Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

    Are you getting ready to apply for a job, or are you already seeking employment? A resume (or résumé) is a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience that you prepare as part of your application materials for a prospective job. To ensure that your resume is read by the recipient, you will need a cover letter that markets your unique qualifications for the specified job description. In the current global economy, it is essential for job seekers to optimize their chances of being considered and hired for positions that are well-suited to their qualifications and interests. This course will help you effectively develop employment application materials for today's job market by honing your resume writing skills, providing you with tools to create an impressive resume (or to improve the one you already have), and giving suggestions on developing an effective cover letter. You will study different types of resume and cover letter formats that can be applied to various prospective employment situations and your own personal career goals. You will undertake a critical assessment of the professional skills you already possess, brainstorm and apply the best ways to market these skills in your resume and cover letter, and enhance your application materials by using specific tips and techniques to make you more competitive for the job you seek. By the end of this course, you will combine effective language and design elements to produce a polished resume and cover letter that can be tailored to each specific job application.

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  • Unit 1: An Introduction to the Resume

    In this unit, you will learn about the function of a professional resume and the different types of resumes typically presented in today's job market. Also, you will learn about various formats in which to present a resume (e.g. a conventional resume, a functional or skills-based resume, a chronological resume, etc.). Finally, you will collect information about your own professional skills and accomplishments in order to prepare for building your own resume later in this course.

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  • Unit 2: The Key Components of a Resume and Cover Letter

    Now that you have an understanding of the basic function of a professional resume, you can focus on the key components of a resume in greater detail. In this unit, you will study the kinds of content and categories often included on a resume and learn how the arrangement of these components can change based on the information and accomplishments you wish to emphasize to a potential employer. You will consider which categories you would like to include on your own resume, and then you will draft your resume by listing your major accomplishments, professional skills, and other pertinent information in an organized manner under these categories. In addition, you will draft a cover letter to accompany your resume. Finally, you will explore some common design elements frequently used on a resume and learn about simple techniques for effectively formatting and styling a resume. By doing so, you will lay the groundwork for polishing your resume in Unit 3.

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  • Unit 3: Bolstering Your Resume and Cover Letter

    In the final unit of this course, you will polish your resume and cover letter. Even if you do not consider yourself technically skilled, you still can create an attractive resume by employing some freely available online resources. You will examine ways to enhance your resume and cover letter and learn about techniques to make your application to each job as competitive as possible. You will harness effective action verbs, keywords, and positioning (a formatting strategy for promoting your professional identity) to strengthen the language and organization of your resume. You also will learn how to edit and review your resume and cover letter to ensure its quality. Finally, you will learn how to tailor your application materials toward a specific job and identify the pitfalls to avoid when finalizing your resume and cover letter.

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  • Optional Course Evaluation Survey

    Please take a few moments to provide some feedback about this course at the link below. Consider completing the survey whether you have completed the course, you are nearly at that point, or you have just come to study one unit or a few units of this course.

    Link: Optional Course Evaluation Survey (HTML)

    Your feedback will focus our efforts to continually improve our course design, content, technology, and general ease-of-use. Additionally, your input will be considered alongside our consulting professors' evaluation of the course during its next round of peer review. As always, please report urgent course experience concerns to contact@saylor.org and/or our Discourse forums.

  • Final Exam

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