Cover Letters, Resumes and Portfolios

You’ll want to get started on your internship or job search as soon as you have some idea what you are interested in pursuing. The MJ-school, in collaboration with University Career Services, has a variety of resources to help you find an internship or job. This section will focus on cover letters, resumes, and online portfolios. Also, see UCS for additional information on a wide range of career-related resources.  Visit Jay Eubank in Carroll Hall during walk-ins or by appointment to have your cover letter, resume and/or online portfolio reviewed.

Cover Letter and Introductory E-mails

It is important that, when given the opportunity, you always send a cover letter or introductory email with your resume. How do you know when to send a cover letter and when to send an email? It depends on the situation.

  • If the internship or job posting requires a cover letter or if you are mailing a hard copy of your resume, a cover letter will be most appropriate.
  • If you e-mail your application materials and only a resume is requested, be sure to send a brief and professional email stating your reason for writing.

Whether you send a cover letter or e-mail, this allows you to exhibit professionalism and strong writing skills.  See how to write a good cover letter.

See a sample cover letter for an internship and one for a job from a current MJ-school student.

Resume

You will need to create an effective resume before you start applying for internships and jobs. Most employers will spend approximately 20 seconds or even less on your resume. The challenge is to make your resume easy to read with the important information highlighted. Resumes can be straightforward using text-only or can be more creative using graphics.  However, all resumes should use the following guidelines:

  • Start with content then layout
  • Write for the audience and the job description
  • Page length:  1 page
  • Use white space
  • Organization is key
  • Use legible fonts
  • Describe experiences
  • No photos or personal information

See tips on creating an effective resume.

See two sample resumes: a general purpose resume and a creative resume, from a current MJ-school student.

Online Portfolio

We encourage you to have an online portfolio to showcase your work. Online portfolios are becoming more common and will set you apart from the competition. For more information on developing an online portfolio, see this handout or sign up for a MJ-school workshop.