Basic Job Search

Cover Letters:

Cover Letter Template  

  • A cover letter is just as important as a resume. It is an opportunity to personalize your resume and sell your skills. Include these important sections in your cover letter:
  • Heading and greeting – Include the date, your name, and your contact information. Address the letter to a specific name and/or title whenever possible.
  • Opening and introduction – Explain who you are and your reason for writing, including how you found out about the position.
  • Body – Sell yourself. Reveal why you are a perfect and unique match for the position. Explain why you have chosen the employer.
  • Assertive closing – Politely take initiative toward further action and next contact.

Don’t use a generic, form-like cover letter. Use these tips to write a fresh and informative cover letter:

Be confident, positive, and focused

  • Target your letter to the audience and industry.
  • Be positive about your current employment situation and professional future.
  • Emphasize what you can offer the employer.
  • Express your focused career goals.
  • Don’t use empty or unproven claims about your abilities.

Be concise, accurate, and polite

  • Use short sentences.
  • Keep the letter to one page.
  • Proofread your letter thoroughly.
  • Thank the reader for his or her time.
  • Sign your cover letter — blue ink is best to show the letter is an original.

Resumes:

A template is a tool for crafting your resume. It isn’t a fill-in-the-blank form, but it can help you get started. Ultimately, your resume should be unique to you and tailored to your particular strengths and experience.

Chronological Resume
Chronological Resume Template  

    Emphasizes work history — where you worked and when. Easy for employers to scan. Often used by job seekers with steady work experience in their desired career field.

Functional Resume
Functional Resume Template  

  • Groups work experience and skills by skill areas or job function.
  • De-emphasizes lack of experience in a field.
  • Useful for first-time job seekers, those reentering the workforce, and career changers.

Combination Resume
Combination Resume Template  

  • Combines the knowledge, skills, and abilities as highlighted in a functional resume with a shorter, chronological work summary.
  • Easily incorporates other experiences, like volunteering or internships.
  • Often used by job seekers with a varied employment history, and by career changers.

Academic Resume
Academic Resume Template  

  • Highlights an Education section that includes degrees, certifications, and/or achievements.
  • Easily incorporates other experiences, like volunteering or internships.
  • Often used by recent graduates with little experience in the field.

Reference Lists:

Reference List Template

Employers want to make sure they hire candidates that fit their company's ethics and culture. A list of professional references helps employers ensure that you are who you say you are. Your professional reference list should include at least three people who have knowledge of your work and can speak to your strengths. Make sure to include two ways to contact the person, if possible. Family members should not be included in a professional reference list. 

Interview Skills:

Interviews are very important. Employers interview candidates to find a good fit for their business. An interview is your opportunity to learn more about an employer and the available job(s).

Preparation/Research:

A great resource from gcflearnfree.org: What to prepare Before an Interview

Interview Checklist:

  • To make sure your interview is a success, bring the following with you the day you interview:
  • Employer research – Bring any notes on your research of the position and company.
  • Questions – Have key questions prepared to ask that express your interest in the position.
  • Resume, application, and personal data sheet – Use these as references during your interview or to fill out any required paperwork.
  • Portfolio and work samples – Bring a few samples that demonstrate your best work and abilities.
  • Letters of recommendation and reference list – Have these available if requested by the employer. This Reference Page Template may be helpful.
  • Notebook and pen – Use to jot down key points you’d like to address in a follow-up note or phone call.
  • Social Security card, driver’s license, or state picture identification – For jobs that require it, you may be asked to show your license, driving record,Social Security card, or other forms of ID.
  • Extra money – Be prepared for unexpected expenses, like gas, transportation, or parking.
  • Confidence and a smile – Interviews can be stressful. Try to relax as much as possible, appear confident, and smile!