Resume/Cover Letter and Tips

     Creating a resume can be an overwhelming task, especially the first time around. 

Here is a lists of Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind when creating a resume:

• Create a crisp, clean, professional appearance with a simple, balanced, and well-organized format.
• Space sections so that the reader can distinguish main headings from position descriptions, activities, etc.
• Maintain consistent indentation, capitalization, font style, and spacing.
• Use the active voice.
• Quantify accomplishments when possible.
• Begin phrases with action verbs that emphasize your accomplishments.

• Use more than two font types or sizes.
• Round up your GPA. (Keep at 2 decimals unless exact at 1 decimal.)
• Use flashy graphics or print that is difficult to read, e.g., ✑.
• Use “my,” “I,” or other personal pronouns.
• Exaggerate your experience or modify job titles.
• Include personal information such as social security number, age, marital status, etc.
• Abbreviate (except for states).
• Use trite phrases such as “seeking a challenging position” or “to obtain a meaningful position working with people.”
• Include your citizenship unless you’re concerned it might not be apparent from your name and/or address and it is required for the position. If you’re uncertain, speak with a career advisor.
• Use the passive voice.
• Include generic interests such as reading, traveling, sports.


Read more tips and tricks to achieve the perfect resume in Cornell's Career Guide

To view sample resumes by major and experience level visit Cornell's Resume Samples.

     Cover letters are an important component of your job-search materials to convey your value to employers.

You’ll use them to:

  • Introduce yourself to prospective employers and motivate them to read your resume.
  • State your career interests and highlight your strengths in relation to job responsibilities and/or organizations.
  • Demonstrate your writing skills, professionalism, and courtesy.
  • Reveal your personality and enthusiasm for the position, organization, and field.

To view sample cover letters and learn about what to include in one visit Virginia Tech's Cover letter samples

     Other ways to improve your application is to create a LinkedIn profile and keep it updated as it can be a source of employment in the future. Another way to improve your application is by creating a personal site where you display and describe your past projects and who you are. However, to gather this information you will need to participate in as many projects, organizations, internships, etc to gain experience and make your resume flourish.

Prepared by Mena Abdel-Maguid