Resumes and Cover Letters
Presented by Career Services
University Inn, Rm. 102
www.usu.edu/career
(435) 797-7777
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The Resume
Your resume, including a targeted
cover letter, is designed to:
get you an interview
remind the interviewer of your skills
justify the hiring decision to others
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Unbreakable Rules
Hiring managers would automatically dismiss a candidate
from consideration:
 Resumes with typos—61%
 Resumes that copied large amounts of wording from the job
posting—41%
 Resumes with an inappropriate email address— 35%
 Resumes that don’t include a list of skills—30%
CareerBuilder Survey
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Remember…
 Resumes get less than a one-minute scan
 Write a concise, targeted resume
 Be sure your degree and key skills/experiences are at
the beginning of your resume
 Review/research job descriptions on the company’s
website; focus on key words and skills
 One page (consider two pages only if you are a
returning or graduate student)
 No grammar, spelling, or format errors
 Include a well-written, targeted cover letter
 Avoid templates and large blocks of text
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Header Samples
BRADY SMITH
____________________________________________________________
1098 North 200 West, Logan, UT
(435) 797-1234
[email protected]
Jennifer Seamons
455 North 1100 East
Logan, UT 84321
435.752.1010
[email protected]
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Objective and Headline
Samples
Apply sales experience and marketing degree as a
Sales Representative with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Staff Auditor with the Utah State Auditor’s Office
HR SPECIALIST
_________________________________
Wage & Compensation
AA/EEO
Performance Evaluations
JOHN STAFFORD
Seeking Financial Analyst Position
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Education Sample
EDUCATION
Masters of Business Administration
June 20XX
Jon M. Huntsman School of Business
GPA 3.8
Utah State University, Logan, UT
Research: “Does Everyday Low Price Mean the Lowest? A Comparison of
Pricing Strategies,” Dave Hart and Dr. Sue Stevens, May 20XX
B.S. Management Information Systems
May 20XX
Utah State University, Logan, UT
Network Administration Emphasis
Member, Association for Information Systems (AIS)
Maintained a 3.2 GPA while working 20-25 hours per week and serving in
campus leadership positions
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Before You Start, Ask Yourself
“Is my work experience related
to the job I'm trying to get?”
If yes, consider using a traditional
chronological resume
If no, consider using a skills
resume (functional)
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SKILLS/QUALITIES EMPLOYERS WANT
(BASED ON A 5-POINT SCALE; 5 = EXTREMELY IMPORTANT)
Skill Sets
Score
1. Work in a team structure
4.55
2. Make decisions and solve problems
4.50
3. Plan, organize, and prioritize work
4.48
4. Verbally communicate with persons inside/outside the organization
4.48
5. Obtain and process information
4.37
6. Analyze quantitative data
4.25
7. Technical knowledge related to job
4.01
8. Proficiency with computer software programs
3.94
9. Create and/or edit written reports
3.62
10. Sell or influence others
3.54
Job Outlook, 2014, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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Success Statements
A good success statement used in effective cover letters,
resumes, and online applications should:
• Start with an action VERB and briefly describe a skill,
responsibility, task, or result
• Identify any tools or processes (computer programs,
team efforts, equipment) used to accomplish the
above
• Use numbers to show results and scope/scale of your
success
• Be represented as a bullet point (not written as a
complete sentence—no personal pronouns or periods)
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Projects Sample
FINANCE PROJECTS
• Performed financial analysis of Cardinal
Health and recommended growth strategy to
VP of Finance
• Worked with 12-member team of students to
organize fundraiser to benefit local charity
• Served as team lead for social media
campaign, utilizing primarily Facebook,
Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn platforms
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Work Experience Sample
MARKETING WORK EXPERIENCE
Retail Associate, The Buckle, Logan, UT, May 20XX to Present
• Demonstrated effective persuasive skills in exceeding retail sales quotas
• Provided excellent customer service by phone and in person
• Resolved customer complaints effectively using problem-solving skills
• Recognized by supervisors as being efficient and detail-oriented
Account Manager Intern, Good Luck Rent-a-Car, Chicago, IL, Summer 20XX
• Frequently served as store supervisor in manager’s absence
• Developed 26 new corporate accounts
• Trained 12 employees in rental procedures and liability issues
• Developed Access database to track frequency of customer usage
Translator, Valley Hispanic Center, Logan, UT, May 20XX to March 20XX
• Translated documents into English for native Spanish speakers
• Developed relationships with inter-community agencies
• Worked with center director to create guide to community services
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Professional/Relevant Skills
Sample
RELEVANT SKILLS & EXPERIENCE
Operations Management
• Targeted coursework included implementing Lean principles in all business
areas, including management, operations, and accounting
• Marketed for The Shingo Prize, which carries out Lean operations education
initiatives and recognizes organizations for operational excellence
• Learned Lean practices in the Lean Leaders Club through convocations, site
visits, and simulations
Management & Training
• Structured a micro-finance program that trains and finances Peruvian
entrepreneurs; oversaw the disbursement of over $21,000 in loans
• Trained six employees on successful prospecting strategies
• Undertook cycling team training and management responsibilities
• Volunteered two years of full-time service teaching, participating in
humanitarian projects, and delivering language training in Spain
Computer
• Designed an Access database for Bridgerland Literacy to track volunteer
hours
• Used Flash to re-design and maintain webpage for the Koch Scholars Program
(http://huntsman.usu.edu/kochscholars/)
• Proficient in: Flash, InDesign, HTML, SPSS, and Microsoft Office
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Computer/Technical Samples
TECHNICAL
•
•
•
Computer, lab, language, field
Familiar with:
Proficient in:
COMPUTER SKILLS
ezPlug
Flash
Word
Excel
PowerPoint
Access
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Activities/Leadership/
Service Samples
LEADERSHIP/SERVICE
Service Coordinator, AIAA Student Chapter, 20XX to Present
Volunteer Math Tutor, STICKS Program, Fall Semester 20XX
Spanish-Speaking Volunteer, Baja, Mexico, 20XX-20XX
Vice President, Finance Club, USU, 20XX-20XX
• Tutored 12 elementary-age students in reading for 9 months
• Helped chapter receive “Superior” national ranking
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References Sample
BRADY SMITH
__________________________________
1098 North 200 West, Logan, UT
(435) 797-1234
[email protected]
REFERENCES
Mr. George Hildall
Manager of Production
ACME Company
1234 Address Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 93099
493-384-3382
[email protected]
Previous Supervisor
Ms. Gale Strong
Training Director
Tri Training
2948 SW Street
Seattle, WA 94093
382-555-3859
[email protected]
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Cover Letters
91 percent of executives polled
indicated cover letters are valuable
when evaluating job candidates.
Source: OfficeTeam Survey, 2012
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Tips for Writing Cover Letters
 Address the cover letter to a specific person; if
unknown use a subject line
 Keep it brief—one page
 Match your skills to the position
 Let your enthusiasm show in your writing
 Show you’ve done some research
 If requested, discuss salary here—your Career Coach
has national salary averages
 No grammar, spelling, typos, or format errors
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Elements of a Successful
Cover Letter
Section 1
 Identify the position you are applying for and why you are
interested in working for the organization
 If possible, name any referral/contact
 Create interest by solving a problem or filling a need
 Link your education and work experience to the position
The web developer position posted on Career AGGIE at Utah
State University matches my ability to create and implement
dynamic web content using a variety of software and design
tools. In December 20xx I will complete my BS degree in
management information systems with a minor in computer
science.
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Elements of a Successful
Cover Letter
Section 2
 Identify your strongest qualifications as they relate to the position
 Elaborate on applicable work, education, or service
accomplishments
 Include results-oriented success statements—use data or numbers
 Can be paragraph or bullet point format
My course work and related experience has refined my skills in
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, ezPlug, and HTML. My experience as a
departmental computer consultant gave me exposure to both PC and
Macintosh OSX platforms, while troubleshooting repairs on over 40
work stations. Additionally, my summer internship in computing
operations for a major city newspaper enhanced my knowledge of
enterprise systems, content management, and e-commerce
operations.
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Elements of a Successful
Cover Letter
Section 3
 Thank the employer
 Request an interview
 Discuss how and when you will follow-up
I will contact you next week to schedule an interview to discuss my
qualifications as they relate to this position. Should you need to reach
me before then, please feel free to contact me at the phone number
or email listed above. Thank you for your consideration, and I look
forward to talking with you.
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Your Online Presence
92% of employers plan to use social
recruiting in their hiring practices and
43% say they hired better quality
candidates as a result.
Source: Jobvite 2012 Social Recruiting Survey
of 1000 Leading Employers
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Drop-In Resume Edits
10-Minute Drop-ins
Have your resume/cover letter edited and ask any
employment or grad school questions
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 1:30 to 3:30
Wednesday & Friday 11:30-1:30
Other times available by appointment
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