Where to begin: Writing a Resume and Cover Letter

As you begin looking for jobs and internships, you will realize that every opportunity requires a resume. But resumes are usually just the first part of an application. Many of the internship and job postings require students to submit a cover letter as part of the application. A quick google search of cover letter templates will likely leave you more confused, so take the time to read through our Resume and Cover Letter Guides. If you’re a visual learner, watch our Visual Guide to Resume Writing.

Here are a few helpful hints for your resume:

  • Use an “Action Verb” from the resume guide to begin each bullet on your resume. This is an easy way to begin writing meaningful bullet points.
  • Schedule an appointment to have your resume reviewed by the Career Center. Email the Career Center at CareerCenter@union.edu, or call 518.388.6176. The Career Center also allows students to drop off resumes at the front desk for a 24 hour resume review and pick it up the next day. This is only recommended for students who have already worked on a resume in a one-on-one meeting.
  • Chances are, you’re simply not selling yourself the way you should be! Don’t forget to include all of your volunteer and professional work experience, extra-curricular activities, and athletic involvement.

Resume meme

Do not write a bullet point for your experience working at Old Navy like this:

  • Customer Service Experience.

Do use action verbs and the Resume Guide to transform your bullet to this:

  • Resolved consumer problems, explained bank services and policies, and communicated knowledge of financial planning, resulting in greater customer satisfaction.

Not only is this bullet more informative for the employer, but it’s accurately describing your experience at Old Navy while showcasing transferable skills that can help you land your next job or internship! Finally, don’t forget that resume’s should also be used for networking at a career fair.

Resume Meme 2

Now on to the cover letter! 

resume meme 3

Here are some tips for accomplishing this:

  • Print out the job description for the job or internship that you’re applying for. Underline or highlight all of the required skills and job duties. Now, look back to your resume. Identify a few experiences that highlight some of the skills required for the job and use those in your cover letter.
  • Remember that the cover letter isn’t just about listing your experiences in paragraph form. The biggest error people make is not relating their experiences to the job and company they’re applying for. Employers want to know how this information is relevant to the job, and what can you do for them.
  • If you can’t find someone to address it to, do not write “To Whom it May Concern.” Instead, write “Dear Hiring Manager.
  • Do write a new cover letter for each position you’re applying to and have it reviewed by someone at the Becker Career Center.
  • Do use the suggested formatting and templates that are in the Guide to Cover Letter Writing.Now what?Make sure the email you send to the employer is professional, your voicemail is ready to receive a call from an employer and your resume and cover letter files are titled appropriately. Your next step is to begin working with the Becker Career Center to prepare for an interview!

Resume meme 4


One thought on “Where to begin: Writing a Resume and Cover Letter

  1. Pingback: First Year Students: The Time to Meet with the Becker Career Center is NOW. | Union College Career Center

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