An integral part of your job search, resumes spark the interest of employers and help you gain invitations to interviews. An effective resume should:
- Convey who you are
- Highlight your qualifications; do not mention your limitations or things you do not want to use on the job
- Be accurate, brief, and engaging
- Have descriptions that always begin with verbs—no pronouns on resumes
- Be targeted at the job you are applying for; it’s not uncommon for students to have a few variations of their resume for different types of jobs
For additional tips on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd, download the Resume Writing tipsheet (PDF). Also, check out this helpful infographic about resumes and applicant tracking software (ATS) to learn more about the process your resume goes through after you have applied for a position.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
A CV is used when pursuing careers in research and academia, or for applying for fellowships or further education, whereas resumes are usually more appropriate for those pursuing careers in industry. A CV is typically longer than a resume and usually includes some or all of the following:
- Teaching and/or research experiences
- Honors and awards
- Professional affiliations
To learn more about writing an effective CV, download the Curriculum Vitae (CV) tipsheet (PDF).
A cover letter is your first introduction to employers, as well as a sales pitch and a proposal for further action. An effective cover letter should:
- Highlight aspects of your background that are most relevant to the job
- Demonstrate that you can organize your thoughts clearly and appropriately
- Reflect your communication skills and, to some extent, your personality
- Highlight your skills and background related to the position description
- Explain what you know about the company and why you want to work for it
Alternately, if there is no specific job posted, change your cover letter from writing about a specific job to inquiring about opportunities and sharing what you could do for the company.
For more tips and examples, download the Cover Letter Writing tipsheet (PDF).
For students interested in having their cover letter critiqued, please come to Drop Ins with a paper copy. It is also recommended to bring the job description with you for a more detailed critique.