Your resume or CV is a concise, tailored summary of your skills and experiences, while your cover letter answers the question
Your resume or CV
Think of this as a marketing tool that shows that your product (you) meets the needs of your potential customer (the employer). It highlights education, experience, activities, and skills that relate to your career objectives and next move, whether that is a new job in your field, an internship, a promotion, a transition to a different area of work or re-entry into the marketplace.
View Our Guide to Building a Strategic Resume (PDF)
Your cover letter
If your resume or CV is the feature film, your cover letter is the trailer that piques the audience’s interest. Done well, your letter has the power to excite the reader and make the prospective employer even more interested in what your resume has to offer. Put simply, a cover letter explains why you are sending your resume. While resumes and CVs offer a big picture of your background and accomplishments, your cover letter includes only certain selling points, i.e., the ones that will resonate most with a specific employer. The most effective cover letters answer the question: How do I meet the employer’s requirements for this position?
Your resume/CV and cover letter alone will not get you hired, but they should give readers a solid understanding of your relevant academic and professional background and make them want to meet you and discuss your qualifications further in an interview.
In addition to showcasing your skills and experience, resumes, CVs, cover letters, and other self-marketing materials are samples of your writing skills and attention to detail. The grammar, punctuation, consistency and formatting must be flawless. We encourage you to have your documents reviewed by a Friedman School Block Career Center Advisor before sending them to potential employers.