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Resume WritingCover Letter Guidelines


Its essential purpose is not to get you a job, but to help you obtain an interview. For resume templates and samples, see ... Monster: Vault ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Resume WritingCover Letter Guidelines

Resume Writing/Cover Letter Guidelines
  • Macalester College
  • Career Development Center
  • Kagin Commons, First Floor
  • Monday-Friday 8AM-430PM
  • 651-696-6394

What is a Resume?
  • A resume is a one or two page summary,
    highlighting your skills, education, and
    experience. Its essential purpose is not to get
    you a job, but to help you obtain an interview.
  • For resume templates and samples, see
  • http//

Resume Components
  • Identification
  • Email Address
  • Telephone numbers
  • Keep in mind that a professional voicemail
    greeting is critical if you are expecting
    employer calls.
  • Add a permanent address (parents) if you expect
    to be changing your residence within the next six
  • Objective
  • This section is optional. If used, it should be a
    concise and specific statement summarizing your
    career goals, your skills, demonstrating that
    you are a good fit for the job. It may be
    oriented to a specific position type and/or

Resume Components
  • Education
  • Name of the institution, city, state, degree
    received (or expect to receive), majors, minors,
    GPA (if GPA is not listed, it is assumed to be
    below 3.0).
  • You may also want to include relevant coursework,
    academic awards, honors, and study abroad
  • High school is generally pertinent only for first
    and second year students.

Resume Components
  • Experience
  • For each entry indicate
  • Name of the employer, your title, the city and
    state where you worked, and the dates of
  • Use action verb phrases to describe your
    experiences. You may choose to use bulleted
    lists of phrases separated by semicolons or
  • Use the past tense to describe previous
    experiences, and the present tense for positions
    you currently hold.
  • Do not hesitate to include student jobs
    (retail, food service, child care, construction).
    These positions demonstrate work ethic, teamwork
    and motivation.

Resume Components
  • Community/Volunteer Services
  • Involvement with community organizations or
    events should be highlighted, including the
    organization name and a description of the work
  • Additional Skills
  • Items to highlight here are may include
    technical/computer skills, fluency or proficiency
    in another language lab or special equipment
    expertise, certifications (CPR) or licensures.
  • Activities Leadership
  • This section will reflect extracurricular
    activities such as student organizations and
    campus events. It is important to note when you
    have been elected to a position or selected from
    a large pool of applicants.
  • Publications Presentations
  • List any published materials that you have
    written or co-authored or presentations or
    trainings you have conducted.

The Employers Perspective
  • Triple check for spelling/ grammatical errors.
  • To Punctuate or Not to Punctuate
  • The answer is either, but not both. Choose one
    and make sure you do it throughout your resume.
  • Customize to Fit the Specific Organization/

Descriptive Words Here is a list of action verbs
to use when describing experiences.
Descriptive Words Here is a list of action verbs
to use when describing experiences.
Descriptive Words Here is a list of action verbs
to use when describing experiences.
What is a Cover Letter?
  • A cover letter explains to a prospective employer
    who you are, why youre sending a resume, and why
    youd be a good fit for the position of interest.
  • Customize to the position you are applying.
  • It should be no longer than one page, and written
    in the same font and on the same type of paper as
    your resume.

Cover Letter Components
  • Your Contact Information
  • Full address, email address, phone number, date
  • Employers Contact Information
  • Following the date, leave 1 or 2 blank lines, and
    put the employers contact information including
    name, title, organization name, address
  • Salutation
  • If possible, address your letter to a specific
    individual. If you cannot find a specific contact
    persons name, you may use a more generic
    salutation of Dear Human Resources Manager or
    Dear Hiring Manager .
  • Remember that salutation in a business letter
    must be followed by a colon, rather than a comma

Cover Letter Components
  • Introduction
  • Introduce yourself and explain why you are
    writing. Indicate what position you are applying
    for, and state how you learned of the opening.
    (2-3 sentences)
  • Why Me?
  • Use this section to make a case for why youre
    the best person for the position. Think of it as
    the why me paragraph. Mention one or two
    related qualifications, achievements, or
    accomplishments of yours that you think would be
    of greatest importance to the employer, be
    specific, use examples. (4-5 sentences, or up to
    2 paragraphs)
  • Closing
  • Reiterate your interest in the organization/positi
    on. Close by making a specific request for an
    interview, including how best to reach you. Be
    positive and enthusiastic. Thank the reader for
    his/her time and consideration. (2-3 sentences)
  • For cover letter templates and samples see

Web Resources for Resume/Cover Letter
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers
  • The Riley Guide
  • Monster
  • Vault
  • http//
  • There are many comprehensive career development
    sites that include general information, sample
    resumes and cover letters, and templates. Try a
    simple Google search.