Career Resource Center

Sample Employment Documents

Resumes

The purpose of a resume is to:

  • Quickly show that you have the personal and professional qualifications needed for the job
  • Illustrates that you can meet the needs of the employer
  • Provides a good example of your written communication skills
  • Suggests that you are likable and that you can work well with others
  • Convinces a possible employer that you deserve an interview

Resumes should be clear, concise, and complete. Your resume should clarify how and why you are a good candidate for the position you are applying for.

Resume Writing Tips:

  1. Limit to one page. Make sure all statements you make on your resume are true; don’t exaggerate your qualifications.
  2. Look at lots of sample resumes on the Internet. They can help you determine what resume layout you want to use, how you might want to word your resume, and the physical look of your resume.
  3. Identify the resume sections that you want to use in your personal resume. Write each section to showcase the assets you can bring to the workplace.
  4. Modify your resume to match the qualifications needed for the job you are applying for. Word your resume to demonstrate that you have the skills needed for the specific job. Reading the advertisement for the job will help you do this.
  5. Maintain a consistent writing style.
    • Do Not use “I” or “my.” Resumes should be objective in nature.
    • You may use complete or fragmented sentences as long as the meaning is clear.
    • Start each job description or job responsibility with an action word. Use present tense verbs when referring to your current work responsibilities. Use past tense verbs when referring to past work responsibilities.
    • Include a brief explanation of an organization in your description if its name is vague.
  6. Emphasize accomplishments and your job responsibilities.
  7. Make sure there are no typing, spelling or grammar errors. These types of errors in a resume are deadly and may mean your resume will not be reviewed.
  8. Do not use contractions or slang and make sure you define abbreviations or acronyms.
  9. Use power words when writing your resume.
    • Assemble
    • Organize
    • Collaborate
    • Instruct
    • Research
    • Solve
    • Resolve
    • Develop
      (Notice they are all verbs. Use present tense verbs for any job you currently have; use past tense verbs for any job you have had in the past.)
  10. Be consistent in resume styles and layout.
  11. Spell check; have someone proofread your resume for errors and content.
  12. Choose a font that is easy to read: no larger than 14 point and no smaller than 10 point.
  13. Enclose a cover letter when you are mailing a resume.
  14. Print final copies of your resume on quality paper. Use the same color and type of paper for your resume, cover letter and envelope. Make sure the paper photocopies well.

Resume Development Website Advice:

Sample Resume Format

http://offices.trincoll.edu/depts_career/guides/resume.shtml

Cover Letter

The cover letter is a letter of inquiry or introduction that you submit with a resume. Cover letters should make excellent first impressions (this is the first communication that your prospective employer will see—even before your resume)

To be effective, your cover letter should follow the basic format of a typical business letter and should address three general issues:

  1. First Paragraph – Introduce yourself and state your purpose:
    • Explain how you know the employer
    • Mention how you heard about the job (advertisement, someone who already works for this organization, website, etc.)
      1. If you are writing in response to a job posting, be sure to include where you found this job opening Example – name of newspaper, website information, etc.
      2. Be sure to mention a mutual contact or how you were referred! Important! – potential employers would rather hire a friend of a friend than a stranger.
    • Explain why you want to work for this organization
  2. Middle Paragraphs – What you have to offer (mention one or 2 significant personal/professional accomplishments or personal/professional qualities you possess)
    • Be sure to include specific qualifications that will apply to the advertised position. Describe how your abilities and experiences will benefit this particular company.
  3. Concluding Paragraph – Ask for the interview and Follow up.
    • Close by restating your interest in the job and giving the employer your contact information. Indicate that you will follow-up with a phone call.
    • If you haven’t heard from the prospective employer in a week to 10 days, contact them to make sure your application and resume were received.
    • If you are applying from outside the employer’s geographic area, you may want to indicate if you’ll be in town during a certain time frame.

Tips for Writing Cover Letters

  1. Use clear, concise, professional language
  2. Don’t duplicate the information on your resume
  3. Use specific terms to describe your abilities for the job. Example: My special internship project increased customer satisfaction by 20%.
  4. Be sure to make a connection between what your qualifications are and the employer’s needs.
  5. Be honest.
  6. Emphasize that you have skills as a team player.
  7. Use job target terminology when appropriate. Example: The learning centers I prepared for my student teaching were always given high marks by my education professors.
  8. Address your letter to the person who will be reviewing your resume and cover letter.

Sample Cover Letters

Sample Resumes

Prepared for the World

“Whether I continue working in Learning and Development, Organizational Effectiveness or choose another route altogether, my Humanities degree prepared me for the world, because it prepared me for deeply engaging with people, meeting them where they are and understanding their needs across all levels.”

– Lindsey (Leach) Simpkins, Class of ’05

 

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