Professional Materials: Cover Letters, Resumes, Writing Samples

Cover Letters: Rather than emphasizing how the organization can help you achieve your goals, instead re-frame your letter to emphasize how you can help the organization achieve its goals. Ideally your training and experience already demonstrate a history of interest in and contribution to the space occupied by the organization. Helping the organization achieve its goals simultaneously will result in your gaining experience and growing as an individual.

Resumes: Rely on action verbs and quantifiable details to impress your reader with the magnitude of your responsibilities and accomplishments.

Did you supervise anyone? Specify the number of people you supervised. Were you responsible for managing accounts, raising money, planning events, etc.? Specify the number of accounts you managed, amount of money you raised, number of events you planned (and attendance at those events), etc.

Writing Samples: Respect stated page/word limits. Use a readable font size (no smaller than 12 point) and double-space your pages unless instructed otherwise. Always provide a cover sheet that explains the circumstances under which you originally wrote the piece: Was the piece written for a class or job? Have you redacted any information to protect client confidentiality? Have you removed any sections of the original document to create an excerpt that satisfies the new length requirements? Did the original piece win any awards?