The following resources are designed to assist students and community members in the job or internship preparation process. If you would like one-on-one assistance, submit the Service Request Form to meet with a member of Career Services. Students can also find more templates and helpful career information on the Career Services Blackboard Organization.
Guide to Resume Writing
The following is a list of headlines you can use to divide your resume into sections:
- Personal Profile
- Professional Summary
- Summary of Skills
- Career Objective
- Summary of Qualifications
- Relevant Assignments
- Relevant Courses
- Employment Experience
- Relevant Experience
- Work Experience
- Volunteer Experience
- Activities and Interests
- Awards o Scholarships
- Technical Skills
- Computer Skills
- Professional Memberships
- Special Skills
- Laboratory Skills
- Research and Analytical Skills
- What was the task performed?
- What skill(s) did you use in completing the task?
- Were any tools used to help you complete the task?
- What was the RESULT or OUTCOME of your completion of the task? How did you make an
- Did you double output?
- Improve customer experience
- Reduce costs?
- What is the “best” action verb to use when demonstrating my abilities? (Produce, organize,
implement…) Remember to:
- Articulate your capabilities so employers can have a clear understanding of what you can do for them.
- Demonstrate how your knowledge could apply to the functions of the job.
- State how well you can complete the tasks listed in the job description.
- Did you proofread your resume?
- Check for errors! Take the time to read your resume before an employer does. Have an extra pair of eyes look it over. Employers do not want to see a resume with poor spelling, grammar, and incorrect usage of words
- Is everything typed? Do not hand write on your resume to correct errors!
- Does your resume look appealing?
- Does the information flow in a logical manner?
- Does it look organized? o Is the space on the page utilized well?
- Are headings used appropriately? o Are there short concise statements or long paragraphs? Remember to keep it short and to the point. Do not write long paragraphs or descriptions.
- Does your name stand out?
- Your name should be larger than the section headings on the page. Is the format consistent?
- Are dates listed and formatted consistently?
- Are locations aligned evenly?
- Does the order of information match for each section? Employer, position title, location, date
- Is all the information relevant?
- Is the resume tailored specifically for that job position?
- Do your IMPACT statements make sense?
- Does your resume include keywords and action verbs to describe how your experience matches with the job description?
- Do not send a generic resume.
- Make sure your resume has information that can help the employer determine your ability to perform well at THEIR job.
- Is your resume honest?
- Make sure you can back up your resume with factual examples.
- Is your contact information listed at the top of your resume?
- Address: If studying away from home, list current address and permanent address.
- Phone Number: list the number that you have frequent access to
- Email Address
- LinkedIn Profile Link
- Make over your resume on a regular basis.
- Employers do not want a “stale” resume.
- Keep it up to date and applicable to your field.
- This is especially important if uploading to a database.
- Include a Professional Summary or Summary of Qualifications
- This section conveys what you can do for the employer.
- Choose between an Objective statement OR a Professional Summary
- Real-estate on a resume is valuable and taking up space by having both of these sections is redundant to employers.
- If you choose to include an objective statement, make sure to convey what you can do for the employer and your ambitions within the field. Avoid “Seeking a customer service position.” –This sounds selfish to an employer. Employers only want to know how you can be a beneficial and productive employee.
- Use bullet points and NOT paragraphs.
- Employers take such little time to scan your resume that they want as much information in 30 seconds as possible.
- If an employer has to slow down to read through paragraphs chances are, they will not take the time to continue reading and will pass on considering you for the position.
- Customize your resume for EACH job!
- With technology, it is easy to adjust how your skills may transfer from one experience to the next.
- Take the time to read the job description and articulate how your skills may apply.
- Creating impact statements that convey how your skills relate, allows the employer to understand how well YOU understand the responsibilities of the job.
- Do speak with faculty and current employees in the field.
- Of course there are general resume do’s and don’ts to follow but each field will have unique criteria.
- Create a resume that will standout and fit the requirements of being considered in your specified field.
Guide to Cover Letter Writing
Cover letters are a vital part of the job search process. Many believe that the cover letter is as if not more important than the resume. Although that is the case, candidates should always submit a resume too. The cover letter introduces the candidate to the employer. It explains to the employer WHY they should take the time to go over a candidate’s information.
Usually, the cover letter is the initial document an employer reads from the submitted application packet. It allows candidates to communicate how their relevant skills would benefit the company. The cover letter invites the employer to read the resume while the resume encourages employer to meet the candidate in person (the interview). Since the cover letter is often the first impression, it is essential job seekers take the appropriate time to develop and create a well written cover letter.
Job seekers should NOT submit a “generalized” cover letter to employers. Just like the resume, the cover letter should be tailored for the job which the candidate is applying for. The cover letter and resume both provide examples of a candidates writing ability. It is important to articulate your skills clearly and concisely.
The cover letter should communicate what the candidate can do for the employer as a potential employee. Along with the resume, this also offers candidates the opportunity to convey how well they understand the job description and relate their experience.
City, State, Zip
Current date (Date of the Letter)
City, State, Zip
Dear Individual's Name or Human Resources Personnel or Interviewer,
INTRODUCTION: succinctly state reason for writing… reference position opening, previous correspondence or contact, mutual friend or acquaintance… indicate any current degrees, skills or positions that would attract their attention. Also indicate where you found the posting.
BODY (2nd & 3rd paragraphs): Give details on purpose of letter… relate your skills and abilities specifically to the position or opening… make reference to attached resume and expand on important themes… write short and complete sentences, avoiding unnecessarily long and complicated terminology… Sell yourself – make them interested in you and what you can offer. Make paragraphs three to five sentences.
CLOSING: State the action you expect from recipient and indicate your next plan of action with a specific date for that action…keep closing short but specific…thank the recipient. The closing paragraph should initiate contact and express the desire to learn more about the job position. Employers appreciate job seekers who want to learn more so they can be the best possible candidate.
Typed Name (full name)
Title (if appropriate)
Encl. (indicate enclosures, such as a resume)
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1140
Phone: (630) 942-2230
Fax: (630) 942-4596
Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.