Assignment: Resume and Letter of Application (McCool, 1996)

Locate an advertisement for a job for which you are qualified, preferably one in your field. In addition to checking the want ads in newspapers, you might find out about jobs from the Career Planning and Placement Center, bulletin boards, trade journals, or the Internet. Make a copy of the job advertisement.

Prepare a resume and letter of application that are tailored to the specific job for which you are applying. On the date scheduled for peer review, bring to class three copies of each of the following: rough drafts, job ad, and peer review sheet . On due date turn in the final documents, along with the peer reviews, roughs and job ad.

Specific expectations for resume:

  • summarize your actual education and experience (and possibly skills)
  • list in phrases, not sentences, your qualifications for this job
  • begin with most important and most recent
  • group information under headings
  • use layout that reads easily
  • limit to one page (two with my permission)
  • make sure grammar is perfect

Specific expectations for letter of application:

  • use a standard business letter format
  • state the position for which you are applying
  • indicate source of information about job
  • tell how your specific education and experience qualify you for the job
  • be confident but not overbearing (give facts, not opinions)
  • request an interview and give specifics on how you can be reached


Peer Review of Résumé

Author: ___________________ Evaluator: ________________

Read the job ad. Allow 30-60 seconds to get first impression of résumé. Review more thoroughly, placing a check in each category where résumé is successful, and an X if improvement is needed. Note specific problems below or on rough.

Résumé Content:

S: Sufficient
Has the applicant given “sufficient,” that is, “enough” information about his/her qualifications? What could be added to make the résumé more persuasive?

____Is all information complete? If not, list missing information.

____ Are the applicant’s qualifications “typical” of (analogous to) the requested qualifications in the job ad?
____ Are all “key” words from the job ad on the résumé?

A: Accurate
___ Note any misspelled words or grammar errors (sections should be “parallel”)

___ Note ambiguities, areas needing clarification

R: Relevant
Are relevant courses, activities, skills listed?
___ Should anything be deleted or added to make this résumé more relevant to the job ad?

Résumé Format:

___Name highlighted
___Most important, recent first (within headings)
___White space used effectively
___Good use of bold, font size, bullets, etc.
___Easy to read quickly and find specifics
___Appearance of résumé is pleasing as a whole; well-organized

Overall impression: Would you interview this applicant? Why or why not?


Peer Review of Application Letter

Author:______________________ Evaluator:____________________

After reviewing the résumé, read the application letter. Place a check in each category where letter is successful, an X if improvement is needed. Note specific problems below or on roughs.

Letter Content:

S: Sufficient
____Does letter match and elaborate on info in résumé?
____Are claims backed up by facts?
____Is all information complete? If not, list missing information.

T: Typical
____Does letter confirm that experience and education are “typical” of the job requirements?
____Are all “key” words from job ad used?

A: Accurate
____Spelling (check company information carefully)
____Acronyms defined and no wording that could be misunderstood

R: Relevant
____Is emphasis on what applicant can do for the company?
____Is all information relevant?

What impression of the applicant’s character and personality does the tone of voice give?

Letter Format:
Standard business letter format

Overall impression: Based on the letter and résumé, would you interview this applicant? Why/why not?