Gabriel Sim is the ambassador for the NYU Wasserman Career Center, and she led a workshop on how to write a resume and cover letter. Looking for a summer internship? See a summary of her tips below.
Writing an effective resume and cover letter is a skill. It takes hard work, patience, and many iterations, but is definitely rewarding when mastered. In the end, a resume and cover letter work in tandem to tell the employer or recruiter the narrative that YOU are the right person for the job. But where to begin? Here are some tips on how to get started. Good luck!
Appearance and formatting are important. Your resume should be one page, have ½ to 1-inch margins, and have 10 to 12-point font (your name is an exception and can be up to 16-point font). Bold, underline, and italicize your headings to make them stand out. Use bullet points to increase the readability of the document.
The content of the resume should include identifying information, education, and experience. The identifying information section should be centered at the top of your resume and includes your name, address, phone number, and school email. The education section includes school, expected graduation date, major, minors, and GPA if it is 3.0 or above. The experience section can include part-time jobs, full-time jobs, internships, volunteer work, community service, military service, leadership experience, and more. Take the time to customize your experience section to the position that you’re applying for.
Update the education section of your resume to reflect your study away experience. Include your study away location (Prague), the coursework you took, and the dates you were away for (e.g. Fall 2018).
Each experience you list should also contain a brief description of your position and your responsibilities. Strive to do this in 2-5 bullet points and be as specific as possible.
Ask yourself: Can I pass the 30-second test? Employers can scan your resume in 10-30 seconds and determine if you have the necessary skills and experiences they’re looking for. In order to pass the test, make sure you have thoroughly read the job description and that your resume clearly shows how you have the right skillset and experiences to excel for that specific position.
A cover letter should be addressed to a specific person and contain 3-4 paragraphs of content.
A cover letter is a tool you can use to demonstrate your written communication skills. In this way, make sure that your writing is clear and organized and that you don’t have any spelling or grammar mistakes.
A cover letter should include your pitch, your experience, and a conclusion. Your pitch should explain how you found out about the position and why you want to work for the specific person/company. Your experience section should elaborate on 2-3 key experiences that show how you have the abilities, skills, and qualifications to fulfil the responsibilities outlined in the job description. Your conclusion should reiterate your interest in the position, provide them with your contact information, and make it clear that you’re interested in potentially moving forward with an interview.