Prepare Your Application

An effective resume and great cover letter are required to get the interview and land the job!


Video Resources

Resume Templates

Don’t see what you’re looking for above? Visit the Monster Resource Section for advice and more resume and cover letter examples for specific jobs and majors.


To create an effective resume, you should:

  • 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
  • Be sparing when it comes to 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.
  • Correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation, or tense errors.

But, avoid:

  • Objective statements.
  • Listing your references or saying “references available upon request.”
  • Using the words “I” or “my” and narrative or storytelling type paragraphs.
  • Personal information, like your age, ethnic or religious background, or photos.
  • Supervisors’ names or street addresses of employers.
  • Obvious information or too much detail.
  • Templates from Microsoft Word or the internet (helpful starters and examples can be found above).

Cover Letter


To write an effective cover letter, you should:

  • Use standard business letter format.
  • Check your spelling and grammar with your computer, and then have another person check it as well.
  • Mix up your vocabulary and sentence structure to keep them interested, especially if you find that you’re beginning every sentence with “I” or “My.”
  • Be brief.
  • Use only necessary description.
  • Be memorable in a good way.
  • Highlight a skill or accomplishment you can bring to the organization.

But, avoid:

  • Expressing your individuality.
  • Storytelling with lots of details and narrative description.

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.