Write a Resume

If you've never written a resume, now is good time to create one! A resume is a summary of your experience and qualifications designed to get an employer's attention and make them want to follow up and interview you.

  • A resume should be prepared with careful consideration for the content as well as the form. Both are important.
  • First consider your purpose for preparing your resume and tailor it to your anticipated readers.
  • The three essential pieces of information in a resume are 1) your contact information, 2) your educational preparation, and 3) your work experience.
  • Do not prepare your final draft of your resume from a template! They are a quick fix, but will not serve you well in the long run.

For more help, contact careerservices@bvu.edu or try these links:

Write a Cover Letter

Your resume is polished and ready to send, but wait! Employers also expect to read an introductory letter from you that assist them in knowing your purpose for sending them your resume. Reading your cover letter also gives them an opportunity to learn how well you express yourself, how you organize and state your qualifications, and in general, it raises their interest in you as a candidate.

Cover letters should not be dashed off at the last minute. A good cover letter, like a warm handshake and smile, will set the tone for further communication with you.

Cover Letters

  • are sales/marketing letters, and the product is you!
  • are clear and concise, and convey enthusiasm and respect.
  • tailor the letter for a job with a specific company/organization.
  • address the letter to a specific person. Call the company/organization to obtain a name.
  • should be printed on the same bond paper used for your résumé.
  • need to be perfect. Proofread to avoid errors.

Cover Letter Outline

First paragraph - create interest, establish rapport, state your purpose

  1. Capture the employers attention and explain why you are writing.
  2. Indicate the job/area in which you are interested
  3. Tell how you heard about the position/company/organization.

Second and possibly third paragraph - tell your sales story

  1. Explain how you can meet the employer's needs, summarize your qualifications.
  2. Document your claims with statements that show evidence of your skills.
  3. Show how your skills match those needed for the position.
  4. Refer reader to your enclosed résumé.

Closing paragraph - ask for what you want.

  1. Request an interview.
  2. You can also state that you will call to inquire about setting up an interview (or inquire about vacancies), or you can list a phone number where you can be reached.

Many examples of résumés and cover letters are available at the Career Services Office.

Ace the Interview!

Job interviews are:

  • something like a first date. Both parties know a little about each other, want to know more, and mostly want to find out if it's going to be a match.
  • something like a test. You will do better if you've prepared for it.
  • a directed conversation between prospective colleagues. Both the candidate and the employer need to ask questions and view it as a dialogue, not strictly a Q & A session.
  • a necessary part of any job search. Jobs are won or lost in interviews.

After the interview:

Make notes. Write down names of people you met with, if you think you might forget. Write down what questions you'd like to answer better next time, questions you weren't expecting, information you learned about the job.

A thank you letter sets you apart, so write one to your interviewer(s) immediately, either a hand-written note, or a short business letter. Employers will remember you and be impressed.

Go to CollegeGrad.com for help with all aspects of the job search, including interviewing.

Accept an offer:

Before you accept a job offer, be sure you have all of your questions answered about things like salary, expectations of the job, benefits, hours, where you'll be assigned. When the phone rings with a job offer, you do not have to give an answer right away. In fact, you should ask for a little time to think about the offer. Then, prepare to get back to them with any questions you might still have. Once you're sure you know what you've agreed to, and you know you want the job, accept with enthusiasm!

If you need advice with salary negotiations, contact Career Services or go to Jobstar.