Tips and Tricks for Building a Great Resume or Cover Letter

by laura craig, associate director of career development, temple university career center

If you’re working on a resume or cover letter, there can be a lot happening on your screen.  Most importantly, you’re working hard to create great content that describes your experiences, and then trying to organize that content in a way that makes sense to your audience.  That’s a tough job! If you’re using Microsoft Word, it’s easy to miss several features that make managing your document, and how it looks, much easier.

The easiest way to learn about these features is to make use of your access to Lynda.com and catch up on some short training videos. 

You can access Lynda.com through TUPortal.  Look for the link in the TUApplications menu on the left side of the page.  Once you are in Lynda.com, search for the following courses:

  • Word Quick Tips
  • Word Essential Training

Each course is made up of a number of videos.  Based on our experiences with students, the following videos are the most helpful for common issues.  These videos are only accessible to Temple University users.

Word Quick Tips Course:

Word Essential Training (Office 365) Course:

Beyond Lynda.com, Temple ITS Office 365 Support is another great resource to help you.

How much does resume formatting actually matter?

The way your format your professional documents does not guarantee that you’ll get the interview, or the job. Improving your document formatting can:

  • Make relevant content easier for recruiters to find and read.
  • Create an aesthetically pleasing look to your document, which can boost your own confidence in the document.
  • Help you effectively communicate relevant content in one page, which is the most widely used and appropriate length for a college student’s resume or cover letter.
  • Make it less stressful to update your professional documents, so it is more likely you’ll update them regularly.

Now that you have a great looking professional document, what should you do with it?  You can always bring a resume, cover letter, or personal statement to the Career Center to be reviewed in a coaching appointment.  Once you have some feedback, and you’ve implemented it, why not upload your document to Handshake to apply for a job or internship?  The opportunities are waiting!

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