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Writing Resumes and Cover Letters

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on 7 February 2017

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Transcript of Writing Resumes and Cover Letters

Writing Resumes
&
Cover Letters

The University Writing Center
The Learning Commons at PCL
M-Th 10-8; F 10-4
Sun 1-7PM
512-471-6222
The University Writing Center
Anyone enrolled in a UT class
One-on-one expert writing help
45-minute personalized consultations
Any piece of writing at any stage
Non-directive
Non-evaluative
Diagnostic outside readers
By appointment or walk-in
Today's Agenda
Questions?

Comments?

Concerns?
Thanks!
University Writing Center
PCL 2.330 - 512-471-6222 - uwc.utexas.edu
Information, writing help, teaching resources, and
online appointment-scheduling
available at:
uwc.utexas.edu
Writing in
Process
Preparation
Creation
Revision
Individual
Non-linear
Flexible
Lengthy
Resumes & cover letters in process
The resume as persuasion
Resume structure: an overview
Generating resume content
Composing resume content
Structuring resume content
Strategies for writing cover letters
Resumes & Cover Letters as
Speaker
Audience
Message
Learn all you can about the hiring organization.
Analyze Your Audience
Once you know what your readers are looking for, you can show them how you fit their expectations.
Structure your Resume
There is no single perfect resume structure.
Heading must come first.
All other sections can be arranged strategically.
Arrange these sections to highlight your strongest qualities.
Readers often skim resumes quickly from top to bottom.
Conventionally, people structure their resumes chronologically.
Brainstorm
Look in PCL or stop by the UWC to check out handbooks on writing and structuring resumes.
In your Experience section, use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments in ways that resonate with the employer.
Use Effective
Tailor your letter and resume for each new application.

Print and read the documents aloud (a
very
effective technique for finding errors).

Readers will take any excuse to stop reading a resume. So edit and proofread carefully.

And seek feedback!
Revise Edit
Rhetorical
triangle
Introduce yourself by name. If appropriate, you might also include a professional title or a brief phrase that reveals your professional identity or training. Indicate what position you are applying for and how you learned about it. Mention referrals.
Persuasion
Ethos
Logos
Pathos
character
reasoning
emotion
Read the job description carefully. Look for keywords.
What are their values, interests, and needs?
Which words provide clues about what the organization is looking for in a candidate?
Do you see any buzzwords particular to the field?
Education, employment, activities, experience, and skills.
Consider your:
And remember:
Categories are standard but not fixed.
If needed, come up with new ones to tell the employer what they need to know about you (relevant coursework, etc.).
Strategically!
Bullet Points
Be specific and quantify whenever possible.
Omit the pronoun "I."
Use action verbs and parallel structure.
Use consistent verb tense under discrete experiences.
Write clear, direct sentences that get to the point.
Don't be afraid to toot your own horn!
Here's the place to deploy those keywords!
Introduction
Body
Closing
Indicate willingness for or offer mechanisms to facilitate later contact, e.g. request an interview, mention how you will follow up, indicate that references can be available upon request, etc. Provide contact information and close politely.
Elaborate on one or two key elements from your resume and link them to the entity's mission or needs. The position you're seeking is a "niche" within the larger entity; demonstrate quickly how you can fill it.
Redeploy those action verbs and keywords
!
&
to generate resume content
Resume Content
Five or More Necessary Sections
Heading: contact information, including name, address, phone number, e-mail address, etc.

Objective (optional): brief description of your professional identity and the type of position you are seeking.

Education: name of university/college, degree type, grad. date, major(s), minor(s), and GPA.

Professional Experience: employer or organization's name, job title, range of time worked, brief description of responsibilities and achievements.

Awards and Honors, Activities, and/or Skills (e.g. Languages, Computer Skills, etc.).
Some tips about resume content:
Only include your GPA if it is 3.0-3.5 or above.
All sections should be coherent: devoted to one aspect of your life, experiences, qualifications, etc.
No section should be miscellaneous or "catch-all."
If you list a language skill, do so honestly; you will probably be asked to prove it.
Sections should be coherent, but they can be strategically flexible.
You might list awards and honors with your activities or list activities as experience.
The Resume
A flexible,
persuasive
document for different audiences in different high-stakes transactions.
Sections:
HEADING
OBJECTIVE
EDUCATION
EXPERIENCE
ACCOMPLISHMENTS
SKILLS
name // e-mail address // phone number // physical address
a brief description of what you're seeking // a brief description of your professional or academic experience
name of institution // degrees, minors, specializations earned // dates of enrollment // relevant courses
work experience // project experience // skill-specific experience, e.g. leadership, management, teaching, etc. // context-specific experience, e.g. industry, non-profit, volunteer, etc.
awards // honors // recognitions // achievements
specific skills that won't be apparent from or implied by other resume material
Conventional Functional Flexible
//
//
Structure
&
Format
Check out examples and templates:
Handbooks
in PCL and UWC
On-line through your college's or department's
Career Services
Our focus today:
prose content
for "experience" sections.
2.
1.
3.
Generating content
Organizing content
Composing content
From UT Austin Department of Liberal Arts Career Services
From UT Austin Cockrell School Engineering Career Assistance Center
Potential-Investor
Why should your audience "invest" in you?

What "returns" will they want to see?

How can you prove you'll deliver such "returns"?
The
Model
Strategies for Generating Content
3
Your skills, talents,
qualities,
capacities, and other relevant characteristics.

Especially ones
that will make you
a good "return."
Stories,
anecdotes,
details,
and specifics
about any
relevant
experiences.

Be
descriptive
and
quantitative
.
PROOF!
Assess Your Audience.
Investigate
the entity you're applying to or appealing to.

Close-read
their website and the job-description.

What are their
needs
,
commitments
, and
values
?

What sort of
culture
or
work-environment
do they cultivate?

Find
keywords
to re-deploy in your resume.
The Two-Column Model
PROVE IT!
Bullet-points: generally, the only
sentence-length prose
in the resume (besides the objective, if you include one).
Lead with substantive, skill-focused, context-specific
action verbs
.
Qualify
and
quantify
as much as space and convention allow.
Past tense
for experiences that are finished;
present tense
for experiences that are current or ongoing.
*
*
*
*
*
COMPOSING CONTENT
Use bullet-points to
describe
your experiences.
*
Vary
your verb choice, but
don't sacrifice meaning just for variety
.
*
Action Verbs
What verbs come up in your field, job, or discipline?
Teaching // Eduction
Design // Development
Customer Service
Technical // Computer
Clerical // Administration
Research
Academic
Business // Finance
Organization Involvement
advertise, communicate, display, facilitate, train
Social Service
bridge, guide, mediate, partner, supervise
adopt, chart, design, head, resolve
administer, compile, formulate, measure, verify
articulate, clarify, grade, interact, redesign
audit, convert, generate, install, track
broaden, challenge, incorporate, model, review
analyze, budget, engineer, forecast, streamline
construct, critique, design fashion, plot
check, document, outline, overhaul, staff
Management
collaborate, coordinate, oversee, train, schedule
Medicine // Healthcare
assess, diagnose, observe, practice, study
PRESENTED WORK
academic publications // creative or popular publications // presentations or talks // panel participation // conferences
Observe profession- or event-specific mandates for section organization and content.
Consider:
education
vs.
work
,
academic
vs.
industry
,
positions
vs.
projects
,
professional
vs.
volunteer
,
job "A"
vs.
job "B
,
"

paid
vs.
unpaid
, etc.
*
*
*
*
ORGANIZING CONTENT
Organize content into coherent sections. No "miscellaneous" sections.
*
After your heading and objective (if you include one), organize your sections from most compelling to less compelling.
*
Sections can be (re)assembled, (re)written, and (re)titled depending on your context and audience.
Cover Letters
&
Created by Dr. Tom Lindsay and Dr. Alice Batt
Last Updated by Tom Lindsay, January 2015
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Within sections, organize content chronologically from current or most recent to least recent.
*
From UT Austin Department of Liberal Arts Career Services
From UT Austin Cockrell School Engineering Career Assistance Center
From UT Austin's College of Liberal Arts Career Services
From the Moody College of Communications' Career Services
PCL Learning Commons Resources

The Public Speaking Center

UT Librarians by appointment

UT Libraries "Chat with a librarian"

The University Writing Center
Full transcript