Resumes and Cover Letters

Your resume is your first impression for a potential employer, be sure it's a positive one.

Necessary Content:

  • Name and contact information—local address, cell phone number, e-mail address, and personalized LinkedIn url 
  • Education—include the university name, degree, major, minor, GPA, and expected graduation date
  • Experience or Leadership/extra-curricular involvement—include employer name, position title, location, dates of employment, and major responsibilities or list your community service and club membership here (be sure to include dates)
  • Other skills and qualifications—list computer skills/applications and other skills the position description outlines (e.g. experience with Adobe InDesign)

Optional Content:

  • Coursework—courses that are relevant or required for your field
  • Objective—include only if you’re sharing at a career expo; omit if applying for a specific job
  • Publications or presentations—if you have published work or presented at a conference

Resume Tips:

  • Include your contact information (only one phone number, mailing address, and e-mail address is necessary)
  • Make your document visually appealing (is the important information easy to find?)
  • Use action verbs (managed, oversaw, organized, developed, analyzed)
  • Use bullets to organize information
  • Write in full sentences 
  • Have someone proofread your resume (someone in the career services office is always willing)
  • Include dates on everything (except your objective and skills) in reverse chronological order
  • Organize with subheadings (education, work experience, honors/awards/leadership, other skills/qualifications, relevant coursework)
  • Use numbers when possible (increased sales by 20%, an avg. attendance of 30 members, etc.)
  • Keep your resume to one page
  • Don't include high school information (sports, awards, etc.). It is OK during your freshman year, but after that omit it
  • Include all experience (especially on a family farm or as a restaurant server)
  • Try using Times New Roman, Ariel, or Calibri font

Writing a Cover Letter

  • Address a person (e.g. Dear John Doe:)
  • Include person's name, title, address
  • Highlight your qualifications (refer to job description)
  • Thank person for his/her consideration.
  • Include salutation (Respectfully or Sincerely).

Want more help writing or polishing your resume? Contact Allie Hutchison in the Career Services Office or schedule an appointment.