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RESUMES & COVER LETTERS. Julie F. Johnson, Ph.D. Assistant Director Experiential Education and Career Services James W. Stuckert Career Center University of Kentucky January 20 th , 2009. A successful resume . . . Focuses on skills Uses action words to describe experience

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resumes cover letters


Julie F. Johnson, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Experiential Education and Career Services

James W. Stuckert Career Center

University of Kentucky

January 20th , 2009

a successful resume
A successful resume . . .
  • Focuses on skills
  • Uses action words to describe experience
  • Is easy to read and understand
  • Is free of gimmicks
  • Is no more than two pages(one, if possible)
a successful resume1
A successful resume . . .
  • Is grammatically correct and free of errors
  • Does not use “I,” contractions or abbreviations
  • Is printed on high-quality paper (white/ivory color, 8-1/2x11)
  • Presents information in reverse chronological order (most recent first)

resume formats
Resume Formats
  • Chronological Format
    • Emphasizes employment history in a progressive sequence
  • Functional Format
    • Emphasized skills, abilities, credentials, qualifications
  • Combination (best of both worlds)
    • Brief synopsis of market value, followed by chronological employment history
content of your resume
Content of your Resume
  • Identification/Contact Information
  • Objective
  • Education
  • Professional Experience
  • Skills
  • Awards
  • Memberships/Professional Affiliations
  • Related Activities/Accomplishments
contact information
Contact Information

Name, Address, Telephone, E-mail

  • Avoid nicknames
  • Use a permanent address(may choose to show two addresses)
  • Use a permanent telephone number (check greeting, alert family/roommates)
  • Use an appropriate email address
  • No personal information or pictures

An objective tells potential employers the type of work you would like to do.

  • Clear and concise
  • No summaries; no long term goals
  • Tailor your objective to each employer/job you seek
  • Be specific about the job you want
  • Degree, major, date received
  • University, City, State
  • GPA if 3.0 or higher
  • May also mention additional education-related items such as academic honors, certificates or licenses, relevant courses, etc., briefly here
sample entry
Sample Entry
  • Bachelor of Arts, Integrated Strategic Communication, May 2006
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
  • GPA 3.6
  • Dean’s List four semesters
  • National Design Award Winner
  • Who’s Who Among Students in American
  • Universities and Colleges
  • Languages
    • both fluent and conversational
  • Computer programs and systems
    • especially industry specific software or systems (Quark, Photoshop, etc.)
  • Special skills
    • photography, advertising, web, etc.
  • Title of position
  • Name of organization
  • Location of work (city, state)
  • Dates of employment
  • Description of responsibilities using action words, with emphasis on specific skills (bulleted items are best if space allows; not recommended for electronic submission)
  • Who, What, Where, When?
sample entry1
Sample Entry
  • Publicity Intern, Spring Semester 2006
  • Department of Theatre
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Managed publicity for three main stage productions
  • Created marketing plan for on-campus promotions
  • Designed posters and other promotional materials using Quark desktop publishing software
  • Wrote press releases
  • Coordinated print and radio advertising
volunteer experience
Volunteer Experience
  • Include volunteer experiences where they fit best
    • Related volunteer work may be included under the “Experience” heading and described in the same format
    • Other volunteer work might fit better under “Activities”
  • Make sure headings agree with subjects under them
activities and or affiliations
Activities and/or Affiliations
  • List relevant activities and affiliations
  • List positions and participation
  • May include skills acquired and used
  • May include accomplishments
  • Create a separate page for references
  • Make sure your name is on it(may use same heading as resume)
  • Include name, title, organization, address, phone, and email for each contact (at least 3)
  • Send references only when requested
  • Take copies to the interview
  • Do not need to say “available upon request”
  • Have references available on separate page
  • Most employers check at least three
  • They should be individuals who can attest to your work habits and qualifications for a particular position
  • Professor, Supervisor, Co-worker, Advisor, Coach, avoid personal references unless specified by employer
  • ASK before you use anyone as a reference—confirm that they are willing and that they will give a good reference
  • Send them a resume
  • Let them know where you are in the application/interview process
resume mishaps
Resume Mishaps
  • “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”
  • “I am a rabid typist.”
  • “Supervised and mentored sex employees.”
  • “It is best for employers that I not work with people.”
  • “Responsibilities included checking people out.”
video with helpful hints
Video with Helpful Hints

cover letter
Cover Letter
  • Also called Application Letter
  • Provides a context in which to read your resume
  • Shows your writing style and personality
  • Personal, warm tone—but still professional
cover letters
Cover Letters
  • Full block format (flush left), one page
  • Addressed to a specific individual with his/her correct title and business address
  • Tailored for each situation(know your audience and their needs)
  • Should be work-centered and employer-centered; not self-centered
  • Most important facts first, supported by facts
cover letter 3 or 4 paragraphs
Cover Letter—3 or 4 Paragraphs
  • Introduction, who you are, what you are applying for
  • Summarizes education, background, experience, and strengths in a way that shows how you fit the position
  • Thanks, express enthusiasm, will follow-up, end with a strength