The following guidelines can help current graduate students and alumni write strong resumes and cover letters to properly showcase your background and qualifications. We hope these suggestions are valuable to you as you begin your job search and prepare to submit applications.
Writing Cover Letters & Resumes
Cover Letter Guidelines
Each time you send a resume for a job opportunity, you should include a cover letter to exhibit your knowledge of the school and to highlight why that specific school appeals to you as an applicant.
- A cover letter is the first thing a prospective employer sees and should be neat, organized, and well-written.
- Make each cover letter specific to the position and institution to which you are applying.
- Learn as much as you can about a school by reading the website and/or speaking with faculty, students, graduates, and parents.
- Always keep a copy of your cover letter and refer to it prior to your interview.
Organization of Content:
- In the first paragraph, explain why you are writing. Mention the specific position and how you learned of the opportunity.
- Refer the reader to your resume in the second paragraph and expand on your background and current position. Explore how your resume demonstrates your qualifications are a good match for the position to which you are applying.
- In the next paragraph, explain why you are interested in the particular school or institution to which you are applying. Include something specific about the school. (Note: 2nd and 3rd paragraphs may be switched).
- In the closing paragraph, make a specific request for an interview. Let the school know how you can be reached.
A strong professional resume highlights your work history, skills, and education in a clear and easy-to-read format.
- Resumes should include a complete chronological history of education and work experience, brief personal information, and any special skills/interests.
- It is appropriate to list either your teaching experience or your education first (many students with limited teaching experience will list their education first). Remember that whichever you decide to put first is what the reader sees first.
- Start with your most recent professional experiences and include field work. If you are applying to your first teaching job, include tutoring, camp experience, etc.
- Unless there is truly a gap in your work experience, do not leave one in your resume. Be prepared to explain the reason for the gap in your cover letter or in an interview.
- If you have an extensive work history and your resume is longer than one page, be sure the information the reader should see first is on the first page. If you can, list the education and experiences relevant to the job you’re applying for on the first page.
- Don’t be afraid to emphasize your accomplishments.
- Remember to proof your resume for typos, spelling and grammar, and formatting consistency.