Resumes & Cover Letters

SIX SECONDS: The Average Amount of Time Recruiters Spend Reviewing a Resume

Career Readiness Competencies should be communicated through jobs/internships, service, and participation in clubs and organizations. Rather than stating the competencies, describe how the skill was applied.

For example, Oral/Written Communication skills can be conveyed in the following fashion.

    • Teacher: Prepare and deliver in-class presentations, providing tutorials to help students work independently on tasks.

    • Nurse: Collect patient health history, presenting symptoms, and enter information into patients electronic health record, which is communicated to the attending physician.

    • Environmental Scientist: Collect and analyze samples from established sites and create quarterly reports to reveal consistencies and/or changes in water purity

A Word About Cover Letters & Thank You Notes

Cover letters and thank you notes are often regarded as optional. Cover letters provide the opportunity for the applicant to describe (to the hiring manager/interview committee) their motivation for applying. While it might be optional, it can make all the difference in whether or not you are contacted for an interview.

Thank you notes, too, are optional. Think of the times you have received a card for helping someone or supporting a cause. We seldom forget those who express appreciation for our time and energy. Make it a practice to send thank you notes after interviewing, receiving professional advice, and/or a business referral.

A solid resume will not list every accomplishment and organization that you've contributed to. You can use LinkedIn for that. Instead, it will speak directly to the position for which you are applying. Your resume should stand out for the right reasons (appealing, organized, convey's achievements).

There is no single way to write a resume, however, the best resumes are consistent in their formatting. While a cover letter might be regarded as optional, employers use them to learn about your motivation for applying for the position.


Recruiters review hundreds of applications every month. Most job seekers save their resume as Resume on their computer. That makes sense for you, but on the recruiter. Save your resume by your name (and the job you are seeking). Here's an example.