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Resumes and Cover Letters

 

resume is a document that presents your education, experience, and qualifications in a clear, concise, and compelling way, customized for the job position to which you apply. Whenever you send a resume or application to a potential employer, you must include a cover letter if the employer requests it. This is essentially your sales pitch showing potential employers why your skills and experience are the best fit for their needs. Your cover letter should introduce your professional self to the employer, highlight the most important experiences or skills from your resume, and make a clear connection between your skills and the specific  position or workplace to which you are applying.

 

Resumes

Your resume is, in a very real sense, an advertisement for you and the skills you can provide to the employer. Like all good advertisements, it should communicate essential information within seconds. Most importantly, your resume should win you an interview. Each resume that you send to an employer must be tailored to that specific job. You must carefully analyze the advertisement or posting for key words and describe your skills and experience in a way that matches, even using the exact words from the job description. To know best how to advertise yourself to a specific employer, research the company, and make some educated guesses to determine exactly what employers want. Translate your experience into their language and using their perspective. Present yourself in the terms that will interest your specific target employer. For more tips, see the documents below. 

 

Resume Help

Resume Tips (PDF)
Resume Examples (PDF)
First Year and Sophomore Resume / Cover Letter Samples (PDF)

These handouts are also available in hard copy at Career Services.

To get one-on-one advice and assistance writing your resume, come to Career Services during Walk-In Hours and see one of our trained student workers.

You can also make an appointment with one of our professional advisors by calling 413-545-2224.

 

Cover Letters

Elaborating on your resume, your cover letter should explicitly translate your skills and experiences into the employer’s needs and language.

Your cover letter should:

  • Be formal but reflect your personality, attitude, motivation, and enthusiasm
  • State the purpose of the letter
  • Be tailored to the specific position
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or organization and your enthusiasm for the job
  • Using short narrative examples, show how your skills and experience are an excellent match for the position
  • Highlight and explain key points of your resume, without simply repeating your resume
  • Show your strong writing skills
  • Spark employers’ interest in you and encourage them to read your resume

For more tips, see the documents below.

 

Cover Letter Help

Crafting Cover Letters (PDF)
Successful Cover Letters (PDF)

These handouts are also available in hard copy at Career Services.

To get one-on-one advice and assistance writing your targeted cover letter, bring the job position description with you to Career Services, during Walk-In Hours, and see one of our trained student workers.

You can also make an appointment with one of our professional advisors by calling 413-545-2224.