Resumes & Cover Letters

A resume is a concise, written snapshot of your accomplishments and experience to date, designed to give an employer a quick view of your background and to create a favorable impression. The cover letter is an individually addressed letter that explains why an employer should pay attention to you and why a particular job or organization is appropriate for you. A cover letter accompanies a resume and, therefore, should highlight your strengths (as appropriate for the position), not repeat your resume. This letter should be interesting -- give specific examples to back up the strengths you wish to highlight and be clear about the aspects of the position (and/or organization) that interest you.

Resume Approval Guidelines

Wesleyan students are required to have their resume approved by the Gordon Career Center as underclassmen and approved (or re-approved) in their senior year in order to appy for positions on HandshakeAfter you've had your resume reviewed by a peer career advisor and/or a career counselor, upload your resume to Handshake--the status of your document will read as "pending." Please allow up to 48 hours or 2 business days for review. 

Before submitting your resume for approval, consider the tips below to help ensure your resume will be approved.

Tip 1 - Be sure your format fills the page but is not overcrowded.  Your resume must be free from spelling or grammatical errors and allow the reader to conduct a brief, initial scan to identify key highlights (Major, GPA, experience, skills and activities) in less than 10 seconds.

Tip 2 - Your education section should be clear, organized and well defined.  Highlight pertinent information such as institution, location, degree, major, GPA and graduation date.  You may also consider including relevant coursework.  If you are nearing graduation, your high school information may no longer be relevant. Consider highlighting study abroad details here.  Based on your intended industry focus, some employers may want to see SAT scores to show quantitative acumen.

Tip 3 - Your experience section is your opportunity to sell yourself!  Use this section to specify relevant skills used and results attained.  It’s not necessary to list everything you did in each position; simply emphasize relevant skills.  The Work Experience section may be split into Related, Leadership, Research or Other Experience based on your goals and skills you wish to underscore.

Tip 4 - Additional sections can be added to highlight your qualifications and demonstrate a well-rounded profile.  You may add an Honors/Awards section, a Skills section that includes both Computer and Language skills as well as an Activities section.  Include descriptions that show skills gained and leadership roles held.