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Resumes and Cover Letters

University of Wisconsin–Madison

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You want to demonstrate to your prospective employer within the limited space you have that you have a variety of skills. So, if you have had similar jobs, choose different skills to highlight under each job heading.

For example, if you have two food service jobs on your resume and are applying to a non-food related customer service job, instead of casting your job as. Make your choice based on which job involved more managing perhaps you managed only 10 tables at your other food service job and which involved more collaboration. An exception to this rule is if you are applying for a field-specific job in which you have much experience. Then, you use the repetition of the field-specific verb to emphasize the amount of experience you have in that field.

Use active verbs in a telegraphic verb first style to describe the responsibilities you had in a particular job. So, when you can, try to use an active verb that shows you taking an action. For example, "helped" and "assisted" are both active verbs, but they frequently fail to portray the applicant as an actor. Instead of "Helped my advisor research However, make your active verb choices based on the skills required for your job or keywords in the job description.

If the word assist has a specific technical meaning in your field, then you would want to use that verb on your resume. One important strategy for attracting the interest of an employer is to try to include in your resume, whenever possible, some of the keywords from the job description you are applying for.

Many employers use search engines to find candidates with resumes containing certain keywords. Even if you submit a resume directly to a prospective employer, your audience will likely glance over the document, scanning it for certain keywords from the job description.

When you are tailoring your resume to fit a specific job, make sure you spend some time identifying the keywords in the job description, which include specific skills or tasks the job requires. We also recommend consulting with someone in your field about keywords in your specific area. Then, when possible, make sure to include those keywords in your resume. It's common advice to include quantitative measures or information on resumes, but, as with all other information included on your resume, you have to make a choice based on whether quantifying will help you stand out as a better candidate for the job than you would have seemed had you not quantified.

If you had leadership or management responsibilities, how many employees or volunteers did you supervise? If you handled investments, how many assets did you manage? However, if you are applying for a teaching job, you want to include the number of students in each class you have taught in the past, because teaching three students is very different from teaching twenty students.

With a resume, formatting is part of what makes it easy for a potential employer to scan the document.

Therefore, ensure your formatting makes your resume easy to read, rather than trying to make it stand out by calling attention to the formatting. Here are some good rules of thumb for resume formatting:. See our advice on sections to include for more information on optional sections. Standard margins are 1 inch all around. As with all writing, a resume will benefit from revision based on feedback from multiple audiences.

If you are a UW-Madison student, you have many great resources available to you. For individual feedback on a draft resume, these offices are a great resource, but we also recommend you consult with professors who know your field.

We see many resumes from all kinds of students in the Writing Center, and our instructors will help you fit your resume to your particular audience based on the job description you provide. To make an appointment, call or submit your resume via email and hear from an instructor within 3 business days. You can also work with us on a first come first served basis via Skype or at one of our satellites.

To learn more about our various services, see this page. Resume Writing Tips The least you need to know about writing a resume. Click on the links below to be taken directly to a certain section of the page, or scroll down to read about all of our tips Types of resumes Sections to include Breadth, not depth Active verbs Keywords Quantify when appropriate Formatting Get feedback Sample resumes Types of resumes There are three different kinds of resumes: Chronological The chronological resume lists past and present experiences in reverse chronological order.

Skills-based Skills-based resumes base resume sections around specific skills related to the job. Combined The combination resume is the type of resume we most commonly see in the Writing Center.

Required Sections Section Name Details Contact Information This section should be at the top of your page and include your name, your phone number, your address, and your email. See our samples to get a sense of what this section should look like. Education Starting with college, include which school you are attending, your major, your degree type, and your expected degree year. Only include your GPA if it will impress your employer above a 3. Work Experience This is the heart of your resume.

Include your job title, your employer, the time span you worked, and the location where you worked. Use your active verbs and keywords to describe work experience in bullet points with two to three bullets under each job. Use present tense verbs for current jobs and past tense verbs for past jobs. Honors and Awards An honors and awards section highlights that you have been recognized as exceptional in an area relevant to your job.

The section should come close to the beginning of your resume and include the name of the award and the year received. Optional Sections Section Name Details Other Experience This section is a space to describe community service or other extracurricular experience that might be relevant to the job. As with the "Work Experience" section, include your title for some this may just be "Member" , the organization name, the time span you were involved, and where the activity was located.

Choose which activities you include based on what might be of interest to your potential employer. Objective The objective is a sentence included at the very beginning of your resume, right after your contact information, that states your goals in submitting the resume. Since objectives frequently repeat job titles or descriptions, which are likely included elsewhere in your application, not everyone agrees about whether you should include an objective statement.

We recommend consulting with someone in your field about whether to include this section in your resume. Languages This section includes a list of the languages you know and your level of knowledge Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Fluent. If you speak an uncommon language e.

Remember these are only samples, but make your resume work for you:. Cover Letters provide a more in-depth explanation of your resume, relevant experiences and your immediate career goals.

It is usually a response to specific job postings, but can also be used as a follow-up. A good cover letter should paint a picture of what you will bring to this job experience, and how it aligns with your goals and skills. Your cover letters should be specific to each employer. Cover Letter How to Guide with Sample. Looking for a specific department? Our undergraduate majors The college offers 12 undergraduate majors and an array of certificates to broaden your education. Information you need to have: Include your name, email, address and phone number.

What kind of job do you want? Include degree level, major, date and university Include GPA: Highlight any directly related experience this can vary based on who you are sending your resume to Include sections of your choice, such as: Use phrases, avoid personal pronouns; use action verbs i.

For each experience, list your duties and accomplishments. Be quantitative, if possible. Use descriptive words such as proficient, advanced, etc.

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Cover Letters provide a more in-depth explanation of your resume, relevant experiences and your immediate career goals. It is usually a response to specific job postings, but can also be used as a .

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Additionally, if you are a student at UW-Madison, the Writing Center would be happy to give you a writing teacher’s feedback on a resume draft. We see many resumes from all kinds of students in the Writing Center, and our instructors will help you fit your resume to your particular audience based on the job description you provide.

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Resumes & Cover Letters; Academics. Undergraduate Academics. Choosing a Major; Using resume samples can help you understand how a resume should look. Remember these are only samples, but make your resume work for you: You can support The College of Engineering by making a gift to the University of Wisconsin Foundation. Give Today. The Wisconsin BBA Career Advising Team, Grainger Hall, offers several resources to help you evaluate what’s important to you, learn about business careers and industries and put all .

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We are committed to providing the support you need to help you succeed! Student support at UW-Madison reaches beyond finances. Our faculty and staff at the School of Music care deeply about their students. We encourage students to take advantage of these postings to improve their resumes while earning a few extra dollars along the way. Find resume service in Madison, WI on Yellowbook. Get reviews and contact details for each business including videos, opening hours and more.