Résumés, Cover Letters & Transcripts

Résumé and Cover Letter writing requires significant thought and editing. Utilizing ECS to help you draft your first, and subsequent, résumés is well worth your effort.

Get started by creating an outline of activities and experiences you’ve had. Are you in RSOs? Have you held leadership positions? Interned before? Held any jobs either on- or off-campus? Tutored? Think of any experience you’ve had that builds on professional skill sets and list them in an organized fashion.

Résumé Tips

The résumé is where you place all the points that make you worth hiring. Don’t go overboard, but definitely sell yourself!

  • Use descriptive action verbs. It’s easy to repeat words, such as, “Skilled in communications. Skilled in programming.” However, breathe life in your résumé by using variety and and making your résumé read well. 
  • Visit us in ECS to review sample applications and receive feedback on ways to improve yours. 
  • You should review your résumé and tweak accordingly for each position you apply.

Cover Letter Tips

When you submit a résumé for a specific position, it should be accompanied by a cover letter. It is essentially what opens your application; it’s the introduction to why you are interested in a position. It’s both a summary of your qualifications and a response to a companies call for applicants. It’s where you have the opportunity to elaborate on your skill set by providing a specific example(s) to an important claim made in your résumé.
  • Cover letters written “To Whom It May Concern” or that are not specific to a company or a position, are generally ineffective. Each cover letter should explain the qualifications you have specific to the requirements of the position and why you are specifically interested in that company. Address them to the individual reviewing the applications. If you don’t know, call to find out. 
  • The first paragraph should state which position you are applying to and why. List how you heard about the position and include a general statement of why you make a good fit. 
  • The middle paragraphs are a summary of your background and qualifications. It’s advisable to provide details that back up a statement made in your résumé. For example, if you completed a research project or built a bridge in a class, provide more information on why you did it a certain way, a challenge you overcame during the process, or something you learned while working in a group. 
  • The final paragraph summarizes your interest and states when you will follow up with the company. After the company has your application a few days or the deadline has passed, follow up with a phone call to make sure it was received and ask for a time to further discuss your qualifications and interest in person. 
  • Visit us at ECS to see sample cover letters and let us work with you to enhance yours.

Résumé and Cover Letter Reviews

Engineering Career Services professionals are available to meet with you to review résumés and cover letters, discuss job search strategies, provide offer assessment and negotiation coaching, or for other career-related advising.

You can schedule an appointment with ECS through Handshake @ Illinois.

Transcripts

Transcripts are available from the Office of the Registrar.