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Develop Resumes & Letters

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A well crafted resume can set you apart from other candidates. Strong resumes do more than summarize your educational background and work history; they emphasize the results of your efforts and draw clear parallels between your skills and experience and an employer's needs.

Resumes are:

  • Commonly required for industry positions
  • Focused on your strongest, most relevant qualifications and experiences
  • Tailored to a specific position, field or industry
  • 1 page (2 pages if you have extensive relevant experience)

Resume Worksheet

List of Power Verbs

Resume Samples:

Federal Resumes

Creating Impactful Resume Bullet Points to Describe Your Experience

Resume bullets should describe your skills and accomplishments, reflecting the order or priority that the employer has
stated in their position description and requirements. Write bullet points for jobs, internships, volunteer experiences and
activities where you’ve developed skills. Consider how these bullet points highlight skills and experiences that match the
position requirements. Action-oriented statements highlighting your accomplishments should use concrete language and
could include:

  • What: What task (transferable skill) did you perform? Use power verbs! (See link above)
  • Why: Why did you perform this task? e.g. to fulfill a goal, serve a need or make your organization/company
    better?
  • How: Specifically how did you perform this task? What equipment, tool, software program, or method did you use to
    accomplish this task?
  • Result: What was the positive result you achieved or impact you made by performing this task (quantitative or
    qualitative)?
  • Adjectives: Spice it up with descriptors; sell yourself… go for it!

Example 1:

  • What: Created a brochure.
  • What and How: Created a brochure using InDesign.
  • What and Why: Created a brochure to generate customer interest in the company’s new line of fall clothing.
  • What, Why, and Result: Created a brochure to generate customer interest in the company’s new line of fall
    clothing, resulting in high praise from Director of Marketing.
  • Adding Adjectives: Created a colorful and eye-catching marketing brochure using InDesign to generate customer interest
    in the company’s new line of fall clothing, resulting in high praise from Director of Marketing.

Example 2:

  • What: Tutored students.
  • What and How: Tutored students using a variety of methods to adjust to different learning styles.
  • What and Why: Tutored students to help them retain information and improve both grades and overall performance in
    Math and English.
  • What, Why, and Result: Tutored students to help them improve grades and overall performance; saw marked
    improvement over a three-month period in 100% of students.
  • Adding Adjectives:
    • Tutored at-risk youth in Math and English; assessed learning styles of each student and creatively adjusted tutoring
      style based on results.
    • Affected information retention and overall grade improvement in 100% of students tutored over a three month period.
    • Acknowledged by Director for strong commitment to student success.

Curriculum Viate (CV) is Latin for "course of life." A CV presents a full history of your academic credentials, and are often used when seeking fellowships, grants, postdoctoral positions, and teaching/research positions in postsecondary institutions or high-level research positions in industry.

A curriculum vitae (CV):

  • Emphasizes academic accomplishments
  • Often required for higher education and research positions
  • A comprehensive biographical statement focusing on professional qualifications and activities
  • Longer, as they have no page limit

CV Samples

Your cover letter introduces you and your resume, explains your purpose for writing, highlights a few of your experiences and/or skills, and requests an interview. You should always include a cover letter when applying for a job unless you are specifically told not to by the employer. When applying online and limited to uploading one document, you can create a single PDF document that includes both your resume and cover letter. 

Use the cover letter format and cover letter worksheet linked below to get started:

Cover Letter Samples:

Following an interview, it is highly recommended you send a thank you letter to restate your interest in the position and the organization. A thank you letter can help you stand out among your competition, it can be emailed or handwritten but consider which might be best for the type of position you are seeking. 

Employers usually ask for your reference list (professors, supervisors, managers, advisors, etc. who can vouch for your skills and qualifications) before they make a hiring decision. Be prepared with a list of 3-5 individuals who are willing to provide a strong, supportive recommendation.

Always ask permission from your references before you use their names. Make sure you have their current contact information and help them prepare in advance by sharing your current resume or CV, cover letter, and the position description. 

Access additional short videos by visiting Candid Career's Resume Writing Channel.