Cover letters support your qualifications, and express those qualifications in ways to add value to the organization with which you're interested in working. Employers may gain their first impression by reading your cover letter and choose whether or not to continue on to reading your resume. Your letter should be interesting, easy to read, and concise. Here are a few “Do's” and “Don'ts” of writing your cover letter!
Do's and Don'ts of Cover Letters (source: Hansen, R. and Hansen, K.)
A picture is worth a thousand words; make your thousand words paint a picture of a person the employer wants to hire! Give this format a try:
Need to spice things up? Add in action words to make yourself stand out among your competition. Here’s a link to a good list of action words that you might find helpful.
In addition, here are a couple of example cover letters to help get you started.
The single most important step in the job search process is preparing your resume. It is this document that prospective employers will use to evaluate your skills, experience, qualifications and education. Not an autobiography, the resume is a summary of your experiences that highlights your skills and accomplishments. You should never send the same resume out to more than one employer. Instead tailor each resume to fit the job description, highlighting your experiences and skills that match. Have it looked over by a Career Counselor before you send it.
You should begin the resume writing process by reflecting on your skills, interests, personal qualities and accomplishments, especially as they relate to the employer’s needs and job requirements.
Remember, your resume needs to be unique to you! There are many opinions as to what makes a good resume. Have several people who know you and your career area review your resume. Ask questions and listen to their thoughts. Then decide for yourself what information and “look” best represents you in your absence.
Format Guidelines (credit: Syracuse University):
Having done the appropriate research, you are now ready to begin writing your resume. Listed below are some guidelines you should follow in preparing a resume.
Which kind of Resume?
There are a number of different kinds of resumes: Chronological, Functional, those for the Internet and those for less experienced folks. Typically, chronological resumes are used by individuals entering their career path or continuing in the same path. Functional resumes are more often used by experienced employees seeking mid-career advancement or career changes. Syracuse University provides a great explanation of each and shows you examples! Check it out here.
We understand that everyone is different and everyone wants to do their own thing. We just want to point you in the right direction. Below you will find some links that can also help you with that ever-important resume and cover letter.