How To: Create Effective Cover Letters/Resumes


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Jennifer Dillenger, Director of Career Services at Wofford College (a Mungo Center for Professional Excellence program), explains the basics of creating a cover letter and resume that will increase your chances of getting the interview. View a video of the presentation at

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How To: Create Effective Cover Letters/Resumes

  1. 1. Resumes• Importance• How to create one?• I have one, now what?
  2. 2. • Profile Statement o Kick off with a brief summary of yourself o Serves as a foundation for the rest of your resume and a repository for key words
  3. 3. • Lead with a Summary
  4. 4. • Lead with a Summary
  5. 5. • Get the Readers Attention o Highlight Honors and Awards • Dean’s List • Scholarships • Academic awards o Leadership positions
  6. 6. • Get the Readers Attention o Don’t just list jobs o Illustrate how you have achieved success with facts and figures o Writing great bullets
  7. 7. • Do Not Focus on “Old Experience” o High School o More recent experience gets more space
  8. 8. • Tailor Your Resume to Your Reader o Research the company and position o Highlight skills they need
  9. 9. • Limit Certain Information o Age, marital status, religious or political affiliation o Associations or activities
  10. 10. • Use “Clean” Formatting o Basic fonts o Basic formatting o Use .pdf file type to preserve your layout• Resume scanning is common
  11. 11. • Order o Contact Information o Profile o Education o Experience o Skills o Activities
  12. 12. • Keep It Brief o Write in phrases o Use clear, concise language o One page
  13. 13. • Do Not Misrepresent Your Past o Background checks o Facebook and LinkedIn
  14. 14. • Spell Check ≠ Proof Reading o “… instrumental in ruining the operation” o “… traveled expensively through Europe”
  15. 15. Cover Letters• Job Application• Networking• Recommendations/References
  16. 16. Human ResourcesUSC UpstateSpartanburg, SC June 19, 2012To Whom It May Concern,My name is James Smith, and I am applying for the Business and Compliance Coordinator, posted on theUniversity of South Carolina Upstate website. My experience and personality perfectly match thisopportunity, and I am intimately acquainted with the environment and policies of college athletics.In May 2009, I wrapped up my career as a baseball player at Wofford College. At Wofford, I majored inBusiness Economics and participated in many on-campus activities, including the James Fund, a studentmanaged investment fund. I immediately stepped into a new role as the Volunteer Baseball Coach atLiberty University, and I received a promotion to Second Assistant after the first year. My experiences inthis role included player development, recruiting, accommodation and meal scheduling, organizingcamps, and equipment ordering. For three summers, I also served as Head Coach for the GastoniaGrizzlies of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League. As Head Coach, I strengthened my skills, especiallyleadership and planning. Through these positions, I gained valuable leadership, organizational, andmanagement skills while working with youth, students, and college administrators.My experience in college athletics will be an asset to the USC Upstate Athletic Department. Myknowledge of NCAA rules will allow me to monitor each athletic program’s recruiting process. Myattention to detail and knowledge of travel arrangements and meals, ensure that budget requirementswill be met while exceeding expectations. I bring organizational, as well as relational, skills that willallow me to create solid relationships with all departments. I am hard working and committed tostudent success in all aspects from academics to athletics.Thank you for your time and consideration. I am very interested in this position, and I have attached myresume for your review. You can reach me at (864) xxx-xxxx or I look forwardto hearing from you.Sincerely,James Smith
  17. 17. NetworkingMr. Porter,Coming into my senior year I have started the search for a successfulcareer path hopefully starting around June 2013. I really appreciatedyour advice last year in my search for a summer internship and washoping you would be able to provide me with the same guidance in mysearch this year. If you have any advice or know anyone that I couldget in touch with to aid in my job search I would be extremely grateful.Thank you very much for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.Kind regards,Jillian Wofford
  18. 18. NetworkingMr. Porter,I trust you are having an enjoyable summer. I am spending the second half of mine at Woffordattending the Institute for Professional Development. Although we are only one week into thefive week program, I am already learning quite a bit. One of our most enjoyable challenges isour consulting engagement. My team is working with OTO Development to create a solutionthat addresses pricing, marketing, and sales strategies for its geographically dispersed hoteloperations. The engagement requires advanced Excel skills, so I get to build on my solidbackground as well as assist others in my group with a little less Excel experience.I really appreciated your advice last year in my search for a summer internship and was hopingyou would be able to provide me with similar guidance in my search this year. I am eager tocreate options as I approach my senior year. My goal is to have an opportunity secured prior tograduating in May 2013. If you have 10 minutes just to talk about my search I would greatlyappreciate it. I know you are extremely busy so if you are able to let me know when yourschedule might accommodate a conversation, I will most certainly adhere to 10 minutes.Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.Kind regards,Jillian WoffordWofford CollegeClass of 2013