Things to consider before the search for the job or internship begins including how to find the right one, and the skills to make you a better candidate.
Also, consider our best practices for finding the right job or internship.
Resume and cover letter writing
When preparing to apply for a job or internship, there is a process you should go through each time.
This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
1. Evaluate the position description
Determine whether or not you are at least minimally qualified.
2. Identify your transferable skills
Make sure you are “selling” yourself as strongly as possible and responding to all the qualities the employer seeks.
3. Write an effective resume
The resume samples below are for non-government agency opportunities. Looking for government samples? Click here!
Write an effective resume that utilizes strong power verbs that showcase your transferrable skills.
How to write an effective resume (pdf)
View Graduate Resume Samples or Undergraduate Resume Samples to help you get started.
4. Write an effective cover letter or professional email
Write an Effective Cover Letter or Professional Email to accompany the resume. View these Cover Letter Samples to get ideas.
How to write an effective cover letter (pdf)
Other useful resources
NACE Top 10 and Career Competencies (the order of these change minimally from year to year, but the main qualities always stay the same)
How to Put Together a Reference List
- Big Interview (Virtual resource; you choose the questions, you choose the interviewer, you evaluate your performance – or share it with the career coordinator during an appointment)
- Big Interview Student Guide
- Big Interview Guide to Virtual Interviewing
- Guidance for Telephone and Virtual Interviews
- Professional Interview Guide
- Sample Interview Questions
- The STAR Method (For answering behavioral interview questions)
- Questions to Ask Employers
- Writing Thank-You Notes (With examples)
Job and salary negotiation
Evaluating a Job Offer (pdf) (guidance for all stages of the process)
Job Offers FAQ and Salary Resources (FAQ + resources for salary evaluation and cost of living)
Job Offer Evaluation Matrix (Excel Spreadsheet for your use)
CityData – By collecting and analyzing data from a variety of government and private sources, they create detailed, informative profiles for every city in the United States. From crime rates to weather patterns, you’ll find the data you’re looking for on City-Data.com
- Salary.com (The most commonly used one out there. Figure out what you’re worth)
- Glass Door’s Salary Calculator (Figure out what you’re worth)
- 10 Great Salary Calculators to Save You Time (Article with links)
- Salary Calculator (What will your paycheck actually look like?)
Cost of Living/Relocation Calculators
General etiquette: dress codes and dining etiquette
The Career Closet at SuccessWorks (FREE professional attire for anyone in need – no questions asked)