Resume and Cover letter FAQs

Downloadable and printable version: Resume-and-Cover-Letter-FAQ

What is the purpose of a resume?

To get a job or internship interview.

To structure the interview process.

So the interviewer remembers you after you leave.

Are there any rules for a resume?

There are only two absolute rules.

  1.       No typos or misspellings
  2.       Do not lie

How long should it be?

Your resume should not be longer than one page!  Work on formatting it so it comfortable to read. If you can’t fill a full page (that’s alright!) work on the spacing between lines, the margins, and section headers to make it look fuller if you need to. Your cover letter should be 1 page.  Keep it short!

What is my resume supposed to include?

The only “must” on a resume is your name and contact information.  Everything else is optional.  You can include your education, work availability, work experience, professional skills, personal skills, hobbies and interests, achievements awards and distinctions, languages, and references.

If the job announcement asks for specific information, be sure to include it! If it is not complete, they will not spend the time looking at it, and you will not get an interview.

What shouldn’t I include?

Height, weight, age, data of birth, marital status, sex/gender, race, health, social security number, religious affiliation, or a picture of yourself.

Do I list my GPA?

If your GPA is over a 2.5, list it.  If not, only provide it if asked.

What file format should I save it as?

The best format is as a pdf. This means it is easy to read across different computers and programs.

What font should I use?

Pick something easy to read on a screen and when printed.  Times New Roman can seem boring or that you just used the default, so choose something different.

Do I need a different resume and cover letter for each internship/job I apply to?

Yes and no.  Once you have the basic format and components of your resume finished, take time and highlight the key skills in the job announcement.  Make sure you address each area somewhere on your resume. Use keywords from the job announcement in your cover letter that highlight your experience or interest.  

How does my resume work with my cover letter?

Be sure to use the same formatting including fonts, headers, and spacing.  Your cover letter tells your future employer why you’re the best person for the job or interview, lets you highlight your strengths, can make up for a short resume or work history.  The resume is the proof that you are the best.  

Why do I need a cover letter?

The focus of this kind of cover letter is to prove that your personal qualities and characteristics are a good fit with the requirements of the job and also that they will make a positive contribution to the organisation or business.  Cover letters can highlight your  writing skills, make a personal connection with the reader, and make your resume stand out.  

To whom do  I address the cover letter?  Can I put “to whom it may concern”?

NO!  Find out who is in charge of the hiring process, find the hiring manager, and address it to him/her.  At a last resort address it to Human Resources.