The lesson here is to keep your documents concise and to the point. You don’t have to include everything about yourself, and you should not include anything that’s not relevant. You don’t have write your autobiography. Now, granted, some college students have the opposite problem. Instead of limiting the information they list on their resumes, they worry about not having enough. Others are tempted to list every class they’ve taken, every award, and every extracurricular activity. Many of these items may be worthy resume components, but for every item you’re considering inserting into your resume, ask yourself, is it relevant to the kind of job I’m seeking?
Course work usually isn’t necessary unless it’s unusual or you have very little else to list in your resume. Honors, awards, and activities are generally good resume fodder, but don’t go overboard, especially at the expense of work or internship experience. I knew one new grad who had an impressive list of honors and awards. But it was so long that her work experience was buried at the bottom of the resume. Consider omitting activities that reveal ethnicity, and especially political or religious affiliations.
Let go of high-school activities and honors unless they are truly exceptional or demonstrate an early interest in your chosen career. Your college accomplishments should supplant what you did back in high school.
The Purpose of a Cover Letter
What is a cover letter? Also known as a letter of introduction, letter of application, transmittal letter, or broadcast letter, it’s a letter that no smart job-seeker should send his or her resume without. Few employers seriously consider a resume that is not accompanied by a cover letter; thus, a dynamically written cover letter needs to be part of your job-search strategy.
Why is a cover letter so important? A resume is useless to an employer if he or she doesn’t know what kind of work you want to do. A cover letter tells the employer the type of position you’re seeking — and exactly how you are qualified for that position.