MTM Writing Clinic
MLK 252 
Phone: 713-313-7981

business writing



A resume is a powerful sales tool designed to peak the reader’s interest and lead to an interview. Resumes should be geared towards the needs of the employer, and highlight the assets you would bring to the organization.

In order to write a successful resume you should:
1. Identify the position you wish to hold
2. Identify the skills and criteria employers are hoping to secure.

Your resume should highlight all skills, experience, and personal characteristics that match what the employer is seeking in an employee.

Regardless of field, resumes have a number of components in common.

Common Components

Name and Contact Information

This should appear at the top of your resume, either left-justified or centered. Due to privacy concerns, you may wish to limit your address to city and state, and provide a single phone number and e-mail address.

Do Not Include
Social Security Number, Height, Weight, Age, Sex, Marital Status, Religion, or Ethnicity

Objective Statement

Your objective statement should clearly identify your career goals, and how these goals match the position you are applying for. An objective statement is typically between 1-3 sentences.

Seeking a career in Human Resources where my education and experience will enhance employee relations and benefits management.

Additional Objective Examples

Professional Profile

A profile allows you to summarize key personal characteristics. It should highlight your personal strengths in areas such as communication, leadership, and project management. It is also a key area to highlight skills which are not career specific, such as language proficiency.

• Experienced leader with proven success in increasing member participation and fund-raising.
• Demonstrated success in laboratory data collection, analysis, and reporting.
• Bilingual in Spanish and French.
• Licensed Registered Nurse in Texas with a specialization in pediatrics.

Additional Sample Profiles / Summary Statements (Downloadable PDF)

Career or Technical Skills

This section is a great place to include “buzz words” that match your desired profession. If you have skills specifically designated by an employer such as computer skills or industry-specific skills and business programs include it in this section

Organizational Development, Fiscal Management, Website Development, Microsoft Suite, HRIS Technologies, Payroll


This section should include the name of the school attended, city and state, year graduated (or expected graduation date), and GPA. You may wish to include your GPA in your major if your overall GPA is not reflective of your competency in your field.

Texas Southern University—Houston, TX
Expected graduation May 12, 2012
GPA: 3.0/4.0. GPA in Major: 3.5/4.0

Work Experience

All work experience, whether paid or unpaid, is valuable and should be included. This may include employment before or during school, summer jobs, paid or unpaid internships, and/or volunteer work. If your work experience is limited, you may wish to include large projects that provided valuable employment skills.

Work experience entries should include the your position, name of the company, dates employed, and a brief summary of key results you produced during your employment and skills attained that will transfer to other employment. Do not attempt to “pad” your resume during this section. Keep it simple and direct!

Salesperson, Acme Co., April 2010 – June 2012
Assisted customers in the selection of consumer electronics. Processed cash and electronic payments.


This area should cover any professional or educational leadership positions, memberships, honors or awards that you have received. Memberships should include not only honor societies, professional organizations, and student societies, but also participation in group activities such as sports or performing arts.

Secretary, Phi Alpha Theta Honors Society, 2010


Your resume should be formatted to allow for easy readability. Resumes should generally be one-page, although persons with extensive experience may extend to 2 pages.

General Guidelines
• 10-12 point font.
• Maintain consistent font throughout your document.
• Use bold to highlight sections.
• Unless applying for a position that requires a personal photo, do not include it.

cover letter

A cover letter is a basic business letter that showcases
• your understanding of the industry/organization you are applying for and
• how your experience and education, reflected in your resume, can directly benefit the organization.

While your resume will likely be tailored for a specific type of position, your cover letter should be adapted for the specific organization to which you are applying.

Use the job description in the company’s advertisement to construct the skills you wish to highlight in your resume. Use specific examples of how you have utilized your skills.

Basic Format

City, State Zip

Tip: Using the same header as your resume provides consistency.

Date Written

Name of Addressee
Company Name
City, State Zip

Tip: If you do not have a contact within the organization, address your letter to the appropriate hiring office, such as Human Resources Department.

Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name or Hiring Manager for [position],

In the first paragraph, you should identify the position you are applying for, and how you were directed to the position. If you received a personal reference, identify them by name. Provide your primary skills or experience that would directly benefit the position. If you are applying for a position based on your expected or recent graduation, mention your degree program and expected or recent graduation date.

In the second paragraph, focus on 4-5 skills that are being sought by the employer that you posses. Expand on your resume by providing specific examples of how you used those skills in your previous employment, or while a volunteer, intern, or student. Be sure to use the language used by the organization to describe the qualities you posses. Do not restate information directly from your resume, or refer the employer to your resume.

In the third paragraph, thank the reader for their consideration in considering your application. If you have the ability to follow-up, be sure to discuss when and how (phone/e-mail/person) you would like to do so. If the position requires you to relocate, or you are currently employed, provide information on your availability and flexibility.


Your Name

Applying On-Line

Even when applying on-line or by e-mail, you will want to include a cover letter. A cover letter maximizes your ability to connect with the hiring agent. When applying by e-mail, the content of your cover letter should remain the same. Do not attach your cover letter, but use it as the text of your e-mail. Remove the employer address, but maintain your name and contact information in a format that matches your resume.

When applying on-line, there are a number of different requirements that you may experience. Some forms do not allow for a cover letter to be included. However, many companies do provide the option to attach either a Cover Letter or provide an open section for Additional Documents. Take advantage of these options to include the additional information your cover letter provides.