Resumes & Cover Letters

Resumes & Cover Letters

Resumes and cover letters are crucial to your job search. Whether you’re looking for a part-time job, internship, volunteer experience, graduate school acceptance, or full-time work, you will most likely need to create and maintain strong professional documents in order to apply. For many opportunities, these documents will be the employer’s first impression of you. When tailored and written well, these documents work together to help you secure an interview.


Your resume is a self-marketing tool — an advertisement meant to persuade employers to contact you for an interview. Resumes are professional documents that introduce an employer to your skills, experiences, and professional history. Employers will spend less than 30 seconds reviewing your resume, so the information must be clear and well-organized.

The Basics

Resume Basics
  • Material fits neatly on one page.
  • Font is crisp and clean and at least size 11. Margins at sides and bottom are not less than 0.5 inch.
  • Layout and design are easy to read.
  • Important titles are emphasized by using text enhancements where appropriate (caps, bold, underline, italic), but not overdone.
  • No spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.
  • Action verbs and keywords communicate accomplishments and results.
  • Always use reverse chronological order (most recent experience first).
  • Quantities, amounts and dollar values enhance the description of your job or experience.
  • No personal pronouns.
  • Refer to our Resume Handout for more tips

Cover Letters

Cover letters provide an introduction to employers regarding your interest in a position (or in being considered for potential positions) and your perceived fit with a job and organization. Cover Letters are your chance to showcase more of your personality and uniqueness through your writing style and communication skills. Unlike the resume, which can be slightly updated for each position, you will need to write a tailored letter each time you apply for a position.

Refer to our Cover Letter Handout for more tips and information.


Get Assistance

Overwhelmed?  We can help.  Career consultants are available for resume assistance by appointment or during daily drop-in hours.  Visit us in 200 William Pitt Union, Monday-Friday, between 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.