Resume & Cover Letter Writing
Your resume should be a brief highlight of your experiences and education. The goal of your resume is to effectively market yourself to potential employers, and to obtain an interview.
While there is no right or wrong way to create a resume, it is important to remember that there are some generally accepted rules to follow in order to meet employer expectations. A resume by itself cannot land that dream job for you, but a poor resume may keep you from ever having a shot.
Use the following links for more information, examples, and to create your resume:
Attend one of our Fall 2015 Workshops (Adobe PDF file) to get assistance with:
- Resume Writing and Cover Letter Tips
- Interviewing Tips and Questions
To get additional information or have resume reviewed, please contact Michael Laughter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Curriculum Vitae is a comprehensive, detailed, and structured document that describes your professional experience and history. It should communicate to employers why you are qualified for a specific position. They are most often used by professionals seeking positions in science, higher education, research and health care. A "CV" is also expected for some positions overseas.
The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article to provide clarity on the use of the terms "Vitae", "Vita" and "CV". The term "curriculum vitae" translates as something similar to "course of life". The term "vita" translates as simply "life". The correct label for an individual document can be either "curriculum vitae" or simply "vita". In other words, one does not use the term "vitae" by itself, nor does one write "curriculum vita". The term "CV" is commonly used in conversation, but putting "CV" at the top of your curriculum vitae is not recommended.
The length of a "CV" depends on the number of years of experience and could vary between 2 and 20 pages long. Ensure that the information that is most relevant to your career objective appears on the first two pages.
Cover letters and related correspondence pertaining to your job search are an important part of the process. This correspondence is often the employer's first contact with you so it is very important to make a favorable impression.
The following tips will help you with this important aspect of the job search:
Target employers of interest
Personalize letters to each employer giving the reader reasons for wanting to contact you. Avoid form letters.
Verify gender and the spelling of the recipient's name
Do not rely on spell and grammar check. Carefully proof your letters and have someone with good writing skills review for grammatical error, typos and clarity.
Your letter should clearly explain your reason for writing and summarize your relevant experience, education and skills. Provide additional information that is not on your resume.
When sending unsolicited letters, be sure the closing paragraph indicates the follow up action you will take. Example: I will contact you next week to determine an interest and, if agreeable, arrange a personal meeting.
Most employers prefer all correspondence via email
When sending by U.S. mail, use good quality, light colored bond paper with matching envelopes
Keep a record of all correspondence and dates mailed for effective follow up