writing an effective resume and application letter
What is resume?
A resume is a short, concise document that states
relevant information regarding your education, skills,
experiences, accomplishments, and job-related
It is a quick advertisement of who you are.
What is the Purpose of a
is to attract the attention of the employer and impress
them so much that they want to have either a face-to-face or telephone interview
with you so that they can learn more about your qualifications for the job.
is to provide a summary of your skills, abilities and
is a marketing piece that presents you in the best
• Before you write, take time to do a self-
assessment on paper. Outline your skills and
abilities as well as your work experience and
extracurricular activities. This will make it
easier to prepare a thorough resume.
What Information Should
Be In A Resume?
Work or Professional Experience
Special Skills and Abilities
Characteristics Of A
• Focuses on skills. Uses action words to define the
responsibilities of your job-related experience.
• Easy to read and understand.
• Visually powerful and free of gimmicks.
• One page, or at most 2 pages long.
• Language is grammatically correct.
• Spelling has been checked.
• Formal Style
• Must always be 100% truth.
Summary of sections
• Address, telephone number, e-mail address
• Achievements and awards
• Professional affiliations
• Publications or projects
Parts of a Resume
I. Identifying Information - This first section of your resume should tell
who you are and help prospective employers reach you quickly.
Steeb Hall, Box 356
70 West 11th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
CAMPUS ADDRESS PERMANENT ADDRESS
Steeb Hall, Box 356 1500 Cool Street
70 West 11th Avenue Anytown, Ohio 43210
Columbus, Ohio 43210 (555) 555-1212
II. Job Objective -This section summarizes the type of work you want to do,
and the career field in which you are interested.
1. An exciting position within any state government
agency doing interesting things.
2. To obtain a sales management position with a
highly visible, multi-billion dollar, international, food
distribution company located in the northeastern part
of the United States, preferably New England.
3. Entry-level human services position where I can
be promoted to a supervisory position.
4. To obtain a social work assistant position within a
state government agency.
Objective or Summary
An objective tells potential employers the sort of work you're hoping to do.
• Be specific about the job you want. For example: To obtain an entry-
level position within a financial institution requiring strong analytical and
• Tailor your objective to each employer you target/every job you seek.
III. Education - For most graduates, the most important
qualification they have to offer employers is their education. Therefore this
section should be listed on your resume directly below your objective
New graduates without a lot of work experience should list their
educational information first. Alumni can list it after the work experience
Your most recent educational information is listed first.
Include your degree (A.S., B.S., B.A., etc.), major, institution
Add your grade point average (GPA) if it is higher than 3.0.
Mention academic honors.
IV. Experience - For each work experience, list your position title,
the name of the organization your worked for, and the dates you worked.
Then follow with a description of the work performed.
Winning Formula: action + object + outcomes
• The more that a past experiences is related to the work you are seeking the
more space you should allot to its description.
• When possible, note any achievements or key lessons learned from your
• Highlight what you have done in a concise, powerful, action-oriented way.
• Since position titles usually do not do justice to the work performed, it is
advisable to highlight the functions for which you were responsible.
Briefly give the employer an overview of work that has taught you
skills. Use action words to describe your job duties. Include your
work experience in reverse chronological order—that is, put your
last job first and work backward to your first, relevant job. Include:
• Title of position,
• Name of organization
• Location of work (town, state)
• Dates of employment
• Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific
skills and achievements.
IV. Experience -Samples
Social Service Work Experience
Franklin County Children Services Columbus, OH
Social Service Assistant Summer 200X
o Assessed families’ needs establishing their eligibility for benefits and services such
as food stamps, Medicaid, Welfare and transportation.
o Monitored and kept case records on clients from different ethnic backgrounds,
reporting progress to supervisor and case manager.
o Visited clients’ homes providing emotional support and making sure their services
were being received.
o Assisted children ages 5-8 in need of counseling or crisis intervention, making
V. Additional Skills -Summarize your academic skills,
along with any related work skills in a “Skills” section on your resume. This
will quickly show an employer a qualitative summary of the skills and
experience you have to offer.
Microsoft Word, Excel, & Access, HTML, Dream Weaver, & SPSS
Use the skills section
Software programs and proficiency (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, FrontPage,
Programming languages (include Visual Basic, HTML, PHP, …)
Abilities (based on experience)
Languages and language ability
Achievements and awards
Committees and leadership roles
References are individuals who can attest to your
qualifications for a particular position, people who can
discuss your skills and attributes.
Create a separate page to use for listing your references.
You should select 3 to 5 people to serve as your
references and list them in the order you want them to be
• Try to interest your reader visually
• A clean, professional format with a little style
• Extra white space makes it easy to read – set margins
Limit font to two choices
For text: a serif font like Times
For headings: Arial or Helvetica are good choices to add visual interest
Don’t choose non-standard fonts like
Font size should be 11 or 12 point
Write concisely and vigorously
• A focused, targeted resume is best:
Avoid the temptation to go more than one page
Delete obvious information in order to highlight your unique
• Find specific, dynamic verbs:
Use present (or past) imperatives
Include each verb only once
Consult online lists of “resume action words”
Final thoughts …
Choose the correct tense and use it consistently
Do not ask for a particular salary
Be accurate and honest
Print it out! Do not attempt to proofread on screen
WHAT IS A COVER LETTER?
• A cover letter is a letter sent alongside your resume
to introduce yourself, explain why you are sending in
your resume, and provide more information about
• The purpose of a cover letter is to tell a prospective employer
what you can do and why you feel you are qualified.
• It is an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills and it
opens a window to your personality.
• A good-well planned cover letter is just as important as an
impressive resume, and together they form an important
resource in your job campaign.
LETTER OF APPLICATION “LOA”
(COVER LETTER INFORMATION)
• 3-4 paragraphs in length
(MAX) stating your interest
in the position and just a bit
of an overview of why you
are qualified for the position.
• Average view is 4.2 seconds
for a committee to look at a
cover letter – be brief (but
• Use “power words” in your
letter – same as your resume
WHAT’S THE POINT OF
A COVER LETTER?
• Introduce yourself
• Cover letters should carry a message about you
• Get you noticed
• Project the desired image of you or your business
• Convey special information
• Highlight accomplishments
• Get employers, award judges and scholarship committees to read your resume
LETTER OF APPLICATION “LOA”
(COVER LETTER INFORMATION)
• Dear…“Mr., Dr., Mrs., Ms.,
Chair, Human Resources
Rep, etc… (what and to
whom you address?) –
DO YOUR RESEARCH on
the organization – don’t
settle for anything less
than a name!
KEYS TO EFFECTIVE COVER LETTERS
• Tell the employers what you can do for the company,
instead of what the company can do for you.
• Find out about the employer’s needs, then emphasize what
you can do to meet their needs.
• Consider how your work experience, education, and/or
personal qualities would be helpful to the employer.
STYLISH COVER LETTERS
• Block Style
• All lines start on the left side of the margin
• No indentations
• Modified Block Style
• Uses indentations
• Each paragraph is indented, as well as the
beginning information and the close
YOU SHOULD INCLUDE…
• Your address and the date the letter
• The name and address of the person to
whom the letter is being sent
• A salutation (Dear ____:)
• The body of the letter
• A complimentary close and signature
• A title of respect, such as Dr., Mr., or
• A return address and zip code
• Can also include reference initials,
enclosure notifications (such as your
resume), copy and postscript
WRITING STYLE- COVER LETTER
• It’s addressed to a specific individual.
• It’s grabs the reader’s attention in the
• It sounds confident without being
• It’s no longer than one page.
• It answers the question: “Why should
we hire you?”
• It’s action oriented.
• It uses the first person (“I”) sparingly.
THE BODY OF THE LETTER
• First paragraph – reason for
• Second paragraph – point out
• Third paragraph – call attention
to resume, reiterate interest
Your street address
Your city, state, zip code
Month, Day, Year
Name of company/organization
City, State, Zip code
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name:
Paragraph 1: Answers “Why am I writing?”
Identify the position and the company
Indicate how you learned about the position
Request the employer’s consideration
Introduce basic information about yourself
Paragraph 2: Answers “Who am I, and why should you hire me?”
Contain a brief summary of your personal data and work experience.
Relate your skills, experiences, and qualities that would benefit you in this position
Paragraph 3: Answers “What is my next step?”
Refer the reader to your enclosed resume
Reiterate your interest in the position
Specify how you will follow up
COVER LETTER FORMAT
Your Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Person
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Dr./Ms../Mrs. XXXXXXXXX:
Dear Hiring Representative:
7007 Chestnut Street
Columbus, OH 43210
February 4, 200X
Dr. Rose Smith
56 Northeast Avenue
Dublin, OH 43444
Dear Dr. Smith: