Notes from the Woksape Oyate convening.

Why Create a Résumé?

You must create a résumé to apply for a job. This document is crucial to landing an interview (and should be perfect before sending to a potential employer).

What to Include in Your Résumé (in order of appearance)

  • Résumés should be no longer than one page document, but if you have been in the workforce before, think strategically about organizing information that may exceed that page limit.
  • Basic information– Name, current address, phone number (optional), and email. You may also list your tribal affiliation in this section, placed on top of the page.
  • Objective– A brief statement of why you are creating this document and what you hope to achieve by sharing it.
  • Education– List schools attended. Recent high school grads should list high school. Recent college grads should list college or university, degree, major, and GPA (optional).
  • Experience – List previous jobs and internships. Include name of employer, job title, dates of employment, location (city and state), and responsibilities/achievements.
  • Honors/Awards– List the awards and honors you received in and out school.
  • References– Most interested employers will want references, but you do not have to include here. You may just add the phrase “References provided upon request.”

New to the Workforce?

  • Consider adding sections for your skills outside of your job experiences, such as speaking a second language or technology skills and activities, such as clubs or sports, and leadership roles in and out of the academic setting.
  • Ask a career advisor, faculty member, or working professional to review it and give critical feedback. This document is crucial to landing an interview and should be perfect before sending to a possible employer.

Different occupations have different styles of résumés. To see examples, visit Resume Genius.

Cover Letters

The cover letter, or letter of application, accompanies your résumé when applying for positions.

General Guidelines

  • Customize each cover letter; match your skills and experience to the position.
  • Identify the name and title of the person to whom the letter should be addressed. For online postings, include the name of the contact person and/or title that are listed.
  • Remember, a cover letter may NOT be required for ALL online postings.
  • For ads with no contact information, attempt to identify the organization. Only address the letter to “Dear Hiring Manager” if you are unable to find the necessary contact information.
  • If the employer asks for salary requirements, always state them in a range and add that you are open to negotiation. Research salary figures for the position and geographic area.
  • If an employer asks you for salary history, he or she is looking for consistency. Explain gaps or salary cuts in general terms.
  • Your letter must be well written, free of errors, and grammatically correct. Do not overuse the word “I.”
  • Read your letter aloud to ensure that your ideas flow and to catch any awkward sentences or overuse of words or phrases.
  • A cover letter is NOT needed when handing your resume directly to an employer.

Visit Resume Genius for assistance in creating your cover letter.

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