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Job Preparation

Job Resources

Dress for Success (GENTLEMEN)

Dress for Success (GENTLEMEN)

Dress for the job you want

Dress for the job you want

Writing a comprehensive cover letter

Writing a comprehensive cover letter

The Application Letter 

The application letter is also known as the cover letter and is a formal letter that introduces the résumé (Anderson and Bolt as quoted by Williams, 2015)).  It is important that the application letter is prepared well, as it is the first impression of the application for the employer.  The tone of the application letter must be professionally written with carefully selected words.   

Anderson and Bolt as quoted by Williams (2015) recommend the following guidelines for preparing the application letter: 

  • Write to a specific person
  • Error-free (no typographical or grammatical errors)
  • Include basic features of a business letter–return address/personal letterhead (contact information), date, inside address, salutation, body of the  letter, complementary close, signature, signatory, and enclosure
  • Avoid negativity
  • Short and simple (1-page)
  • Request interview
  • Do not replicate the résumé (briefly include qualification)
  • Avoid “I” statements
  • refer reader to the résumé indicate how you learned about the job offer
  • Be honest–do not lie or exaggerate facts


Content of Application Letter

Sample letter without Letter head

Sample letter with Letter head

Preparing Effective Résumes

Preparing Effective Résumés

The Résumé

The résumé is a written formal profile of an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities that is presented to potential employer(s).  No employer wants to waste time reviewing a résumé to determine suitability of an applicant, the résumé must be well-written so that the employer can quickly identify the skills and experience of the applicant.  Anderson and Bolt as quoted by Williams (2015) recommended the following guidelines for preparing a good résumé:

• Establish a clear career objective/personal profile:

  1. Both statements are used on résumés to relate to target career, target employer, introduce key skills, and express interest in a position.
  2. Career objective: Used for individuals with little or no work experience
  3. Personal Profile: Used for individuals with extensive career experience

Gather relevant information & create draft document with six key headings:

  1. Education
  2. Skills (technical and soft skills)
  3. Employment
  4. Languages
  5. Honors and Awards
  6. Professional/Community Involvement

• Select a proper layout:

Functional résumé layout (usually for entry-level positions; 1-page)
Chronological résumé layout (usually for higher level positions; two or more pages)

  • Both résumé layouts present employment history and education in reverse time order
  • Be consistent in layout, dates, and tense
  • Résumé templates are acceptable; be creative and original

• Prepare the final draft of the résumé

  1. Check for information that is frequently forgotten or not presented appropriately
  2. Information heading: personal contact information–avoid personal information such as photographs, birth date, and marital status
  3. Use a professional address)
  4. Use easy to read font and size–black ink, 12–14 point Times New Roman or Arial
  5. Do not list “References Available” on résumé


Simplified Sample Résumé with Functional Layout

Sample Resume Template 1

Sample Resume Template 1

Re-Assessing your Job-Hunting Strategies

Re-Assessing your Job-Hunting Strategies

Successful Job-Search Skills

The aim of your job search is to secure an interview and job offer.  A successful job search requires the strategy. 

The following guidelines are recommended for a successful job search:

Successful Job-Search Skills

The aim of your job search is to secure an interview and job offer.  A successful job search requires the strategy. 

The following guidelines are recommended for a successful job search:

1) Self-Discovery is the first step in identifying the type of job for you.  It is the process of identifying your interests, values, personality, likes, dislikes, experiences, and skills.  Your career goals are built based on these traits and skills.

The following self-assessment tools are available: 

a) SIGI³ (available on the Placement & Career Services Website)

b) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and other personality assessment tools (available online)

c) Accomplishments Worksheets (self-designed)

2) Industry Search.  Identify specific career jobs that reflect your values, interests and require your key competencies.  Target career jobs that support your life plan.  Identify target employers you would like to work.  Sources of job opportunities include:

a) Internet search - social networking sites (social media), job banks, etc.

b) Target company websites

c) Industry journals and associations

d) Current employees within your target industry/company

e) Job listings in newspapers

f) Government career centers

3) Conduct a Realistic Job Preview.  This process will allow you to identify the daily tasks for a specific job.  The job preview will help you to identify additional educational and experience requirements.  Additionally, other requirement such as credit history, police record, etc. can be ascertained from the job preview.

4) Improve your Electronic Image.  Conduct an internet search on yourself.  This gives you an idea of what a potential employer will learn about you prior to your application.   Delete any defamatory photos, writings or negative materials.  Avoid personal position on political and religious issues.  Maintain professionalism in your social media sites.  Create an e-mail address and voice mail system. 

5) Build your Professional Networking.  Identify and establish relationships with key resource individuals who you can approach for advice.  You can meet people face-to-face or via social media.  Some of these individuals may be family, instructors, co-workers, supervisors, friends, etc.  You may solicit the help of a mentor if you desire.

6) Review & Update your Résumé.  Your résumé should target the specific career, position and employer you have an interest in.

7) Design a Professional Personal Business Card.  A business card is optional.  However, it provides the opportunity for you to share relevant information about you to potential employers without any encumbrances.  Keep it easy to need; avoid graphics, fancy fonts and multi colors.  Be prepared to share your card with anyone you meet.

8) Revise your Professional Portfolio.  Your portfolio should be kept neat and organized and should include relevant documents (see more information on this website) and other helpful tips.  Prepare a hard copy as well as an electronic portfolio.

9) Submit Solicited and Unsolicited Applications.  Ensure you have the correct spelling and gender of the name of the person you should write to.  Send a copy of your application to the human resource manager and to the manager of your target company.  For unsolicited applications visit your target companies - treat as an interview.

10) Protect your Privacy.  Be cautious when sharing information about yourself.  Only share information with reputable sources.  Beware of identity theft.

11) Keep a Positive Attitude.  The job seeking process can become stressful and disappointing.  Stay focused, positive, active, keep learning, stay connected and volunteer as much as possible.  Maintain you self-confidence.  Do not quit your current job before accepting a new job.  Do not speak ill of your current or former employer/company.


Anderson, L. E., & Bolt, S. B. (2013). Professionalism: Skills for workplace success (3rd ed.).

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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