Write Cover Letters & Resumes

Cover Letters

A well-written cover letter can make a significant difference in successfully arranging meetings with potential employers. Most job hunters spend little time on the cover letter; your presentation, therefore, will stand out because it will look and read much better. No form letters, please.  The letter is where you pick items from your resume that match the employer’s interests or the job and tell the complete story behind each item. Read this sample letter before you start, but here are some additional tips to go along with it:

  • Standard business format is best (see sample above)
  • Try hard to find a specific name to whom to address your letter. “To Whom it may Concern,” “Dear Internship Coordinator,” “Dear Human Resources” just don’t get the same kind of response as a personally addressed letter.
  • Give reasons when indicating why that employer is a possible match. Explain what you can add, how you will be beneficial and worth their investment
  • Be sure to proofread the final copy and get a friend to help you. Spellcheck is great, but “must” and “lust” are both words as are “use” and “sue.” A typo or two may suggest to the reader that you are careless in everything you do.

Resumes

A resume is an outline of your history that highlights your experience, skills and interests. It may combine academic/nonacademic, paid/unpaid and on/off campus activities.  There is no perfect resume design that fits everyone, as you will notice in the examples on this website –  find the format that will best emphasize your unique background.

Use the following list of action verbs and resume templates to begin creating your new resume. All formats are acceptable, so pick the one you like best and bring it in for a review during Career Center’s Quick Questions.

Standard resume formats:

Follow this link to view more details from our Resumes and Cover Letters Presentation!

  • Coverletter Paragraph Examples

    Paragraph 1:

    In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, I learned that ABC is expanding/initiating/developing (fill in the blank). I was very impressed with what John Doe told me at the Williams career panel about the (blank) at ABC because (blank). The description on your website of ABC's (blank) was perfect for my career interests because . . .. Professor Whomever [or any network contact] suggested I write to you when we were discussing my career interests because . . . .

    Paragraph 2:

    I have selected a combination of courses where I can apply my (blank) skills. I chose a history major because (state your interests) and elected courses which focus on (blank). Last Fall I decided to test my interest in environmental issues, and designed a special internship in Williamstown (describe how you did it and give details about what it was). My work with the (name of the group) has been especially rewarding/challenging because (say what it allowed you to do). I believe my resume shows a high-energy level/ability to prioritize academics, activities, and work/experience at juggling responsibilities/ability to meet deadlines/etc. by effective time management.

    Paragraph 3:

    I will be home for Winter Break and will call you next week to arrange a convenient time in early January when we can meet to talk about summer opportunities for me at ABCD.