RÉSUMÉS & COVER LETTERS

Résumé Writing

For a full library of resume and cover letter examples, see our flipbook

A resume is a summary of your experience, education, and skills. Its main purpose is to convince a potential employer to interview you and consider you for a position. Resumes are used to screen applicants for interviews and determine which candidates have the background that most closely matches with the employer's requirements. Your resume must be an honest reflection of your accomplishments and it is unethical to exaggerate, embellish, or mislead potential employers in your resume.

Before you start writing, you need to think about your experiences and accomplishments, both past and present. Consider work experience, internships, summer jobs, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, research work, course projects, and publications to identify what you have to offer employers. Assess what you have accomplished in each position and which skills you have developed. Tailor your resume by prioritizing this information so that it highlights the skills, accomplishments, and experiences most relevant to the industry and position. You may have more than one version of your resume if you are applying for different types of positions.

Learn more about the various components you should include on your resume.

Cover Letters

Cover letters are sent out with your résumé, and they should complement, not duplicate, your résumé. A good cover letter will add a personal touch to your résumé and give you the opportunity to add any additional information you would like to share (e.g., start-date availability) or respond to any information requested in the job posting (e.g., salary requirement).

Each cover letter you send out should be tailored to the specific job to which you are applying. Don’t create a form cover letter that you send out for every job application. Your cover letter should give the reasons for your interest in the position, why you are qualified for that position and any specific knowledge you have about it.

There are several types of cover letters:

To view examples, see our flipbook.

  • Application cover letter: submitted with an application for a posted open position
  • Prospecting letter: inquires about possible open positions
  • Networking letter: requests assistance in your job search
  • Thank you letter: sent after an interview to thank the person you met with
  • Acceptance letter: to accept a job offer
  • Withdrawal letter: remove yourself from consideration after you have applied for a job
  • Rejection letter: decline a job offer

 

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