Resumes and Cover Letters or Letters of Interest MUST be typed…
Every resume and cover letter or letter of interest you create, whether for a scholarship, for a job, or even for volunteering, should always be typed. No application packet should ever be handwritten. If you do not have a computer at home, work with your school, a friend, or the library. If you are in a bind, the Malheur Works team would be happy to assist you.
A letter of interest is your initial point of contact, such as this internship program, where there are numerous opportunities available. A letter of interest is a broad statement indicating that you’re interested in a company/career field. Your letter of interest is your initial point of contact from which future opportunities might arise.
A cover letter is a letter sent in direct response to a specific job opening. You will note the exact title that you’re applying for and include your resume along with any other requested documentation, such as a portfolio. Write a cover letter when you apply for a specific job with a specific company that is posted/advertised.
Haven’t had a job yet? Think of your volunteer and leadership experiences as jobs…
What have you done? How have you grown? What skills have you developed as a result of participation in these volunteer and leadership experiences? How have you personally changed as a result of your experiences?
Organize all your activities and projects in chronological order from most recent to oldest. Dates are important! You do not need to include an exact date, use the month and year, for example June 2020 – March 2021.
Every document of yours should have ZERO spelling and grammar errors. Use spell and grammar check. Always have two people proofread your documents. When we look at our own creations over and over again, we often overlook minor mistakes.
Consider these people when making your reference list:
Recent boss or supervisor: Current or previous employers speak best about your work ethic
The person you babysat for or whose lawn you mowed every summer: Think about the odd jobs you had while in high school. A reference you’ve known for years lets employers know the consistency of your work ethic.
High school teacher or coach: Teachers and coaches often act as mentors throughout high school and into your early adult life.
Any place you’ve volunteered: People you volunteer for are likely willing to be your reference. Plus, volunteering impresses hiring managers. It demonstrates your willingness to go beyond what is expected of you. Additionally, volunteering increases your chance of being hired by 27 percent, according to the Corporation of National and Community Service’s June 2013 Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment Report.
Note: Don’t list family members as references.
Before listing references on your resume…
It’s important you ask your contacts to be a reference before you provide their names. Not only is this a common courtesy, but it also gives them time to prepare for a phone call or email. Giving your references plenty of notice also ensures they have time to recall specific examples that highlight why you’re the best candidate for the role. Whether you call, email or ask your prospective reference in person, be sure it’s something they’re comfortable doing. Your best references will be people who enjoyed working with you and are excited to discuss your talents.
Your resume needs to be organized and easy to read and understand. Choose an appropriate font and font size (11-12 pt.). Use the same font throughout your documents. Both your resume and cover letter/letter of interest should look balanced on the page.
Any description should begin with an action word such as developed, led, accomplished, secured, designed, or created. This should be short and concise and to the point. Your resume should be no more than one or two pages long. *When applying for a professional job, the general rule of thumb is to have a one page resume unless you have ten or more years of experience.