Resumes And Cover Letters Quizlet App

By Catherine Conlan, Monster Contributing Writer

Whether you’re a freshly minted graduate or a professional with decades of experience, your résumé should include five critical elements. Including these five parts will help you clarify your thinking, focus on key skills and accomplishments, and craft a résumé that will help you stand out from the crowd.

If you’re searching for a new job, check your resume and make sure it has these five critical elements:

An Engaging Summary
Vicki Bacal, owner of The Resume Specialist in St. Louis Park, Minn., reminds job candidates that a résumé objective is “frowned upon. It has been for over 20 years.” Instead, kick your résumé off with a section that briefly summarizes your professional qualifications. “The objective used to tell the employer what the candidate wants,” Bacal explains. “The summary is focused on what you, as a candidate, can do for the employer. This is the feel-good section. It’s equivalent to the handshake. Highlighting soft skills here gives your resume a core of humanity.”

Proof of Expertise
“Core competencies” is a good title for this section if you have two to five years of experience or are switching careers. For people with longer work histories, “professional skills” might make more sense. Job seekers applying for trades or technical positions can use “technical competencies.” This section where you list your skills, knowledge and experience, Bacal says.

Relevant Experience
This is the section most people focus on, but they end up paying more attention to job duties and descriptions than accomplishments, Bacal says. You should include results, effects and contributions made at your former jobs, along with the company name, job title and years (not exact dates) of employment.

Education Highlights
Institution, dates attended and the degree or certification you received are listed in the education section. Professional development, continuing education, on-the-job training and other nontraditional education should be included here as well.

The Final Touch
It’s possible there are other things you could add to your résumé that don’t quite fit in any of the other sections. For a technical position, this could include experience with proprietary or customized software. For an executive position, you could include leadership activities. If there are major awards, recognitions and accomplishments that deserve a little more attention than a detail in another part of the résumé, they can go here.

There will be differences in some of these sections depending on whether you’re a recent graduate, changing careers or looking to move up in leadership. If you have a question about whether you should include something, Bacal suggests writing “so what?” after it. “If you can’t answer it, then take it out or rewrite it.” As an applicant, “my overriding concern is, how can I differentiate myself from all the other people applying for these jobs? How you do it is to point out the frosting on the cake, not just the cake.”



What is a resume?

A resume is a sales brochure about you. It describes your abilities, your experiences, and your education—all of which should support your job objective. A resume has one purpose: to get you an interview.

Before you write your resume, ask yourself,

“Is my work experience related to the job
I’m applying for?”
If “yes,” consider using a chronological resume.
If “no,” consider using a skills resume.

Writing Chronological & Skills Resumes

A chronological resume is often used when you easily meet the skill, experience, and/or education requirements for a specific position. This format is good for demonstrating growth in a single profession. This format starts with the current or most recent employment, then works backward. The work experience section is the distinguishing characteristic of the chronological resume, because it ties your job responsibilities and achievements to specific employers, job titles, and dates (see Chronological Resume Outline and Resumes-Samples A&B).

The skills resume focuses on the professional skills you have developed rather than on when, where, or how you acquired them. The attention is always focused on the skill rather than the place or time the skill was obtained. Job titles and employers play a minor role with this type of resume. The focus is on the results you delivered rather than the dates of a particular job (see Skills Resume Outline and Resumes-Samples C&D). You may also use a combination of the two formats.


  • Resumes often get less than one minute of an employer's time—make that time count for you.
  • Be clear, concise, accurate, and make sure your resume is easily readable.
  • Proofread carefully—often when emailing, people tend to be careless with typos, spelling, errors, and grammar. See your Career Coach for assistance in editing.
  • Keep your resume to one page (two if you have advanced degrees or lengthy work experience).
  • When mailing and emailing a resume, always include a well-written cover letter.
  • If mailing, use good quality paper; white, off-white, or buff-colored paper is preferable.

Also, see Sample Skills Headings & Success Statements and Effective Resume Words

Items to Exclude on a Resume

  • Personal data (height, weight, age, marital status, religion, or health). Employers want to avoid any possible hint of discrimination
  • Titles ("Resume" or "Curriculum Vitae")
  • Reasons for leaving a job
  • References — create on a separate sheet
  • Salary — if a salary record or requirements are requested, discuss it in the cover letter
  • Early childhood and upbringing
  • Weaknesses or exaggerations — keep it honest
  • Long paragraphs — use short statements or bulleted items
  • Hobbies — unless they relate to professional interests or show traits an employer wants

Can I Use One Resume for All Jobs?

Generally, no. A resume should be targeted to the job you are seeking or to the company to which you are submitting your resume. This means that you should research the company to determine which kinds of positions are available and match your skills and achievements to the job.

References Sheet

Important Tips for a Reference Sheet

  • Always ask your references if they are prepared to give you a good recommendation. Provide your references with a resume and job description or type of job you are applying for so they can speak about you and your qualifications effectively.
  • Use three to five references.
  • Use at least one (more is better) employment-related reference. Good sources include previous supervisors, co-workers, faculty, advisors, or community/service leaders.
  • Keep personal references to a minimum.
  • Use the same color and quality of paper for the reference sheet as you do for your resume.
  • Only submit your references when requested. Otherwise, take your reference sheet with you to the interview.
  • Thank your references and anyone else instrumental in your job search when you accept a job offer.
  • As your career builds, keep your reference list up-to-date.

Sample Reference Sheet

Curriculum Vitae

What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a summary of your educational and academic background. In the United States, a curriculum vitae is used primarily when applying for academic, administrative, scientific, and research positions or fellowships/grants. Its length can range from two to four pages (or more as your career progresses). Please keep in mind each field has a different standard. Ask the faculty in your department, as well as your Career Coach at Career Services, for feedback on your CV.

The Differences between a Resume and a Curriculum Vitae

A CV is a longer, more detailed synopsis of your background and skills. A CV includes a summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations, and other details. As with a resume, you may need different versions of a CV for different types of positions.

Often, a briefer one- to two-page document can also be developed as a distillation of the more important points in the CV. If a job announcement requests a resume, you may send the briefer document in an initial response letter, with the notation in your cover letter that the CV can be sent if needed. If you are confused about whether a hiring individual or institution really wants a resume or a vita, you should contact them and ask. Often these terms are used interchangeably; however, if a CV is requested, have yours prepared to send.

Points to Consider

As is true with resumes, your CV may get as little as 30-60 seconds of consideration by a potential employer, grant reviewer, or other reader. An effective vita must be able to positively attract attention, stimulate the reader's interest, create a desire to get to know you better, and generate action. To maximize effectiveness, your CV should be:

Clear. This means well-organized, logical, readable, and easily understood.
Concise.Since the CV is typically longer than the resume, there is sometimes a tendency to "pad" — avoid the temptation! Be absolutely sure that there are no "double entries" — no item should appear in the CV in more than one place. Present everything that is relevant and necessary, but keep it brief.
Complete. Be sure you have included all of the important and relevant information that the reader needs in order to make an informed decision about your application.
Consistent. Don't use an extensive mix of styles (such as an array of different fonts). Be sure to use the same order in presenting information — present your experiences from most recent to least recent.
Current. Remember to include dates with all information. It is particularly critical to continually update the information; ideally, the CV should be revised at least once a year.

While the content is critical, you should also be conscious of the image you present with this document. Remember, your CV and accompanying letter may be your first contact with a prospective graduate program, employer, or grant reviewer. A CV needs to be visually appealing and should not contain any typographical or grammatical errors.

Items to Include in a CV

The categories listed below are often included in CV's. However, no CV contains all of them, and some CVs will contain other categories that are not listed here. The basic rule is that your own unique educational and work experiences should be carefully considered when deciding which categories will be most effective. The first step in actually developing your CV is to write down all relevant information; later you can organize it into categories and do whatever editing is necessary. After you have written down all relevant information, you should develop a hierarchy, placing the most important and relevant categories and information first.

Typical Sections to Include in Your Curriculum Vitae



Relevant Experience


Honors & Awards

Grants Received

Professional Associations




Institutional Service

Courses Taught

Community Involvement

Educational Travel

Teaching Interests

Research Interests

Additional Relevant Skills

References (separate sheet)

Curriculum Vitae 1
Curriculum Vitae 2

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