Resumes and Cover Letters
Your resume is an important vehicle that can earn you an invitation for a job interview. It is an opportunity to present yourself, illustrating your finest attributes and experiences. The resume provides a potential employer with a written portrait of who you are, including your interests, skills, experiences, and achievements.
Plan carefully. Make this initial impression positive and enduring to prospective employers.
PSWS students and alumni can upload resumes on the Nittany Lion Career Network
- Important Elements of your Resume
- Formatting your Resume
- Points to Remember
- Common Resume Writing Mistakes
- Tips for Preparing a Cover Letter
- Action Words for use in Resumes and Cover Letters
- Your Functional/Transferable Skills in 244 Verbs
The Purpose of the Resume
The resume is often the pivotal item determining whether or not you will obtain an interview. It represents you in the initial screening, so you need to demonstrate in your resume that you have the knowledge, abilities, and experience relevant to the particular job you are seeking.
You may need several versions of your resume if you are looking for different types of jobs. Tailor the resume to each type of job; a general, 'generic' resume gets far fewer interviews. You need to write different resumes for each company you are contacting.
Where can I go for help with my resume?
Career Services offers a variety of services to help students prepare effective resumes. If you would like assistance in getting a resume started or have written a resume and would like to have it reviewed, call Career Services at 570-963-2690.
Seminars on resume writing, interviewing, internships, and job search strategies will be offered in-class by faculty invitation.
Expanding your Resume
What employers expect today's top candidates to possess:
- Good academic standing (keep your grades up!)
- Community and volunteer experiences (check out http://www.volunteermatch.org/)
- Club and organizational involvement (also Intramural and Varsity sports--see Penn State Athletics on the web!)
- Relevant work & internship experiences (consider a job or internship related to your major to gain experience)
- Experiences that are different from other candidates (i.e., study abroad, internships, membership in professional organizations)
The Ultimate Resume Builder
Set Yourself Apart from the Pack:
Joining a professional organization helps to build and round out your resume, and allows you to grow professionally and interface with professionals in your field.
Joining a professional organization looks great on your resume. You will have the opportunity to read articles from authors in your chosen fields and see them present at conferences where you can network with other professionals.
Go to your favorite search engine and type in Professional Organizations (ex. Marketing). Investigate your results and see what they are all about. Click on memberships. Check out student memberships and investigate better pricing, often much less than what professionals in your field are paying. As a student member, you get the same journals and newsletters as well as invitations to local and national conferences where you can interact and meet prominent authors and scholars.
Believe it or not, as a student member you can submit proposals to present at most conferences. What a resume builder!!