In This Section
Prepare Your Application
An effective resume and great cover letter are required to get the interview and land the job!
I want to work on:
You can also access our pre-formatted Word resume starters:
- Resume Starter Basic
- Resume Starter Basic 2
- Resume Starter Business
- Resume Starter Education
- Resume Starter for Experienced Candidates
- Resume Starter Functional
Don’t see what you are looking for above? Visit the Monster Resource Section for advice and more resume and cover letter examples for specific jobs/majors.
- Correct any formatting issues:
- Text not lining up (set tabs and don’t try to line up text with the space bar)
- Inconsistencies in font sizes, styles, dates, spacing
- Blank second page
- Don’t overuse any one formatting element; for example, don’t use too much bold
- Use a different header than “pancake” style, where your name and contact information is on five or six lines, stacked like pancakes
- To make your resume stand out, try a different font (other than Calibri or Times New Roman)
- Bolster your content:
- Focus on your “KSA’s”- Knowledge, Skills & Abilities that make you a great fit for the job you are applying for.
List your transferable skills used, versus your job duties
Begin bullet points with action verbs
Lead with a strong “summary of qualifications” or other section that describes what you can bring to a job
Be clear and concise; provide enough information so the reader knows what you mean, but keep it short and sweet.
Error free: grammar, spelling, punctuation, tenses
Get rid of:
- Objective statements
- References or “references available on request”
- The words “I” or “my” and narrative or storytelling type paragraphs
- Personal info: age, ethnic or religious background, pictures
- Supervisors’ names, street addresses of employers
- Obvious information or too much detail
- Don’t use templates from word or the internet. Please select a resume starter/example below
- Use standard business letter format. This is not the time to express your individuality. See examples of good, bad, horrible, and great cover letters using the links below.
- Check your spelling and grammar, and then have the computer check spelling and grammar, and then have another person check it as well!
- Many people are so eager to tell the prospective employer how wonderful they are that they start every sentence with “I” or “My”. Mix up your word usage and sentence structure to keep them interested.
- Be brief. Use only necessary description. Avoid “storytelling” with lots of details and narrative.
- Be memorable but in a good way. Highlight a skill or accomplishment you can bring to the organization.
- An excellent cover letter:
- Has a strong leading paragraph.
- Is written in terms of what the employers’ needs are (not your own needs).
- Highlights what value you bring to the organization.
- Has a variety of sentence structures with each sentence flowing smoothly into the next
Start with our cover letter template.