Résumés and Letters

Your résumé and cover letter are indispensable tools to effectively and concisely communicate your experiences and educational background to prospective employers. 

Résumés

Having and maintaining a quality résumé early in your college career will help you be prepared for opportunities at any time.

Curricula vitae

A curriculum vitae is often used, instead of a resume, when applying to graduate school.

Cover letters

Whatever the strength of your résumé, writing a smart cover letter can get your foot in the door.

Additional communication

As you seek meaningful work, you’ll have opportunities to write employers about a range of issues. The more common types of letters you may be writing include:

  • Thank-you letter: After an employment interview, send out a thank-you letter within one or two days to the person(s) you interviewed with. If you’re serious about this opportunity, a thank-you letter is a must. Express your appreciation for the time the person spent interviewing you. In the second paragraph, state several reasons why you are a strong candidate for the opportunity.
  • Follow-up letter: Whenever sending additional information or documents, including a transcript or writing sample, always include a short typed note or letter. If the timing is appropriate, incorporate this into a thank-you letter. 
  • Job acceptance letter: Once you have accepted the position, write to your new employer to confirm in writing the verbal terms of your agreement. State specifics like salary and dates when you will start to ensure that you are both on the same page. Also indicate that you look forward to beginning your work with them. Finally, send this acceptance letter via certified mail with return receipt to ensure that they receive it.
  • Letter of refusal: If you decide to not accept a specific opportunity, put your reasons for declining the offer in writing. Thank the person for the offer and refuse graciously. Do not say anything negative about either the position or the organization since you may want to consider working there in the future.

Sample Thank-You Letter Format

Your address
City, State Zip
Date

Name
Title
Organization
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Name:

Express appreciation for the time the interviewer spent with you.

Articulate what you feel you can provide to prospective employer and why you have an interest in the opportunity.

Indicate that you look forward to hearing from them in the near future.

Sincerely,

(your signature)

Your name typed