Job Search Sample Documents

Job Tracking & Networking Documents

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Assessing your interests and choosing a major and career path are only the first steps on the path to your future. To get the internship or job you want requires preparation and an organized search. Essential to any successful search are the marketing tools you need to present yourself as a competitive candidate – your resume, cover letter, and online presence. Interviewing skills are also key. Your resume and cover letter may get you the interview, but your performance in the interview is what gets you the job.


The single most important function of your resume is to generate an interview by “selling” your qualifications, including your abilities, accomplishments, and potential, as a job candidate. The most challenging part is that it has to be done in about 6-15 seconds, the average time devoted to the first reading of most resumes. Therefore, like any good advertisement, your resume must focus the reader’s attention immediately on your most valuable skills and qualifications.

The first step in writing a good resume is to examine yourself, the “product,” to determine what you have to offer as an employee, considering your unique combination of educational and work background. As the “consumer,” the employer is looking for someone to fill a particular need in his/her organization, and it is your task to determine what the employer is looking for and show how your qualifications are a good match.

There isn’t one perfect way to write or format a resume. You need to determine which format is right for your particular situation. You may even want to develop several resumes if you are considering several different career options.

To help you get started, check out our Resume Handout, list of Action Verbs, and Developing a Competency-Based Resume. Also, browse the following MS Word samples:

Cover Letters

An effective cover letter will: demonstrate your understanding of the organization; describe how you can meet their needs; provide a specific follow up step that you will take. The cover letter should not be a simple reiteration of what has already been stated in your resume and each letter needs to be customized for a particular organization and/or job.

Here is the basic formula for a cover letter:

  • Standard business letter address format
  • Salutation to a real person, not “To whom it may concern”
  • First paragraph: Why you are interested in the position and what company needs can you fill
  • Second paragraph: Briefly state two or three top skills and follow with the benefits these features can provide the company
  • Third paragraph: Outline a specific action you will take to follow up the letter

Check out these resources: