Resumes, Cover Letters, Thank You Example
Professional Document Resources | NSU Career Services
Unsure where to start in creating a resume or cover letter? Always start by doing research on the organization or job you are applying for. Why is research important? First of all, it will give you a good foundation in which to build and tailor your resume and cover letter. If an interviewer sees that you have done your homework on their company, it lets them know you are serious about a position and would likely keep putting forth an effort to help the company to grow once you were hired.
Secondly, with a good background knowledge of the company you can answer the interviewer's questions with confidence and intelligence.
Last, but not least, after a thorough study of the company, you may decide it is not exactly what you are interested in doing after all.
So remember, research time is never wasted time.
Factors to research:
- Company location(s)
- Product or services
- Parent company and/or subsidiaries
- Financial background, assets, stock, recent mergers, etc.
- Major competitors
- Growth history
- Career possibilities
- Application deadline
Your resume can be a great marketing tool, but is not a substitute for effective networking and interviewing. Although the resume is important in your job search process, it probably will not result in a job offer by itself. It can, however, help open the door to interviewing opportunities, allowing for dialogue and consideration by an interested employer.
Your resume is a living document. As your career experiences change and grow, let your resume reflect that as well.
Need a resume or a cover letter? Feel like you should brush up on those interview skills?
Optimal Resume can help you take care of all of those things and more. This easy-to-use online software allows students to quickly and effortlessly create essential professional documents, such as a resume, cover letters, as well as investigating crucial job-related skills, like the practice interview or skills assessment.
Best of all, it is free!
Note: If you have not already done so, please activate your Handshake Account.
For assistance, call either office location or schedule a review appointment.
STEPS IN CREATING AND UPDATING A RESUME
- Gather raw material.
- Before you begin writing your resume, put together an accomplishments history, including
your most significant achievements from work, volunteer projects, school, extracurricular
activities, travel and other life experiences. Brainstorm and write down everything
at this point that you feel may have merit.
- Temporary headings include: Education, Related Experience, Personal Achievements, Activities and Honors, Volunteer Experience, Work Experience and Career Related Skills.
- Before you begin writing your resume, put together an accomplishments history, including your most significant achievements from work, volunteer projects, school, extracurricular activities, travel and other life experiences. Brainstorm and write down everything at this point that you feel may have merit.
- Select the information you will use.
- Evaluate, select, and discard your information until you have what you feel most positively represents your background relevant to the employer needs. Tailor your resume to best market yourself for the position.
- Your resume should not tell everything about you, but should include the highlights of your training and qualifications.
- Choose an appropriate resume format.
- This is the traditional style resume that lists your professional experience chronologically, starting with your most recent position. This is generally the recommended format. The majority of resumes are written in this format, and is also the format most employers are accustomed to seeing.
- This summarizes your professional functions or experience and avoids or minimizes your employment history. Keep in mind that since employers are used to seeing reverse chronological resumes, you should have a definite reason for selecting a functional resume format.
- The combination resume utilizes the best components of the chronological and functional styles. Accomplishments are included under each position or function rather than simply outlining duties and responsibilities. This style allows for flexibility in designing a strong marketing tool.
- Resume paper will be made available after their official resume review by a Career Counselor.
- Once a resume is finalized by the Career Counselor, it will be uploaded to the student's or alum's Handshake profile.
- Career Counselors are not allowed to upload resumes and other documents to online applications.
- Students and alumni wishing to have a resume created or reviewed by a Career Counselor are encouraged to schedule an appointment between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.
- Students and alumni without an appointment will be accommodated based upon Career Counselor availability.
- If a student or alumni is unable to come to campus for their resume review, they may email their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an online review. NOTE: After submitting a resume to the Career Services email or individual career counselor, feedback will be given within 72 business hours.
- All NSU employees requesting resume assistance will be scheduled an appointment with the Director of Career Services. Career Counselors are reserved for current students and alumni appointments only.
An employer can receive hundreds of resumes in response to an advertised position. For every hundred resumes an employer receives, only a few resumes stand out from the crowd. Want your resume to shine in the eyes of the employer you want to attract? Start by including a well-written cover letter with the resume.
A cover letter is a standard term that refers to any letter written to accompany another document. As is relates to a job search, a cover letter is usually written to accompany your resume or other application materials that you send to employers to convey your interest and qualifications for a specific position.
CONTENT AND TONE OF A COVER LETTER
The cover letter that accompanies your resume should not re-state everything that appears on your resume; it should supplement your resume by explaining what you are applying for, how you learned of the position and what you can do for the employer.
Use the cover letter to highlight your strengths and abilities and your most relevant experience in no more than three to four paragraphs.
Show your enthusiasm for the job or internship and use an active, conversational tone. State what interests you about the position and what you have done in previous jobs, volunteer experiences or academic projects that might show the employer you are a good fit for the position.
HOW TO GET STARTED
- Put three to four paragraphs on one page: introduction, skills/qualifications and asking for the interview in the last paragraph.
- Keep each paragraph to just three or four punchy, well-written sentences. Make it "easy on the eyes."
- Allow your text to breathe by including plenty of white space. This means big margins, double-spacing between paragraphs and one and a half spaces between lines.
- Create bulleted and numbered lists to help readers scan quickly.
- Use bolding occasionally to emphasize important points and to increase readability.
- Proofread your cover letter and correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. If it is not handled, it can ruin any chance you have of the landing the interview.
- Double check your contact information and do not forget to sign the letter.
Optimal Resume includes the option of Letter Builder, which combines expert advice and high-quality samples to help you create focused, targeted letters for almost every opportunity
A thank-you letter should be sent to an employer within 24-48 hours following the interview. Make sure you thank the employer for taking the time to interview you and reinforce your interest in the employer and in the position. Also, mention some key points that were discussed during the interview. If you forgot to mention something important about yourself at the interview, you can mention it in the thank-you letter.