to the world of resume
writing, updating, re-writing, ..... Often this process can seem
tedious and confusing because there are so many ways to "set-up"
a resume and different information to include. The purpose of
this pamphlet is to "get you started" on a resume. Once
you understand the basic composition, then you can assemble a
more personalized resume, organizing it differently or adding
of your resume as a snapshot
of yourself. Often employers want to see this before you interview.
While writing your resume always present yourself positively.
Avoid words such as "some", "few" and "only".
Also, keep your resume limited to one page. At this time in your
life you should be able to get all your information on one page;
two pages can result in confusion if pages become separated. Because
of this limited space, you must make your resume clear and concise.
Prioritize, and include only the most important information.
we start, understand
that this is a suggested guideline as to how to set up your resume.
There are so many ways to write a resume and there are very few
"right" or "wrong" ways. Through our experience
with students we have found the following sections most important
to include in a resume.
let's get started! The
important sections of a resume include: HEADING, EDUCATION, WORK
EXPERIENCE, SKILLS, INTERESTS, AND REFERENCES.
heading should include
your full name, address and telephone number. When using only
your permanent address, center it in the middle of the page. If
you have two addresses re: "Permanent" and "School",
they can be placed in both the left and right corners of the page.
is very important to put
this information together carefully. Make sure to get a full name
and location of the college or university and your degree program.
employers find it helpful
to see course work you have taken. Only list your technical courses.
Honors and activities sections are optional, but very effective.
experience can be broken
down into two sections. Co-op Work Experience and Part-Time Work
Experience. If you have no co-op experience just a work experience
section will do well. Obviously, this all depends on your experience
and personal preference. Make sure to write your current or latest
employer first, then work backward in time. Dates of employment
need a beginning and ending. Writing a thorough job description
is very important. Be concise and state these descriptions in
phrases. Do not use first person, such as, "I" or "Me".
Be sure to include skills you have acquired on the job. To help
you with this section a page of action verbs is attached. Review
these before you write your job description and this will help
you write a better job description.
section is optional but
can be very helpful in selling you to an employer. As you complete
more laboratory and electronics experience, skills will be easier
to write. In order to write this section think about what skills
you may have acquired through your personal interests, school,
hobbies, and part-time work. It is quite helpful for employers
to see this additional information.
section gives you an opportunity
to tell an employer something personal about you as a person.
It is also an optional section but helpful to employers to learn
more about "who you really are." Often this section
is used as an "ice breaker" for employers when interviewing
a candidate, therefore make sure you can talk about your interest.
good suggestion is to type
at least three references on a separate piece of paper and if
the employer requests these, the information is ready. Make sure
to include a name, address, and telephone number in the references.
Do not type your references on your resume, a simple statement
such as "References Furnished Upon Request" will do.
word process your resume
on 8 1/2" x 11" bond paper. Review your resume for correct
spacing, consistency, and spelling mistakes.... use spellcheck!
Often it is helpful for you to have a friend or an "outsider"
proof-read your resume. REMEMBER TO SAVE IT ON A FLOPPY
DISK!!! Give copies to your Co-op Advisor, employers,
and for your own personal records.
Life Career Planning
Program, Student Workbook, Northeastern University,
cover letter usually includes
a minimum of three paragraphs. Each paragraph has a different
Paragraph. This opening
paragraph explains why you are writing the letter. State your
purpose, identify the position you are applying for, and how you
learned about the opening. If you are responding to an advertisement,
state the name and date of the publication where you found the
ad. If a well respected person referred you to the organization,
mention the person's name and connection.
Paragraph. It is within
this paragraph that you tailor your resume to a particular job.
Here you should tell the employer why you are a strong candidate
for this position. Highlight relevant achievements, skills, and/or
experience, mentioning the most interesting points on your resume.
Explain how you intend to help the employer and contribute to
This extra paragraph isn't always needed, but can be included
if there is additional information which hasn't been mentioned
on your resume or needs to be described in more detail (for example:
your cooperative education expenence or gaps in your employment).
Paragraph. This final
paragraph should be action-oriented. Here you should state when
and how you will contact the employer to arrange a mutually convenient
time to interview. Also, be sure to state how and when they may
contact you. Do not assume an employer will contact you once you
have sent your cover letter and resume. It is your responsibility
to follow up. Finally, thank the individual and mention that you
are looking forward to meeting him or her.
active, not passive, verbs.
For example, use "arranged"..., "devised"....
"evaluated"..., instead of "was responsible for
'arranging'..., 'devising'.... 'evaluating'...".
overuse the word "I".
Starting every sentence with "I" can give the wrong
impression, and you may come across as self-centered. Rather than
starting with "I", turn some of your sentences around.
It is better to give examples of how you did something than to
say, "I did this or that...".
letter will be more effective
when you address the letter to a specific person within an
If you don't know the person's name, title, or gender call the
organization and ask for the correct inforrnation. If you are
unable to get a specific name, then using "To Whom It May
Concem" or "Dear Sir/Madam" are acceptable alternatives.
When responding to a "blind ad" (a P.O. box number in
a newspaper ad) with no opportunity to address your letter to
an individual or to follow-up in person, you can only ask the
employer to write or call you.
the organization before
you write the cover letter. Ideally, every cover letter is unique
and targeted to a specific position. Use the information obtained
through research to demonstrate that you know something about
the company. Each time you submit a resume for a specific position
it should be accompanied by an original cover letter.
cover letter should communicate
your ambition and enthusiasm. Stress accomplishments by explaining
how you have met specific employer needs. Show how previous
relate to the position for which you are applying. Also, the reader
may be judging you on how well you write so do your best to make
the words come alive!
with a present or former job or employer. Be sure to avoid discussing
any negative reasons for leaving your last job.
sure to use an acceptable
business letter format (see sample). Send the onginal and be sure
you keep a copy of each letter for your records.
a polished, professional
image, print your resume and cover letter on matching stationery
and enclose them in a matching envelope.
keep in mind that the
professional image you want to give to a prospective employer
includes a neatly typed, grammatically correct and accurate letter
and resume (NO TYPOS!). If you can type and have access to a computer
or word processor and letter quality printer, it is advisable
to use these. If you can't type, hire someone to type your letter
Boston, MA 02115
January 15, 2009
Mr. John Hancock, President
Nashoba Environmental Association
Fitchburg, MA 01450
Dear Mr. Hancock:
advertisement in the Boston
Sunday Globe, dated January 7th, indicated the need for
a Director for your association. I have had an interest in
affairs for a long time and the work of your organization has
you can see from my resume
I have had two years of experience working as Assistant Director
of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and have worked as a volunteer
with the Appalachian Mountain Club for the past five years. My
work at the Audubon Society involves managing the day-to-day activities
of the society and includes working on fundraising, editing a
newsletter and publicity releases focusing on environmental issues
and organizing membership drives.
addition to my jobs I am
presently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Management at Northeastem
University and plan to graduate in May 2009. I have found that
taking courses in management while working in an administrative
position provides me with an excellent balance of practical experience
and educational training.
would like very much to put
my skills to work for your organization. I will call you within
the next two weeks to discuss the possibility of an interview
or you may reach me at (555) 555-5555 during normal business hours.
Thank you for your consideration.
<Sign your name here>
YOUR NAME HERE>