Your resume and cover letter are two of the most important tools to help you express your interest in specific job and internship opportunities. The purpose of a resume is to provide a snapshot of your education and experiences, while the cover letter is your personal introduction to a prospective employer outlining your interest in the position and expressing why you are qualified for the position. Use the guidelines and tips in this section to craft your materials.
Your resume is one of many tools to help you express your interest in specific job and internship opportunities. The purpose is to provide a snapshot of your education and experiences, giving the reader a concise picture of what you have to offer. Your resume is, in a sense, an advertisement of yourself.
Note: Applicants applying for jobs with the Federal Government through USAJobs are encouraged to use the USAJobs resume template.
Your heading should include your name, campus and/or home address, phone number, and Yale email address. The font size on your name may be larger than the rest of the text.
Tip: Resume Formatting Tips:
- Font size should be between 10-12 points; choose professional and easy to read fonts. Margins typically range between .5 and 1 inch.
- Do not use pronouns (e.g. I, my, me, we, our).
- U.S. resumes should not include personal information such as age, marital status, children, or religion.
- Use reverse chronological order (most recent first).
- In most cases, your resume will be one page.*
- Bold, italics, and bullets can be used in moderation to accentuate and break up content.
- Resume should be visually appealing and easy to read quickly.
- Consistency is essential; for example, if you choose to italicize your title and bold the employer name for one experience, make sure you do the same for all experiences.
- Group your information in a way that places your most relevant and substantial experiences higher on the page to assure they are seen.
- Proofread several times to avoid spelling and grammatical errors, and do not use abbreviations or slang.
Each cover letter should be tailored to a specific job description and organization. Show how you meet the required qualifications for that particular job by emphasizing the two or three strongest reasons why you are a compelling candidate (something more than: “I could do that job.”). Show what you know about the organization/industry, and demonstrate why you are a good fit. Use confident language, write in an active voice, and, except in rare circumstances, limit your letter to one page. Before you begin writing your cover letter, ask yourself these questions:
Tip: Cover Letter Tips:
- Concise yet thorough
- Vary sentence structure, well-written, keeps the reader’s attention and flows well
- Focus on strengths and transferable skills
- Tailor letter to the employer and position
- Confident, not cocky
- Do not simply restate your resume