Crafting Your Application Materials


  • Make sure to be thoughtful and detail-oriented.  Hiring managers will judge you based on your written materials, especially in our era of online applications. Represent yourself intelligently to get a better chance at making the first cut. 
  • Vigorously edit for grammar and spelling
  • Customize your resume and cover letter to the job for which you're applying (and make sure to remove job-specific language if recycling an old cover letter!)
  • Organize previous position info so it's easy to understand job chronology
  • Keep your resume and cover letter concise and readable. Unnecessarily detailed resumes and never-ending cover letters can be tiresome and overwhelming to someone who has dozens of applications to get through.
  • Use courteous, positive and professional language
  • Share specific examples to illustrate how you meet the job qualifications. Hiring managers and recruiters look primarily for substance and relevance in a cover letter and can see right through the fluff!



  • Submit your written materials without presenting a draft to a trusted editor. The most seasoned writer will still overlook simple mistakes and typos, so a second set of eyes is invaluable.
  • Include reference letters, personal statements, scans of notes and drawings from your students, diplomas, pictures of you with President Clinton, or any other type of extraneous document IF you were only asked to submit a resume and cover letter.
  • Attempt to wow your reader with details of your wacky interests and zany personality. It's important to be unique, but do so by outlining your specific qualifications, experiences and professional goals. Cover letters are not the same as college entrance essays. 
  • Use arrogant, negative, presumptuous or defensive language
  • Put a photo on your resume (unless you're applying to be a model)
  • No quirky fonts please!