A prospective employer will form their first impression of you based upon your resume. The ultimate goal of your resume is to get you an interview.
Each time you send out a resume, you will need to include a focused, well-written cover letter specific to that position. Research the company and position ahead of time to understand their needs and culture, then clarify precisely how your skills and background will contribute to the specific position and the organization.
Elements of a Cover Letter
If asked to submit references, add them on a separate sheet devoted solely to listing reference information. Your references should be primarily supervisors from jobs or volunteer positions. Use only one character reference if possible. Before listing anyone as a reference, be sure you talk to the person first, and ensure that he or she is willing to provide you with a positive reference!
Your reference page should clearly indicate your name and contact information, just as it is listed on your resume. Follow with the name, title, address, phone number, and email address of each reference you list. You’ll generally want to list 3–5 references, unless the job posting specifies something different.
Print your reference page on the same paper you use for your resume and cover letter, and send it with these documents when you apply for a position. Take an extra copy along with you when you meet with the employer for an interview.
After an interview, always send a thank you email right away followed up with a thank you letter or handwritten note. Each letter should reiterate:
If you met with several people, mention them by name and send individual emails.
A curriculum vitae, also known as a CV, includes a summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details.
In the United States, a curriculum vitae is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions. It is also applicable when applying for fellowships or grants.
In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers expect to receive a curriculum vitae.
A portfolio or work sample is typically required in several professions including teaching, marketing, fashion design and others. Portfolios are used to illustrate your skills, your growth and to show the quality of your work. Be sure to save digital and hardcopies of your student work that may be useful later.
Portfolios may include: fashion drawings, websites you’ve created, writing samples, other creative work, news articles about you, testimonials, evaluations, conferences you have attended or presented at. Creative fields may prefer to see a series of works-in-progress to illustrate how your work evolves through a project.
Contact Career Development to get access to ePortfolio software you can use to organize and share your work samples electronically with employers.
Education portfolios have specific requirements.