Applying to a job?
Here at AKCESS, we're committed to getting students career-ready. Here are some tips on how to write an effective resume and cover letter for your next job application, and links to on-campus resources where you can get assistance for finding a job!
Choose the right format for your situation. A functional resumé focuses attention on your skills and accomplishments. A chronological resumé highlights a relevant work history.
Make your resumé reader friendly. Use an easy-to-read font, such as Calibri or Arial, at 11 or 12- point size. Keep the margins at the standard one inch for ease of readability.
Print out the job postings that you’re interested in pursuing before you apply. Identify thekeywords and industry language used to describe the requirements and responsibilities of each position. Adapt the language that appears in your current resumé to the phrases on the posting.
Include a ‘profile’ section targeting the position you are interested in. Include the three W’s:who you are, what significant skill(s) you possess that is relevant to the posted position, and where within the organization are you applying?
Your education should be on the first page of your resumé. Include the full title of your degree program. High school can be removed once enrolled in a post-secondary program.
List your work and volunteer experience in reverse chronological order. The most recent comes first. Include accomplishment statements that demonstrate the positive impact you have had in the workplace.
Proofread your resumé to ensure it is free of spelling errors. Read it out loud to check for grammar.
Avoid submitting a generic, one-size-fits-all resumé or cover letter. If you are serious about the job, you will cater your resume and cover letter to suit it.
Use the same font type and size as your resumé, as they are a matching set;
Address your letter to an individual rather than a department. If required, call the company directly to identify the hiring manager by name;
Write the cover letter in the ‘first person’;
Explain the link between your experiences and skills and the needs of
the employer, using concrete examples;
Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the company and the industry; describe reasons why you are seeking employment with this company;
Proofread! Check your cover letter for spelling and grammar, read it out loud;
In closing, thank the hiring manager for considering you for the job and state that you are available for an interview;
Career Services at Carleton
Career Services is Carleton University’s centralized office supporting all students and alumni across the different disciplines and levels of study on their career paths. Here's how they can help you feel more career-ready:
Career Coaches are available on a drop-in basis Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can assist you with resume and cover letter reviews, introductions to job search strategies, information for accessing the hidden job market, and networking advice. They can also provide resources for interview preparation and are a great starting point to discuss career exploration, major exploration, or further education exploration.
Career Consultants are available on a drop-in basis, or in certain cases, by appointment. They can assist you with interview preparation including a mock interview. They can also help you further explore job search strategies, particularly if you are having difficulty in your job search. They are a great follow-up after having a meeting with a Career Coach.
Career Counsellors are available by appointment only to explore your interests, values, and preferences and how these may relate to or influence your career options. They can also help you explore in depth degree options in relation to potential career paths. They are available for grad school preparation including exploring program options, and assisting with personal statements and CV reviews.
Location: 401 Tory Building
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday)