Resumes, Cover Letters & CVs
Career Services offers assistance in every aspect of writing, formatting and proofreading resumes, cover letters and curriculum vitae including.
Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Idaho Commons Room 334 to meet with a Career Advisor.
- Overall design should be neat, balanced, consistent, easy to read and logically organized.
- Typically, resumes are one page, but can be as long as two.
- Information categories should be listed in order of importance according based on the position.
- Specific experience under each category should be listed in reverse chronological order.
- Details under each specific experience should be listed starting with the most significant or relevant first.
- Focus on describing accomplishments or skills developed, rather than listing duties. Almost anyone can perform a duty, but not everyone accomplishes something or learns from an experience.
- Use active verbs to begin details under each specific experience. Use key words from the job description. Download a list of action verbs ».
- Employers tend to prefer bulleted, concise, relevant and accurate details under experience. Short lines of text make it easier to pick out details.
- Avoid the use of personal pronouns.
- Margins should be consistent all the way around. One inch to approximately .5 inch margins are recommended.
- Use size 10-12 font with larger headings. Be conservative in font style. We suggest Arial, Times New Roman or Tahoma.
- Use graphics, bold, italics and underlined text judiciously. Don't let styling distract from content.
- Proofread multiple times. Career Services can help. Please email email@example.com for assistance.
- Use resume paper when printing. If sending electronically, save as a PDF to retain formatting.
- Name, mailing address, phone number, email address, links to portfolios and/or Linkedin
- Education and training
- Work, internship, volunteerism and other significant experiences
- Skills such as technology, equipment and foreign languages
- Licenses, accreditations and/or certifications
- Honors, awards and achievements
- Service activities, leadership, clubs and organizations
- Personal data such as height, weight, age, marital status, race, ethnicity, religion, date of birth or a photograph
- Social Security number
- Reasons for leaving a job
- Early childhood experiences
- Weaknesses, demands or exaggerations
- Long paragraphs — use short statements or bulleted lists
- Hobbies unless pertinent to position
- References are typically listed on a separate document and given only when requested
- Cover letters are typically one page and briefly elaborate qualifications for the job. It's an opportunity to add context and detail to resume information.
- A letter of qualification is similar to a cover letter, but addresses each item of qualification in the job description. It is often longer than one page. Download example »
- Target concisely to the desired position.
- Connect skills to the company's needs and wants. Show, don't just tell, how what you offer matches what they seek.
- Support each skill or qualification with specific examples of education or experience.
- Use the language of your field and key words from the job description. However, make sure the letter is understandable to any reader and not just those from your field.
- Avoid informal language, such as slang, contractions and acronyms.
- Be confident, but do not exaggerate.
- Proofread multiple times. Career Services can help. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Use standard business letter format.
- Use the same font and paper as your resume.
- If printed, sign it in ink. If sending electronically, type your name and save as a PDF.
- CVs are similar to a resume, but more detailed and not limited in length.
- CVs are commonly used in higher education and focus on academic pursuits. They are also used in applying for research positions in industry and as documentation in grant proposals.
- Internationally, the terms “resume” and “curriculum vitae” may be used interchangeably. Check with the organization to determine what is needed.
- Resumes/CVs for positions with organizations outside the U.S often have different requirements. Email us at email@example.com for more information.
- Like a resume, order categories of information from most to least important, and list items chronologically.
- Be accurate and concise. Edit for grammar and spelling. Career Advisors can help review your CV.
- Use conservative fonts and approximately 0.7-1 inch margins all around. Format neatly and organize logically.
- Focus on accomplishments rather than simple duties. Numbers and percentages add a sense of tangible proof — use whenever appropriate.
- Use the language of the field, but avoid overuse of jargon, acronyms and abbreviations.
- Cite publications accurately and in the style of your field. Humanities tend to call for MLA or Chicago style. Use APA style for business, psychology and most sciences.
Like a resume, order CV categories by importance to the field. Categories listed first tend to get noticed more.
- Name, email, phone number, mailing address, links to portfolio and/or LinkedIn
- Education and training
- Work experiences, internships, assistantships
- Research experiences
- Teaching experiences
- Administrative experience
- Areas of knowledge or interest
- Projects, works and performances
- Certificates, licenses and credentials
- Publications (authored or contributed to) including: articles, books, dissertation, thesis, other scholarly works
- Conferences, workshops, and programs attended and/or presented
- Skills such as: languages, technical, computer
- Fellowships, grants, or other funding
- Service activities (community, college, profession)
- Academic awards and accomplishments
- Affiliations or memberships
- International experiences
- Other awards and honors (outside of academia)