Undergraduate Resource Series
Office of Career Services | 54 Dunster Street
Harvard University | Faculty of Arts and Sciences | 617.495.2595
Resumes and CoveR LetteRs
A resume is a brief, informative summary
of your abilities, education, and experi-
ence. It should highlight your strongest assets
and skills, and differentiate you from other can-
didates seeking similar positions. Although it
alone will not get you a job or internship, a good
resume is an important element towards obtain-
ing an interview.
Tailor your resume to the type of position you
are seeking. This does not mean that all of your
work history must relate directly, but your
resume should reflect the kind of skills the
employer would value. Find additional guidance
on resumes and cover letters , as well as resume
samples, on the OCS website.
Create a Strong Resume
Attend a Power ½-Hour Resume Workshop.
Learn the nuts and
bolts of getting started. See the OCS website for dates.
Come to drop-ins
. Every day from 1:00-4:00pm—get any career
question answered and have someone look at your resume.
Look for industry specific resume review clinics
. Listed on the
On-Campus Recruiting Calendar.
TOP 5 RESUME MISTAKES:
1. Spelling and grammar errors
2. Missing email and phone information
3. Using passive language instead of “action” words
4. Not well organized, concise, or easy to skim
5. Too long
RESUME LANGUAGE SHOULD BE:
• Specific rather than general
• Active rather than passive
• Written to express not impress
• Articulate rather than “flowery”
• Fact-based (quantify and qualify)
• Written for people who scan quickly
• Use personal pronouns (such as I)
• Use a narrative style
• Number or letter categories
• Use slang or colloquialisms
• Include a picture
• Include age or sex
• List references on resume
PLAN TO WORK INTERNATIONALLY?
• Be consistent in format and content