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Stingray Success: Graduate Success: Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Write a Resume Poster with yellow lined paper also saying resume tips and tricks

Resume Writing Tips & Tricks

CPTC Career Placement and Development Coordinator, Buck Thigpen, has created a list of tips and tricks to remember as you write your resume. 

Here are some of Buck's Resume Tips to help you get started: 

  • Read the Description. Read the job description and identify key skills and keywords the employer is looking for in a potential candidate.
  • Highlight Your Skills. Skills are the most important aspect of the resume. Highlight the skills you have that relate to the job and make it easy for the employer to find them by using bullet points and key words. 
  • Keep it Short. Use short statements about your skills rather than paragraphs.
  • Quantify Your Skills. If you have 5 years of experience in the field, be sure to list 5 years of experience versus just saying you are experienced in the field. 
  • Stay Away. Stay away from vague statements such as "fast learner" and "hard worker". 
  • Proofread. Always proofread your resume. This is the first example of your work that the employer will see. There should be no mistakes. When proofreading, look for misspelled words, punctuation errors, and make sure your font is professional and consistent throughout. 
  • Be Accurate. When listing work history, use accurate dates and job titles for that employer. Work history should not extend farther than 10 years unless you were with the same employer for more than 10 years. 
  • Tie It Together. Highlight the tasks that you completed in current and previous employment situations that tie back to the skills you listed earlier in the skills section. 
  • Education. When listing education, list the highest degree or diploma that you received first. 
  • Awards and Volunteering. Be sure to list any volunteer activities or employment awards you may have received. 
  • Change It Up. Change your resume for each job application. No job is the same, so each resume should be changed to represent those differences. 

To find out more about how to write a resume, reach out to Buck Thigpen or check out PrepSTEP's Great Resumes Tool

Resume Template

writing a cover letter poster

Cover Letter Writing Tips & Tricks

PrepSTEP's Career Preparation provides an effective cover letter builder tool. The Great Cover Letters Tool not only provides a template, but also helpful tips to keep in mind as you go through the writing process.

Here are some of their Cover Letter Writing Tips to get you started: 

  • Pay Attention. Be sure to include information that shows you paid careful attention to the specific details and job requirements in the posting or ad.
  • Name the Job. In your opening paragraph, make reference to the exact job title as is advertised and where you found the advertisement.
  • Keep It Brief. Keep your cover letter brief - introduce yourself and briefly explain your relevant career goals, experience, and abilities. Try to convince the reader that you're the perfect candidate for the position. Always invite the reader to contact you for an interview so they can get to learn more about you.
  • Proofread. Always proofread your cover letter for spelling or grammar errors. 
  • Answer These Questions. Make sure your letter answers the following questions:
    • Are you knowledgeable about the industry and the company?
    • Can you communicate well on paper?
    • Do you possess the skills, education, and work experience necessary to meet the job's qualifications?
    • Do you have what it takes to succeed at the company?
    • What sets you apart from other applicants?
  • Address an Individual. Your cover letter should be addressed to a specific individual. If you don't know the name of the person to whom you are sending the cover letter, it may be worth your while to do some sleuthing to find out. 
  • Provide a Good Number. Make sure that each phone number you listed will be answered, either by a person or a recorded message. 

Cover Letter Template