Resumes and Cover Letters

One of the first steps in securing a job or internship is writing a compelling resume and cover letter.

Our Resume and Cover Letter Workshop helps you prepare an effective resume to use when networking and applying for jobs or internships.

You Will Learn

Types of Resumes

Chronological Resume‚Äč

Employers typically prefer this type of resume because they can easily scan which jobs you have held, when you held them, and what you accomplished there.

Chronological resumes benefit job seekers with a strong work history.

  1. Work History - Begin with your most recent position first and continue in reverse chronological order
  2. Key Accomplishments & Qualifications - Supplement each position listed to detail work you have done in the past and what you are capable of doing.
  3. Education - Include schools you attended with dates, degree(s) earned, major(s)/minor(s), and any honors or awards received. 
  4. Skills - List applicable skills such as computer skills, laboratory skills, languages spoken, etc.

Note: New graduates should list education before experience.

Example (PDF)

Functional Resume

Consider a functional resume if you’re a new graduate without much professional experience or if you have noticeable gaps in your work history.

A functional resume can benefit job seekers who are changing careers to a field very different from their previous experience.

Keep in mind that many recruiters and employers do not prefer functional resumes and they are not always accepted on online employer career pages and job sites.

  1. Skills - Highlight skills acquired instead of listing a complete work history
  2. Experience - Focus on a few key areas, listing responsibilities and accomplishments for each experience area
  3. Skill Clusters - Be specific to the position and provide lots of context

Example (PDF)

Combination Resume

Chronological Resume + Functional Resume = Combination Resume

  1. Skill Clusters - Be specific to the position and provide lots of context including accomplishments
  2. Work History - Begin with your most recent position first and continue in reverse chronological order
    • Job Title
    • Company Name & Location
    • Dates of Employment

Note: You do not need to list what you did at each job because that information is already included in your professional skills section.

Example (PDF)

Cover Letter

A cover letter accompanies your resume when applying for positions. It lets employers know why you are interested in the position and their organization.

Guidelines

Contact Information

Identify the name and title of the person to whom the letter should be addressed. If contact information cannot be obtained, address the letter to “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Format

Cover letters are composed of three to four paragraphs and should not exceed one page in lengths.

Example (PDF)

Salary Requirements

If you are required to include salary requirements, always state your requirements in a range and that you are open to negotiation. Always research salary figures for the position and geographic area first.

If an employer asks you to include salary history, he or she is looking for consistency. Gaps or salary cuts should be explained in general terms.