Download the complete résumé and cover letter guidelines
Catalog Your Experiences and Strengths
- Include all employment experience, volunteer and community service, student clubs & activities, military service, professional organizations, internships, unofficial transcripts & course projects.
- All hobbies, travel, honors and awards, performance reviews, certifications, skills (including foreign language and computerbased), scholarships.
- Although you probably won’t include all of this in your résumé, it’s good to have an electronic or physical file on hand, especially as you apply to internships or jobs in different industries.
Do Your Research
- Analyze the position description, organization’s web site, and any other information you can glean from news articles, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
- Think about the skills and experiences you possess that match the qualifications the employer seeks.
- See the following page for suggested content and placement.
Review & Submission
- Double-check your language. Be sure that your writing is concise, accomplishments oriented, and not fluffy. Include industry and company-specific terminology when possible.
- Proofread a hard copy. When employers have several résumés to review, they often weed out those that contain spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. If you have typos, employers may assume that you lack strong written communication skills or attention to detail. Also, check that your format is aesthetically appealing.
- Request a résumé critique. Career coaches in the Portfolio office are happy to review and provide feedback on your job and internship application documents. Friends, family, or associates already working in the industry may also offer suggestions.
- Convert your file to a PDF. Follow whatever instructions are given for submitting. In many cases, converting to a PDF is good because it’s easy to open as an attachment by different computers. However, if a company requests a plaintext format, practice sending it to yourself and to others, to ensure that it is easy to read and scan.
Your targeted cover letter is the sales pitch you will use to market yourself to prospective employers. Writing a strong cover letter (or “letter of application”) requires you to tailor your pitch to the company, position, and individual to whom you’re applying.
You should include a cover letter, cover email, or short note with each résumé you submit.
Grab the reader’s interest by demonstrating how you’re uniquely qualified for the particular position.
- Interviewing Tips
- Interviewing Examples
- Business Attire
- Informational Interview
- Common Interview Questions
- Thank You Notes