Writing Resumes and Cover Letters
Watch our Quick Tips for Your College Resume video (5:23)
A resume is a one- or two-page summary highlighting your skills, education, and experience. Some tips:
- Past paid positions might not be the best ones to promote. Don’t minimize your volunteer or student organization experience.
- Use action verbs to describe what you have done. (Use Analyzed, not Looked at; Created, not Made; and Implemented, not Completed.)
- Add your GPA if 3.0 or higher. If an organization doesn’t see your GPA listed, they may assume it is under 3.0.
- One or two pages? Generally, most student or recent grad resumes are one page. Not sure about yours? Come and see us.
Watch our Quick Tips for Writing a Cover Letter video (6:15).
A cover letter is no longer than one page and is meant to be a quick snapshot of your experience and skills. Cover these three key focus areas:
- Introduction. Introduce yourself and explain why you are writing. Indicate what position you are applying for and state how you learned of the opening (2-3 sentences).
- Why Me? Use this section to make a case for why you’re the best person for the position. Mention two or three related qualifications, achievements, or accomplishments that you think would be of greatest importance to the employer. Be specific and use examples (4-5 sentences, or up to 2 paragraphs).
- Closing. Reiterate your interest in the organization/position. Close by making a specific request for an interview, including how best to reach you. Be positive and enthusiastic. Thank the reader for their time and consideration (2-3 sentences).