Your resume and cover letter should be a distinctive representation of your brand. This guide is intended to be a quick cheat sheet to help you start thinking about content. The examples provided are just some of the many ways to structure and format your documents. You should review additional examples and consider other guides to make sure your resume and cover letter are unique. It’s okay to use a nickname, such as “Jon” instead of
“Jonathon” but avoid unprofessional nicknames. Also, make sure your email address is appropriate and includes your name.
Write 2 – 3 brief sentences that help the reader to immediately understand your brand. You’ll want to link your education and past experience with your short and long term goals. Also help the employer to understand how you can contribute to the organization.
Business capstone project or other relevant class projects
Clubs or associations
Study abroad experience
GPA/ academic honors
PROFESSIONAL (OR WORK) EXPERIENCE
Start to End Month/Year
More importantly than just describing what you did, try to answer at least
2 of the following questions in each bullet point:
Who did you do it for? Ex – “..produced reports for Vice President..”
When did you do it? Ex – “..on a daily basis..”
Why did you do it? Ex – “..to increase efficiency..”
How did you do it? Ex – “..using Microsoft Excel..”
What were the results? Ex – “..which increased sales by 5%..”
SKILLS, CERTIFICATIONS AND ACTIVITIES
Language and computer skills
Special licenses or certifications
Action Verb Examples
This section is optional. If your brand is already very clear with your education and experience, then it may not be necessary. But if you do use this section, title it
“Professional Summary” or “Summary of
Qualifications”. Employers generally do not like
“Objective” statements that are focused on what you hope to gain or learn in the position.
List all your degrees in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. You do not need to include high school or community college degrees.
These are just examples of bullet points you could include. You don’t have to have all of them and there may even be more that are specific to you.
List your experiences in chronological order starting with the most recent. You can also include significant volunteer experiences if they relate to your brand. You do not need to include every job you’ve ever had if it doesn’t relate, but watch for significant gaps in time.
Lead with the most impactful bullet point. You should have at least 2, but no more than 5 bullet points. Also, start each bullet with a strong verb (see examples below). Use adjectives and adverbs cautiously. If it is a current position, use present tense. If it is a former job, use past tense. Always use an active voice.
You don’t need all 3 of these titles in this section but it is an opportunity to highlight skills from above and add any additional qualifications or unique attributes.
However, be careful not to include religious or political affiliations.
If you are an international student seeking employment in the United States, consider adding a sentence at the bottom of your resume that says “Authorized to work in the US without need for company sponsorship” or
“Authorized to work in the US with company sponsorship”. Graduate Business Programs