Undergraduate Resume and Cover Letter

 

The Eller Professional Development Center (PDC) offers student walk-in hours with our Professional Development Associates, or appointments with the Eller Career Coaches to assist with your resume and cover letter development. The PDC is located in McClelland Hall 203.   

Appointments 
Make an appointment with an Eller Career Coach through eSMS, select “Career Advising” under appointment type.

Student Walk-in Hours 
The Professional Development Associates are Eller paraprofessional students who offer weekly walk-in hours for resume and cover letter development, interview skills and other career related questions. View our hours.


Resume Development

The resume is primarily a marketing tool designed to interest a potential employer in your qualifications and skills. The resume is your advertisement and "selling piece" to persuade an employer to interview you. It is a summary of your experiences, not your full-length biography.

Resume Checklist

Your resume must be neat. An initial impression is made in the first five seconds. If your resume is difficult to read, it may be thrown aside and not considered. Furthermore, even one error will make an employer question the quality of all your work.

You should ensure that your resume uses consistent verb tenses, font and sizing. Avoid the use of templates since you want to make sure that your resume is distinct and not necessarily the same as the other candidates.

Limit your resume to one 8 1/2" x 11" page printed with a laser printer. Use the following guidelines as a standard to follow:

  • Use 9-point font minimum, Times New Roman preferred
  • Use even margins, minimum of .5 inch on the left
  • Use a minimum number of words and use bullet points; important skills and information should be highlighted and easy to spot, not buried in lengthy paragraphs
  • Use at least 20-pound bond paper in a plain or off-white color.Keep in mind that many resumes are photocopied, and gray or dark colors do not reproduce well.

Maintain a positive word choice—Avoid saying “not” or “none.” The reader should feel that you are optimistic in your approach. Use "action" words and action-verb phrases in order to make your job responsibilities distinct and powerful. Highlight any leadership involvement and opportunities you took to initiate or lead.

  • Ensure consistent and correct use of punctuation and capitalization.
  • Use the language of your specific industry when you are sure it will be understood
  • Limit use of abbreviations/acronyms
  • Avoid the use of pronouns ("I" and "me") and unnecessary articles such as "a” and "the."
  • Use consistent verb tense (present tense for current positions; past tense for previous work)
  • Use conventional abbreviations and capitalization for resumes
  • Spell out months and street addresses (August not Aug; Street, Avenue not St., Ave.)
  • Abbreviate states using the U.S. Postal abbreviations. Be sure to capitalize both letters in the abbreviation (AZ not Az; CA not Ca)
  • Capitalize languages (i.e. Spanish not spanish)
  • Write out all years fully in consistent format (1993-1995 not 1993-95 or 1993-5)
  • Periods are not required when using bullets; periods may or may not be used, but you must be consistent throughout
  • Be extremely careful when spelling and capitalizing computer software and hardware. Check the correct spelling and capitalization with the manuals. (COBOL not Cobol; PowerPoint not Powerpoint)

Sample Resumes

Download and read sample resumes in PDF format:


Strengthen Your Resume

Please click a section below to view full content:

Accelerated 
Accomplished 
Achieved 
Acquired 
Adapted 
Addressed 
Administered 
Advised 
Allocated 
Analyzed 
Applied 
Appointed 
Approved 
Arranged 
Assigned 
Assisted 
Budgeted 
Built 
Chaired 
Communicated 
Compiled 
Completed 
Conducted 
Contacted 
Coordinated 
Counseled 
Created 
Dealt 
Defined 
Delegated 
Delivered 
Demonstrated 
Designed 
Developed 
Devised 
Directed 
Discovered 
Distributed 
Earned 
Edited 
Eliminated 
Encouraged 
Established
Evaluated 
Expanded 
Facilitated 
Filled 
Financed 
Formed 
Founded 
Generated 
Guided 
Handled 
Headed 
Hired 
Identified 
Implemented 
Improved 
Increased 
Influenced 
Initiated 
Integrated 
Interviewed 
Introduced 
Involved 
Launched 
Led 
Maintained 
Managed 
Marketed 
Modified 
Monitored 
Motivated 
Negotiated 
Obtained 
Operated 
Organized 
Oversaw 
Participated 
Performed 
Persuaded 
Planned 
Prepared 
Presented 
Produced 
Promoted
Provided 
Recommended 
Recruited 
Redesigned 
Reduced 
Referred 
Reorganized 
Reported 
Represented 
Researched 
Resolved 
Reviewed 
Revised 
Saved 
Scheduled 
Selected 
Set up 
Simplified Solved 
Specialized 
Sponsored 
Staffed 
Started 
Streamlined 
Strengthened 
Structured 
Studied 
Suggested 
Summarized 
Supervised 
Supported 
Taught 
Tracked 
Trained 
Transferred 
Translated 
Unified 
Updated 
Upgraded 
Utilized 
Verified 
Won 
Worked 
Wrote

 

Administered plan.. 
Assisted in the coordination of... 
Assumed responsibility Carried out... 
Chaired a task force ..... 
Compiled data for... 
Completed a $XX.XX project  
Contributed to the development of... 
Created new campaign/committee/  
Interviewed, organized and trained XX staff members... 
Developed new system to... 
Hired and supervised a staff of XX  
Improved....resulting in.... 
Initiated and Implemented new ...  
Increased sales by... 
Involved in the development...  
Managed the successful completion of... 
Oversaw all aspects of ...  
Provided services which... 
Received extensive training in....  
Referred customers to..... 
Responsible for marketing and…


Cover Letter Development

Cover letters can distinguish you from other potential candidates. The cover letter is an important component to give you an edge on other applicants that may have similar experience. We have developed sample letters that can give you a better idea of what key questions to answer in your cover letter.

Cover Letter Checklist

  • One page maximum
  • 10 point font minimum, Times New Roman preferred
  • Even margins, minimum of one inch around
  • Well balanced use of white space
  • Block formal letter format
  • Clean grammar and spelling
  • Avoid the use of acronyms that may seem vague
  • Avoid the use of informal contractions
  • Use paragraph breaks to make it easier to read
  • Include return address, date and recipient address
  • Letter is addressed to someone specific if possible
  • Introductory paragraph introduces candidate and purpose
  • Do not start with “My name is…”
  • Avoid starting each sentence with “I”
  • Body of document should include reference to specific examples
  • Final paragraph should express appreciation for consideration
  • Ask for specific action if possible
  • Indicate how you will follow-up about the position
  • Catch the readers interest by detailing your qualifications
  • Avoid listing or regurgitating what is already on your resume
  • Provide evidence that you surpass the other candidates
  • Emphasize that you are a good fit with the organization’s objectives
  • Focus on what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you
  • Compliment the company’s successes
  • Make it clear that you understand the mission and company culture

Cover Letter Guidelines

The Professional Admission cover letter is more of a personal statement rather than a true job search cover letter. Although we ask you to use the traditional cover letter format we want you to write about you. The best letters are ones that have an individual feel and reflect involvement, accomplishments and clear goals. Try to avoid generic statements and letters with a lack of focus. Instead talk about yourself and what you as an individual have done thus far and what you plan to do in the future. Show the interviewers that you are unique and give them insight into who you really are.

Your Name* 
(*not usually a part of a cover letter but needed for application purposes)

Your Present Address 
City, State and Zip Code

Date 

Eller College Admissions Committee 
McClelland Hall 204 
1130 E. Helen St. 
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0108 

Dear Eller College Admissions Committee:

The OPENING PARAGRAPH should include:

  • What major are you applying for?
  • Why this major?
  • Reasons for selecting desired major
  • Why does this major relate to your desired career choice? Be as specific as possible.

The MIDDLE PARAGRAPH(s) should include:

  • Illustrate your co-curricular activities, work experience and/or accomplishments
    • What have you learned in both academic and nonacademic settings?
    • Make reference to your resume, but do not simply repeat information; fill in between the lines of the resume in order to help the reader assess your skills and abilities related to their individual needs. This is the perfect time to make the interviewer want to read your resume!
    • Be specific, but concise; the cover letter should never be longer than one page.
  • Give some compelling yet specific reasons why you should be part of the Eller College
  • What can you contribute to this community? What makes you who you are?

The CLOSING PARAGRAPH should include:

  • Sum up how you will be an effective member of the Eller College

Sincerely,

Your Signature

Your Typewritten Name

  • You should leave four spaces between your closing and your typewritten name.

This section should be one-to two-inch margin from the top.

Your Present Address 
City, State and Zip Code 
Telephone Number 
E-mail Address 
Date 

Person's Name 
Title 
Organization Name 
Street Address 
City, State and Zip Code (Use the same address that will be on the envelope.) 

Dear Ms. or Mr. (last name): (Always include the individual's name with whom the letter is addressed)

Opening Paragraph:  
The opening paragraph should include:

  • Why you are writing
  • The name of the position, field or type of work you are interested in
  • Where you received notification of the organization’s need for the position you are applying for
  • The opening paragraph is an ideal place to catch the reader's attention! Mention why you are so interested in the organization, how you found out about the organization and that you believe you are an ideal candidate. 

Middle Paragraph(s): 
The middle paragraph(s) should include:

  • Why you are interested in your desired career
  • Qualifications related to the position, field or type of work you are applying for
  • Why you want to pursue employment with the particular employer
  • Make reference to your resume, but do not simply repeat information; fill in between the lines of the resume in order to help the reader assess your skills and abilities related to their individual needs. This is the perfect time to make the employer want to read your resume!
  • Be specific, but concise; the cover letter should never be longer than one page 

Closing Paragraph: 
The closing paragraph should include: What the next step of the process is:

  • References have been provided if requested in the initial advertisement
  • Request an interview and state that you will follow up in 10 business days to see if an interview can be scheduled
  • Request any further application materials in a clear and understandable manner
  • Thank the reader for their time and consideration 

Sincerely,

Your Signature

Your Typewritten Name

Enclosure

  • You should leave four spaces between your closing and your typewritten name.
  • Enclosures include those materials referenced in the body of the letter.