Resumes, Cover Letters, and Powerpoint, Oh My!

Report
IMPORTANT, NON-ACADEMIC
WRITING GENRES FOR COLLEGE
STUDENTS
(RESUMES, COVER LETTERS, PERSONAL
STATEMENTS, POWERPOINT)
Resumes
•
Your resume is your first meeting with your prospective
employer. It gets you the interview (or not).
•
Can your resume pass The 20-Second Test? Resumes are
usually scanned, not read in depth, so the reader should be able to
pick out the most relevant details in 20 seconds or less.
•
The most common resumes have the following parts:
Contact details: Name, address, email, phone
Objective: What are you applying for?
Education: Degree, institution, location, date of graduation, most
pertinent honors (i.e. suma cum laude, dean's list)
o Work Experience: Employer, position, job particulars
o References: name, position, work address, phone, email
o Additional Sections: professional credentials/training, skills,
publications, select accomplishments, volunteer experience, language or
computer skills, research experience, community service.
o
o
o

Work experience and education are usually listed in reverse
chronological order, starting with the most recent.
Samuel Dalton Smith
1856 North Sioux Way Louisville, Ky 40289
Email: [email protected]
Objective:A challenging creative opportunity where I can apply my
skills in a dynamic organization with plenty of room for
advancement.
Education: I gradutated City High School in 2006 (honors), and
expect to graduate from University of Louisville in 2010.
Work Experience: Accountant (2010-2011: Maintained records for
accounts receivable and payable
Internship at Height & Co. Accounting: I gave work assignments to
staff of entry level accounting clerks
Burger King (2006-2008): cook
Skills: awesome typist/people skills/spanish/computer skills
Hobbies:Reading, Karate, Jogging!
Reference:
Randall Smith
Father
(502) 555-5012
Samuel Dalton Smith
1856 North Sioux Way Louisville, Ky 40289
(502) 555-1234 [email protected]
Objective
To apply for a position in the accounting department of Humana Inscurance Co., a
position that will allow me to apply my education and considerable work experience
in accounting.
Work Experience
Accountant, State Farm (June 2010-Novermber 2011): Managed over 1,000
accounts receivable and payable accounts working directly with the Chief Financial
Officer.
Internship at Height & Co. Accounting (January-May 2010): Directed workflow,
supervised and trained accounting staff performing posting to general ledger,
accounts receivable and payable accounts.
Education
B.S., Accounting, University of Louisville, Louisville Ky. May 2010.
Cum Laude
High School Diploma, City High School, Louisville, Ky. May 2006.
Honors Graduate
RESUME DO'S AND DON'TS
Do
•
•
Proofread
When using a resume template, use one that has lots of white
space and avoid borders, colors, and/or shading.
• Target the qualifications that will land you that particular job.
• Keep it Professional.
• Keep it Scannable (have a friend give it The 20 Second Test).
• Keep it Up to Date.
• Proofread!
Don'ts
• Avoid Personal Pronouns and abbreviations.
• Don't get fancy with fonts, lists, layout, etc. Function is beauty.
• Don't list absolutely everything you have done.
• Don't lie or exaggerate.
• Don't list a person as a reference without his/her permission first.
COVER LETTERS AND PERSONAL STATEMENTS
A Cover Letter accompanies a resume, usually in a traditional
job application. It conveys the applicants interest in the position
and expounds briefly on the applicant's qualifications. Most
cover letters are less than a page long and are written in
business-letter format.
A Personal Statement is usually used in college
applications. It is the opportunity for the applicant to
demonstrate his/her writing skills and tell the reader more about
the applicant as a person, including things not covered in other
parts of the application (life goals, personal history, drive,
etc.). It covers how and why the events described have shaped
the applicant's attitude, focus, and intellectual vitality. Most
personal statements are 1-2 pages long.
Both are brief and focused documents.
THE BODY OF A COVER LETTER
1) Indicate what job you are applying for and express your
interest
• State the title of the position for which you are applying.
• Mention how you learned of the position and/or who referred
you.
• Include a phrase or sentence which will keep the reader’s
interest.
2) An overview of your qualifications, skills, abilities, and
accomplishments as related to the employer’s needs.
• Refer to the enclosed resume.
• Explain your interest in working for this company.
• Emphasize personal qualifications which directly relate to
that organization and position.
3) A request for a specific action such as an interview.
WRITING THE PERSONAL STATEMENT (EXAMPLE)
My interest in science dates back to my years in high school, where I excelled in
physics, chemistry, and math. When I was a senior, I took a first-year calculus course at a local
college (such an advanced-level class was not available in high school) and earned an A. It seemed only
logical that I pursue a career in electrical engineering.
When I began my undergraduate career, I had the opportunity to be exposed to the full range of
engineering courses, all of which tended to reinforce and solidify my intense interest in engineering. I've
also had the opportunity to study a number of subjects in the humanities and they have been both
enjoyable and enlightening, providing me with a new and different perspective on the world in which we
live.
In the realm of engineering, I have developed a special interest in the field of laser
technology and have even been taking a graduate course in quantum electronics. Among
the 25 or so students in the course, I am the sole undergraduate. Another particular interest of mine
is electromagnetics, and last summer, when I was a technical assistant at a world-famous
local lab, I learned about its many practical applications, especially in relation to
microstrip and antenna design. Management at this lab was sufficiently impressed with
my work to ask that I return when I graduate. Of course, my plans following completion of my
current studies are to move directly into graduate work toward my master's in science. After I earn my
master's degree, I intend to start work on my Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Later I would like to work in
the area of research and development for private industry. It is in R & D that I believe I can make the
greatest contribution, utilizing my theoretical background and creativity as a scientist.
I am highly aware of the superb reputation of your school, and my conversations with
several of your alumni have served to deepen my interest in attending. I know that, in
addition to your excellent faculty, your computer facilities are among the best in the state. I
hope you will give me the privilege of continuing my studies at your fine institution. Thank you for your
time and consideration.
DO'S AND DON'TS FOR COVER LETTERS AND PERSONAL
STATEMENTS
Do
•
•
•
•
•
•
Strive to show, don't tell. "I managed a team of five student interns in an
engineering co-op at the University of Louisville" sounds better than "I have
leadership experience."
Be brief and focused: stay on point, answer the questions, don't digress, keep
to central themes.
Consider how they can help you with your goals in addition to what you can
do for them.
Be positive and confident!
Always thank the readers for their time and consideration at the end.
Proofread!
Don't
• Sell yourself, but don't beg or brag.
• Don't apologize for blemishes in your resume or for a lack of experience.
• Stay away from jargon, clichés, and generalizations as much as possible.
• Don't offer your entire life story or restate your resume. Cover letters and
personal statements that say too much say nothing at all.
• Stay away from controversial topics: shock value can hurt your chances.
POWER POINT: WHAT NOT TO DO
DO'S AND DON'TS FOR POWERPOINT
Do's
• KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid). Imagine a tired and cranky audience: keep
the slides simple and clearly formatted to keep the audience awake and in
good humor.
• White space is your friend! Keep your slides brief with plenty of white
space. A busy slide is a distracting slide.
• Face your audience (not the screen) and make eye contact with them as
much as possible.
• Color schemes and animations should make slides easy to read.
• Have a backup plan in case the technology fails. If possible, show up early
to set up.
• Proofraad!
Don'ts
• Don't cram everything you plan to present into the slide show.
• Don’t type word-for-word what you plan to say in your presentation.
• Avoid pointless motion, fancy fonts, or unsettling color schemes.
• Don't assume that your presentation will look the same on the projector as
it does on the monitor. A practice run is always a good thing.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP WITH THESE
DOCUMENTS?

1) Your instructor

2) The University Writing Center




Ekstrom Library 312
(502) 852-2173
[email protected]
3) The University Career Center



Houchens Building, Lower Level 03/04
502.852.6701
[email protected]
A FEW WEB RESOURCES
Resumes
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http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/719/1/
http://my.fit.edu/ncsbiprojects/Resume.pdf
http://www.pongoresume.com/articles/56/good-and-bad-resumes-br-want-tosee-the-difference-.cfm
Cover Letters
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http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/723/03/
http://www.eicc.edu/content/jobs/career_services/CoverLetter%20tips.pdf
http://www.careerealism.com/cover-letter-mechanics-how-to-write-a-good-one/
Personal Statements
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http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/642/01/
http://careerweb.georgetown.edu/prelaw/applying/7141.html
http://www.honors.lsu.edu/current-students/student-support/fellowshipadvising/advising-resources/write-an-effective-personal-statement
Power Point:
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http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/686/1
http://www.davidairey.com/how-not-to-use-powerpoint/
http://lis.dickinson.edu/technology/training/Tutorials/ms2007/pp/dosdonts.pdf

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