Career Development Workshop: Resume and Cover Letter Basics
Learn the essentials to developing an
effective resume and cover letter for your
job or internship search.
• Laura DeJoseph McArdle
o Internship Coordinator, Career Services Office
o Office of Student Affairs, Bray Hall 307
• Nerisa Arias
o Graduate Intern, Career Services
o Office of Student Affairs, Bray Hall 110
• Resumes & Cover Letters
o What are they? When do I need them?
o Format, Content and Types of Resumes
o Examples and Tips
What is a Resume?
• Details previous experience: education, work
history, skills, other involvements.
• Summarizes your previous responsibilities and
• Makes a case for why you are qualified for a
• Represents you as a professional so use standard
When Do I Need a
For class assignments.
When applying for jobs.
Looking for internships.
Attending Environmental Career Fair
o February 26, 2013
• Potential networking opportunities.
• Graduate school applications.
Different Types of
• Chronological Resume
• Functional Resume
• Combination Resume
• Similar to a resume
• Often longer and more detailed
• Commonly used in academic settings and for
• May be used when applying for funding, awards,
honors, and fellowships
How to Create a Resume
• Create a list of:
How to Create a Resume
• For the experiences include:
Internship Coordinator, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
Syracuse, NY, January 2012 - Present
How to Create a Resume
• For jobs, volunteer
work, leadership, organizations, and projects:
o Generate a summary or bulleted list of your
•Assist students with career exploration, planning, and decision-making into internship
decision process and experience.
•Provide individual counseling/advising to students and assist with construction of
resume, cover letter, and interviewing preparation.
•Work collaboratively as a team member within Student Affairs.
• Master, all-inclusive list of experiences and skills you
• Does not have a page restriction
• Revisit this to customize resumes for different
positions and opportunities
Heading: Your first and last name, physical address, email
address, and telephone number. Your name should be most
prominent by a larger font, bolding, etc. That should be the most
noticeable part of your resume.
Objective/Qualifications: This focuses your resume and describes
early on why you are a good fit. An objective if used should be
specific. Qualifications listed would tie your skills to the skills
necessary for the position.
Relevant Experience: This heading allows you to put your most
relevant and important experience prominently at the top of your
resume. This can be things you were paid to do or not. This could
include courses, class projects, internships, leadership roles.
Whatever is most relevant. These description include detail about
what was involved in the experience.
Other Experience/Sections: This section allows you to highlight
other important experiences such as work history, awards and
honors, clubs and organizations, skills and
interests, memberships, etc. This is more often a list than bulleted
Laura DeJoseph McArdle
1 Forestry Drive • Syracuse, NY 13210
315-470-6660 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Engineering Qualifications
●Experience with project management, writing tests
procedures, and conducting engineering tests
●Knowledge of wastewater treatment facility design and
water pollution treatment techniques
●Proficient in AutoCad, Inventor, MathCad, Microsoft and
Apple Operating Systems, Microsoft Word, Excel, and
●Extensive knowledge of ASME, AWS, API 614, ATEX, NEC
and other industry standards and directives
Bachelor of Science: Environmental Resource
State University of New York College of
Environmental Science and Forestry
Expected Graduation May 2015
Industrial Hygiene Analysis Intern
Summer Gobbell Hays Partners, Inc.
Nashville, TN, May 2012 – August 2012
•Acquired hazardous materials samples in buildings for
testing in accordance with public health standards
•Analyzed and summarized results received from
laboratory into reports for clients and performed air quality
Member, Environmental Studies Student Organization
SUNY ESF, Fall 2012 - Present
• Worked as the liaison between faculty and students
to set up networking events on campus.
• Collectively raised money with other students to
support community service trips.
SKILLS & MEMBERSHIPS
• Alpha Xi Sigma, SUNY-ESF, inducted 2011
• Primitive Pursuits Club, 2010 - present
• The Wildlife Society, SUNY-ESF Chapter, 2009 - present
• Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
• GPS Equipment
• ArcGIS software
• First Aid certification, May 2012 - present
• CPR certification, expires 2016
OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE
Cashier, Trailhead Cafe
Syracuse, NY, August 2013 - Present
• What things are most relevant to the job?
• Which things are most recent
• What things make you unique among
Tips & Tricks
10 to 12 point font
Use bolding, italics, CAPS, underlining
Use bulleted statements with action verbs
o Exceptions: TONS of experience, potentially graduate level, CV
• Verbs that work
• Develop a Master Resume of your experiences
• Customize your resume for each position
• Use headings to highlight your most relevant
• Use bullets to explain in detail what you did
• Just because you were not paid, does not mean
you can’t put it on your resume
What is a Cover Letter?
• What is a Cover Letter?
• A Cover Letter is a more-detailed version of your
resume describing why you are the right candidate
for a specific position.
When Do I Need
a Cover Letter?
• When an employer or job description requires it.
• Always carry multiple copies of both your resume
and cover letter when interviewing.
• Even if an employer does not ask for a cover
letter, you should still send it/hand it in along with
your resume. It shows you are willing to go above
and beyond what is needed of you.
Cover Letter Format
Note: Your Cover Letter heading should be the same as your Resume
heading (this makes it easier for employers to keep track of both
Heading Details: At the top of your cover letter document should be your
Resume heading, then employer/hiring manager contact information
(Name, title, company name, address), then Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name:
(Make sure to call the company/organization to get the employers
name) and the current date.
First Paragraph: Should include the position of interest to you, how you
found out about the position, who you are (major, year of college), and
why you are interested in the specific position.
Second Paragraph: Should include 2-3 experiences related to the position
you are writing about, skills learned, why these experiences make you a
great candidate, and your enthusiasm for the position.
Third Paragraph/Conclusion: Lastly, you should mention that your resume
is enclosed, express interest in discussing the position further, and thank
them for their time and consideration.
Signature: Close with Sincerely, Thank you, etc. If you are able to you
should sign your name manually, but if sent electronically you should sign
with a cursive font, and always print/type your name under each
Your Resume Heading
Mr. John Smith
Oregon Department of Revenue
Human Resources Room 135
955 Center Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
September 19, 2020
Dear Mr. Smith:
I would like to express my interest in the Oregon
Department of Revenue’s open position calling for a
Timber Auditor/Appraiser 3. I learned of this position by
navigating the oregonjobs.org website. Presently, I am
a senior at the State University of New York’s College
of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse,
New York. I will be graduating in May with a
Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resources
Management and expect to have earned a GPA of
at least 3.65. I have tailored my degree toward
forestry, and feel that my education and professional
goals make me an excellent match for this position.
My education at SUNY-ESF has focused heavily on the management
of forested ecosystems in both the theoretical and practical arenas.
I have enjoyed classroom education in the area of silviculture, forest
ecology, dendrology, mensuration, soils, hydrology, recreation
management, policy, and economics, as well as considerable
background coursework. I have also had the opportunity of
engaging in a summer term in practical forestry operations. This term
included a five-week intensive course in field forestry which included
navigation, mensuration, and dendrology. For the remainder of the
summer, I worked as a Forest Property Assistant at SUNY-ESF’s
Adirondack Ecological Center located in New York’s Central
Adirondack region. My responsibilities there included a variety of
tasks mostly dealing with forest inventory, which I became intimately
familiar with. Between this experience and my educational
background, I feel equipped to begin a career in forestry with your
organization. I might add that it has been personal career goal of
mine to move to Oregon, due to a consuming interest in your state’s
unique and wonderful ecosystem diversity.
I believe that my combination of abilities and
enthusiasm provides an excellent match for this
position, and would be honored to have the
opportunity to show you my skills. I urge you to closely
consider my application and enclosed resume. Feel
free to contact me at 315.555.2323. I look forward to
hearing from you regarding this position. Thank you for
Sign Your Name
Print Your Name
• REMEMBER TO EDIT! EDIT! EDIT!
• Have someone else read and reread all of your
documents. This will help with catching
grammatical and punctuation errors that can hurt
Tips & Tricks
• Remember to tailor your Cover Letter for each position
you plan to apply.
• Use the job description language when describing your
own qualifications and experiences (i.e. if a job
description says “Should be resourceful & able to work in
a fast-pace environment.” Your Cover Letter should
somehow mention how you are resourceful and able to
work in a fast-pace environment).
• Have at least 2 other people read your Cover Letter. If
both are able to understand your letter than most likely
so will the employer.
• Mark sure you align your whole letter to the left
(indentations not needed).
• Think of Cover Letters as detailed versions of your
• Every Cover Letter should be unique to each
position you are applying to.
• Make sure you include the 5 main sections:
Heading, Paragraphs 1-3, and your Signature.
• Edit your Cover Letter multiple times.
Please feel free to
Laura DeJoseph McArdle: