There are three documents that should be included in your resume packet: a cover letter, your resume, and a thank you letter. All three documents should be presented on high quality stationary that is a neutral color. Use a printer that produces a high quality print, such as a laser jet printer.

The cover letter should follow a standard business letter format. The letter should be addressed to an individual by name. Design your opening paragraph using a strong positive statement that will stimulate the reader’s interest. In the next paragraph discuss your skills and experiences. Finally, let the reader know when you plan to contact him or her and thank him or her.

There are two styles of resumes: the chronological and the functional. The chronological resume is used to stress an individual’s work and academic experiences in a specific order. The functional resume is ideal for new graduates because it emphasizes your skills and performance. The functional resume consists of six large sections: the heading, career objective, work achievements, school achievements, personal, and references. The heading section should include both your school and permanent addresses. Write your career objective in sentence format using action verbs. The work achievements section should embrace your skills and abilities that ensure that you can do the job. Include all of your accomplishments in a positive, direct manner. The section on school achievements should include your academic accomplishments such as the Dean’s list and grade point average. Include the names and locations of the schools attended. In the personal section, you can include information about individual endeavors, such as how you paid your college tuition with earnings from a part-time job. The final section should indicate that references are available upon request. Remember to keep your resume short; do not exceed one page.

The thank you letter should be sent within one day following your interview. The letter should be short and to the point. Thank the individual for interviewing you. Include the date and position for which you interviewed. Let the individual know when you are available and that you are happy to supply any needed information.

Good Luck!

Beverly Farrell, Ph.D.