Resumes, cover letters, and other professional job documents

We offer both on-site and online tools to help you achieve your career goals. Our expert staff can assist you with developing or refining your resume, cover letter, and any other job documents that an employer may require. Some initial resources and information are provided below. If you have additional questions, please feel free to schedule an appointment or stop in during Tuesday walk-in advising.

Resumes

A resume is a key professional document that provides an overview of your relevant skills, educational background, and experience. Your resume should summarize who you are and what you bring to the table. The goal of the resume is to get an interview, not a job, so make sure it represents the "best you" possible. The average employer only spends about 10-15 seconds reading a resume, so be sure yours attracts attention quickly. If it doesn't, it may never be read at all (half of all resumes go unread).

Check out these resume resources to start the processes of developing your business resume today!

Short Recorded Resume Workshop
Sample Business Resume
Resume Guidelines
List of Action Verbs
 

If you're planning to pursue a career with the federal government, there are some additional steps you need to take in developing a strong resume. You can refer to these Federal Resume Guidelines (link) to get started.

Cover letters

Cover letters are designed to lead into other documents, like your resume and work samples. Your cover letter should briefly introduce you, explain why you're interested in the position or company, and highlight your best skills and experiences that fit the company's needs. Your cover letter goes beyond your ability to sell yourself as the best available prospect. It demonstrates your ability to communicate – especially your ability to write clearly and succinctly. Review the guide below for helpful cover letter tips and examples.

Cover Letter Guide

References

An employer will typically ask for references at some point during your job search. This is because they want to speak with people who know you and how you operate professionally. Since references will be requested separately, they should not be included on your resume but should instead be in a stand-alone document.

Your list of references should be formatted neatly and should include individuals who you know through academic or professional experiences. Avoid using relatives or significant others on this list of contacts. With each reference, be sure to include the references name, title & company, contact information, and your relationship to the individual (i.e. former supervisor). If you need help formatting your list of references, be sure to check out the example below.

Sample List of References

As a rule, always ask each contact to serve as a reference prior to starting your job search. Once you land your job or internship, be sure to send thank you notes to express your appreciation as well.