Resumes, Cover Letters and More!

A resume is a concise, well-organized summary of your background and qualifications. It does not describe everything you have done, but highlights what is most relevant to the position you are seeking.  The cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume.   The cover letter will reflect your ability to communicate well.  You should customize cover letters for each job.  Here are some resources to assist you with Resume and Cover Letter development. 

There are various types of resumes such as:

  • Chronological - For persons with minimal work experience.
  • Combination - For persons with med-high experience in a particular industry and plans to switch industry.
  • Scannable - Adjust your resume for companies that request this type of resume or for online applications.
  • Functional - For persons with much experience and are re-entering the workforce.


Cover Letter

 All well composed cover letters should include:

    • Specifics as to why you are interested in the potential employer.
    • What you have to offer that will make that employer particularly interested in you.
    • When and how you will be contacting the addressee to follow-up in your letter.


Thank You Letters

The thank you letter is used following a meeting or interview to express your appreciation and to strengthen your position as a highly qualified candidate. Also, send thank you letters to those individuals you may have interviewed as part of your job search research (information interviews). It's also a nice, professional touch to send letters of appreciation to people who served as references for you.

The thank you letter is probably one of the most important tools in the job search process. It can set you well above other candidates, so send a thank you letter within 1-2 days after each interview.

Make it brief while maintaining a professional, business-like style. Express your appreciation for the interview and reaffirm your interest in the position.  This is your opportunity to emphasize your strengths or mention an aspect of your background or experience that wasn't covered during the interview.


Application Letters

A letter of application or response to an advertisement is used when responding to a specific advertised opening.  The strategy is to show how your skills and qualifications fit the requirements for the position.

A letter of inquiry is used when contacting an individual or organization to ask about possible openings.  The strategy is to focus on broader occupational or organizational requirements and to demonstrate how your qualifications match the work environment or to meet organizational needs.

The type of letter says something very important about you as a professional and a prospective employee. It should be a clear demonstration of your written communication skills and knowledge of accepted business practices.  It also shows your ability to convince and persuade the reader of your value to the organization.  Make sure to conduct research to determine the needs and requirements of the organization and position you are seeking. You must also determine which of your specific skills or accomplishments best demonstrate how you can meet the needs.  The guidelines and sample letters below will help you achieve these goals.


Withdrawal Letters

Withdrawing a Job Application
A letter should be written to inform the employer of your decision to withdraw your application from consideration during the selection process. Your letter should express your appreciation for the employer's time and courtesy and provide a brief explanation for your decision. You might say that you accepted a position with another organization, but never say that you accepted a better job.

Declining a Job Offer
Whatever the reason for your decision, word your letter carefully to convey your sincere appreciation and careful consideration of the offer, including a brief explanation for your decision. You may say that you have accepted another position, but never say that you have accepted a better offer.