step Two: Complete analysis of your qualifications and that of the job lead (see above)
Step Three: Begin writing your cover letter
- Heading, date, salutation or greeting: If you know the name of the person to whom you are writing, then use it in your greeting; “Dear Hiring Manager” works, too.
- Paragraph one: Which position are you applying for? Where did you see it posted or from whom did you hear about it? Briefly, how are you qualified?
- Paragraph two: Select one or two highlights from the analysis worksheet that create a bridge from you (as represented by your resume) to the position (Job description); add detail and any results; Do you have a summary of a class project or experience (work or otherwise) that you could share?
- Paragraph three: Thank them for their consideration; where can you be contacted?
Step Four: Proofread! Here are some helpful links:
THANK YOU NOTES
Everyone gets a thank you note! After you meet someone at a career fair, networking event, or interview, be sure to send that person a note of thanks! Be sure to mention one thing about which you talked!
Create a portfolio (online or portable) to take with you to your interviews or to post samples of your work!
Possible Divisions: Resume; letter of introduction; transcripts; summaries of projects/research; writing samples
These links can give you some ideas about how to begin creating your own collection of professional examples: