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Resumes & Blurbs

When you register for the Oshkosh Placement Exchange you will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume to our site. Unique to OPE is an informative "blurb". Please read the following tips and see some samples of other's work to help guide your efforts. These written documents are employers first impression of you as a candidate.

For your OPE account, you will upload a resume, blurb, and cover letter.

Please note that everyone has varying styles in which they craft their resumes, blurbs, and cover letters. Consider how best to sell your skills and abilities for the given job posting(s). You can never have your materials reviewed by enough people; ensure your materials are accurate and up to date.  We recommend a career service office, a mentor, a professional already in the field etc. to review your application and OPE materials.

Blurbs

  • Keep your blurb detailed, yet succinct, and abide by the word limit
  • Utilize intentional, strong wording to market your skills and unique experiences that may set you apart from others while still being true to who you are
  • List a diverse range of responsibilities, skills, talents, and involvement areas
  • Write several blurbs and have them read over by others. Decide which fits you best, make final edits and submit

Sample Blurbs:

Example #1:

Currently an Assistant Residence Hall Director in co-ed first year experience Residence
Hall. Responsibilities include liaison between professional Residence Life staff and 
Residence Life student staff and co-supervisor of 14 Community Advisors. Experience 
in advising National Residence Hall Honorary, United Students in Residence Halls, and 
Hall Government for first year experience Residence Hall. Experience leading a two 
week Fall Training for 14 Community Advisors while also preparing and opening a 
Residence Hall for 470+ first year students in the absence of a full time Hall Director. 
Attended WCPA. Enthusiastically seeking a Residential Life position. Available June 
2015. Geographically flexible.

Example #2:

Soon-to-be graduate with 4 years' experience working in Student Affairs. Most recently responsible for the training and development of residence hall leaders throughout 7 halls. Other responsibilities included co-advising first year hall leaders, assisting in the hiring of two student Eco-Representatives, and developing a hall government structure and constitution for a new suite-style residence hall. Experience working with diverse groups of people and flexible during high-stress times. Interested in Residence Life Graduate Assistantships. Midwest preferred. Available June 2016.

Cover letters

The resume never travels alone. Each time you submit your resume to an employer you should enclose a cover letter that explains why you are submitting the resume. It is the key to creating interest in your candidacy.

The cover letter is your "sales pitch." It gives you an opportunity to draw an employer's attention to the skills and experiences outlined on your resume. You can expand on certain courses or job responsibilities that particularly match the position for which you wish to be considered. It also gives you a chance to highlight special achievements that might otherwise go overlooked.

In summarizing your qualifications, highlight your most appropriate skills or background in relation to a particular position without simply reiterating the information on your resume. Refer the reader to your enclosed resume for further elaboration on your past accomplishments. Be direct and brief.

Types of Cover Letters

There are two types of cover letters - application letters and inquiry letters.

Application Letter- This letter is written when you know of a specific opening and want to apply for the position. The purpose of this letter is to get your resume read and generate an interview. Your strategy is to demonstrate that your qualifications fit the requirements of the position. Study the position description carefully and link each of the described job dimensions with your past performance and experience.


Structure your application letter with three sections:

 

  • The opening (1 paragraph): Tell why you are writing and the name of the position or field. Tell how you heard about the opening and why you are interested in this particular department, location, or type of work.

  • The body (usually 1 or 2 paragraphs): Sell yourself. Outline your strongest qualifications that match the position requirements. Provide evidence of your related experience and accomplishments. Make referrals to your enclosed resume. Convince the employer that you have the personal qualities and motivation to perform well. Indicate any knowledge you may have of the organization that demonstrates you have done research and are familiar with their department.

  • The closing (1 paragraph): Close by making a specific request or an interview. Show appreciation to the reader for his or her time and consideration.

Inquiry Letter- This letter is written when you are asking an employer for information about possible job openings. Its purpose is also to get your resume read and to generate interviews. Structure this letter similarly to the application letter, but instead of using position information, focus on more broad occupational and/or organizational dimensions to show how your qualifications match the work environment.

 

Cover Letter Rules:

 

  • Address to a specific name and title.

  • Writing style should be direct, powerful, and error free. Edit to eliminate extraneous words and to check grammar, spelling, and punctuation. In addition to stating your purpose, the letter tells the reader how well you communicate.

  • The cover letter should be no more than one page.

  • Keep the letter short and to the point. Three or four paragraphs will suffice:

    • Paragraph 1: State your interest and purpose

    • Paragraph 2 (& 3): Highlight your resume by stressing what you will do for the employer

    • Paragraph 3: Request an interview and thank the reader for their time and consideration

  • Use appropriate language.  Repeat terms that the employer uses. Avoid jargon and the passive voice.