The Office of Career Services
Resume and Cover Letter Writing help
Your resume is your personal marketing brochure where you have one page to show a prospective employer why your skills and experience make you a good candidate for the job they have posted. Your resume should draw the reader in right away and make him/her want to read your full resume and consider you for an interview.
Most people assume that a cover letter should be about you. Wrong. It should be about the company you are targeting. Your resume will tell them everything they need to know about you (if it is well written). Your cover letter should: (1) tell an employer what you can do for them, (2) why you are a strong candidate for the position; and (3) how you will follow up on your application. Do not repeat in your Cover Letter what you have already written in your resume.
Keep in mind that many employers look to the cover letter as an example of your written communication skills. Make it represent your true abilities
Use standard business letter format – date, employer name, title, company, address
Use a salutation (yes, your letter should be to a real person with the name and title spelled correctly). Take time to find out who you are writing to unless it is a “blind” ad. If no name is available, address the letter to “Dear Human Resources Director” or “Dear Hiring Manager”
Compose three focused paragraphs including: 1) why you are writing and where you saw the position advertised; 2) a summary of your 3-5 top skills and how they will benefit the company; and 3) close the letter stating the specific action you will take to follow up on your application
Do not use a “canned” cover letter. Use sample letters to get ideas but don’t copy them verbatim. Try to be conversational and creative in your cover letter
Sign the letter with “Sincerely,”—anything else can be too chummy
Your letter should be typed written on a computer with full spell check and proofing capabilities
Sign letter with a blue or black pen
Career Services Resources
Contact Information Office of Career Services
Monday - Friday: 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Telephone: (219) 473-4253 (Indiana)
(773) 721-0202, Ext. 253 (Illinois)
1-877-700-9100 (Toll Free)
FAX: (219) 473-4277