Resume and Application Letter Writing

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A US resume includesA US resume DOES NOT include
  • Full name, cell phone, and email
  • LinkedIn Profile or links to personal website / blog (optional)
  • Title of Position Seeking
  • Profile:
    • Power statement
    • Skills section
  • Education (highest degree first)
    • Relevant coursework (optional)
    • Research experiences
    • Course / independent projects
    • Certifications (as applicable)
  • Relevant experiences including:
    • Jobs
    • Internships
    • Student leadership
  • Volunteer / Community Service

The following personal information:

  • Photograph
  • Marital status
  • Race / Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Home country
  • International permanent address
  • Immigration status
  • English as a language skill
  • TOEFL or SAT scores
  • Grammatical or spelling errors

Overseas Experience / Education

To document overseas experience or education, provide a brief description of the employers. Here are some examples:

  • World’s largest resume writing company
  • #1 ranked Engineering College in China

Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

In the US, a resume is most often 1 page in length (1.5 – 2 pages if you have years of experience) and highlights your relevant qualifications for a specific position. A CV, however, is longer than 2 pages and is a detailed overview of your academic background and accomplishments. CVs are used only when pursuing academic or research positions.

Writing Support

Every resume should be free of spelling or grammatical errors before submitting. Have several English speaking natives review your resume in addition to a Career Counselor. Have multiple conversations with someone who is a native English-speaker. View additional writing resources in the Resources section below.

When you are ready to have your resume critiqued by a Career counselor, make an appointment by calling Career Services at (559) 453-2073 or stopping by the Steinert Campus Center, Room 126 on the main campus. Keep in mind that a resume appointment can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1-1/2 hours so please set aside the appropriate time needed for your appointment.

The application letter in the USA

The application letter, also known as a cover letter in the US is typed and brief. It should be no longer than one page. Here is a summary of what that might look like. The Heading should be the same letterhead as your resume unless you are emailing it. You should address the letter to a person’s name (requires research). If you cannot find the person’s name, use “Dear Hiring Manager.” Avoid “To whom it may concern” and “Dear Sir or Madam.”

Opening 1st Paragraph

  • Indicate why you are writing
  • State the position title and the name of the company
  • List where you heard about the job
  • Provide a compelling reason for them to continue reading (what you’re passionate about, etc.)

Body 2nd-3rd Paragraph

  • Introduce education and employment experience related to job
  • State your qualifications most needed for that employer
  • Why you are interested in the company (requires research)

Closing 3rd-4th Paragraph

  • Introduce enclosed resume
  • Provide contact information (phone number and email)
  • Thank them!

More Information on Resumes and Cover Letters