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Resume Writing Impact

Resume Writing

Purpose of a Resume

A resume is a professional introduction of you!  It’s your opportunity to entice a potential employer with your abilities so you will be invited to interview. A resume is a summary of your personal history and qualifications to show why YOU are the best candidate for the job.  This is your first impression, so make it a good one!  Keep in mind, most employers will spend less than 30 seconds reviewing your resume. Remember to keep your resume focused, use the right language for your industry, and effectively communicate how your skills add strengths to prepare you for the job for which you are applying.

Resume Format Example

Your Name Here

Permanent Address: 123 Street Address, City, State, Zip,  Phone Number: (Cell and/or Home), Email address:

(use discretion – what image does your address convey? When posting resume online list only Name/Phone/Email to avoid identity theft)

OBJECTIVE:  Use concise language to describe the position you are seeking – be job/career specific, do not write a paragraph, but limit it to one sentence. (Optional)

SUMMARY OF SKILLS:  Match your skills & qualifications with those listed in the job posting or those skills related to job/career, and place them in this section using individual words or bulleted statements. (Optional)

EDUCATION:  List degree. Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science and Major/Concentration/Minor - Graduation Date, Name of School and City/State (Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV) List GPA (only if 3.0 or higher) and academic honors/scholarships if desired.


  • Title of position, Name of Company/Organization, City/State and Dates; (Do not list street address, supervisor’s name, phone, or wage);
  • Relevant Experience means any experience (paid or unpaid) that is related to your objective (job/career you are seeking);
  • Internship experience can be listed in this section;
  • List in reverse chronological order with most recent experience first;
  • Use bullets to identify each  
  • Begin sentence fragments with action verbs to describe responsibilities and accomplishments (how did you benefit the company/organization)
  • Include examples of transferable skills learned such as teamwork, leadership, organization and communication; 

OTHER WORK EXPERIENCE: Job Title, Name of Company/Organization, City/State and Dates; Do not list street address, supervisor’s name, phone, or wage) • List other work experience that is less relevant • Include transferable skills utilized in each role;

ACTIVITIES: Include cross-cultural experiences, extracurricular activities and volunteer/community service. List membership and leadership positions and related campus or professional organizations;

SKILLS: List foreign languages, computer and other technical skills;

Points to Remember

  • Length should be one page unless you have extensive relevant experience;
  • Keep font size 10pt. – 12pt. (recommend proportionately larger font size for your name, 14pt.- 16pt.);
  • Avoid decorative or colored fonts that may not copy or scan well (Arial and Times New Roman are standard);
  • Use quality resume paper (white, off-white, or beige colors) with preferably black ink.

Purpose of a Cover Letter

A cover letter is written in business format, as a letter you write to a prospective employer when applying for a job.  You may sometimes see it referred to as a “Letter of Interest” or “Application Letter.”  Your cover letter should not introduce your resume, but supplement the information on your resume.

Tips for Writing a Good Cover Letter

When writing a cover letter, include the following:  Address it to the person who will interview candidates, by name if possible; Create font style and font size for content and each section heading, no larger than 12pt. Keep cover letter short (one page) if possible and to the point; Make cover letter "employer focused" rather than “job-seeker focused," meaning, talk about how you can meet their needs, not how they can meet your needs; Prepare each cover letter individually; Avoid using a form letter.

Cover Letter Guide

Your Cover Letter Should Be:

1. Consistent With the Resume

  •  Font size, type, and letter layout should be business format
  • 10-12 point font size
  • Standard font (Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri)
  • Adequate margins - top/bottom, left/right (1/2”-1”) ideally same as your resume, but not required
  • Printed on quality resume paper when being distributed to employers and for networking 
  • When sending electronically (email) type letter into the text area of the email and attach resume to the email (preferably Word Doc or PDF), or you may attach both as documents to your email

2. Easy to Read

  • Well-organized
  • Error free - when an employer sees a typo, you limited your chance for getting an interview.
  • Simple block format with left flush margins
  • Limit to one page (3-4 paragraphs) as much as possible 

3. Relevant to Employer’s Needs

  • Addressed to a specific individual is important - it shows you have done your research
  • Differentiate yourself from other candidates
  • Be concise and highlight what is most important
  • Customized for each specific position - identify and include keywords from the job description

4. In Response to the Job Announcement

  • Read the announcement carefully
  • Pay close attention to the job description and focus on those duties in your cover letter
  • Match your qualifications with what they want
  • Follow instructions carefully. If the announcement requires 3 letters of recommendation, send 3 letters. If the announcement states “No Phone Calls”, do not call.


  • Irrelevant details
  • Starting every sentence with “I” or “my”
  • Flowery phrases or vague statements that say nothing
  • Unnecessary personal information
  • Abbreviations or acronyms unfamiliar to the employer
  • Copying and pasting the same letter for each position Cover Letter 2 Cover Letter Outline Your Present Addres

Cover Letter Outline

Your Present Address (Contact information of applicant can be stacked vertically or horizontally across the page as on resume)
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Contact Person
Title Organization/Company
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear (Contact Person - Be formal: Dr./Mr./Ms./Mrs.) *if not certain if married female, use Ms.

Opening Paragraph (should address interest and define career objective)

  • Create an opening sentence that will make the reader want to continue reading
  • State the job for which you are applying and explain how you learned about the position
  • Mention the name of the person and what relation they are to the company (if any), who referred you to the organization and vacancy – preferably a colleague of the contact person

2nd Paragraph (should develop your career objective and identify what you have that they want – your resume should provide facts to support this)

  • Mention a few qualifications you think would be of greatest interest to the employer – use keywords related to the position/industry
  • Tell why you are interested in the company and/or type of work
  • Indicate any related experience, educational background, or specialized training that might increase your employability

3rd Paragraph (should highlight specific experience)

  • Make a positive statement of your skills/abilities
  • Using examples, demonstrate skills/strengths you will bring to the position
  • List accomplishments and achievements and how they will transfer to the job
  • Indicate your willingness to relocate if applicable
  • Refer the reader to the enclosed qualifications in your resume

4th Paragraph (should request an interview) Be positive in your attitude!

  • Close by making a specific request for an interview
  • If you plan on following up, give an approximate time period in which you will follow up with company to further discuss employment opportunities
  • Reference enclosed documents (resume, references list, writing samples, etc.) unless you have already done so in the earlier paragraphs
  • Make it easy for the person to contact you. List telephone number and days/times (optional) when you can be reached. Also list an email address. (Even though this information is on your resume, state it here) Sincerely, (Handwritten signature if you are sending a physical letter) Type your first and last name

Cover Letter Sample

1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554

September 12, 2014

Michael Lynch
Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Admissions Office
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Dear Mr. Lynch,

I am interested in applying for the position of Admissions Counselor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth listed on the university’s employment opportunities website. I believe that my educational background, skills, and work experience have prepared me well for the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in marketing provided me with knowledge in the areas of consumer behavior, strategic marketing, and promotional strategies. This education will be an asset in successfully representing the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth as an Admissions Counselor. While working as an admissions assistant at Shepherd University, I found my passion for recruitment and communication with prospective students and their families. In this position, I became very effective in developing working relationships with my clients, while perfecting marketing and public relations methods for recruiting. My professional goal is to further expand on these skills in the role of Admissions Counselor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

In addition to my recruiting experience, I gained a lot of professional advancement through my marketing internship with Breakthrough Events Inc. I mastered efficient teamwork, learned successful event planning techniques, and effectively employed variety of marketing strategies. Both of my employment experiences required frequent utilization of social media for marketing and public relations purposes. The enclosed resume further outlines my skills, experiences, and qualifications for the position of Admissions Counselor.

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to further discuss my qualifications for the position. I will contact you the week of June 29 to follow up on the status of the search. Please contact me at 304-876-4356 or if you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Frederick F. Falcon