Work Readiness Work Shop
Follow-up and thank you letters
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio demonstrates a level of preparedness
beyond the simple resume.
A portfolio is an opportunity to show off skills,
strengths and talents.
A portfolio should be taken with you on job interviews.
The portfolio should be reviewed every few months or
as you gain new skills, strengths and talents.
By the end of the Summer Youth Employment
Program each youth will have developed a portfolio.
A portfolio should include:
A personal profile – the 60-second infomercial about you
Work essential documents
Samples of work
Awards and recognition
Take your time filling out the application,
employers want to see your handwriting, correct
spelling and accurate information.
Make sure you go prepared to fill out the
application on site
Bring 2 pens with you, never ask for a pen because
this gives the appearance of being unprepared
Have a copy of your cover letter, resume and
If an employer asks for a cover letter be sure to include one, as
some employers use that as a screening tool, meaning if you did not
include one you may be screened out.
Even if an employer does not request one, it is always good
business etiquette to include one.
Don’t merely copy your resume, but instead sell yourself to the
employer, use this as an opportunity to demonstrate why the
employer should choose you.
Spend some extra time customizing your cover letter to mention the
desired skills you possess that the employer requested in their
posting. (e.g. multitasking)
Direct the letter to the individual that is in charge of hiring for that
position, if you do not know the person’s name, find out.
Provide your contact information at the top of the letter
Direct the letter to the person in charge of hiring
Include a reference code where you reference where you learned
about the opening and which opening you are applying for, as the
company may be hiring for various positions
The body of your letter should be a sales pitch, sell yourself to the
company by highlighting your skills and credentials that the
Keep your letter positive and upbeat
In the final paragraph express your strong interest in an interview
and state that you will follow up to ensure that your resume was
End the letter with a professional close, such as “Best regards,”
“Sincerely,” or “Respectfully yours”
Your Street Address
City, State Zip
Your Email Address
Your Telephone Number
Hiring Managers Name
City, State Zip
Body of Letter
What is a resume?
Review of your work-related experiences
Essential information only
Skills, strengths and talents focused
Unique – what makes you distinctive
Marketing yourself to an employer
Effective – gets you an interview
Information that is relevant on a resume
RetailSales Position or Restaurant Wait
Which courses would be applicable to the chosen
position and which are not?
Which extracurricular activities would be applicable
to the chosen position and which ones are not?
Coursework in mathematics may be relevant
to the sales position because the job requires
working with money and numbers
Coursework in keyboarding may not be as
relevant, but would be for an administrative
Extracurricular Activities and After School Programs
may be relevant if they contain leadership and
In which case, these would be added to demonstrate
the applicants ability to take on extra responsibility or
to work well with others in a group setting
Involvement in drama club may be relevant for
someone applying for a position working with
children, but may not be useful for someone working
in an office setting
Before you write, take time to do a self-
assessment on paper. Outline your skills and
abilities as well as your work experience and
extracurricular activities. This will make it
easier to prepare a thorough resume.
Name, Address, Telephone Number and Email
Address should go at the top of your resume
Use a permanent address.
Use a permanent telephone number and be sure to include
the area code. If you have an answering machine, be sure to
record a neutral greeting.
When using an email address, choose one that sounds
An objective tells potential employers the sort
of work you’re hoping to do.
Be specific about the job you want. For example:
To obtain an entry-level position within a financial
institution requiring strong analytical and
Tailor your objective to each employer you
target/every job you seek.
Students and new graduates without a lot of work
experience should list their educational information
Your most recent educational information is listed first.
If graduated, include your degree (A.S., B.S., B.A., etc.),
major, institution attended or attending, and minor or
Add your grade point average (GPA) if it is higher than 3.0.
Mention academic honors.
Brieflygive the employer an overview of work that has
taught you skills. Use action words to describe your
job duties. Include your work experience in reverse
chronological order – that is, put your last job first and
work backward to your first relevant job.
Title of position
Name of organization
Location of work (town, state)
Dates of employment
Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific
skills and achievements
Resume Action Words
A – accomplish, adapt, administer, advise, advocate,
analyze, arrange, assess, assist
B – balance, bargain, brainstorm, built
C – calculate, change, check, clarify, coach, collaborate,
communicate, compile, compose, conduct, contribute,
construct, coordinate, create
D – decide, deliver, demonstrate, design, develop,
discover, distribute, drive
E – edit, encourage, engage, enforce, establish,
evaluate, examine, exceed, execute, explore
F – facilitate, file, follow, formulate, founded
G – generate, give, guide
Resume Action Words
I – identify, implement, improve, influence, increase, initiate, inspect,
inspired, instruct, install, integrate, interpret, invent, investigate
L – lead, learn, led, listen, lobbied
M – make, manage, mediate, mentor, modify, monitor, motivate
N – negotiate
O – observe, operate, organize
P – paint, perform, persuade, photograph, pilot, plan, prepare,
present, preside, print, produce, program, promote, provide,
R – recommend, reconcile, recruit, reduce, relate, renegotiate,
reorganize, repair, report, represent, research, reshape, resolve,
S – save, schedule, sell, shape, share, simplify, solve, speak,
strategize, study, succeed, supervise
T – taught, teach, train, translate, tutor, type
A retention specialist can advise you on other
information that you may add to your resume,
Key or special skills or competencies
Leadership experience in volunteer organizations
Participation in sports
Ask people if they are willing to serve as
references before you give their names to a
Do not include your reference information on
your resume. You may note at the bottom of
your resume, “References furnished upon
Run a spell check on your resume before you
hand out your resume.
Get a friend (an English major), an English
teacher or a professor to do a grammar
Ask another friend to proofread. The more
people who see your resume, the more likely
that misspelled words and awkward phrases
will be seen and corrected.
These tips will make your resume easier to read
and/or scan into an employers database.
Use white or off-white paper.
Use 8-1/2 x 11-inch paper
Print on one side of the paper.
Use a font size of 10 to 14 points.
Use non-decorative typefaces.
Choose one typeface and stick with it.
Avoid italics, script, and underlined words.
Do not use horizontal or vertical lines, graphics or shading.
Do not fold or staple your resume.
If you must mail your resume, put it in a large envelope.
References should include
Carefully select references
Choose references that know the value of your work and will
speak positively about you
Don’t include references that have impressive titles but don’t
know much about you
Your references should have good communication skills so they
can convince hiring managers you would be a valued employee
Speak with each of your references to ensure that they
fully understand your skills and accomplishments, this
will help them effectively sell you to the hiring managers
Follow-up and Thank You Letters
After a job interview there are several ways you
can keep the potential employer's attention on
YOU as the likely person to hire, through thank
you and follow-up letters.
Thank you letters are critical to your job search
Thank you letters should be typed.
Job-seekers should send a thank-you letter right
after you've been on a job interview. At the very
latest, send thank-you or follow-up letters by
mail within 24 hours of an interview.
Follow-up and Thank you Letters
Thank you letters
In the first paragraph, thank the interviewer (or express your appreciation)
for the chance to meet with them to discuss the job and see the premises
(use the term "meeting" rather than "interview" if it seems appropriate).
Make some reference to your positive impressions of the company.
In the second paragraph, offer some new information or additional reason
for the employer to be interested in you for that job-perhaps a "goodie" that
you didn't mention in the interview. (You might even link this new
information to a problem or opportunity the company is experiencing.)
Repeat the job title you are applying for, and show continued interest in it.
In the last paragraph, let the employer know (graciously) that you expect
to hear from them again and "plant" the idea in her mind of a phone call to
you. Make it clear you're willing to come in and discuss the job further, if
Follow-up and Thank You Letters
Sample Interview Follow-up Letter
7 Apple Court
Eugene, OR 97401
Mr. Archie Weatherby
California Investments, Inc.
25 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dear Mr. Weatherby,
Thank you for taking the time to discuss the insurance broker position at California Investments, Inc.,
with me. After meeting with you and observing the company's operations, I am further convinced
that my background and skills coincide well with your needs.
I really appreciate that you took so much time to acquaint me with the company. It is no wonder that
California Investments retains its employees for so long. I feel I could learn a great deal from you
and would certainly enjoy working with you.
In addition to my qualifications and experience, I will bring excellent work habits and judgment to this
position. With the countless demands on your time, I am sure that you require people who can be
trusted to carry out their responsibilities with minimal supervision.
I look forward, Mr. Weatherby, to hearing from you concerning your hiring decision. Again, thank you
for your time and consideration.