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8/20/2021Résumés and Cover Letters | College Success1/14Résumés and Cover Letters
8/20/2021Résumés and Cover Letters | College Success2/14The most important tool you have on a résumé is language. —Jay Samit, digital media innovatorLEARNING OBJECTIVESBy the end of this section, you will be able to:Define the purpose and contents of a résuméIdentify characteristics of an effective cover letter and résumé
8/20/2021Résumés and Cover Letters | College Success3/14A résumé is a “selfie” for business purposes. It is a written picture of who you are—it’s a marketingtool, a selling tool, and a promotion of you as an ideal candidate for any job you may be interested in.The wordrésumécomes from the French wordrésumé, which means “a summary.” Leonardo da Vinciis credited with writing one of the first known résumés, although it was more of a letter that outlined hiscredentials for a potential employer, Ludovico Sforza. The résumé got da Vinci the job, though, andSforza became a longtime patron of da Vinci and later commissioned him to paintThe Last Supper.You can see the letter and read the translation atLadders Career Advice.Résumés and cover letters work together to represent you in the brightest light to prospectiveemployers. With a well-composed résumé and cover letter, you stand out—which may get you aninterview and then a good shot at landing a job.In this section we discuss résumés and cover letters as key components of your career developmenttool kit. We explore some of the many ways you can design and develop them for the greatest impactin your job search.Your Résumé: Purpose and ContentsYour résumé is an inventory of your education, work experience, job-related skills, accomplishments,volunteer history, internships, residencies, and/or more. It’s a professional autobiography in outlineform to give the person who reads it a quick, general idea of who you are. With a better idea of whoyour are, prospective employers can see how well you might contribute to their workplace.As a college student or recent graduate, though, you may be unsure about what to put in your résumé,especially if you don’t have much employment history. Still, employers don’t expect recent grads tohave significant work experience. And even with little work experience, you may still have a host ofworthy accomplishments to include. It’s all in how you present yourself.The following video is an animated look at why résumés are so important. You can read a transcript ofthe videohere.

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