A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing Your Resume
List of action words for use in developing work descriptions
Tips on evaluating your resume
Tips for creating electronic and ―scannable‖ resumes
Six resume samples
Cover letter guidelines and sample
Tips for professional email correspondence
Center for Career and Calling
Helping You S.O.A.R.
What is a Resume?
A resume is an advertisement of who you are in terms of your abilities, your
accomplishments, and future capabilities. It will be your chief marketing tool in
your job or internship search. An effective resume will make a prospective
employer want to meet you in person to further discuss your potential value to
her or his organization. A resume lands you an interview, not a job.
Should: Should Not:
Immediately impress the reader Have a vague or generic objective
Be concise—using short phrases Be poorly organized
Be visually appealing; easy to read Cont ain misspellings or typographical errors
Have a clear objective Use lengthy sentences or personal pronouns
Be target ed to the applied-for position Misrepresent your background or
Communicate job-relat ed abilities qualifications
Emphasize your accomplishments Cont ain irrelevant information
Focus on the needs of the employer Omit critical information (dates, education,
Demonstrate inc reased res ponsibility etc.)
Distinguish you from other applicants Require too much int erpretation
Always accompany the resume with a cover letter personalized to each individual
employer. This includes resumes being sent electronically. Information about
cover letters is included in this packet on page 16 and 17.
Recognize that on average, the employer must find something key about you
within a 30 second scan of your resume to keep you in the running for an
Keep in mind that no two, or three, or even four authorities completely agree on what
to include in a resume. You can count on getting conflicting advice from
others. Recognize that ultimately YOU will need to decide what should be
included and have a specific reason for including that information.
Writing a quality and effective resume is a time-consuming process requiring
many revisions. If you plan to write your resume in one sitting, chances are your
brief investment will show in the end product. Be encouraged that the time you
take now to write a powerful resume will allow you to use that resume for years to
come with minimal additions and adjustments of information.
Where do I begin?
Before you write—it is a good idea to brainstorm and do a little self-assessment on
paper. Begin from the latter years of high school and jot down ANY information you can
think of regarding your involvement. Remember, this is brainstorming, so write down
everything you can think of—whether you believe it is relevant to the position you are
applying for or not. You will be able to edit later.
Take time to brainstorm, maybe over a course of a few days—do not try it all in
Be sure to think about:
This includes full-time and part-time jobs, internships, academic research projects, or
significant/related volunteer work. List the dates you worked (month/year format), the
position, name and location of employer (or place) and any responsibilities you had.
This may also include any cross-cultural or mission experiences.
List any academic awards (scholarships, honors list, ―Who’s Who‖, etc), professional
awards or recognition, or community awards (i.e. dramatic or athletic skills, service
List computer languages and software you are familiar with as well as skills you have
developed through class, jobs, or extra-curricular involvement. Examples might include:
research, teaching, mentoring, writing, speaking, leadership, or athletic skills.
List academic, professional, or community organizations in which you have held an
office or are currently a member of. List professional and community activities,
including volunteer work and travel. Listing extra-curricular activities or hobbies is
optional, but for the purpose of brainstorming—go ahead.
List schools attended and degrees that you have received/are working on, study abroad
experiences, or any coursework that relates to your professional objectives.
Now you are ready to put your resume together.
The Anatomy of a Resume
Identification— This should include your:
Name- This should be the most prominent piece of your resume. Be sure to have it in a
larger font size at the top of the page. Avoid nicknames.
Address- If you can be reached at more than one location during your job search, you may
want to list both sets of contact information.
Phone Number- Be sure to include your extension when using the number for Asbury
College. Record a neutral greeting on your voice mail.
E-Mail Address-Many employers will communicate via e-mail. Be sure that your e-mail
address sounds professional and is permanent (i.e. hotmail or yahoo account). Be sure to
check your e-mail frequently.
Education— As a student or new graduate—your most recent, long-term, full-time role has
been that of a student, so you may want to list your education first. Be sure to include:
Name and location of each institution
Degree earned or earning, with your major and minor
Graduation Date and GPA if above 3.3
Mention academic honors if applicable (Dean’s List, cum laude, etc)
Study Abroad experience
High school information is typically left off the resume unless there is something unique and
relevant to mention. You may want to add a sub-section for specific coursework within your
main education section.
Work Experience—Choosing a format
This is the main body of your resume. There are different formats that you can use. The two
most standard formats are chronological and functional. See the attached samples for
Chronological- This format presents experience in reverse chronological order. It is very
effective for highlighting work or internship history, especially if upward movement is
evident. This is the format that is most commonly used by recent college graduates.
Functional- This format is organized around your skill set. The benefit of this format is that
major headings may be supported by paid and non-paid jobs, internships, activities, and
class work. ANY experience is valid, as long as it supports the skill category to which it is
linked. This style is most beneficial for individuals who do not have much work experience,
are changing careers, or graduates looking for a job that is not directly related to their major.
Work Experience—Entering the basics
Briefly give the employer an overview of work you have done that has developed the skills you
want to highlight. Make sure to include:
Title of position
Name of organization
Location of work (city, state)
Dates of employment (month/year or season/year)
Description of your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific skills and achievements
Required Information continued...
Work Experience—Describing It
Choose your words carefully. Your resume should sound positive and confident. Use the
action verb list on page 6 to emphasize your abilities, and accomplishments. Beginning each
phrase with an action verb will keep the focus on your skills. Avoid large blocks of text. Using
bullet points is an effective strategy for visual organization.
Choose from the following to strengthen and compliment the core of your resume. Include
items that most directly relate to the position you are applying for.
You may choose to state your objective on your resume or in your cover letter. The most
effective objective is the one which is most specific about the position and type of employer
desired. If you are interested in multiple positions or no positions are currently open, you can
use a more broad objective or rely on your cover letter to give focus to your application.
Include professional, school, and community activities. Stress leadership roles,
accomplishments, and awards received. Be sure to include any cross-cultural and service
experiences that did not fit in the work experience section.
Note if you have computer skills or specialized training in the field you are applying for. Be sure
to include any language skills or special licenses/certificaitons.
Be sure to ask people if they are willing to serve as references before you give their names
to a potential employer. You usually want 3-4 names available for references. Be sure to
include variety in the type of references you provide including someone who supervised you.
Other types of references can be related to academics or are personal references who can
speak of your character (non-family contacts). It is best to provide your reference information
on a separate page. For each individual, include the following:
Title/Nature of relationship (i.e. Professor, Supervisor, Co-worker)
Telephone number (designate if you are using a home phone number)
For a streamlined look, use the same heading design and paper that you used for your resume.
If you decide not to send your references with your resume, you may note at the bottom of your
resume ―References available upon request‖.
Aim for a ONE PAGE resume—
it is preferred by employers for recent graduates
ACTION WORD LIST –for use in developing skill and accomplishment
descriptions within the experience section of you resume
Accommodated Coordinated Gained Operated Restructured
Accomplished Corresponded Gathered Ordered Reviewed
Accounted for Counseled Generat ed Organized Revised
Achieved Crafted Greeted Overcame Scheduled
Acquired Created Grossed Overhauled Screened
Acted Cultivated Guided Oversaw Secured
Activated Critiqued Handled Participated Selected
Adapted Dealt Headed Performed Sent
Addressed Decided Helped Persuaded Separated
Advised Decreased Highlighted Piloted Served
Alerted Defined Hired Pinpointed Shaped
Allocated Delegated Identified Planned Showed
Analyzed Delivered Illustrated Predicted Simplified
Anticipated Demonstrated Implemented Prepared Sold
Appraised Designated Improved Presided Solved
Approved Designed Increased Prevented Sorted
Arranged Determined Influenced Presented Sought
Ascertained Developed Informed Prioritized Sparked
Assembled Devised Initiated Processed Specialized in
Assisted Diagnosed Inspected Produced Specified
Attained Directed Installed Programmed Spoke
Authored Discovered Instructed Promoted Sponsored
Balanced Dispensed Integrated Proofed Started
Began Displayed Interpreted Proposed Stimulated
Bolstered Distributed Interviewed Protected Streamlined
Briefed Doubled Introduced Proved Strengthened
Budgeted Drafted Invented Provided Studied
Built Earned Inventoried Publicized Structured
Calculat ed Edited Investigat ed Published Submitted
Catalogued Educated Joined Purchased Succeeded
Changed Elected Justified Qualified Suggested
Charted Eliminated Launched Questioned Summarized
Clarified Enabled Lectured Raised Supervised
Classified Encouraged Led Rated Supplement ed
Coac hed Enforced Lobbied Realized Supported
Collaborated Enhanced Logged Reas oned Surpassed
Collected Enlarged Maintained Received Surveyed
Combined Enlisted Managed Recognized Targeted
Communicated Established Marketed Recommended Taught
Compared Estimated Mastered Reconciled Tested
Compiled E valuated Mediated Recruited Tracked
Completed Examined Met Reduced Trained
Composed Exercised Modeled Referred Trans formed
Computed Expanded Modified Reinforced Translat ed
Condensed Explained Monitored Reorganized Traveled
Conducted Explored Motivated Repaired Tutored
Cons olidated Familiarized Named Replaced Undertook
Cons ulted Filed Navigated Reported Updated
Constructed Focused Negotiated Represented Utilized
Continued Formed Observed Researched Welcomed
Cont ribut ed Formulated Obtained Responded Won
Convinced Fostered Opened Restored Wrote
Polishing Descriptions in Your Experience Section
When describing work experiences, the tendency is to focus on duties and responsi-
bilities (i.e. typed letters, cleaned rooms, waited tables, sold clothes). However this
approach may not fully represent the skills that you utilized in each position, nor your
accomplishments. Some examples of effective and non-effective ways of presenting
your skills through your work history are presented below.
First Draft... moving towards… …Final draft
• I had cert ain jobs to do everyday and I • Effectively managed time to meet deadlines
just got them done. for completing assigned projects.
• I talked with people who came in and • Tactfully interacted and communicated with
answered the phone. customers.
• I did everything when the secretary wasn’t in. • Assumed full res ponsibility for offic e coverage
in secret ary’s absenc e.
• I took returns and tried to help people with • Exercised diplomacy in negotiating customer
problems. complaints and returns.
• I got along with the people that I worked with. • Worked cooperatively with 7 co-workers.
• I sold clothes. • Effectively initiated sales of casual and pro-
• I waited on tables and took orders. • Developed ability to deal with high pressure
situations in assisting customers at up to 6
tables at a time.
• I learned menu items and prices quickly. • Quickly assimilated and memorized
item and price information on menu.
• I tried to be nice to all my customers. • Consistently provided excellent customer
• I always showed up for work and got my • Demonstrated reliability in achieving perfect
jobs done. attendance record over a one-year period.
• Some days they wanted me to come in at • Displayed flexibility in working irregular work
7 AM and other days at 9 AM. schedule.
Evaluating Your Resume
Check, Check, and Re-Check
Run a spell check on your computer before anyone sees your resume—but don’t rely only on
spell check. You may find yourself involved in lots of ―communist‖ activities instead of lots of
Ask your career counselor, friends, family, or professors to proofread. The more people who
see your resume, the more likely that misspelled words and awkward phrases will be identified.
Evaluate your resume with the following questions:
Is the page too busy with different fonts, lines, sizes, indents, or boxes?
Is the information well-spaced?
Is there too much ―white space‖? Not enough?
Is important information quick and easy to find?
Do all entries highlight a capability or accomplishment?
Is your name, address, phone number, and e-mail complete, correct, and easy to locate?
Are all your verb tenses consistent (current job is present tense, past jobs are past tense)?
Is repetition of words or phrases kept to a minimum?
Are capitalization, punctuation, and date formats consistent?
Do you feel confident about your resume?
The following tips will give your resume a professional edge.
Tailor your resume and cover letter to each position you are applying for. Stress the
experiences that are most relevant to that specific position.
Use 8 1/2 x 11-inch lightly colored bond paper. This is also known as ―resume paper‖ and is
heavier than regular paper.
Use matching paper for your resume, cover letter, and reference page.
Use a standard font size between 10-14 points.
Do not use multiple fonts or decorative fonts. It gives your resume a cluttered look.
Try to avoid italics, script, and underlined words.
Do not fold or staple your resume and cover letter.
If mailing your materials, send your resume and cover letter in a large envelope to avoid
folding your materials.
Counselors in Center for Career and Calling are available to offer guidance and suggestions at
any point in your resume writing, job search, or interviewing process. Call x2401 to make an
(Chronological Format for an Internship)
Paul Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org
Campus: Asbury College • 1 Macklem Drive • Wilmore, KY 40390 (859) 858-3511 x1234
Home: 12 Pine Oak Lane • Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 752-2200
Objective Marketing Intern for Dell Computer
Education Bachelor of Arts in Business Management
Minor: Applied Communication
Asbury College, Wilmore, KY
Expected graduation: May 2008
Principles of Marketing Market Research
Business Law Organizational Behavior and Structure
Persuasion Communication Campaigns
Experience Independent Sales Summer 2006
Southwestern Company Nashville, TN
Served as independent dealer facilitating direct sales of educational books and
Successfully completed week-long sales training school at company headquarters
focused on salesmanship, professionalism, communication, and strategy
Demonstrated flexibility and adaptability in relocating to Oregon which served as the
primary sales region
Continually met goals of providing 30 demonstrations a day to residential customers
Grossed $12,000 within the eight week sales period
Server August 2005 - May 2006
Dudley’s Restaurant Lexington, KY
Consistently provided excellent customer service in fine dining atmosphere
Effectively managed working 15 hours a week while excelling as a full-time college
Proved ability to multi-task under pressure while serving up to six tables of
customers at a time
Office Assistant Summer 2004
Grossman and Associates Chicago, IL
Provided clerical and logistical assistance for large architectural firm
Greeted corporate clients and provided an orientation to the facility
Coordinated and assembled marketing packages sent to prospective clients
Involvement Vice-President of Phi Beta Lambda Business Club
Team Captain for intramural soccer team
Volunteer for Nathaniel Mission on a monthly basis
Team Member of a mission trip to Haiti focused on community development
(Chronological Format—Graduating Senior)
School Address: Permanent Address:
1 Macklem Dr. 123 Grant Street
Wilmore, KY 40390 Gates Mills, OH 44143
(859) 858-3511 ext. 1111 (440) 423-0000
OBJECTIVE Public relations position with a non-profit organization
WORK Cleveland Museum of Art June - August 2006
EXPERIENCE External Affairs Intern
Worked along side the Director of External Affairs during a variety of
projects and tasks
Demonstrated project management and organizational skills during benefit
dinner preparations (mailings, tracking guest responses, communication with
printers and caterers)
Wrote several media and press releases announcing new exhibits and
summer course offerings
Assisted with monthly newsletter design, layout, publication
Greeted museum guests and served as tour guide
Center for Career and Calling August 2005 - May 2006
Marketing Specialist August 2004 - May 2005
Designed and distributed marketing materials for campus workshops,
events, and programs
Assisted with design and production of bi-monthly web-based newsletter
Promoted office programs by running an information booth in the student
cafeteria resulting in increased attendance
Banana Republic May - August 2004
Sales Associate May - August 2003
Assisted customers with selecting merchandise and purchases
Helped store manager in opening and closing store duties
EDUCATION B.A. in Applied Communication, May 2007
Asbury College, Wilmore, KY
COMPUTER PC and Mac Operating Systems, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word,
SKILLS Adobe Photoshop, Quark
ACTIVITIES Writer for The Collegian - Asbury College weekly newspaper
Publicist for junior and senior class government
Lead-On participant - nationally recognized leadership development program
IMPACT member - campus community service organization
Student member of Public Relations Society of America
987 Court Street
Joliet, IL 60431
B.A. in History • Asbury College • Wilmore, KY • GPA: 3.7 • May 2007
Related Work Experience
Intern • Joseph & Joseph Attorneys at Law • Lexington, KY • September 2006 - May 2007
Assisted staff attorneys and paralegals in preparing estate and real estate documents. Maintained legal files.
Transcribed notes from court proceedings and client meetings. Conducted research on current events pertaining to
Office Assistant • Kaplan, Mackes & Hunter Law Office • Joliet, IL • June - August 2003
Demonstrated accuracy in preparing correspondence and filing court documents. Assisted with scheduling clients.
Consistently received positive feedback regarding strong work ethic .
Other Work Experience
Groundskeeper • Connemera Golf Links • Nicholasville, KY • September 2005 - May 2006
Assisted with maintenance of golf course grounds. Effectively managed work schedule while enrolled as a full -time
college student. Demonstrated reliability in attendance and project completion.
Library aide • Joliet Community Library • Joliet, IL • Summers 2004-2006
Assisted patrons in locating and checking out materials. Assisted in creating monthly displays which highlighted
collections. Responsible for correctly shelving returned materials.
Word • Excel • Access • PowerPoint • Publisher
Big Brother • Big Brothers and Sisters of Fayette County
Mentored a 10-year-old boy from a single-parent home.
Spiritual Life Assistant • Johnson Hall • Asbury College
Coordinated hall prayer meetings and provided spiritual support to residents
Staff Writer • The Collegian
Contributed sports and entertainment articles to college newspaper
(Variation on Chronological Format—Graduating Senior)
NATALIE L. STEWART
Current Address: Per manent Address:
1 Macklem Drive 2187 Main Street
Wilmore, KY 40390 Dayton, OH 45320
859-858-3511 x1234 937-456-1976
natalie.stewar email@example.com nstewar firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective To obtain a position working with youth in an urban church setting
Education Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries
Asbury College: Wilmore, KY
May 2006 GPA: 3.56 Dean’s List
Lead-On Leadership Development Training
Completed nationally recognized program emphasizing leadership skills, theory and application
Related Youth Ministry Intern January – May 2006
Experience Lexington Community Church Lexington, KY
• Completed 140 hours of practical experience working with diverse high school populations
• Collaborated with community leaders in facilitating Youth Work Day
• Mentored students regarding personal, family, and spiritual issues
• Planned and facilitated weekly Bible studies and activities for youth
Summer Ministry Team Member Summer 2005
Asbury College Wilmore, KY
• Participated in extensive training and evaluation over a 15 week period in preparation for
summer of travel to ten churches/camps in the southeast region of the country
• Collaborated with team members, churches and camps in planning and providing programs for
youth including vacation Bible schools, work camps, and Bible studies
• Demonstrated ability to adapt plans based upon participant needs and logistical challenges
IMPACT Leader (Community Service Organization) School Years 2002 – 2005
Asbury College Wilmore, KY
• Planned and marketed community service opportunities for entire student body
• Facilitated and led various service projects
T.A.G (Transition and Guidance) Leader 2003-2004 School Year
Asbury College Wilmore, KY
• Served as leader for group of new students during first semester in college
• Facilitated discussions and planned programs that intentionally support participants
Work History Library Aide September 2003 – August 2004
Asbury College Wilmore, KY
Bus Staff Summers 2000, 2002
Mahoney’s Pub & Restaurant Dayton, OH
Committee Chapel Faculty/Student Committee
Experience Assisted in the planning and promotion of campus-wide chapels
Residence Hall Committees
Planned hall events and evaluated community living for over 150 residents
1782 Glenn Springs Trail
Charlotte, NC 28208
An event coordinator position that involves multi-tasking, attention to detail, and interpersonal
Bachelors of Arts in English
Asbury College, Wilmore, KY
• Provided leadership in planning and implementing the annual Junior-Senior event which
serves as the largest and most formal social event for upperclassmen at Asbury College
• Collaborated with vendors and venue representatives to plan class events throughout the
• Assisted with the logistics involved in hosting a region-wide conference for United Way
• Facilitated details for a talent show for day camp participants, families, and the community
• Planned daily artistic and recreational activities for children ages 10-12
• Greeted customers in retail environment providing details on promotions
• Consistently handled customer complaints in a diplomatic way
• Served as the primary contact for residence hall visitors and callers
• Communicated with parents regarding children’s’ behavior and progress in day camp activities
• Responsible for maintaining files and weekly reports utilized in fundraising efforts
• Successfully completed inventories on store merchandise
• Developed tracking system for office supplies and resources resulting in cost savings
• Office Assistant United Way of the Bluegrass, Lexington, KY August 2006 – May 2007
• Sales Associate Old Navy Clothing Store, Charlotte, NC Summers 2004-2006
• Front Desk Staff Kresge Residence Hall, Asbury College August 2005 – May 2006
• Camp Counselor Starfall Day Camp, Charlotte, NC Summer 2003
• Elected Class Activities Director for Junior Class Cabinet 2005-06 School Year
• Elected Publicist for Sophomore Class Cabinet 2004-05 School Year
• Volunteer for church children’s ministry Summers 2002-2005
• Women’s Tennis Team 2003-04 School Year
Tips for Creating Electronic and ―Scannable‖
The Internet has single-handedly changed the way we look for and apply to jobs. Your resume
must be ―internet friendly.‖ When posting your resume to on-line job boards you must insure
your original format remains intact. It is not unusual for large employers (i.e. nationwide
corporate offices, hospitals, universities) to search scanned resumes for keywords during the
initial screening process. When your resume is scanned into an employer database it becomes
part of a pool of resumes that is searched for by keywords or criteria. You want to insure the
content transfers appropriately and is not scrambled.
Here is a checklist for effective electronic resumes:
Contact information- Be sure to include your complete contact information on your resume,
including e-mail address. E-mail is the preferred channel of communication for many recruiters,
so provide them with a professional address that is checked regularly.
Formatting issues- Just because your resume looks great printed out, does not mean it is
easy to read on the computer screen. Most electronic resumes are never printed out, so stay
away from fancy fonts, tables, templates, headers, footers, italics, boldface, etc. Arial, size 12
font, is the standard font used for ―scannable‖ resumes
Keep it simple- Avoid using graphics and shading. Don’t compress spaces between letters.
Avoid horizontal and vertical lines, they confuse the computer.
Customize your resume- Always address the requirements of the employer in your resume.
Know what skills and experience a particular employer is looking for and make sure to include
that language in your resume (if you can).
Key Words- When creating a resume to be scanned and searched for in large databases, be
sure to have a ―keyword profile‖ as the first section of your resume. This list of words should
summarize your resume in single words/phrases separated by commas. Again, try to include
terminology from the job posting and buzz words in the profession.
Naming your resume- Imagine being a recruiter and getting hundreds of resumes per week
named: "resume.doc." Make it easier for your reader to locate your resume by naming it: "Smith
Proofread your resume electronically- Resumes with misspelled words, typos and
grammatical errors are surprisingly common. Be sure to correct these errors and select "Ignore
All" for false alarms, otherwise your reader may be faced with a resume filled with red and green
File Format- It is imperative that your resume be available in MS Word format. MS Word is the
de facto standard in business today, so resist the temptation to send a document as a PDF,
Word Perfect format, or compressed in a zip file. If recruiters cannot open your file easily, they
will not read it.
Table Format- It may look professional and seem easy to do—but do not use tables to format
100 Lexington Square Avenue
Lexington, KY 40390
Mental Health, Facilitation, Monitoring, Residential, Interpersonal Communication Skills,
Knowledge of DSM-IV-TR diagnoses, Group Counseling, Writing, Progress Noting, B.A.
Psychology, 1 Year Experience, Microsoft Office
Mental Health Aide with Spectrum Behavioral Health
B.A. Psychology, December 2006
Asbury College, Wilmore, KY
INTERN – Gardenside Behavioral Healthcare , Lexington, KY
January 2006 to December 2006
* Served as mental health assistant working along side clinical staff caring for
* Assisted in facilitation of group counseling sessions focused on depression
* Wrote progress notes summarizing group sessions in collaboration with clinical staff
* Led small group of artistic and recreational activities focused on providing positive
experiences for patients
* Supervised patients during meal hours
COUNSELOR – Talleyridge Camp, New Haven, CT
June 2005 – August 2005
* Responsible for 8 adolescents at summer camp designated for disabled youth
* Designed recreational and athletic activities for all 60 camp participants
* Effectively managed discipline situations according to camp policies
* Received award for ―most dedicated counselor‖ from camp administrators
LIFEGUARD – Tates Creek Recreation Facility, Lexington, KY
May 2004 – September 2004
* Supervised children and adult swimmers while monitoring for emergencies and safety
* Responded to emergencies in an efficient and calm manner
* Trained new staff regarding facility policies and procedures
REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
A cover letter links your resume to the specific job that you are applying for. It provides a personal
introduction of yours elf and the strengths you offer the employer. It is important to write a cover letter for
each position that you apply for. Your cover letter and resume usually provide all the information which a
prospective employer will use to decide whether or not you will reac h the next phase in the application
process—the interview. See the following tips:
Well I know so and so… Using the name of someone who suggested you write to your target employer
sets you apart from other candidates and gives you an instant and credible referenc e.
―Dear Mrs. What’s-your-face…‖ Whenever possible, include the name of the person who is making the
hiring decision. Addressing your letter ―To whom it may concern‖ is impers onal.
Ready…aim…hired! Take aim at your target employer. Do some research and make a clear connection
between your background and the skills and qualifications that the organization is seeking.
We’ll spell it out for you… Correct spelling and grammar are a must!
Show me, don’t tell me!... Give specific examples of the work you’ve done. Don’t just say you are good
with deadlines. Show your reader by addressing how you are good with deadlines.
It’s a match! Use the same paper and heading you used for your resume on your cover letter and
reference page. This gives your materials a streamlined look.
(COVER LETTER FORMAT)
Today’s Dat e
The Addressee’s Name
City, State, and Zip
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
1 paragraph. Start your letter wit h a statement that establishes a connection with your reader— a
referral’s name, a probing question, or a quotable quot e. Briefly state the reason for your letter, what
position or type of work you are applying for, and from which source you learned of the opening (c areer
services, internet, newspaper, friend, etc).
Mid–Section. Should be one or two short paragraphs that make relevant points about your
qualifications. You should not summarize your resume. Instead address the themes that are present in
your experience. Highlight your strengt hs, being sure to indicate what you can do for the employer. You
may want to cite specific examples.
Last paragraph. Initiate action by explaining what you will do next (i.e. call the employer, stop by, etc).
Offer any assistance to help in a speedy response and repeat your phone number and e-mail address.
Close by saying ―thank you‖ in some form.
Your signature (handwritten)
Your name (typed)
(Cover Letter Sample)
Paul Hudson email@example.com
Campus: Asbury College • 1 Macklem Drive • Wilmore, KY 40390 (859) 858-3511 x1234
Home: 12 Pine Oak Lane • Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 752-2200
February 2, 2007
Ms. Patricia Alvarez
Internship Coordinator, University Relations
Dell Computer Corporation
2214 West Braker Lane
Austin, TX 78758
Dear Ms. Alvarez:
I am writing to apply for an internship with your marketing department for this coming summer. I
learned of the opportunity from a posting with my college career center. I am very interested in working
with Dell and hope to contribute my unique talents and motivation in working with your marketing team.
As a junior business management major and applied communication minor, I have acquired the
foundational knowledge necessary to succeed in a professional marketing internship. I have excelled in
my courses while developing a passion for conducting market research and implementing marketing
strategies. My work experience in direct sales, food and beverage, and architecture has provided me a
keen sense of professionalism, a strong work ethic, and sensitivity to customer satisfaction. Past
supervisors have affirmed my time management skills and attention to detail. I feel more than prepared to
join a corporate environment where efficiency and productivity are highly valued.
Please see my enclosed resume for further details regarding my educational background and work history.
I look forward to talking with you so I can further demonstrate how my background and experience could
be an asset to Dell. Please let me know if you need any additional information. You can reach me at
(859) 858-3511 x1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your
10 Tips for Professional E-mail Correspondence
Your e-mail correspondence is as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you
wear, the letters you write, the greeting on your voice mail and the handshake you offer. If you
want to impress on every front and build positive relationships, pay attention to your e-mail and
follow these top 10 tips.
1. FILL IN THE S UBJECT LI NE. It makes no sense to send a message that reads "no subject" and
seems to be about nothing. Given the huge volume of e-mail that each person receives, the subject
header is essential if you want your message read any time soon. The subject line has become the hook.
2. MAKE YOUR S UBJECT LI NE MEANI NGFUL. Your header should be pertinent to your message, not
just "Hi" or "Hello." The recipient is going to decide the order in which he or she reads e-mail bas ed on
who sent it and what it is about. Your e-mail will have lots of competition.
3. PERS ONALI ZE YOUR MESSAGE TO THE RECIPIENT. E-mail is informal but it still needs a
greeting. Begin with "Dear Dr. Crouse," "Dear Kris," "Hello Kris," or just "Kris .‖ Failure to put in the
person's name can make you and your e-mail seem cold.
4. BE SURE TO ACCOUNT FOR TONE. When you communicate with another person face to face,
93% of the message is non-verbal. E-mail has no body language. The reader cannot see your face or
hear your tone of voice so choose your words carefully and thoughtfully. Put yourself in the other person's
place and think how your words may come across in cyberspace.
5. REMEMBER TO CHECK FOR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR. In the early days of e-mail, someone
created the notion that this form of communication did not have to be letter perfect. Wrong. It does. It is a
representation of you. If you don't check to be sure e -mail is correct, people will question the caliber of
other work you do. Use proper capitalization and punctuation, and always check your spelling.
6. KEEP YOUR MESS AGE BRIEF. E-mail is meant to be to the point. Keep your message short. Use
only a few paragraphs and a few sentences per paragraph.
7. DO NOT FORW ARD E-MAIL WITHOUT P ERMISSION. Too often, confidential information has gone
global because of someone's lack of judgment. Unless you are asked or request permission, do not
forward anything that was sent just to you.
8. REMEMBER THAT OTHERS MAY SEE YOUR E-MAIL. Once it has left your mailbox, you ha ve no
idea where your e-mail will end up. Don't use the Internet to send anything that you couldn't stand to see
on a billboard on your way to work the next day. Use other means to communic ate personal or sensitive
9. REMEMBER YOUR SIGNATURE. Always close with your name, even though it is included at the top
of the e-mail, and add contact information such as your phone, fax , and street address. The recipient may
want to call to talk further or send you documents that cannot be e-mailed. Creating a formal signature
block with all that data is the most professional approach.
10. WAIT TO COMPLETE THE "TO" LINE LAST. The name or address of the person to whom you are
writing is actually the last piece of information you should ent er. Check everything else over carefully first.
Proof for grammar, punctuation, spelling and clarity. Did you say what needed to be said? How was your
"tone of voice" ? If you were the least bit emotional when you wrote the e -mail, did you let it sit for a period
of time? Did you include the attachment you wanted to send? If you enter the recipient 's name first, a
mere slip of the finger can send a message before its time. You can never take it back.