RESUME AND OTHER CORRESPONDENCE
In order to achieve your career goals, there are several documents you will need to prepare that require you to write in a professional manner. In some cases, such as the resume and curriculum vitae, there are prescribed formats that employers expect you to follow. Fortunately, the UNT Career Center has the expertise, information and resources you need to guide you through this process. Samples of appropriate documents are provided.
Your resume is a critical tool to help you reach YOUR career goals! A succinct and carefully crafted resume can improve your chances of landing the interview. Your resume should be tailored to the specific job requirements referenced in the posting — emphasizing your relevant experience and skills in the areas that are critical to that position. Specific key words referenced in the posting or description should be incorporated in your resume. The goal is to show that you are a candidate who matches what the employer is looking for and your document aligns with electronic screening methods. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are software programs that manage the hiring processes for companies. The ATS matches resumes with open positions by searching for keywords from the job description.
Resume Builder is a feature of Big Interview that can help you with writing an effective resume. Watch this video to learn more about this helpful resource.
Steps to Resume Building:
- Gather details about your experiences: jobs, internships, part-time and summer work, school involvement, volunteering, course projects and research, and other leadership activities. Think about specific accomplishments achieved. Consider skills learned that can apply to your future position – carefully read the job description and look for matches.
- Choose a resume format:
There are several resume formats. Your career interest, major, and experiences will determine the best one. See your Career Coach for additional help.
- Chronological: Highlights responsibilities that you had while at a specific job, internship or class project.
- Students who choose this format should have had at least 2 experiences with responsibilities that pertain to their area of career interest, or one job with extensive career-related experience
- Preferred format
- Functional: Highlights your skills and abilities that you have acquired through various experiences. This format is for students with little to no experience that pertains to their area of interest.
- Creative: Allows you to showcase your creativity, skills, and brand.
- Has a more unique layout and format – is more memorable.
- Can incorporate infographics
- May incorporate color and graphics
- Fields where a creative resume makes sense: (Consider the company and application process first.)
- Graphic design/web design
- Visual arts
- Startups/innovative new companies
Contact the Career Coach for your College for a specialized recommendation based upon your unique situation and major.
Resume Resources and Samples:
- How to Construct Each Section of Your Resume
- Chronological Resume Template
- Functional Resume Template
- Action Verbs
A Cover Letter may or not be required in the application process. However, if you submit one it should sum up how your experiences fit the requirements of the position. A brief yet impactful cover letter can highlight your accomplishments and encourage the reader to want to learn more about you and what you can offer the organization!
Key points in writing a Cover Letter (Can be the body of an email): Typically, three paragraphs
- Introduce yourself, briefly identify your academic and employment background, refer to the position, and explain how you heard about the position
- Can also be a letter of interest for future opportunities or that someone has recommended you for the job – give details about the referral
- Pick out qualifications from the job description and state how you have demonstrated them. Give specific examples of how your experience aligns with the requirements.
- Write that you have attached or included your resume
- Ask for further action and wrap up. An interview, meeting or discussion. Provide contact information and thank the reader.
Cover Letter Resources and Samples:
THANK YOU LETTERS
Write email thank you letters! The goal is to show courtesy, professional communication, and stand out among the competition.
Key Points in Writing a Thank You Letter:
- Send within 24 hours of an interview or meeting with recruiter
- Ask for business cards so you have the correct contact and spelling information
- Send one to each person in the interview
- Reiterate your interest in the job and company
- Reference a specific and noteworthy part of the meeting
- Use appropriate subject line (reference job), write professionally, and proofread
CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)
Used in pursuing academic and research opportunities rather than the resume, which is briefer and geared toward private industry jobs.
In the United States, a resume is a short (usually one page) summary of education and work experience, whereas a Curriculum Vitae, also known as a CV, is a longer document with more academic and professional details. Oftentimes a CV refers to an academic resume. However, in Europe and in some other countries, resume and CV are used interchangeably.
Basic Sections of the CV
- Heading: Name, email address, mailing address (your most current), and phone number
- Education: List academic degrees, with in progress or most recently earned first.
- Name of institution, city and state, degree type and major, month and year degree was (or will be) awarded
- Thesis title and advisor, if applicable
- Relevant Experience: List positions that show off your skills and expertise. You can group experiences into relevant categories to enhance your CV (e.g., Research, Teaching, and Administration). For each position, include:
- Title, organization name, city and state, dates position was held.
- Bullet points that summarize your activities/duties, accomplishments, and successes. Use action verbs.
- Publications: Give bibliographic citations for articles, pamphlets, chapters in books, research reports, or any other publications that you have authored or co-authored. Use the format appropriate to your particular academic discipline for a clean look. Indicate if publications are pending, when applicable.
- Presentations (Oral and Poster): Give titles of professional presentations, name of conference or event, dates and location, and, if appropriate in your discipline, also include a brief description. Use the format appropriate to your particular academic discipline for a consistent and clean look.
- Honors and Awards: Receipt of competitive scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships; names of scholastic honors; teaching or research awards.
- References: Three to five are appropriate. If you are responding to an advertisement that asks for references, include those requested on a separate addendum sheet.
Notes on Editing: For this section, you will likely want to receive feedback from a trusted professor or academic advisor. Sections and length can vary depending on area of study, so be sure to have a respected academic voice edit for consistency and clarity.
Optional Sections of the CV
- Technical Skills and Certifications: It may be appropriate to list special technical skills, language skills or relevant certifications from your area of study.
- Grants Received: Include name of grant, name of granting agency, date received, and title or purpose of research project.
- Institutional Service: List institutional committees you have served on, including offices held, student groups you have supervised, or special academic projects you have assisted with.
- Professional Associations: Memberships in national, regional, state, and local professional organizations. Also, list significant appointments to positions or committees in these associations. Student memberships in professional associations are appropriate.
- Recent/Current Research: Description of research projects recently conducted or in progress. Include the type of research and a brief description of the purpose.
- Community Involvement: Appropriate and relevant volunteer work, church work, community service organizations, etc. Avoid listing involvement from more than 7-10 years ago.
- Educational Travel: (Only if applicable) Names of countries, dates, purpose.