Click here for a detailed packet of information that includes sample résumés, a list of action verbs, and information about cover letters and references.
Résumés for America is an online résumé builder that helps you to create an effective and professional resume by providing expert tips, writing examples, and helpful suggestions. The software also comes with a cover letter builder, thank you letter builder, and more.
Students who are registering for the first time or returning students who are logging in, visit the free resume builder now and sign in with your UNK email address.
Upon completing your résumé, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it off at our office so we can provide feedback.
A résumé is your marketing tool, and advertisement of your qualifications and abilities. It is a concise document – a snapshot – of your relevant education, experience, and skills. It is often the first item that a potential employer sees, and is used to screen applicants competing for a position. Obviously, you want your résumé to screen you in, leading you to the next step in the job search process. With that in mind, construct your résumé so it supports your career objective, i.e., it presents evidence showing that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job. Once you have a clear view of your target job, or at least your target industry, you can develop a résumé that highlights the appropriate skills and experiences. Visit Academic and Career Services if you need help defining your career objective.
Types of Résumés
- Chronological - an account of whom you've worked for and what you've accomplished in each position, listed in reverse chronological order. It is the style most commonly used by new college graduates and by individuals changing jobs within a given career field.
- Functional - places the emphasis on what you've accomplished and de-emphasizes where you did it. This allows the candidate to organize experiences, gathered from a variety of arenas, according to specific functions or skills.
- Combination - merge the elements of each of the other styles. They will include an overview or summary of qualifications at the beginning, in which they stress their skills and characteristics appropriate for the position, but they revert to the reverse chronological style for the remainder of the document.
Before you write the cover letter, ask yourself these four questions:
- Who, specifically, should receive the cover letter? Target your recipients carefully.
- What is the best way to locate the right contacts? Research the industry/field/company.
- How can I motivate the reader to interview me? Address the employer's needs and your strengths.
- What points do I want to emphasize? Develop self-awareness and express confidence and enthusiasm.
The answers to these questions will focus your efforts and strengthen your case. You must next address the tone and presentation of the letter:
- Use a positive and outgoing writing style.
- Project energy and confidence.
- Avoid negative and apologetic statements.
- Adopt a business-like, but cordial, tone.
In general, picture the likely reader and adjust the style and tone of your letter accordingly. Become familiar with the prevalent style in your field. If the recipient is apt to be conservative, write a conservative cover letter. If your reader appreciates creativity, use a creative approach. Be cautious in making assumptions though.
The words you use are important in conveying both message and tone. Accomplishments are best expressed through action verbs (communicated, clarified, facilitated). Select self-descriptive words to express personal characteristics (enthusiastic, creative, dependable). Use words sparingly, and try to limit the length of the letter to one page.