Resume and Cover Letter Writing Guide
Resumes and cover letters alone won't get you a job; rather, they'll help you win an interview. Here is comprehensive information that will guide you through the process of writing a targeted resume and cover letter.
What's the Difference?
What should you communicate on a resume versus a cover letter? Before you begin, review the key differences between the two and information on what each should focus on.
Keep in mind that the more specifically you can tailor your resume and cover letter to address the requirements of the position, the better your chances of earning an interview.
Below you'll find step-by-step information on how to create your resume, along with formatting tips and insight into which words to use, and which words to avoid. The guide also features techniques for writing cover letters that showcase your accomplishments and form a clear connection between your experience and the position you are applying for. If you follow these steps, you'll have a better chance of securing job interviews.
How to Build Your Resume
Before delving into writing a resume, ask yourself some basic questions that will shape your direction. Are you seeking an entry-level job? Changing careers? Are you re-entering the workforce after a lengthy time off? The first step to writing an eye catching resume is determining what you're trying to accomplish.
While you might not include an "Objective" section on your resume, write one for yourself to serve as a guiding principle for your overall resume.
Build a Resume in 7 Easy Steps
Build your own professional resume quickly and easily with this step-by-step guide. It will guide you through every step of the resume writing processing.
Resume Writing Techniques
A resume includes information on your education, work history, and skills. Get started writing your resume by creating a list of your accomplishments in each job that you have held. From there, you can decide which details are most important to highlight and work on phrasing information in a way that will get the attention of both hiring managers and searchable databases.
Get inspiration for your own resume by reviewing these sample resumes, including chronological, functional, and mini, as well as templates for resume writing.
How to Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter typically accompanies each resume you send out. Your cover letter may make the difference between obtaining a job interview and having your resume ignored. Where a resume focuses on your work experience and accomplishments, a strong cover letter will make a connection between what the company needs and what you can offer.
The body of your lettertells the employer what position you're applying for, why the company should select you for an interview, and how you will follow-up. Grab the reader in your first paragraph with some specific information about the job you're seeking and a few core strengths that demonstrate your suitability for the position.
The delve into what you have to offer the employer by highlighting examples of the work performed and achieved results. Detail your knowledge of the company based on your research and the ways in which you can contribute to their goals, and finally, close the letter by suggest a meeting or next steps.
Cover Letter Writing Tips
It makes sense to devote the necessary time and effort to write an effective, targeted cover letter. Your letter should convey how your skills and accomplishments will benefit the company.
Types of Cover Letters
There are several different types of cover letters, including application letters, inquiry letters, referral cover letters, and prospecting letters. Here's where you'll be able to see examples of different kinds of cover letters used to apply for jobs or inquire about jobs.
You'll also find information about when to use different letters.
Cover Letter Examples
With about 100 sample cover letters and templates to choose from, this will help you write the perfect cover letter for your situation, regardless of your occupation and employment situation.
The End Game
Once you've finished perusing the step-by-step guide, you'll have a resume and cover letter(s) which will be polished, professional, and ready to send to prospective employers.
Resumes, cover letters, curriculum vitae (CV’s), LinkedIn profiles, personal statements and employer correspondence play an integral role in your internship or job hunt. In almost every situation, these documents are the employer’s first impression of your skills and professionalism. As you craft each of these documents you are creating a personal brand for yourself that will precede your face-to-face interaction with an employer. Therefore, each of your documents should be flawless in spelling and grammar, consistent in content and message and tailored specifically to the employer, company and position.
As you draft these documents, keep the job description at the forefront of your mind. Make sure you emphasize experiences in your resume and examples in your cover letter that are consistent with the skills the company is looking for in their next hire.
Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile Reviews
Once you’ve written the first draft of your resume or cover letter, swing by for our daily walk-in resume and cover letter reviews on Monday through Thursday 1:30 – 4:30PM. The last day of reviews for the semester will be April 27th.
If you’re applying for a specific position, bring the job description with you so we can help you best emphasize your qualifications for that company. Whether it’s formatting, content, grammar or spelling, we can help ensure that your first impression lasts.
First impressions are important and your LinkedIn profile is often the first link that occurs when Googling your name. We have added LinkedIn profile reviews alongside our scheduled daily resume and cover letter reviews. Make sure your online presence matches the quality of your resume. Stop by during scheduled review hours to receive tips and advice to polish up your LinkedIn profile prior.
If you would like to have your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile reviewed please stop by our office in Reynolda Hall, Room 230 or call us at 336.758.5902 to schedule a meeting with a career counselor.