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Resume & Cover Letter Writing

Terri Alderfer


Resume as a Marketing Tool

Dos & Donts
Resume Sections
Cover Letter
Next Steps

Your Resume A Marketing Tool

What is it marketing?
You and your skills

Who is the audience?

Potential employers
Potential coworkers
People seeking your expertise
Everyone.thanks to social networking

How does it market?

Communicates your strengths and abilities

Grabs the readers attention and motivates them to take action

*Remember: Your resume is yours. We provide guidance and

suggestions, but ultimately it is left to your discretion.


Skills, abilities and values

Where are these?

Classroom, previous work including internships, team

projects, clubs and organizations, volunteer work


Skills, abilities and values

Where are these?

Websites, TartanTRAK, CareerNavigator, Vault,, alumni and friends, Google search

Do your homework many companies tell you
exactly what they want!

Employers Rank Top 5 Candidate



Problem Solving
Work Ethic

Source: Job Outlook 2015, National Association of Colleges and Employers


Everything on your resume is relevant to the industry and

role you seek
Focus is on the employers needs
Show results, when you can
Be visually appealing
Font size no smaller than 9. Use larger font size to highlight
Limit the use of bold and italic
Use action words and powerful language
One 8.5 x 11 page, front only
Fonts: Arial, Times New Roman
ZERO ERRORS. Have others read your resume


List high school information
Miss critical information, i.e. phone number, email, gpa
Include a photograph
Include birthday, marital status, height, weight
Include salary information
List references on the resume
List exact dates. Months and years are sufficient
Misspelling, poor grammar, wordiness or incorrect

Contact Information
Sample Name
1 Sample St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213

An objective is not necessary. However, you may choose to
include an objective in some situations.
These 2 questions should be answered
What kind of position?
What kind of company or industry?
Thenhow the company will benefit from hiring you
Short, no more than 1-2 lines. BUT: be specific.
Example Objective: To utilize data analysis skills in a
position of leadership that will contribute to a rapidlygrowing technology company.

Education List of your undergraduate and

graduate programs

Key information
Name of institution, city, state (country)
Date of graduation or expected date
GPA or distinction
Relevant coursework
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Master of Information Systems Management
Relevant Coursework:

Dec. 2010
GPA 3.65

Experience List of jobs and internships

including dates and details
Key pieces
Company name, city, state (country)
Job title
Employment dates (month/year format)
Your responsibilities and accomplishments using action words
Reverse chronological order
Bulleted list of responsibilities
Begin each bullet point with an action word
Quantify and show results when possible

Academic Projects Exhibits new skills and

accomplishments in the classroom
Key pieces
Project or class title
Role, if there is one
2-3 bulleted points about the project and your
Mostly from your current program; however, you can
include from other programs if relevant to what you want
to do

Skills - List of skills and certifications

which are relevant and proficient
Technical Skills
Typically listed by topic, i.e. software, languages,

Language Skills
List any foreign languages that you speak

List the certification and date if available

Additional Sections
Clubs, organizations and volunteer work at which
you held a leadership position
Additional training on leadership

List relevant clubs and organizations for which you
are/were active. Dont forget Heinz College

Professional Associations

References List of people familiar with

your work
List of 3-5 people familiar with your work
Ask them first to be sure they are willing
Provide them with a copy of your resume
Ask for their contact information, phone, fax, email,
Separate document, not part of your resume

Cover Letter
Purpose: To elaborate on why you are the best fit
for the position you are applying for.
Highlight key skills and qualifications
Match key words from the job description
Even if a cover letter is not required, you
should send one
Cover letters must be specific, not generic

Cover Letter Sections

Paragraph 1 (Introduction)
Tell the reader why you are writing be direct
Paragraph 2 (Interest)
Explain why you are interested in the position
Explain why you want to work for this company
Paragraph 3 (Work Experience)
Detail relevant experience use keywords
Paragraph 4 (Closing)
Thank the reader & demonstrate a follow up plan

Next Steps
Review Sample Resumes & Cover Letter Template
Work on your resume & schedule a resume
review when you are ready
Next workshop: June 24 Job Search Resources