Resumes & Cover Letters
Your resume and cover letter often serve as your first introduction to a potential employer. It is important that the documents are well organized, error-free and professional.
The following tips will help you get started:
- Be consistent with the same letterhead (font, design) on your resume, cover letter, and reference sheet.
- Entry-level resumes are typically one page. Use two pages only if you have extensive experience in your field.
- Use action words to describe your previous jobs and experiences. Write in third person (avoid “I” or “my” statements).
- Be professional - make sure your format and wording are clear and concise. Avoid using clipart and pictures. Keep it simple.
- Focus on relevant information. Do not include personal information such as age, health, race, marital status or hobbies.
- Proofread your resume several times. Have other people proofread as well. Visit Center for Career & Co-op for a resume critique.
- Save your resume as a PDF before uploading it to a job posting system or emailing. This will ensure the document appears correctly for the viewer.
- Keep the look of all your documents consistent. Use the same letterhead, font, and design that you have created for your resume.
- Address your letter to the hiring manager. Greet the hiring manager/recruiter with "Dear Mr." or "Ms.", followed by his/her last name and a colon. Don't use the first name, even if you've met the recruiter before; it's unprofessional to be immediately informal. If you don't know the recruiter's name, contact EKU's Center for Career & Co-op to find out the name of the person.
- Do not send form letters. Tailor each letter to the company, department and, if possible, specific position. Clarify why you want to work at this particular company, and explain why you and the company are a good fit.
- Keep your cover letter to one page. Focus on three questions - why are you writing, why should the employer hire you, and how will you follow up with the employer.
- Be honest. When outlining your achievements and credentials, be confident in your letter, but don't exaggerate, brag or lie.
- Read, edit and re-read your letter for typos. Utilize EKU's Center for Career & Co-op for help with resume and cover letter critiques and personalized feedback. Schedule your resume & cover letter review through your Handshake Account.