Are you ready to apply for a job? For most professional positions, you'll need to do more than fill out a job application or email a resume. At the very least, you should write a tailored resume and targeted cover letter that show the employer why you’re a strong match for the position.
But it won’t be enough to just send in your cover letter and resume—you must make sure the two documents have been written in such a way that they'll get you an interview. After all, winning an interview is your main goal when you apply for a job.
It's worth investing the time to show the hiring manager that you've got the qualifications they are looking for.
Match your qualifications to the job by following a few simple steps, then customize your resume and create a cover letter that will increase your odds of getting selected for an interview.
Ready to get started? Below you will find writing tips for your resume, cover letter, and curriculum vitae, as well as sample resumes, cover letters, and thank-you letters. Read advice for every step of your job application, including tips for crafting all your job search correspondence.
Taken together, this information will empower you to write an interview-winning cover letter and resume that will impress the employer.
How to Write Effective Resumes and Cover Letters
Step One: Resume and Cover Letter Writing Guide
Not sure where to start? This guide offers step-by-step instructions for writing effective resumes and cover letters. You’ll find useful worksheets, resume samples, cover letters samples, skills lists, content and appearance suggestions, and a proofreading checklist.
Step Two: Review Resume, Cover Letter, and CV Samples
Throughout your job search and subsequent career, you will need to be able to write job-related letters, resumes, and summaries. Review our collection of free sample resumes, cover letters, curriculum vitae (CVs), resignation letters, thank-you letters, letters to accept or decline a new job, and more career-related letters. These examples will help you craft your own successful letters and resume.
Step Three: Know What Resume and Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid
A typo or a grammatical error in a cover letter, a resume, or in a job application can be enough to knock you out of contention for a job. Here are some of the most common errors job applicants make and how to avoid them.
Step Four: Write Your Resume
Learn how to write a perfect resume for your job search, with this step-by-step guide for creating a professional resume.
Step Five: Check Out Professional Resume-Writing Resources
Writing a resume is hard work. Get one-on-one resume help – or at least have your resume reviewed – before you send your final document to employers. Here's more information on where to find free or low-cost resume writing help.
Step Six: Craft Your Cover Letter
Not sure how to write an effective cover letter? This tutorial offers details on the different types of cover letters and how to format them, plus samples of every type of cover letter.
Everything Else You Need to Write Interview-Winning Job Applications
For many job searches, a targeted resume and cover letter will be all you need to demonstrate that you’re a competitive candidate. However, for some opportunities, you’ll need different documents or additional materials. Here’s what you need to know:
How to Write a Curriculum Vitae
If you are applying to international jobs or to positions in academia or in the research, scientific, or medical industry sectors, you may be required to submit a curriculum vitae (also known as a “CV”). Here is why, when, and how to write a curriculum vitae (also known as a CV).
How to Write Supplemental Job Search Correspondence
Do you want to inquire about a job opening? Are you unsure how to accept or decline a position? Need to send a networking letter? Get tips on sending these types of professional letters and other job search correspondence.
How to Write Thank-You Letters
Find out when you need to send a thank-you letter, and what details to include in your note. Browse through sample thank-you letters and other job search correspondence.
How to Prepare Job Applications
Here is everything you need to know to complete an employment application, including how to apply for jobs online, via email, and in person. Includes samples, examples, and advice on the best way to apply.
How to Create Online Portfolios
An online portfolio provides a way to reveal your credentials to the world. It allows you to package the best evidence of your candidacy for employment such as your resume, artwork, reports, lesson plans, transcripts, certifications, articles, letters, and more.
How to Acquire and Present References
Find out how to provide references if you're asked for them, as well as how to request that someone be a reference for you. Read answers to frequently asked questions about reference checks, and find sample reference and recommendation letters.