This section is an edited, easy-to-use online preview of our research and knowledge. In addition, we are available by appointment throughout the day, even early morning and after traditional business hours, to meet and advise you on any aspect of your search.
For a full Career Strategy Guide, including multiple resume and cover letter templates, log in to Handshake.
Choose the right words to create a professional image of yourself.
A resume is more than just a listing of jobs, responsibilities, duties and dates. It is a summary of what you have accomplished and contributed to one or more organizations. The experience and skills that you highlight in your resume should help distinguish you from other candidates.
A resume should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for, focusing on your relevant experience and skills. Most importantly, the resume should demonstrate to the employer how the skills you have acquired could help achieve the goals of their department or organization.
Write a cover letter that sells your strengths and interest.
A good cover letter should state clearly and quickly your reasons for submitting a resume. A concise letter shows focus and strong communications skills.
- Keep it short. The ideal cover letter is between one-half page and a full page, and never exceeds one page. Aim for three to four brief paragraphs.
- Explain why you want the job. Show what you find exciting about the industry, and show enthusiasm and knowledge about the position.
- Clearly describe your potential contributions. This is the most important element of a cover letter. Write a paragraph outlining one or two specific examples of how your skills and experiences will fit the company's needs.
Make the most out of three paragraphs. A cover letter allows you more flexibility to highlight and expand upon your experience than a resume. Following this three-paragraph format will help you write a cover letter that sells.
Every thank-you note is an opportunity to sell your qualifications and to leave a fresh impression in the mind of the reader. At the minimum, a thank-you letter can leave one last impression before a final decision is made. Basic parts of a thank-you letter: statement of appreciation for interview, expression of interest in employment, brief statement of qualifications and, finally "thank you."
Interview: Five Things Every Employer Wants to Know
During an interview, most employers are seeking answers to these five questions, whether directly or indirectly. Practice answering these questions in your head before heading off to an interview:
1. Why are you here?
2. What can you do for us?
3. What kind of person are you?
4. What separates you from 20 other people applying for the same job?
5. Can I afford you?
TIP: Practice makes perfect. You can never be too prepared for an interview. The CMC offers many different ways to practice your skills, such as Interview Stream, a free online resource to practice interviewing any time you need or want. You can watch your video for self assessment, or request feedback from a CMC advisor.
Another way to enhance your interviewing skills is by meeting one-on-one in simulated "real life" interviews conducted by alumni volunteers and professionals. Schedule an appointment by emailing the CMC or by registering for a practice interview. The DePaul ASK Interviews are scheduled on Handshake under the "On-Campus Interviews" tab.
Salary & Benefit Negotiation
It's important that you do research on the industry and organization before any money is discussed. Research salary information with alumni, professors, professional associations and on the Internet.
Try not to discuss salary before the end of the interview process and after you understand all that the job entails.