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Career Development Center

Résumés, Cover Letters, and Online Presence

Make an Impression

How you present yourself online and communicate with potential employers is key to landing the position you want. Our career counselors will help you craft a winning résumé, write an attention-grabbing cover letter, and create a strong online presence.

Meet with us to review your résumé, polish your cover letter, or enhance your online presence.


A clean, succinct résumé can make you stand out from a crowded field of applicants. Each industry has its own preferences for the best way to craft a résumé, but all follow a general format:

  • Identification (your name and contact information)
  • Showcasing (optional)
    • Summary statement (if you have multiple years of experience in the industry)
    • Qualifications (highlights recent achievements and relevant experience)
  • Educational history (chronological, most recent first)
  • Employment history (chronological, most recent first, focused on relevant experience)
  • Activities and leadership roles (focused on relevant experience)

Cover Letter

Your cover letter is the first thing a potential employer sees when looking through your application packet. It’s where you can express your personality, giving hiring managers insight into who you are beyond your educational and employment history. At the Career Development Center, we recommend the following format:

  • Start with your name and contact information in the upper-left corner, followed by the name and contact information of the person you’re writing to.
  • Don’t use their first name in the salutation—it’s not professional.
  • The first paragraph should briefly explain the reason for the letter.
  • Next, highlight your qualifications. Match your skills to what they’re looking for, and explain why you’re the best fit for the position.
  • The last paragraph is your final sales pitch, where you express your interest in the position or organization; this is also where you should indicate your intent to follow up with the employer.
  • Finish with Sincerely, followed by your signature, with your name typed below it.
For any industry, your cover letter should be written with a professional tone and proofread thoroughly for spelling and grammar. Many employers now use artificial intelligence in their hiring system, including applicant tracking systems. This means it is crucial for you to make sure that the key words in your cover letter and résumé match the job description. See the Career Development tab in goPFW for more resources on how to get your résumé through an applicant tracking system.

Online Presence

A strong LinkedIn and online presence will give employers a look at not only your skills but also your personality and can ultimately help them decide if you would be a good fit for their organization.

LinkedIn profiles act as résumés, allowing you to apply to job postings with the information you provide. A strong profile communicates your professionalism and skills to potential employers and recruiters. To create a strong LinkedIn profile, follow these guidelines:

  • Craft an informative headline using your current position (e.g., Student, Purdue University Fort Wayne) or a brief statement about what career path you’re planning for the future.
  • Use an appropriate, high-quality headshot; attend our job fairs to get a free headshot photo.
  • Showcase your education, including university programs and courses relevant to the career you’re pursuing.
  • Fill out your skills and expertise section. 
  • Develop a professional summary statement, similar to a cover letter. Use this section to express who you are, the skills you have, and the career path you’re looking to take.
  • Show your interests by joining groups and following companies on LinkedIn.
  • Collect recommendations on your skills, and endorse your peers.
  • Claim your unique LinkedIn URL.