Career Development Workshop: Resume and Cover Letter Basics


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Students learned the essentials to developing an effective resume for your job or internship search. We also discussed the basics of writing cover letters and professional correspondence.

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Career Development Workshop: Resume and Cover Letter Basics

  1. 1. Resume & Cover Letter Basics Learn the essentials to developing an effective resume and cover letter for your job or internship search.
  2. 2. Introductions • 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
  3. 3. Agenda • Resumes & Cover Letters o What are they? When do I need them? o Format, Content and Types of Resumes o Examples and Tips
  4. 4. What is a Resume? • Details previous experience: education, work history, skills, other involvements. • Summarizes your previous responsibilities and accomplishments. • Makes a case for why you are qualified for a particular job. • Represents you as a professional so use standard fonts, etc.
  5. 5. When Do I Need a Resume? • • • • For class assignments. When applying for jobs. Looking for internships. Attending Environmental Career Fair o February 26, 2013 • Potential networking opportunities. • Graduate school applications.
  6. 6. Different Types of Resumes • Chronological Resume • Functional Resume • Combination Resume
  7. 7. Curriculum Vitae • Similar to a resume • Often longer and more detailed • Commonly used in academic settings and for research opportunities • May be used when applying for funding, awards, honors, and fellowships
  8. 8. How to Create a Resume • Create a list of: o o o o o Jobs Clubs Organizations Volunteer Work Leadership o Honors o Awards o Skills o Certifications o Courses o Projects
  9. 9. How to Create a Resume • For the experiences include: o o o o Title Organization Location Dates Example: Internship Coordinator, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry Syracuse, NY, January 2012 - Present
  10. 10. How to Create a Resume • For jobs, volunteer work, leadership, organizations, and projects: o Generate a summary or bulleted list of your involvements Example: •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.
  11. 11. Master Resume • Master, all-inclusive list of experiences and skills you generate • Does not have a page restriction • Revisit this to customize resumes for different positions and opportunities
  12. 12. Resume Format • • • • 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 details.
  13. 13. Heading Laura DeJoseph McArdle 1 Forestry Drive • Syracuse, NY 13210 315-470-6660 •
  14. 14. Summary or Qualifications 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 Access ●Extensive knowledge of ASME, AWS, API 614, ATEX, NEC and other industry standards and directives
  15. 15. Education Bachelor of Science: Environmental Resource Engineering State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Expected Graduation May 2015 Syracuse, NY Relevant Coursework:
  16. 16. Experience 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 testing
  17. 17. Experience 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.
  18. 18. Additional Sections 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
  19. 19. Additional Sections OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE Cashier, Trailhead Cafe Syracuse, NY, August 2013 - Present
  20. 20. Customizing Your Resume • What things are most relevant to the job? • Which things are most recent chronologically? • What things make you unique among other candidates?
  21. 21. Tips & Tricks • • • • 10 to 12 point font Use bolding, italics, CAPS, underlining Use bulleted statements with action verbs One-page o Exceptions: TONS of experience, potentially graduate level, CV • Verbs that work
  22. 22. Summary • Develop a Master Resume of your experiences • Customize your resume for each position • Use headings to highlight your most relevant experience • 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
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. 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.
  25. 25. 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 documents). 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 signature.
  26. 26. Heading Your Resume Heading Mr. John Smith President Oregon Department of Revenue Human Resources Room 135 955 Center Street NE Salem, OR 97301 September 19, 2020 Dear Mr. Smith:
  27. 27. Body: st 1 Paragraph 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 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.
  28. 28. Body: nd 2 Paragraph 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.
  29. 29. rd 3 Body: Paragraph/Conclusion 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 your consideration.
  30. 30. Signature Respectfully, Sign Your Name Print Your Name
  31. 31. EDIT • 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 your candidacy.
  32. 32. Sample Cover Letter
  33. 33. 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).
  34. 34. Summary • Think of Cover Letters as detailed versions of your resume. • 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.
  35. 35. Please feel free to contact: Laura DeJoseph McArdle: Or Nerisa Arias: