A resume summarizes your qualities and past achievements while a cover letter goes into more detail about you. There are many ways to approach these so keep reading to get great tips!
Formatting: Your resume should have your full name and contact information at the top. Your education should be next. Be sure to include your major and graduation month and year. After your education, you can list your experiences. Stay consistent with your fonts and sizes (aim for one font, no less than size 10). Keep it simple, clean, and on one page.
Relevancy, relevancy, relevancy: Only include relevant information about your experience that relates to the job. This could be courses you took, past work you’ve done, or clubs that you’re a part of. If you don’t have work experience, try to emphasize class or independent projects that you’ve completed instead. Mimic the language used in the job description to describe these moments.
Write specific bullet points: Wanna land an interview? Of course, you do! Only write your measurable accomplishments and skills. Did you increase productivity at your job or internship? By how much? Did you improve any aspect of your club or organization? How so? Did you use a specific software or method to complete the project that got you an A? Give them a peek at greatness!
Catch your mistakes: Proofread your resume and have others review it as well. Be sure to fix any grammar or spelling mistakes, and check that your format is consistent. Not catching your mistakes is the easiest way to get disqualified. Don’t take yourself out of the game before playing.
Save, save, save: Save as a PDF and a Word file. The trick is to know when to use which format. Read the job application to see which file type you can upload. If you have the option, always choose to upload a PDF file to ensure that your formatting does not change for the recruiter. Also, be sure to save your file as your name instead of “resume” because it can get lost in all the other files when recruiters download it.
Example resumes for tech and finance can be found below:
Your cover letter is a formal letter to the team you are applying to be a part of. You should write a cover letter any time it’s specified on the job application or to highlight your interest and skill set. Cover letters are great for individuals, who do not have a lot of relevant work experience but have transferable skills for the role.
Here’s a great example.
Don’t use the same letter for every job: Recruiters can tell when you use a generic letter. Don’t do it. Also, double-check that your letter names the right company. You’d be surprised at how many students apply to Company A, but upload a letter listing Company B.
Address the hiring manager by name: LinkedIn is great for finding this out but if not, just write to the broader team you’d be a part of.
State your intention: Why are you writing this? Why are you a great fit beyond the accomplishments on your resume?
Keep it short & sweet: Don’t use this as an open letter to talk about your woes in the job hunting process or how you’re so dedicated and that’s what qualifies you for the role. Use concise language and outline how your specific skills fit the opportunity.
Give your best effort! This complements your resume: Cover letter writing can be daunting, but it can lead you to your dream job. Remember that a letter allows recruiters to know you in more detail, so show your personality and be sure to proofread!