Resume and Cover Letter Checklist
Sending a resume that is easy to read and gives a good overview of your skills will make a great impression on any potential employer. The same is true of a well-written and interesting cover letter.
Go over this checklist before sending your resume and cover letter:
Start your resume with a summary or objective. Take the time to think of a concise and original way to summarize who you are as a professional or what your current career goals are.
- Use bullet points and bold fonts to make the most important information stand out. Most recruiters will not take the time to read your entire resume.
Provide the potential employer with several ways of contacting you. Create a professional email address and change your voicemail if it is not a professional message.
Use action verbs. Instead of describing yourself as a dynamic person, make this strength come through in the way you talk about your accomplishments. Instead of listing your duties, talk about how you “managed” or “oversaw” a project.
The way you talk about your accomplishments is important. On your resume, use concise bulleted points to emphasize the challenges you overcame. In your cover letter, avoid using sentences that begin with “I.”
Make your resume look professional. Choose a professional font, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, Helvetica, Georgia, Garamond, or Arial. Print your resume on high quality paper. Use a cream-colored or off-white paper to stand out.
Less is more when it comes to your resume. If an accomplishment or position isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying for, consider removing it. This is especially true of hobbies, student jobs, or volunteering.
Follow standard formatting on your cover letter. Include your contact information in the top left corner, the employer’s information aligned right underneath it, the date, a formal greeting and a formal salutation and signature at the bottom.
Bring new information into your cover letter. Rather than merely repeating information from your resume, explain how you heard about the position, why you want this job, and why you’re the best fit. Focus on what you can bring to the company.
Your resume and cover letter are often your very first contact with a potential employer. Use them to your advantage to help make a great first impression.