Your resume and cover letter are often the first impression an employer will have of you. Make sure you present yourself in the best way possible by optimizing these documents.
Please note that you may receive diverse advice on how to optimize your resume and cover letter, so use your own judgement to determine which advice to implement. Below are some tips.
- Keep your resume to one page
- If you have too much information to fit onto one page, consider removing some such as older or less pertinent jobs.
- Exceptions: if you have extensive applicable work experience (for instance were in the military or worked prior to CU) or have published and presented extensively.
- After your resume is complete, convert it to a pdf so the format remains intact.
- Tailor your resume to each job; if it is a programming job, for instance, put Technical Skills above Other Experience to show off those skills.
- Put most pertinent information towards the top.
- Do NOT include “References Available Upon Request” – employers already know this.
- Change the font and spacing to your liking.
- Note that if the text font is too big, it might not look as professional (print it out to see what you think).
- Try different fonts to see which best represents you.
- You can fit more information by decreasing spacing between sections.
- Do not forget to proofread.
- Do not use contractions.
- If you GPA is low, calculate your Technical GPA (CHEN classes only) and if it is higher, consider using it.
- After sophomore year, you should remove items from high school unless they are extremely strong (Eagle Scout, won an Intel International Science and Engineering Fair category, etc.). Items such as being valedictorian or president of your debate team should be removed, as should your high school GPA.
Sample Cover Letter