Resume and Cover Letters

You will develop a resume freshman year and evolve it as you engage in experiences and develop new skills.

Your resume and cover letter are complimentary documents that best sell who you are and what you’ve done!

Your resume is your personal marketing tool, advertising what you can do for a prospective employer. It summarizes the unique skills and experiences that set you apart from your competitors. The goal of a resume is to get the reader interested in you as a candidate.

Your cover letter displays your personality, your purpose, your knowledge, your writing capabilities, and your professionalism. While a cover letter enhances the information in your resume, it offers you an opportunity to highlight your skills and experiences and how they fit an employer’s specific needs.

A few things to remember:

  1. A resume is a piece of a person on paper. One person could be proud of their resume because it best represents them while another person may not care, both ways are perfectly fine. It is our job to make sure each person feels represented by their resumes.
  2. There is no perfect resume. Typically, we use chronological resumes, however there are multiple types: chronological, functional, combination, or targeted resume. Each resume is a little different in size, color, formatting, etc. based on the person that creates or edits it. Just ensure the major components are there: Name, contact information, education, and experiences.
  3. Nearly any experiences are professional experiences, we just have to find the words to explain them.

Resume Writing Guide

Resume Writing Guide

Office of Career Development - IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

A resume is your personal marketing tool, advertising what you can do for a prospective employer. It summarizes the unique skills and experiences that set you apart from your competitors. The goal of a resume is to get the reader interested in you as a candidate.


The following are tips for constructing a powerful and professional resume. Use this sheet and the example on the back as a guide while collaborating with your career coach to create a resume that is perfect for you and your job.

PERSONAL BRAND

  • The top of your document should list your contact information, including your name, address, email, phone number, and LinkedIn domain link.

  • The formatting you use for this section creates a look you will use throughout your application materials (cover letter, references, etc.). Consider your use of font, font size, color, and spacing to create a professional look. Make sure your name is the most visually prominent piece of the whole document.

EDUCATION

  • In this section, list all relevant education in reverse-chronological order. For each relevant college, university, or certificate program you have completed:

    • Write the name of the institution, the name of the degree/certificate/diploma, the location, and the date of completion.

    • Consider including the following if they are relevant to the position for which you are applying or if they have been requested by the employer: GPA (if ≥ 3.5), awards or recognitions, scholarships, student organizations, leadership positions, relevant coursework.

EXPERIENCE

  • In this section, list all relevant experience in reverse-chronological order. For each a job position, internship, volunteer position, military service, or leadership experience:

    • Write the name of the organization, the position title, dates of employment/service, and location.

    • Construct 3-5 concise bullet points which describe the most valuable and relevant skills you gained and demonstrated in this position.

      • Start each bullet with a strong action verb.

      • Highlight skills, not responsibilities.

      • Be quantifiable whenever possible (e.g. generated 15% sales increase).

      • Use the employers own language to show that you fit what they are looking for.

REVIEWING YOUR RESUME

  • Employers prefer resumes to be ONE FULL PAGE or never more than TWO FULL PAGES. Arrange the text size and formatting so your text fills the page(s).

  • Carefully proof-read your document and have a friend or career coach review it for grammar and formatting.

  • Do not use jargon or informal vocabulary.

  • Your resume should change depending on what position you are applying for. Be sure your resume is tailored to the relevant position.

  • Are you fluent, proficient, or conversational in a second language? If so, ask your career coach how you can best highlight this skill in your resume.

  • Personal statements (a.k.a. objectives or summary statements) are generally obsolete. Include one only if you have a clear career goal that is very relevant to the position for which you are applying.

  • Many resume templates include a “skills” section. Only include this section if you are otherwise unable to fill one full page or if you have particularly relevant skills that you have not displayed elsewhere.

Resume Sample

YOUR NAME


123 Somewhere Street

LinkedIn.com/in/yourname

(317) 555-1234

Indianapolis, IN 46202

 

student.name@iupui.edu

EDUCATION

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

May 2016

Fluent in Spanish

Conversant in French

EXPERIENCE

Community Hospital South, Indianapolis, IN

May 2014 – Present

Project Coordinator

  • Assess patients for participation in, and coordinate the Pulmonary Rehab program

  • Monitor and supervise physical conditioning keeping physician informed of patient progress

  • Provide respiratory-related skills training and coordinate the skill training provided by Pharmacy, Dietetics, and Chaplaincy departments.

ABC Not Real Association, Carmel, IN

June 2013 – July 2014

Information Specialist

  • Developed and implemented cross-training for administrative duties to mitigate risk and ensure success

  • Yielded membership inquiries, comments, and concerns in a high volume, fast-paced call center

  • Processed data including new membership applications, changes to member information, and dues payments

LEADERSHIP

National Society of Leadership and Success, Indianapolis, IN

March 2015 – Present

Co-Adviser

  • Advise the new co-presidents on how to structure and organize events, lead an executive board, and discuss ideas on how to strengthen the chapter

  • Lead and recruit peers by offering challenges and support to event volunteers as they complete tasks

  • Created new member initiative increasing member success 50% from previous year

IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis, IN

April 2014 – December 2014

Ambassador

  • Facilitated events held by the School of Liberal Arts. Represented the school’s values by encouraging and teaching new and current IUPUI students the benefits of a liberal arts education

  • Created new member initiative increasing member success 50% from previous year

VOLUNTEER

VOLUNTEER ABC City Organization, Indianapolis, IN

April 2013 – Present

Medical Response Team

  • Provide first aid in medical emergencies and non-emergencies in and round Indianapolis

  • Initiated first responder program increasing patient numbers 35% as compared to previous year

XYZ Not For Profit, Indianapolis, IN

April 2013 – Present

Associate

  • Increase organization’s recognition with outreach and communication

  • Translate the organization’s services for the Spanish community

Action Verbs

Power Verbs for your Resume

Office of Career Development - IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

Powerful verbs enhance your job descriptions in a detailed, professional manner. They allow you to summarize the unique job tasks completed as well as experiences that set you apart from your competitors.


Training/Advising/Teaching

Advised

Enforced

Inspired

Planned

Chaired

Executed

Influenced

Prepare

Coordinated

Facilitated

Mentored

Recruited

Cultivated

Fostered

Monitored

Shaped

Delegated

Guided

Motivated

Supervised

Directed

Headed

Orchestrated

Trained

Enabled

Inspected

Organized

Unified

Ensure

Instruct

Oversaw

Verify

Management/Administrative/Leadership

Accelerated

Developed

Initiated

Restructured

Achieved

Engineered

Instituted

Simplified

Amplified

Enhance

Introduce

Spearheaded

Built

Expanded

Launched

Stimulated

Boosted

Founded

Maximized

Streamlined

Clarified

Formed

Modified

Strengthened

Created

Implemented

Pioneered

Transformed

Delivered

Improved

Redesigned

Updated

Designed

Incorporated

Reorganized

Upgraded

Communication

Acquired

Coached

Empowered

Partnered

Advised

Conveyed

Explained

Persuaded

Advocated

Consulted

Fostered

Promoted

Articulated

Counseled

Illustrated

Publicized

Authored

Demonstrated

Informed

Related

Campaigned

Educated

Negotiated

Secured

Universal

Analyzed

Defined

Explored

Measured

Assembled

Discovered

Identified

Reviewed

Assessed

Documented

Inspected

Surveyed

Calculated

Evaluated

Interpreted

Tested

Connected

Examined

Integrated

Tracked

Cover Letter Guide

Cover Letter Writing Guide

Office of Career Development - IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

A cover letter displays your personality, your purpose, your knowledge, your writing capabilities, and your professionalism. It enhances the information in your resume. The goal of a cover letter is to demonstrate that you know the company and that you fit their needs.


The following are tips for writing a powerful and professional cover letter. Use this sheet and the example letter on the back as a guide while collaborating with your career coach on how to create a cover letter that is perfect for the position you are pursuing.

PERSONAL BRAND

  • As with a resume, your cover letter will be headed by your personal brand which contains your basic contact information, including your name, address, email, phone number, and LinkedIn URL. Mirror or copy the personal brand from your resume to create a clean and unified professional look.

  • Directly under your header include the date.

ADDRESS

  • Address your letter to the person who will be reviewing your application. If this information is not accessible, consider calling the company to find it. If possible, include their name, job title, organization/company name, and company address.

PARAGRAPH 1: INTRODUCTION

  • The focus of this paragraph is introducing yourself and demonstrating your knowledge of the company/organization.

    • Briefly introduce yourself.

    • Show that you have done your research. Connect with their company goals, mission, or values. Tell them why you are excited about or impressed by their organization or this position.

    • If you have a connection with the organization, do not be afraid to name-drop.

PARAGRAPH 2: YOUR SKILLS & EXPERIENCE

  • The focus of this paragraph is the skills that you bring to the position.

    • Highlight 2-3 skills that you would bring to their team.

    • Use their language and show that you know what they value. Be sharp and to the point.

    • Do the work of connecting your skills to their team and their organization. Show them that you fit.

PARAGRAPH 3: CLOSING

  • Tell them what you would like to happen next (e.g. an interview or opportunity to talk about the position further).

  • Provide information about how you can best be reached.

  • Thank them for their time and consideration. Close with a salutation and signature.

REVIEWING YOUR COVER LETTER

  • Even if the application does not require a cover letter, consider submitting one anyway (unless it specifically says not to). This extra effort shows the employer your sincere interest and could put you a step ahead of your competitors.

  • Check your grammar and make sure that you’ve tailored your letter to the appropriate position.

Cover Letter Sample

YOUR NAME


123 Somewhere Street

LinkedIn.com/in/yourname

(317) 555-1234

Indianapolis, IN 46202

 

student.name@iupui.edu

April 1, 2020

Irving M. Hiring Director of Training Indianapolis Children’s Home 456 Corporate Boulevard Indianapolis, IN 46202

Dear Mr. Hiring:

I first heard about Indianapolis Children’s Home as I was preparing for the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis Annual Career Fair. As I began to research your program, I was immediately interested in your goal of providing service to children in great need here in Indiana. In conversation with Mr. George Recruiter at the Career Fair, I realized even more clearly how you provide practical services while focusing on fostering positive relationships with your youth and their families. This spring I will be graduating from IUPUI with a Bachelor of Science in Education and I am interested in working on your team as an Activities Coordinator after graduation. Throughout college I have been involved in Indiana Urban Outreach and improved the lives of over 950 members of our community here in Indianapolis. This opportunity has granted me experiences building relationships with people from a variety of demographics. Because of this experience coupled with my education, I am confident that I have the ability to identify the needs of and foster positive relationships with your children and their families. In addition, I have two years of experience as a lead teacher for an after-school program at a local grade school, which has offered me the ability to plan and lead educational activities and has effectively prepared me to lead in the role of an Activities Coordinator. I look forward to meeting with you to further discuss what I can bring to your team as an Activities Coordinator for the Indianapolis Children’s Home. Please feel free to contact me by phone or email. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, SIGNATURE Your Name

 

More Information

Ask questions or schedule appointments by visiting our office in Cavanaugh Hall, Room 243, calling 317- 278-1124, or use our online Student Appointment Scheduler (SAS).