Resumes & Cover Letters
Seattle Pacific University
The Career Development Center
What is a Resume?
• An advertisement… your personal
• A way to obtain an interview, not a job.
• A summary of your skills and
accomplishments selected specifically to
demonstrate your VALUE.
• Digested in 10-20 seconds.
What are Employers Looking
• A Match!! A match with job qualifications,
experience, education, and skills.
• A Fit!! A fit within their organization.
Resume Writing Process
1. Broad Inventory or “Job
– Write down everything
you did in your job
(daily, weekly, monthly,
– Relive your experience
– PAR: Problem
Resume Writing Process
2. Identify Skills and
3. Organize, Prioritize, and
5. Proofread, Proofread,
Components of a Good Resume
Heading: Name, Address, Phone #, Email
Objective: Short, Simple, and Specific
Skills: Hard and soft skills
School, City & State, Date
Experience: Position, Company, Date, and Responsibilities
• Objectives are theme statements that will
help organize the rest of the resume.
• No pronouns or self-defining language.
Position + Department/Area + Industry + Skills
• “To obtain a position as a financial manager
in the health care industry.”
• “Entry-level position in broadcast
journalism at a commercial television
• “To use computer science training in
software development for designing and
implementing operating systems.”
• Hard Skills:
– Computer Programs
– Computer Languages
– Foreign Languages
• Soft Skills:
– Public Speaking
– Problem Solving
Skills Statement Examples
• Skills Summary • Qualifications
– Fluent in Word, Excel, – Knowledge of
Power Point, Front Microsoft Office
page, and Publisher products.
– Experienced in C++, – Fluent in Spanish and
Pascal, and html extensive travel
– Able to process and throughout Spain and
organize large volumes South America.
of records – Patient listener with
– Learn quickly, seek out excellent
new responsibilities communications skills
• Full name of degree:
– Bachelor of Arts in
• Full name of School
– Anticipated graduation
• Bachelor of Arts in Business
Administration, Emphasis in Marketing
• Seattle Pacific University, Seattle WA,
Anticipated Graduation June 2001
• Major GPA: 3.6 Deans List 6 out of 7
• Related Coursework:_____,_____,_____
• Employers are looking for:
– Position/Title, Name of Company, Dates, and
explanation of your responsibilities.
• Numbers and percents show accomplishments.
• Use action verbs and details. Be specific.
Action Verb + Adjective + Quantify + Subject +
Results = Experience Description
• “Motivated and
supervised eight sales
staff to best sales
volume in 25 store
manual for community
Other Possible Headings
• Special Skills
• Volunteer Activities
• Related Experience
Style of Resume
• Brief is best. One page.
• Avoid personal pronouns.
• Use action verbs.
• Use bullet points for skills or job
• Clean, simple layout with few indented
• Use of space can denote confidence.
• Remember its an advertisement…sell
yourself with a few key points.
• Positioning on the page is important, what
comes first gets read first.
• Reverse chronological order.
• Use CAPITALS, Bold, Underline, and
Italicize to emphasize important features.
• Use laser printing.
• Use resume paper –
recommend white or
• Absolutely NO
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Develop multiple versions of your resume:
• Word processed document formatted for
• ASCII Text-only
• HTML coded file
• Targeted for specific positions
Formatted vs. Electronic
• FORMATTED: • ELECTRONIC
– Viewed by a human – Loaded into a
being computer database
– Written for quick – Written to be
visual scanning searched
– Formatted to be – Formatted for
pleasing to the eye complete and exact
transfer of data
Electronic Resume Tips
• Save or create your
resume as “text-only”
• Review your resume and
replace all unsupported
characters with their
• Break the one-page rule.
1-3 pages is OK.
• Personal home pages with
resume link should be all
Keywords are the Key
• Employers and recruiters
search resume databases
– Nouns and phrases that
highlight technical and
professional areas of
– Industry-specific jargon
– Projects, achievements
– Personality and attitude
• Check the detailed job
Submitting Electronic Resumes
• Don’t send your resume as
• Always include an
appropriate subject line.
• When submitting a paper
resume that will be
– Do not fold
– If faxing, use “fine” mode
Purpose of the Cover Letter:
• Applying for specific known vacancies.
• Inquiring about possible openings.
• A business letter that professionally
introduces your resume.
• Explains the reason for sending your
resume and contains additional information
not found in the resume.
Preparing the Cover Letter
• Produced neatly on 8 ½ X 11” paper that
matches your resume.
• Completely free of spelling, grammar, and
• Customized for the specific position,
employer, and contact person.
• Three or four brief paragraphs.
What Makes a Cover Letter
• Clear, concise, well written, and interesting.
• Helps the employer easily see the match
between their needs and your qualifications
• Shows your knowledge of the organization
and its needs.
• An internal company reference.
What’s in a Cover Letter?
• First Paragraph:
Who you are, Why you are writing, What position you are
applying for, and How you learned of the opening.
• Second (Third) Paragraph(s):
Make the case for why you are a match for the position.
Point out related experience, specific skills, unique
qualifications that you know they need.
• Final Paragraph:
Closing and follow up. State your desire for an interview,
let them know how and when you can be reached. Unless
they say “No Calls,” let them know when you will be calling
to set up an appointment for an interview.