Resumes & Cover Letters

Creating a resume is one of the most important steps in the job search process. Sometimes, creating a resume can seem like a daunting task - but it doesn't have to be! With the resume tips and examples below and the one-on-one assistance of the staff at the UAA Career Services Center by booking a resume critique appointment, you can have your resume looking top notch! As college students or a recent graduates, even though you may not have a great deal of real-life work experience in your chosen field, have a lot to offer to an employer as a potential employee.

Remember these tips when creating your resume:

  • Brainstorm a list of your most significant experiences from your academics, school activities, community service, athletics, jobs, and internships.
  • The most effective resumes are those targeted towards a specific job or set of jobs highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences. Meeting with the Career Services staff can help you determine what would be most applicable to the jobs you are now applying for.
  • Begin your statements with skills or action verbs to paint a dynamic picture of what you have to offer to the employer, using words like organized, taught, trained, oriented, wrote, calculated, led, researched, evaluated, etc....
  • Employers look for candidates who can generate positive results for their organization and add value, so try to portray any mini successes you may have achieved in your previous roles.
  • Your most significant "job" as a college student is usually being an engaged learner.
  • Employers value leadership, so highlight any leadership development opportunities you've been involved in. (For ideas on how to develop your leadership skills, make sure to check out our webpage on Opportunities for Leadership Experience!)
  • OBSESSIVELY, yes we mean obsessively, review your application documents. The resume and cover letter should be grammatically perfect, so have many advisors, parents, and friends check over it before you apply for the job!
These tips were adapted from the "College Student Resume Writing Tips" article by Mike Profita.

Check out these examples for ideas on how to format your application documents:

General Resume Example 1
General Resume Example 2

General Resume Example 3
Nursing Resume Example - this is an example of a resume written specifically for nursing majors because it has industry-specific experience and skill sections

General Cover Letter Example 1
General Cover Letter Example 2

Schedule a Resume and/or Cover Letter Critique Appointment:

To schedule a Resume and/or Cover Letter Critique Appointment call the Career Services Center at (907)786-4513. Please email your best attempt at a resume at least one businessday before the appointment to the following email: uaa_career@uaa.alaska.edu

At your appointment, receive guidance concerning:

Image of letter  1. A chronological or functional style resume

  2. A letter of inquiry
 
  3. A cover letter

  4. A letter of application

  5. A thank-you letter

  6. Functional skills and action verbs

  And more!


Why write a cover letter?

In most cases, a cover letter should accompany each resume and/or application. The cover letter lets you go in-depth to support what you mentioned in your resume. As important as it is, a cover letter has a life expectancy of only about 8 seconds, as in employers will only read your cover letter for 8 seconds. In that short time, it must achieve certain goals.

Goals of the Cover Letter

1. To quickly and clearly point out your skills, knowledge, and track record.
2. Explain how these credentials can make a tangible contribution to a prospective employer.
3. Persuade the reader to continue on to your resume with positive expectations.

Rules for Cover Letters

1. Target your message.
Relate your skills and experience to a specific position in a specific organization. Spotlight your accomplishments and measurable results.

2. Show how your credentials match the requirements of the job.
Incorporate information that reflects your knowledge of the company, its industry and relevant issues. Editorialize the accomplishments cited in your resume. Expand on the information in your resume, don't repeat it.

3. Focus on what you have to offer.
Describe how your skills, expertise, and past accomplishments can benefit the employer. Follow standard business protocol. Write clearly and concisely and check your letter for spelling and grammar. Use the same font and paper that you used for your resume. Print your letter using a laser printer for better quality.

4. Send your letter to a specific individual.
Ideally, the letter should be addressed to the person who is likely to make employment decisions. It may take some resourcefulness on your part to identify this person, but the letter will probably be better received. Make sure you have the correct spelling of their name and title before mailing. If you cannot find the name of the person the letter is addressed to, you may use "To whom it may concern" or "Good morning." And don't forget to sign your letter!

Rescheduling or Cancellation Notice

The UAA Career Services reserves the right to reschedule or cancel an appointment for any given reason. We try to give adequate notice, but it is not always possible due to varying situations. 

CSC requires that, for resume, cover letter, or mock interview appointments, a student's or alum's draft of their resume or cover letter, along with other requested documents, are submitted for review to the UAA Career Services Center no later than 8:00 am of the day of the appointment. If the required documents are not submitted by email prior to 8:00 am on the day of the appointment, CSC reserves the right to reschedule the appointment