Resumes, Cover Letters, and more
Targeted materials are key to landing an interview, but writing them can be challenging. In almost every situation, these documents are the employer’s first impression of your skills and professionalism. As you craft each of these documents you are creating a personal brand for yourself that will precede your face-to-face interaction with an employer. Therefore, every communication should be flawless in spelling and grammar, consistent in content and message and tailored specifically to the employer, company and position.
Application materials you will need to prepare:
Additional correspondence and materials you should be prepared to include in your job search, networking, and graduate school application process might include:
Your references should be persons in positions of authority who have direct knowledge of your work or study habits, such as former supervisors, professors, advisors, or mentors. Before submitting your reference list, contact your references and ask if they are willing to serve as a reference and send them an updated copy of your resume to refresh their memory while talking to a future employer about your skills and qualifications. Check out the “How to” Guide for References for more information on the exact format for this important document. If an organization or graduate school requests a Letter of Recommendation, refer to that page for more detailed information. You may also need a Waiver Form for your letters of recommendation. Contact the Career Center if it is unclear which of these is being requested by the organization or school.
Networking is critical as you research industries or companies and search for opportunities for an internship or full-time job. Learn more on the Networking and Informational Interviewing page.
Job Inquiry Letter
As you search for open positions for an internship or full-time job you might need to reach out to an employer. These letters are frequently used when there are no open positions listed on the company’s website or if you can’t find the company’s employment page. In this letter you “inquire about employment opportunities” and explain why you’re interested in working for that company or in that industry. A job inquiry letter may be slightly less direct than a cover letter, but should still highlight relevant experiences.
Thank You Letters
Whether you meet with an employer or networking contact over the phone or in person, make sure you follow up with a thank you letter no more than 48 hours after you meet. As you draft your thank you letter think back to the conversation or look back at your notes and include specific examples from your discussion. Reminding the employer of specific details from the conversation shows your interest in the position, company, or industry, and your eagerness to learn. Be sure to proof read a thank you letter as thoroughly as if it were a formal cover letter.
If you need more help…
The Career Center also offers individual appointments if you need additional support in preparing your application materials. Call to schedule an appointment.