Resumes & Letters
Starting a resume can be difficult, but the best way is to jump right in and start brainstorming your experiences. Call 559.278.2381 to set up an appointment with a counselor and they can help go over the basics. You can also visit the office during walk-in hours or attend a resume writing workshop.
Below are some resume samples to give you some ideas:
Also make sure to review the resume writing handouts and Career Matters Handbook on our Publications page.
What is the Difference between a Vita and a Resume? A vita and a resume both have similar purposes in that they are marketing documents that represent you as a professional and provide key information about your education, experience, skills and personal qualities to possible employers.
They differ, however, in their use, format and length.
CURRICULUM VITAE (also called a CV or Vita)
- A comprehensive biographical statement used instead of a resume for primarily academic audiences, education, science and teaching positions.
- Designed to present a complete picture of the breadth and depth of academic experience a person has accumulated
- Content will include lists of publications, presentations, honors, grants, and teaching experience. Very little of this would be included on a resume
- Multiple pages in length
- Note: Curriculum Vita is also the term used to describe the resume format for many jobs abroad. Other countries do not limit the use of a CV to the academic or research setting, so make sure you know the accepted resume/CV format for the field and country in which you are applying
- A summary of qualifications for a particular position
- Designed to sell your relevant skill set and experience to an employer
- Should be limited to two pages at most and many employers prefer one page
- Tends toward brevity, using a bulleted format
- Resume should include only those skills that are relevant to the job for which a person is applying
If you are uncertain as to whether you should use a vita or a resume, you should discuss the matter with a mentor, career counselor, or trusted member of the field. It could be helpful to ask yourself the question “Is my academic scholarship relevant for this position?” If the answer is “yes” then you are probably going to want to use a vita. Most likely, if you are applying to graduate school after recently completing your bachelor’s degree, you will use a resume format as you do not have an extended academic background yet.
What to Include in a CV
|Academic Preparation||Grants Received||Professional Service|
|Programs and Workshops||Fellowships||Creative Works|
|Professional Affiliations||Honors and Awards||Research Interests|
|Professional Experience||Dissertation||Teaching Interests|
|Languages||Committee Leadership||Special Training|
|Licensure||Consulting Experience||Community Involvement|
A vita should not include: sex, age, height, weight, marital status, dependents, race, ethnic background, religion, political affiliation, or photographs. Do not use double entries. In other words do not list a citation more than once. It appears that you are loading the vita in order to impress a reader.It is important that a vita be up to date. A careful review of a vita should be done prior to sending it out. Add new information such as projects that are completed or associations joined. It is suggested that you include the date your vita was updated (month and year) on page one.
Curriculum Vitae Guidelines/Samples
Take the time to make your letter personalized and to illustrate a true fit between you and the organization.
Cover Letter Sample (PDF)
Many cover letters take a three paragraph form. There are no hard and fast rules to writing a cover letter, but the following share what you might want to include in each paragraph:
- Opening Paragraph: State your reason for applying to the organization (including the name of the position or vocational area in which you are interested). Indicate the source of your information about the position or the organization. Tell the employer why you are particularly interested in the company.
- Middle Paragraph: Introduce your enclosed/attached resume and indicate a few qualifications which you possess that would be most valued by the prospective employer. Include a brief statement regarding your educational background, skills, leadership, employment and volunteer experience. Also, participation in related student clubs and organizations may be added.
- Closing Paragraph: Close your letter by requesting an interview. Also indicate how you can be reached if they have any questions or need further information. Be sure to thank the employer for considering your request.
- Use the same header (with your name and contact information) on your resume and cover letter to make application materials look consistent
- If you are sending a cover letter electronically, you can include it in the document with your resume to minimize the amount of clicks an employer has to make to read your application materials
- As with your resume, try to send it in a pdf, so you can ensure the employer is seeing what you see and the word document is not altered at all
For more information, look at our Career Development Center Handbook online or pick up a hard copy in our office (Thomas 103). You may also make an appointment with a counselor for review of your cover letter. Call 559.278.2381 to schedule an appointment today.
Having a detailed resume for federal opportunities is extremely important. Federal resumes are also unlike the private industry. These resumes require information that the private sector does not; such as detailed addresses of employers, salary information and other detailed information. Including all of these details is necessary for your resume to be accepted.
Federal Resume-Writing Guide (PDF)
Federal resume samples: