Tips to prepare cover letter, resume for job

By Mohammed Taha Faridi

Students must be well-prepared for the Feb. 17 and 18 internship and job fairs.

Students need to have an updated resume and cover letter and they should be ready to speak to professionals in the field of work they want to go into.

Here’s how they can prepare.


Having a strong resume is one of the most important parts of getting a job or internship. It’s your sales pitch. It’s through a resume that you market yourself to employers.

Resumes should be short, relevant to the job, catchy and attractive. Career Services provides tips through its Resume Builder Quick Start Guide: Do research on your potential employer and contact employers directly or schedule interviews through the Campus Recruiting program.

“Recruiters look for positions that are relevant to the coursework,” said Austin Pickering, Career Services intern and junior sociology major. “Say you’re going for a job, for me sociology. I wouldn’t put something such as my McDonald’s job or something like [that] if it’s not tailored to” the job.

Put your name at the very top of your resume. Below your name, put your address, phone number and email. Use Times New Roman or Arial size 10 or 12. Margins should be somewhere from half an inch to 1 inch.

A resume should also include an objective statement — what you want from the employer and what you’re seeking in the company — and your education. Include your GPA in the education section if you think it will make a difference. Follow this with additional skills you have that will be useful for the job you’re applying for. Don’t forget to add team, management and computer skills and to mention any foreign languages you know.

Experience is the most important part of the resume. Write the title of the related jobs or internships you’ve had, the duration of those jobs and employer’s name followed by your roles and responsibilities. Mention community service and volunteer experience.

“Resumes should be short and concise. Students should take resume[s] seriously …,” said Abdul Wasey Mohammed, an American Income Life employee who works with human resources to recruit people. “Students should look up the job description, the roles, the responsibilities and try to match their skills to it.”

Career Services’ Resume Review Checklist suggests checking for spelling errors in your resume.

Cover letter

A cover letter is a short explanation of your resume. In the cover letter, you should explain your education and why you want the job you’re applying for.

You’ll also want to explain any skills you have that relate to the job and provide an explanation for why you’re the right candidate for the job or internship you’re interested in.

Cover letters should only be one page.


An interview provides the candidate a chance to say what the resume and cover letter couldn’t. You should be professional in your voice and presentation by looking the employer in the eye and being engaged in the conversation.

Hiding nervousness during the interview by taking deep breaths and showing confidence by sitting up straight while answering questions and speaking in a firm voice helps let the employer know you’re serious and well prepared.

Ego should be left at home, but integrity should be maintained. Most importantly, be your professional self during the interview.