Cover Letter & Résumé Tips/Guidelines

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1 Cover Letter & Résumé Tips/Guidelines Lynn Walsh International Student Career Advisor Centre for Career Development/International Student Advising Office p: or Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday & Fridays, (9am 5pm): CCD, 4 th floor of the University Centre Wednesdays & Thursdays, (9am 4:45pm): ISA Office, Corte Real

2 What is a Cover Letter? A cover letter is used address the employer you are interested in applying for, to identify which job you are applying for and way you are interested in. It should always accompany a résumé, provides reasons for the submission of the résumé, and adds a personal touch to the résumé submission. It is only one page in length Below is an example of the content & format: (You don t need to include your name here because you type/sign your name twice at the bottom) (Your street address) (Town, province) (Postal code) (Date) (Employer contact name, if known) (Complete Mailing address of company) Dear (use a name, if listed; if not use Dear Sir or Madam): 1 st paragraph: Why are you Writing. Catch the reader s attention and clearly state what job you are applying for and how you learned about it. (You can mention personal contacts within the company in this paragraph, if you have any). 2 nd paragraph: What You Have To Offer. Provide specific information about the skills you have and how your qualifications will benefit the company. Respond to every possible requirement that is mentioned in the job description/offer. 3 rd Paragraph: Why are your interested in this employer? What do you know about them? This is your chance to discuss what you know about the employer and why you are applying for the job. You are no longer listing your skills or qualifications; you are talking about why you want to work there. Check out their website ( About us section ; Mission Statement, History, etc) and comment on what they are doing that interested you and how your skill set is a match got 4 th Paragraph: This is the closing paragraph. Request an interview!! State where and when you can be reached. Thank reader for his/her time and consideration. Sincerely, (Sign your name) (Type your name) Enc: Res. Or Enclosure: Resume

3 What is a résumé? A résumé is used for job search, is usually 2 pages in length and provides an overview of your experiences to date (education, work, volunteering, interest, etc). In North America, a résumé and curriculum vitae (CV) are different. o The goal of a CV is to present a complete picture of the breadth and depth of academic experiences you have accumulated. o The biggest difference between the 2 is in the content.\ o CV's may include lists of your publications, presentations, teaching experiences, honors, grants, and dissertation abstracts. o Very little of that should be included in a résumé. General Tips on Résumé Writing Personal Data: Your name should stand out the most (bold and enlarge it, use capitals) Indicate a telephone number and an address Do not include personal info (age, date of birth, SIN #, gender, etc). o In North America that information is not included on a resume and it is illegal for people to ask you those questions when applying. Résumé Content: Highlight all of your relevant skills, educations and work experiences Be neat, concise and clear. Space your content so it can be easily read Use action verbs to list responsibilities/accomplishments (see attached Verb List Don t use I ; use bullets instead of paragraphs Revise your résumé frequently and to tailor it to the position and the employer Always check for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes Limit your résumé to 2 pages, plus a cover letter References: 3-5 references are fine & be sure that you indicate current contact numbers Make sure that your references are aware that you have listed them on your résumé and that they will provide a positive response to an employer Listing references is a personal choice o If you prefer not to include them, indicate References Available upon Request on the bottom of your last page.

4 Sample Résumé Try to keep it to approximately 2-3 pages not including references. Below is a template of the standard sections that are found in a resume. Your resume does not have to look like this, but should include some of these important sections. Name Your contact information (Include address, phone # & ) (Do not list your birth date, nationality, age, etc. No personal information) Highlights or Summary of Qualifications (This is an optional section) 4-6 bullets that speak to the job ad, employer or area of work you are interested in and really help differentiate your from the other candidates. Example bullets may include: Your degree Bilingual in Programming languages: years experience in. Or Managed an office staff of.. Aided in raising $???? for????? charity Written numerous articles for. or Published a paper in the???? Journal on the topic of.. These bullets speak to the organization or position in question. They are not general statements such as Excellent communication skills or Good organization skills. This is an easy way to tailor each resume. Education Degree (Major / Minor) Start Date End Date Name of university Location You can include GPA if you want. This is not the place to list courses you have completed. If relevant to the job that should be discussed in the cover letter. Work History Job Title Organization Start Date End Date Location 3-4 bullets starting with verbs that give a potential employer an idea of what you did in that position: Performed Developed Organized

5 Name page # Volunteer Work Job Title Organization Start Date End Date Location 3-4 bullets starting with verbs that give a potential employer an idea of what you did in that position Or just list them in simple bullets without job descriptions if you are tight on space. References: If you are including the names of your reference they have to go on a separate page by themselves You should have 3-5 references & list their contact information If not, state Reference Available upon request on the bottom of last page Other sections you may want to include: Awards Additional Training Courses (Name not number) Skills Equipment/Tools Projects Extracurricular Activities Hobbies

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