Job Letters and Résumés

Job Letter Links:
Cal-Berkeley Examples
Virginia Tech Examples
Sample Job Letter

Résumé Links:
Cal-Berkeley Examples
Virginia Tech Examples
Sample Résumé

Site Links:
Writing Guidelines
Writing Exercises

Your correspondence to obtain a job or co-op is perhaps the most important correspondence that you do as a student. This section provides links for writing job letters and résumés. In addition, given below is some information about writing a résumé.


A document that often accompanies correspondence, especially a job application letter, is a résumé. A résumé is a summary of your education, work experience, and accomplishments. Your résumé is important. Employers often use résumés to decide whether to interview you for a job, and proposal reviewers use résumés to decide whether you are qualified to do the proposed work. Therefore, you should highlight your best attributes.

In your résumé, you should arrive quickly at the important points. Résumés are often read in less than a minute; therefore, you should format your résumé in such a way that your outstanding characteristics are quickly seen (see the following example). In a résumé, you should be clear and concise. A résumé should be as long as it needs to be, but no longer. If possible, keep your résumé to one page. Second pages often are not read. If, however, you have several publications or much work experience, you may have to use two pages. Because of the speed with which people read résumés, vertical lists are preferable to paragraphs. Remember to keep those lists parallel and to use action verbs where possible. Action verbs, such as "designed," "analyzed," "measured," and "managed," put your accomplishments in the strongest light. Finally, proof your résumé--no mistakes are allowed.

Last updated 07/04