Resume and cover letter tips
How do you create a resume that differentiates you from others? What makes you unique? Why do you do something better than anyone else?
Below are some guidelines and best practices to follow when creating or updating your resume and cover letter.
Organize your resume into three clear sections: header, education and experience. Additional sections may be added if they contain information relevant to the position.
Header and Contact Information
- Professional e-mail address
- Cell phone number
- Website (if applicable to position applying for) and/or LinkedIn URL (customize your LinkedIn URL for a cleaner look)
- Degree(s) completed
- Degree(s) in progress and expected graduation date
- GPA (optional, include if above 3.5)
Experience (jobs, internships, academic and/or volunteer work)
- What did you accomplish in these positions that are relevant to the job you are applying for?
- Highlight achievements that showcase what you will be able to contribute to the organization.
- When describing your accomplishments, use action verbs such as:
- One-page limit
- When you are early in your career development (less than 10 years of work experience) keep you resume to one page.
- Always proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, and, if possible, have someone else proofread it for errors, also.
- Remember the "One-and-Done" rule! If there is one mistake on your resume, you may be seen as unprofessional and it may cost you even an initial interview with that company.
- Avoid redundancy, exaggerations and overstating qualifications.
- Be consistent in formatting.
- Punctuate full sentences, and do not punctuate sentence fragments.
- Bold or slightly increase size of your section headers.
- Do not overformat your resume. Italics, bold, font size, underlines... There are a lot of options. Pick one or two formatting tools to help create clearly defined sections, then let your content speak for itself.
- Font should be professional and legible (10-12 point font size)
- Use 1" margins
The Career and Corporate Outreach Center can help you with your resume! Our Career Services specialists are available every day to help with resumes, cover letters, your LinkedIn profile and interview tips.