Year after year, employers consistently rank communication skills as one of the top skills they are seeking in new hires according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. It is critical for job seekers to present themselves in the best light possible by producing documents that are easy to read, error free and appropriately formatted. Each document you create represents you as a candidate and assumptions will be made about you based on the quality of your documents.

Resumes are your marketing document. They are not intended to include everything a candidate has done, rather they should highlight relevant and transferrable experiences, skills and involvement. They are generally one page in length with the exception of government resumes. Resumes are scanned rather than read. The average hiring manager will spend anywhere between 10-20 seconds to review each resume for an open position. Successful candidates tailor their resume to each job to which they are applying using language found in the job description.

The term CV is often used interchangeably with resume. CV’s tend to be longer and include publications, presentations, posters, research, honors and other academic work. These are most often used for research or academic positions and could be two or more pages in length.

Review our Resume Writing Guide to see sample resumes and learn about what employers are seeking in each section.

resume-writing-guide.png

Cover letters can serve one of many purposes. One, it can serve as a response to a known job or internship opening. Two, it can be an inquiry about possible positions (that may not be publicly listed) at a company or organization. Or three, it can serve as a networking letter to help make a connection with an individual for assistance in gathering information or finding a job.

Cover letters should NOT list everything in your resume; rather it should highlight a few relevant experiences, skills or student involvements related to the position. They are one page in length, free from grammatical errors and use the language of the job description. Cover letters should refer to specific qualifications needed in the role and tie your past experiences to show how you are qualified. Template cover letters that are not tailored to the company typically receive no response back from the employer. Address your letter to the contact listed on the posting; if one is not listed or you cannot find one by searching online, start your cover letter with “Dear Hiring Manager:”

Cover Letter Outline

Cover Letter Sample 1 - Marketing example

Cover Letter Sample 2 - Consulting example

Cover Letter Sample 3 – Arts Management example

Thank you letters are essential in the job search process, whether it comes after an interview or a chance networking encounter.  It is an excellent way to market yourself to obtain an offer and stand out from those that do not follow up.

Thank You Note Tips:

  • Send a thank you note in 24 hours or less after your interview
  • Make the note specific and highlight 2-3 things you enjoyed from your conversation
  • Reaffirm your interest in the position
  • Do not write more than 1-2 short paragraphs
  • Thank you notes can be sent via email or handwritten; handwritten is more personal
  • If sent via email, end with a professional email signature that includes your full name, major, graduation year, email, phone number and LinkedIn link
  • If you were interviewed by more than one person, thank each interviewer individually being sure to mention something specific from each conversation

Sample Email Thank You Note:

To: Andrew Myers (andrew@edelman.com)
From: Maria Washington (maria.washington@emory.edu)
Date: 2/23/2019
Subject: Follow up on Edelman Interview

Dear Mr. Myers,

It was a pleasure meeting you today to discuss the PR Brand internship at Edelman. Our meeting further confirmed to me the position is a perfect match for my passion for public relations and interest in working directly with clients. I enjoyed sharing more information about my previous work at the Emory Wheel and believe this has given me a good foundation in the basics of media in which to build upon at Edelman.

I also particularly enjoyed hearing more about your work with eBay and how you continue to cultivate that relationship. I am very interested in joining the Edelman culture, and I look forward to hearing from you about the position. Thank you for taking the time to interview me today.

Sincerely,

Maria Washington

Media Studies
Emory University, May 2020
(404) 555-2938
maria.washington@emory.edu

College students are expected to communicate professionally, but this is a skill that is not always taught in the classroom. Review the writing samples below for some examples on ways you can communicate professionally when networking, receiving a job offers & more.

Reaching out to an Emory Alum

To: Amanda Sparks (amanda@northsidehospital.com)
From: Jamal Stringer (jamal.stringer@emory.edu)
Date: 2/19/2019
Subject: Informational Interview Request from Emory Student

Dear Ms. Sparks,

I saw on LinkedIn that you are an Emory alumnus and have a background in medicine. I am currently an Emory student and am in the process of researching career paths I can pursue with a Biology major. Would you be willing to speak with me briefly over the phone (10-15 minutes) to share with me your insight on what it is truly like to work as a Physician's Assistant? I was interested in hearing any advice you had on how I can make myself more competitive for this career path while I am still currently enrolled.

I would greatly appreciate your time, but understand if you are busy. Please let me know if I can be of service to you.

Kind Regards,

Jamal Stringer | Biology Major | Emory University
Peer Mentor, Pre-Health Mentoring Office
jamal.stringer@emory.edu
404-555-8382

Networking for Shadowing during Career Discovery Days

Hello Ms. Smith,

I am a current sophomore at Oxford College of Emory University studying Psychology and was recently matched with you for Emory Connects Career Discovery Days. I am excited to meet you and learn more about mental health careers. My ideal job is to become a child psychiatrist, so I believe this shadowing opportunity will be beneficial in helping me decide my future career plans. Thank you in advance for sharing your time and knowledge with me!

I will return to New York for winter break and I will be staying from 12/23-1/14. I am available on any of those days. Please let me know if you would like to speak over the phone to set up a time. My phone number is 555-323-1993. You can also reach me at sarah.small@emory.edu if e-mailing is more convenient.

I have attached my resume to show you more information about my background. Thank you again for helping me learn more about a career in the mental health field. I look forward to hearing back from you!

Sincerely,
Sarah Small

Psychology Major, May 2020
Emory University
sarah.small@emory.edu
555-323-1993

Accepting a Job Offer

Dear Mr./Ms. _______:

Thank you for your call earlier and letter offering me the position of [job title] with a start date of June 1st. I am delighted to accept your offer, and I look forward to joining the team in [location].

To confirm, you indicated I will be earning an annual salary of [$} per year with a start date of [date] and will be reporting to [supervisor's name]. I will follow up closer to the start date to see what information or materials I may need to bring once I get started. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me in the meantime.

Again, I am excited to be joining [organization name] and starting soon. Thank you for offering me this wonderful opportunity!

Kind Regards,

Your Name

Professional Email Signature

Turning Down an Offer

Dear Mr./Ms. __________,

Thank you for your call earlier and sharing with me the great news that I received an offer. The position sounds like a wonderful opportunity, and I strongly believe in the mission-driven work you are doing.

However, after a lot of careful thought and consideration, I have decided to move forward with another opportunity that more closely aligns with my future career goals. This was not an easy decision for me, as I was greatly impressed with your staff, organization and the opportunity. I sincerely appreciate the time you took to interview me and sharing more about the role.

I wish you well in your future endeavors. If I can be of service to you in the future, please let me know. I hope our professional paths will cross again.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Professional Email Signature

Asking for an Extension

SAMPLE 1:

Hello Mr./Ms. ______,

Thank you for offering me the [position title] with [company name]. The opportunity is exciting, and I would enjoy working with [share more about the opportunity].

You requested that I notify you of my final decision by [date], but I am still in the process of wrapping up some outstanding job search conversations. Would you be willing to let me have until [date] to follow up with you? If given this extension, I can assure you I will be able to make a firm decision.

Thank you for your consideration of my request. I am very interested in this opportunity and would appreciate the additional time if possible.

Kind Regards,

Your Name

Professional Email Signature

SAMPLE 2: FULL-TIME OFFER TO PREVIOUS INTERN:

Hello __________,

Thank you very much for your offer of  [position] starting in June __, 20XX. [Organization Name] has given me wonderful experience in A, B and C, and I appreciate the opportunity. I believe I would bring ____ to the organization, and I appreciate you see the value of my work through my summer internship with you.

However, I would greatly appreciate it if you could offer me more time to consider the opportunity before letting you know of my decision. The Emory Career Center recommends that employers give students 3 weeks to decide upon on offer or until October 15th, whichever is later. Is this something you would be able to accommodate? The additional time would give me the opportunity to fully consider the position and to make an informed decision.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Kind Regards,

Your Name

Professional email signature

 

Most employers and graduate schools will ask you to provide a list of 2-3 references or more during the application process. A reference is a person who should be able to speak positively about your skills, abilities, background and character. Employers typically contact references towards the end of the job search process via phone or email. Graduate schools will often ask for

Sample References:

Sample 1:

Maria Fernandez

123 Briarcliff Rd. | Atlanta, GA 30307 | maria.fernandez2@emory.edu | 555-747-0372

 

REFERENCES

Dr. Clifford Sampson
Professor
Quantitative Sciences Department
Emory University
200 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
clifford.sampson@emory.edu
404-727-0510 

Dr. Kyung Kim
Associate Professor
Yale University
Statistics and Data Science Department
24 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
kyung.kim@yale.edu
203-432-0678

Ms. Dawn Smith
Associate Director
Student Involvement and Leadership Transitions
Emory University
201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
dawn.smith@emory.edu
404-727-5389

Sample 2:

Jamal Washington
123 Briarcliff Rd., Atlanta, GA 30307
jamal.washington@emory.edu
555-747-0372

 

REFERENCES

Dr. Michael Tarbutton
Professor
International Studies Department
Emory University
1555 Dickey Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
michael.tarbutton@emory.edu
404-727-2343

 

Ms. Melissa Myers
Store Manager
Loft
1823 Emory Point Dr.
Atlanta, GA 39329
mmyers24@loft.com
678-234-4364 

Ms. Toshiko Oda
Library Specialist
Woodruff Library
Emory University
201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
toda@emory.edu
404-727-7544

Personal statements are designed to give graduate schools insight into your motivation for applying to their program. It is an opportunity for applicants to set themselves apart and potentially address any problem areas of their application (low GPA, test scores, etc.)

Here are a few tips as you outline and begin writing your essay:

  • Make sure you are answering the application essay prompt/question
  • Do not rehash your resume
  • Focus on no more than 2-3 experiences to highlight
  • Depth is more important than breadth
  • If applicable, mention a professor’s research in the graduate program to which you are applying and why you are interested in that area
  • Do not try to impress the committee with elevated vocabulary or overly technical language
  • Focus on what motivates you to study and pursue a career in this area and be specific
  • Make the essay tailored to the school; mention what appeals to you about the program and show how it relates to your background
  • Tell a story and logically walk the admissions committee through why you are applying to this program, at their school to achieve this goal
  • Have your essay reviewed and proofread by multiple people

If you are applying to multiple graduate programs, each of your application essays should be different and tailored to the specific program.

Additional Resources:

Online portfolios can be a great way to show off your skills and capabilities to potential employers. Depending on your industry of interest or purpose behind your online portfolio, you may want to consider using the following platforms:

We strongly encourage you to meet with your career counselor for a critique of your portfolio and to do your own research online to benchmark and see commonly used portfolio sites in your field.

LinkedIn is a site every student needs to join as it is the largest professional networking site in the world. On this site, students can showcase their work and internship experiences, skills, upload samples of their work and receive recommendations from professors and former supervisors.

10 Tips for Using LinkedIn:

  1. Upload your resume and a professional headshot to begin building your profile.
  2. Upload examples of your work and tie them to your experiences.
  3. Get recommendations from former supervisors and coworkers.
  4. Ask your network to endorse your skillsets.
  5. Treat your Headline like an objective on a resume. Example: Emory University sociology student seeking summer internship in marketing.
  6. Customize your LinkedIn url so you are more easily found in internet searches.
  7. Start researching and connecting with Emory alumni and professionals in your field(s) of interest.
  8. Showcase your knowledge and expertise by writing an article.
  9. List your accomplishments and awards.
  10. Follow organizations of interest.

Critique Services

The Emory Career Center provides document critique services to undergraduate students and alumni within 6 years of graduation from the Emory College of Arts and Sciences. You may submit your resume, cover letter, personal statement, application essay and other job search documents to be reviewed by a career counselor.

Personal statements and essays will be returned in 5 business days. Resumes and cover letters will be returned in 4 business days.

Click here to submit your document for critique.

Personal statements will be critiqued for content. If you are having trouble with grammar and structuring your essay, please note the Emory Writing Center provides additional support for students.

Contact and Hours of Operation

Address: 200 Dowman Drive B. Jones Center, 2nd Floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Phone: 404-727-6211
Email: careercenter@emory.edu
Regular Office Hours: Monday - Friday | 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Walk-in Hours: Monday - Friday | 12:00PM - 4:00PM
Campus Closures / Holiday ScheduleThe Emory Career Center will be closed per the Emory University holiday schedule. In the case of inclement weather, Emory University will announce any additional closures through CEPAR (Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response).

Meet with your career counselor
They can help you with a lot more than just your resume!

Call 404-727-6211 to schedule today!