Resume and Cover Letter Creation 

Emma Delk, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, September 6th the LEAD Center held the workshop “Building Your Resume and Cover Letter”, which is part of the ECDC Professional Workshop Series. The workshop was hosted by Susan Rodriquez, Director of Career Services and Civic Engagement at Fairmont State, and Ja-Rhonda Staples, a Career Counselor at Fairmont State. The presentation was focused on giving students the skills to create resumes and cover letters that will get them an interview for their dream job.  

While creating a resume and cover letter is something that all students will have to do during their future job search, the task can still be quite daunting. Rodriquez and Staples were able to provide tips and tricks to make constructing resumes and cover letters much easier than before. Rodriquez shared the two most important things to remember to include when creating them are, “All the things you’ve done in the past and all the things you’re going to do in the future.” 

Rodriquez began the presentation by giving students help with their resume creation. She shared the main thing to remember when creating a resume is its purpose is to introduce yourself to an employer in a way that is relevant to the job you are applying for. This means including information relevant to the job you are applying to, such as what you have done in the past to make you qualified for the job, any relevant experience you have, and also what you know about the position you are applying for. Rodriquez also explained what one should not include within the resume, which includes too much personal information and a record of all your accomplishments. One should focus on the job they are applying for and should only include achievements relevant to the job. 

Rodriquez stressed that it is not only the information within the resume that is important, it is how the resume looks, as well. A resume that is sleek and clean is much more likely to be chosen in any initial scans a resume goes through. Rodriquez explained that at her prior employment one of her jobs was to look at resumes, and if within the first 20-30 second scan of it she saw enough pertinent information, the resume went in the “good” pile. For resume formatting, she recommends using the website Hiration, which Fairmont State is partnered with. One can use the website to create a resume from scratch or upload a resume and have it re-formatted. Apart from formatting, Hiration also has a live resume scorer that allows one to see if and how much they need to edit their resume. 

Next, Staples went on to provide advice for creating a cover letter. Staples emphasized the importance of a good cover letter, saying, “The cover letter is in partnership with the resume to get an interview.” The goal of the cover letter is to introduce yourself to the employer by providing a snapshot of your career and relevant experiences. As Rodriquez did with the resume, Staples emphasized that the experiences provided must be relevant to the job, not your experiences as a whole. The cover letter is the time to impress your prospective employers and sell yourself as someone perfect for the position. With a well-written cover letter that efficiently provides relevant job experience, one has a much higher chance of landing an interview for a job. 

Through their presentation, Rodriquez and Staples were able to provide students with a guide to writing resumes and cover letters, along with tips one can keep in mind while creating them. The most important thing to remember when creating them is to sell yourself to an employer with information relevant to the job. Rodriguez and Staples are eager to provide students with help while creating their resumes and cover letters, and they encourage students to visit them at the Career Development Center, which is Room 222 of the Turley Center.