Tips for College Student Writing Resumes and Cover LettersBy Heather Eagar
If you are a college student, you may not yet be accustomed to writing resumes and cover letters. However, the time will soon come where you’ll need to learn in order to secure an on- or off-campus job, internship, or job after graduating.
You’ll be happy to know that the process is not difficult. It’s just a matter of gathering your experiences and organizing them effectively. So to give you a jump start on the writing process, let’s look at some ways you can utilize your current skills and talents to create great cover letters and resumes for the jobs you want.
Think of the Purpose of Your Resume
Though you may feel like a novice resume writer, if you set your sites on the purpose behind creating your resume, you’ll find that even your first one can be very successful. So what is the purpose? To engage the hiring manager by displaying the many ways you are qualified for the position you want.
Of course, if you are new to the workforce, you may not have a great deal of experience to list on your resume. However, you can list other information, like volunteering efforts or community service projects, technical or computer skills, coursework and GPA (if over 3.0), skills acquired through internships and summer jobs, awards, and any positive personal characteristics that show the employer you are a good fit for their company. Highlighting this information showcases your strengths, and offers insight into your potential as a great employee.
Research, Research, Research before Writing Your Cover Letter
The most important thing you can do when writing your cover is research the job and company you’re applying with. This way, you can not only get the inside track on what the company is looking for in an intern or employee, but also tailor your skills and experience to match the position you want.
For instance, let’s say you are applying for an internship with a design company because you are pursuing a degree in fashion. First, you’ll want to research the company’s mission to learn their organizational culture. Then you’ll want to make sure the skills you have match that culture, as well as the job you want. If you’ve tailored outfits for your friends or sewed costumes for your church’s play, tell them about it. You can use your experiences to date, alongside an explanation of your passion for the field, to illustrate a great picture of why you’re qualified for the position.
Consider the Layout Design
Because you may not have a lot of information to include on your resume, it is that much more important that you consider the layout design. If you don’t want yours looking like everyone else’s, you may want to avoid MS Word templates. You can look for really creative designs at your career center or on the Internet to help you organize your information. That way, your resume will not only be informative, but eye-catching as well.