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Develop resumes and cover letters

Polish your resume for a positive impression, making the most of your skills and experience.

Resume and cover letter

Job applicants who have limited work experience can focus on these areas to stand out:

  1. First, highlight your experience from a variety of sources. Include school or training, internships, volunteer work, community activities, and even hobbies. Include paid work you have done, even if it’s unrelated, as any job history demonstrates that you have learned work tasks and have the ability to maintain a job.
  2. Help the employer understand how your skills, training and knowledge can contribute to their needs. Think about what you learned from your experiences, and relate that to the job. For example, if you have waited on customers and the job involves customer service, include a description of how you interacted with customers and any positive feedback you may have received. Include both your technical skills and soft skills.
  3. If you aren’t sure what the employer is looking for, read job postings for similar positions, review the company website, or call the Human Resources office to ask whether they would email you a position description.
  4. To ensure your resume passes an initial, online screening, follow these applicant tracking system guidelines for keywords and formatting. 
  5. Take extra steps to insure your resume represents you well. Make it easy to read, including good quality printing and paper. After spellchecking, ask at least two people with excellent proofreading skills to read through it and make sure any errors are caught and corrected.

Find detailed resume guidance and learn what to include in your cover letters.