Writing Your Resume and Cover LetterDocument Transcript
Why You Need a Resume
A resume is an essential and expected part of virtually any job
search. It often forms the first and, if poorly written, the last
impression on an employer. As an advertisement of yourself, your
resume should be designed to entice employers to meet with you. It
should demonstrate the positive attributes and qualifications that
would best serve the organization to which one is applying. At the
same time, it should draw attention away from those areas of your
work history that lack definition and vigor. The primary purpose of a
resume is to obtain an interview, not to tell your life story.
As you sit down to write your resume, keep in mind that the
reader will probably have a large number of resumes to review and
will usually expect a clear, concise, one-page document. To ensure
that the employer can easily scan your resume, use the active voice
and keep your phrases simple, clear, and direct.
Choose a Layout
The most common and readily accepted resume format is the
Chronological Resume. This is simply a chronological listing of job
titles and responsibilities, beginning with the most recent and ending
at your first job (or ten years ago, whichever is shorter). The strong
points of this resume are that the format is one with which most
employers are familiar, is easiest to prepare, shows a steady
employment history, and provides the interviewer with a guide for
discussion during the interview. Its limitations are that it can starkly
reveal gaps in employment history, it may put undesired emphasis on
certain experiences you may wish to minimize, and it may be difficult
to highlight your skills.
Though other formats for resumes exist, a chronological resume
is the type chosen by most undergraduate students with minimal
hands-on experience. For more information on additional formats for
resumes, stop by or call Career Services.
What to Include in Your Resume
Provide your first and last name only.
Mr., Ms., Mrs., or Miss are not required, unless your first name is
“genderless.” E.g. Christian, Alex, etc.
Always provide your complete address.
Do not use abbreviations except on the state. Use the two-letter
post office standard abbreviation.
List your home telephone number, including area code.
Do not list your business number in your resume unless your
current employer knows of your job search.
This information is listed in the most beneficial position in your
resume. If you do not have extensive job experience, your
education should be placed before your job experience.
The information in your Education section should be listed in
reverse-chronological order, with the highest level of attainment
always listed first.
Place less emphasis on frequent job changes. Instead, focus on the
unifying aspects of the different positions that apply to the job you
are currently seeking.
If you are weak in work experience, you can create a general
“Experience” section that highlights areas in which you are
If you have extensive experience in one job or field, you should
highlight this fact.
Things NOT to Include in Your Resume
Titles such as “Resume,” “Fact Sheet,” and “Curriculum Vitae” are
redundant and should not be included.
Listing the names and contact information of references on your
resume is unnecessary for two reasons:
1. Interviewers are not interested in checking your references
before they have a chance to meet you and develop a
strong interest in you as a potential employee.
2. Employers are forbidden by law to check references without
your written consent. They must first ask for your consent,
and you must meet them in order to give it.
There is no reason to limit yourself by listing a salary preference
that is too high or too low.
Race National Origin
Health or Physical Descriptions
Do not list any information that could hurt your chances of
Disclose negative information if asked, but do not voluntarily list it
on your resume.
Getting caught lying on your resume will most certainly prevent
you from being hired.
Guidelines for Creating a Computer-Friendly Resume
In your search for a job, there may be times that you will need to send
your resume via e-mail or post it on the Internet. In these situations, there
are certain guidelines you need to follow in order to ensure that other
computers are able to read and store the information contained in your
Use popular, non-decorative fonts or typefaces.
Use a font size of 10 to 14 points.
Avoid italic text, script, and underlined passages. If your original
resume included these elements, simply revise it before you post
your resume or send it via e-mail.
Avoid graphics and shading. Also, do not compress spaces between
Your name should always be the first readable item on your resume.
Use action verbs to edit and polish your work and to persuade the reader
to want to know you better.
Keep industry jargon to a minimum.
Keep your sentences to about twenty words.
To save space and to shorten the time required to read your resume, use
Third Person Abbreviated voice. (I.e. Responsible for machine and system
design, Organized informational sessions…)
Your resume should fit on one 8.5”X11” sheet of paper except if your
resume documents more than 10 years of experience.
You should print your resume on a neutral-colored sheet of resume paper –
white, off-white, or ivory – and be placed in a matching 13” catalog
Never fold your resume.
Remember to check your resume for spelling errors. Proofread, Proofread,
Current Address Permanent Address
Hendrix Box 9999 200 Battery Way
1600 Washington Avenue Peach City, GA 30548
Conway, AR 72032 (560) 554-2185
(501) 615-8710 YourEmail@whatever.com
HENDRIX COLLEGE CONWAY, AR
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science Degree expected May, 2001
NANZAN UNIVERSITY NAGOYA, JAPAN
Study Abroad Program September – December 1998
Completed intensive language study and course work in Japanese art.
RESIDENT ASSISTANT HENDRIX COLLEGE
September 1998 – Present Conway, AR
Counseled and referred students in areas of academic, personal, and social
Organized weekly educational and social programs to facilitate the
development of residence hall community.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR HENDRIX COLLEGE
Summer 1997 Sheridan, AR
Developed and implemented summer youth activities programs for 35
adolescents with the goal of suicide prevention.
Coordinated all fundraising, public relations, programming, and advertising
with a $1500 budget.
Founded the Youth for Youth Business League.
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION NETWORK
January – March 1996 Conway, AR
As an intern, researched legislative bills coming before the 1996 Arkansas
General Assembly for a weekly public affairs program.
Assisted in the post-production of the “Arkansas Week” program.
Student Host Committee
Resident Assistant Council
Hendrix College Choir
International – Intercultural Committee
1113 S. Poplar Avenue
Salem, MA 51674
Hendrix College. Conway, Arkansas. Bachelor of Arts in Business and
Economics and a minor in French. Degree expected May 2005.
Messenger Conway Regional Medical Center Conway, AR
Sent, received, and delivered faxes, prepared hospital rooms for
patients, operated switch board daily, and greeted clients.
Intern for Mike Huckabee State Capitol Little Rock, AR
Maintained main computer database, conducted telephone banks
frequently, and organized meetings and dinners for the Democratic
Peer Tutor Hendrix College Conway, AR
Held accounting help sessions to assist students with difficult material,
assisted with the development of curriculum for a time management
session, and created a database for all students’ names.
Pre-Law Club 2000-2001
Hendrix College Young Democrats 1999-2002
Student Congress 1998-2000
Hendrix College Student Mobilization 2000-2001
96 Word Per Minute average
Proficient in MS Word, Works, Internet Explorer, Excel
Working knowledge of Basic and MS DOS
Honors and Awards
Arkansas Distinguished Scholar Reward
Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholar
Hendrix College Leadership Scholar
12 Blue Street
New Orleans, LA 24697
To obtain a position in pharmaceutical sales that will benefit from my
education, research, and sales experience.
Summary of Qualifications
Extremely experienced within a laboratory setting. Able to synthesize,
characterize, and radiolabel complex lipids for cardiological research.
Possess substantial knowledge of basic laboratory equipment and
advanced laboratory techniques.
Possess strong interpersonal skills. Communicated daily with clients
through telephone and on-site contact.
Detail-oriented and able to use this trait in a business environment.
Maintained an extensive database of sales and product inventory.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR
June – September 1998
Coca-Cola Enterprises Marianna, AR
June – September 1996, 1997
Hendrix College Conway, AR
April - June 1996
HENDRIX COLLEGE CONWAY, AR
Bachelor of Arts in Biology Expected graduation date: May 2000
GPA in Major: 3.64
Organic Chemistry Immunology Biochemistry
Genetics Anatomy Physiology
Microeconomics Macroeconomics Investments
Statistics Principles of Accounting I and II
Combination Chronological-Functional Resume
782 Mountainhigh Avenue
St. Louis, MO 58464
Marketing and Sales Presentation
Planned successful marketing strategies used in targeting and establishing new business.
Marketed and presented “solution-oriented systems” to a broad spectrum of the business
Conducted seminars and trade shows involving demonstrations of integrated accounting
software and networking features and benefits.
Planning and Organizational Skills
Developed and maintained extensive database of 822 clients for use in all aspects of
account activity and marketing analysis.
Supervised four co-workers and their involvement in satisfying client needs and
expectations after a sale had taken place.
Managed 12 field personnel in the design, set-up, monitoring, and analysis of field trials in
an effort to boost local economies.
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Authored various business correspondences, including mass mailings and fee-based
proposals as well as support and training materials.
Trained co-workers in developing effective telemarketing and presentation techniques.
Established and maintained good business relationships with client base through:
Regular phone contact and on-site visits to establish rapport and instill confidence,
Preparing and executing all aspects of proposal presentation thoroughly, and
Performing conflict resolution with tact and diplomacy.
Business Systems Consultant
Consulting Resources, Inc. Dallas, TX 1996 – Present
Corporate Sales Representative
Computerland of Oklahoma Tulsa, OK 1994 – 1995
Hendrix College Conway, AR May 2000
Bachelor of Science in Biology Overall GPA: 3.3
Honors and Activities
WHY YOU NEED A COVER LETTER
A cover letter should always accompany your resume in order to explain what
position you are applying for and why you are the best candidate for that position. A
cover letter allows you to show an interest in the company that you cannot show on your
resume. You can also show more about yourself while highlighting one or two of your
skills or accomplishments the company can put to good use.
Address the letter to a specific person (include their title).
Explain specifically how you can benefit the employer.
Relate relevant information that is not on the resume
Limit your paragraphs to three or four sentences each.
Sign your name.
Have someone else proofread your cover letter before sending it.
Place your needs over those of your potential employer.
Be too general or vague.
Elements of a Cover Letter
Your Street Address (or Post office box number)
City, State, and Zip Code
(Enough spaces to center the letter on the page)
Name of contact person (including Mr. or Ms.)
His or her title
Name of the company
City, state, and zip code
The opening paragraph should explain which position you applying for and how you became
aware of the position. Next, you should write a concise statement that explains why you are
interested in the position. If you were referred to the employer by someone, you should include
that person’s name and point out that he or she suggested you write to that employer.
The middle paragraph is where you make note of relevant information not on your resume. You
should note how you can benefit the company at which you are applying.
In the closing paragraph, you should thank the employer for his/her time and consideration. If
assertiveness is valued in the job field (e.g., sales), the last sentence could make an assertive
statement of what the applicant will do next, such as calling to arrange an interview at the
employer’s convenience. Otherwise, use this opportunity to let the employer know that you are
interested in an interview and when you are available for an interview.
Your name typed
Enclosures (ex. Resume enclosed or Resume attached)
Why you need a Reference Page
A reference page allows the applicant to choose which people future
employers will contact for information about their history. References provide
potential employers with the information about the applicant’s work style,
compatibility in the work environment, and overall performance. You must ask
each person you would like to include on your reference page before you list his
or her contact information. Family members and close friends are not acceptable
references. Your references should be past employers who are qualified to
evaluate you and provide information that is useful to future employers. You
should list a minimum of 3 references. As a college student or recent graduate,
you should list no more than 5 references. The name and contact information for
each of you references should be centered or arranged in columns and typed in
the same font and style as your cover letter and resume.
Hendrix Box #2398
1600 Washington Avenue
Conway, AR 72032
Mr. Ronald Franks
Vice President of Marketing
684 West Nanny Road
Ms. Easter Present
Owner Neal’s Café
783001 Egg Drive
Springdale, AR 72764
Ms. Sally Struthers
Manager Orphan Adoption
74332 Child Lane
Hong Kong, AR 65456