Resumes, CVs & Cover Letters
A resume is a snapshot of your professional experiences and skills that will evolve over time as you focus your career goals and gain more experience.
The average recruiter or hiring manager spends 6 seconds reviewing a resume. Check out this resume checklist that goes more in depth into how to meet criteria to make your resume as compelling as possible.
The top 6 factors in determining whether your resume moves to the next step in the process are:
- Formatting – organization and clarity are crucial in communicating your fit for the position
- Appropriateness for Role – study the job description to identify relevant skills and requirements that you can use to convey your strengths
- Evidence of Impact – take the opportunity to present relevant skills through accomplishments aligning to the role and any impactful involvement you have outside of class
- Job History – consider your job history and create a connection of experiences to explain the alignment of your career past with the position
- Content – ensure that content relates to the job and effectively communicates impact
- Complimentary Online Presence – sync your resume with your LinkedIn profile to show engagement and consistency in efforts. Use online presence to share additional content that may not be focused for your paper resume but does demonstrate your abilities.
Source: Glassdoor, August 2, 2017 “This is Exactly What Hiring Managers and Recruiters Look for When Scanning Resumes”
If you do not yet have a resume, or want to start from scratch, we have built out three templates which you may download and personalize to fit your needs and experience:
Industry specific resumes highlight specific, relevant and tailored content. Here are sample resumes based on industry to help you create your own:
- Art and Design Resume
- Business Resume
- Computer Science Resume
- Creative Arts Resume
- Data Science Resume
- Education Resume
- Environmental Studies Resume
- First-Year Resume
- Government and Politics Resume
- Leadership Resume
- Marketing & Communications Resume
- Media and PR Resume
- Non-Research Science Resume
- Performing Arts Resume
- Pre-Health Resume
- Research Science Resume
Here are some additional useful resources:
- Action Words - A list of verbs categorized by skill, to be used on a resume.
- Skills by Category - How do you express your skills in my resume? Organized by skill set
- Resume Checklist - Provides a brief outline for the construction and content of a resume
- The Reference Page - Need to provide a list of references? This PDF gives a brief guide on creating one.
- Crafting Content Rich Bullet Points - This guide is designed to help you make the most of your bullet points.
- SEC Resource Library (Books) - We have a great library of resources for job search and resume development in Reid 219.
A cover letter often serves multiple purposes, mainly to tell your professional story and provide a more detailed explanation of your skills and experiences.
A great cover letter is both informative and interesting to the reader. Do not send one generic cover letter to multiple employers. If you want to catch the attention of their hiring team, you must take the time to tailor your cover letter to each organization you are applying.
Remember: proofread, proofread, proofread. Your cover letter demonstrates your writing skills; make sure it is grammatically sound and free of spelling mistakes.
Here are some resources to help you write a cover letter:
Also called a CV or vita, in the United States the curriculum vitae is used almost exclusively for academic professions and applying to graduate school.
"The most noticeable difference between CVs and most resumes is the length. Entry-level resumes are usually limited to a page. CVs, however, often run to three or more pages. (However... you should try to present your information concisely.)... While the goal of a resume is to establish a professional identity, the goal of a CV is to create a scholarly one. Thus your CV will need to reflect your abilities as a teacher, researcher, and publishing scholar within your discipline."
-Source: Purdue OWL (10.28.2010)
Do you have language skills that you want to include on your resume or CV? View the Interagency Language Roundtable webpage to assess your level of proficiency on the scale used by government agencies, including the Peace Corps, the State Department, and many more.