GSAS: Resumes and Cover Letters

OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES
GSAS: Resumes and Cover Letters
GSAS: Graduate Student Information
Harvard University • Faculty of Arts and Sciences
54 Dunster Street • Cambridge, MA 02138
Telephone: (617) 495-2595 • Fax: (617) 495-3584 • www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu
Resumes and
Cover Letters
www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu/students/gsas-students.htm
Getting Started with Resumes and Cover Letters
When should I use a resume, and when should I use a CV?
Think about who will be reading your resume. For academic jobs, you use a CV so that people in your field will appreciate
the specifics of your research and your accomplishments within your field. If you’re applying for a nonacademic job for
which the people doing the hiring will have a background similar to your own—say, a research institute, or a research
position in industry—then your academic CV is probably fine to use. However, if you’re applying for positions for which a
PhD isn’t necessarily required, or if you can’t count on your reader having enough of a background in your discipline to
understand your research, then you’ll likely want to use a resume.
What is the difference between a CV and a resume?
A resume is typically shorter, 1-2 pages at most, and will dedicate more space to your functional work experience while
focusing less on academic awards, conference presentations, and publications. Depending on your intended reader, you will
likely go into less detail on the specifics of your research and teaching topics, but rather highlight the transferable skills you
developed through this work.
I’m planning on applying to several different types of jobs. Will I be expected to write different resumes for each one?
Here again, it is important to think about your reader. Let’s say you are receiving a PhD in mechanical engineering, and are
applying for jobs in industry, as well as for quantitative positions in investment banks and generalist positions in big
consulting firms. You might use a version of your academic CV for industry, though perhaps going into more detail on
internships you may have held, as well as any practical applications of your research. The investment banks will be more
interested in quantitative analysis skills, so you’d want to be clear how you developed those skills in the course of your
research. Consulting firms will be concerned with how you’ve developed leadership and teamwork skills; in that case, you
might include less detail about your research experience, but include more information about involvement with student
groups, volunteer work, or internships that may have allowed you to develop these skills.
A friend of mine who is in business school told me I need to have a one page resume. Is that true?
It depends. If you are a doctoral candidate applying for jobs that require a PhD degree, or if you are being recruited because
of your PhD, then having a two page resume is fine. However, if you are a master’s degree candidate, or if you will be
applying for positions that do not require a PhD, then having a two page resume may send a signal that you’re
―overqualified‖ or otherwise not fitting the mold of a typical candidate for entry to mid-level jobs in business. For BA/BS
and MBA candidates, a one page resume is the norm. When in doubt, ask one of the GSAS counselors.
Are there formatting guidelines I should keep in mind?
Stick to a common font like Times New Roman or Garamond, and avoid text boxes, underlining, or shading. Font size should
be between 10 and 12 point, and kept consistent throughout the document. Margins should be equal all the way around the
page, and should be at least three quarters of an inch in size.
Can someone at OCS review my resume?
Yes. Each semester the GSAS counselors hold weekly walk-in hours, as well as two days of special drop-in sessions
(typically in September and May) for GSAS students interested in having their CVs or resumes critiqued. Students may also
have their resumes reviewed as part of a counseling appointment with a GSAS staff member (to schedule an appointment,
visit the OCS website and follow the directions on Crimson Careers or call 617-495-2595).
Consider describing your experiences with these “action verbs:”
Achievement
accelerated
accomplished
achieved
activated
attained
competed
earned
effected
elicited
executed
exercised
expanded
expedited
generated
improved
increased
insured
marketed
mastered
obtained
produced
reduced
reorganized
reproduced
restructured
simplified
sold
solicited
streamlined
succeeded
upgraded
Help/Teach
advised
clarified
coached
collaborated
consulted
counseled
educated
explained
facilitated
guided
helped
instructed
modeled
participated
taught
trained
tutored
Administrative
arranged
channeled
charted
collated
collected
coordinated
dispensed
distributed
established
executed
implemented
installed
maintained
offered
ordered
outlined
performed
prepared
processed
provided
purchased
recorded
rendered
served
serviced
sourced
supported
Lead/Manage
acquired
administered
approved
assigned
chaired
contracted
controlled
decided
delegated
directed
enlisted
governed
handled
initiated
instilled
instituted
managed
motivated
presided
recruited
retained
reviewed
selected
shaped
supervised
Communication
addressed
arbitrated
articulated
briefed
communicated
conducted
contacted
conveyed
corresponded
delivered
demonstrated
edited
entertained
interviewed
informed
lectured
mediated
negotiated
persuaded
presented
promoted
proposed
publicized
reported
represented
responded
suggested
translated
wrote
Plan/Organize
allocated
anticipated
arranged
catalogued
categorized
classified
collected
consolidated
convened
edited
eliminated
employed
gathered
grouped
monitored
organized
planned
regulated
scheduled
structured
summarized
targeted
Creative
authored
changed
conceived
constructed
created
developed
devised
drafted
established
formulated
founded
illustrated
influenced
introduced
invented
launched
originated
revamped
revised
staged
updated
visualized
Research/Analytical
assessed
compared
critiqued
defined
derived
detected
determined
discovered
evaluated
examined
explored
found
inspected
interpreted
investigated
located
measured
observed
predicted
rated
recommended
researched
reviewed
searched
studied
surveyed
verified
Financial
allocated
analyzed
appraised
audited
balanced
budgeted
calculated
compiled
computed
controlled
disbursed
estimated
figured
financed
forecasted
projected
reconciled
tabulated
Technical
adapted
adjusted
applied
built
computed
constructed
designed
diagnosed
engineered
experimented
maintained
modified
operated
prescribed
programmed
proved
reinforced
repaired
resolved
restored
solved
specified
systematized
tested
Resume Sample 1
GINNIE LU
[email protected]
1212 Palm Blvd., #34
54 Dunster Street
Los Angeles, CA 90669
Cambridge, MA 02138
(111) 222-3333
(222) 333-4444
_________________________________________________________________________________
EDUCATION
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
PhD, History of Science, expected May 2010.
GRE: 760V, 710Q
Dissertation: Industrial Revolution and Scientific Discovery
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
BA, summa cum laude, History, minor in Mathematics, May 2002. GPA: 3.9/4.0. Captain, Varsity
Crew.
AWARDS
National Science History Research Award, 2007
Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching Award, 2005
BUSINESS EXPERIENCE
Big Consulting Firm, Springfield, IL
Participant, Entre to Consulting Program, July 2007
 Participated in summer program designed to expose PhD candidates to the field of consulting.
 Gained valuable exposure to the role of consultants in shaping corporate strategy across
industries.
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Research Assistant, Department of the History of Science, 2005 - present
 Collaborated with Professor Big Name to research the Industrial Revolution, and the extinction
of indigenous population. Publication forthcoming in Science History Review.
TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Head Teaching Assistant, Department of Science History, 2006 - 2007
Teaching Assistant, Department of Science History, 2002 - 2005
 Led team of four teaching assistants and taught section of 20 students for department course:
History or Fiction?
 Taught discussion sections of 10-20 students for department course: Enemies of the Industrial
Revolution.
Ginnie Lu ∙ (222) 333-4444 ∙ page 2
LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Founder/President, Consulting Club, 2005 - present
Founded new student group based on graduate student interest in management consulting.
 Partnered with team of group leaders to gain formal recognition from the Graduate School, build
membership, and design educational programs. Club now receives school funding, has over 200
members on 2 Harvard campuses, and partners with alumni, recruiters, and the Office of Career
Services on career-related programming.
 Serve as point person for recruiters interested in gaining exposure to Harvard graduate students.
 Manage staffing of club members to pro bono consulting projects working with small businesses
and nonprofits in and around the Boston area.
Science History Association Conference, Chicago, IL
Student Event Chair, 2005
 Served as chair for 5-person committee charged with organizing events for 250 students at
conference.
PUBLICATIONS
Lu, G., Doe, J. (2007). When the Industrial Revolution Arrived: Where Did All the Elements Go?
Science History Review. (forthcoming).
PRESENTATIONS
―Researching Indigenous Populations Made Extinct by the Industrial Revolution.‖ Science History
Association Conference, Chicago, IL, December 2005.
SKILLS AND INTERESTS




Fluent in Mandarin; reading knowledge of Spanish. Proficient in French. Extensive experience
with SPSS.
Member, Science History Association, 2002 - present
Member, Dudley House Dragon Boat Club, Harvard University, 2004 - 2006
Volunteer, Big Sisters Association of Massachusetts, 2000 – 2002
Winnie is interested in a generalist position with a large management consulting firm
that recruits PhDs from Harvard. This firm has indicated that they are open to
receiving two page resumes or CVs, and are looking for indication of strong
academic achievement. Such companies look for the following information, either on
their online applications or on the resume:
 GRE scores and undergraduate GPA
 Prestigious awards and fellowships (NIH, etc.), as well as patents held
 Publications in peer reviewed journals, particularly if you are the first author
 Evidence of ability to work as a member of a team, either through your work
or participation in extracurricular activities
 Examples of leadership experience
 Demonstration of analytical/quantitative ability
Resume Sample 2
GINNIE LU
54 Dunster Street • Cambridge, MA 02138 • [email protected] • (222) 333-4444
education
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
CAMBRIDGE, MA
PhD, History of Science, expected May 2010. Participant, Business Management Study Group. Member, Dudley
House Dragon Boat Club. Recipient, National History Research Award, 2007. GRE: 760V, 710Q
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
CAMBRIDGE, MA
BA, summa cum laude, Galactic History, minor in Economics, May 2002. GPA: 3.9/4.0. Captain, Varsity Crew
business experience
BIG CONSULTING FIRM
SPRINGFIELD, IL
Participant, Entre to Consulting Program, Summer 2009
● Participated in summer program designed to expose PhD candidates to the field of consulting.
● Gained valuable exposure to the role of consultants in shaping corporate strategy across industries.
research experience
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
CAMBRIDGE, MA
Research Assistant, Museum of Science History, 2007 – 2008
● Collaborated as a team member between Harvard and MIT History departments’ efforts to found museum if its
kind, funded by the Hanley Foundation.
Research Assistant, Department of History, 2005 – 2006
● Partnered with Professor Big Name to research the indigenous populations made extinct by the Industrial
Revolution.
● Publication forthcoming in Science History Review.
teaching experience
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
CAMBRIDGE, MA
Head Teaching Assistant, Department of History, 2006 – 2007
Teaching Assistant, Department of History, 2002 – 2005
● Led team of four teaching assistants and taught section of 20 students for department course: History or Fiction?
Received Harvard History of Science Teaching Award.
● Taught discussion sections of 10-20 students for department courses: Rebels and Enemies of the Industrial
Revolution: Misunderstood, or Freedom Fighter for Rural Survival?
leadership experience
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
CAMBRIDGE, MA
Founder/President, Consulting Club, 2005 – present
Founded new student group based on growing graduate student interest in the field of management consulting.
● Collaborated with team of group leaders to gain formal recognition from the Graduate School, build membership,
and design educational programs. Club now receives school funding, has over 200 members on two Harvard
campuses, and partners with alumni, recruiters, and the Office of Career Services on career-related programming.
● Serve as point person for recruiters interested in gaining exposure to Harvard graduate students.
● Manage staffing of club members to pro bono consulting projects working with small businesses and nonprofits in
and around the Boston area.
HISTORY ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
CHICAGO, IL
Student Event Chair, 2005
● Served as chair for 5-person team charged with organizing events for 250 students at this national conference that
attracts both students and scholars from around the world.
skills
Fluent in Mandarin; reading knowledge of Spanish. Proficient in French. Extensive experience with SPSS.
Interests
Have traveled widely through Europe, Latin America, and India.
This version is based on the Harvard Business School format, suitable for consulting, banking, and general business use.
Resume Sample 3
ELLEN R. JOSEPH
3400 West Chester Blvd., Apt. 109 • Los Angeles, CA 90669 • [email protected] • (813) 566-4321
EDUCATION
Columbia University, New York, NY
PhD, Neuroscience, May 2010. Recipient: Pre-Doctoral National Research Service Award, National Institutes of
Health; Department of Neuroscience Emerging Faculty Award. GRE: 740V, 790Q
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
BS, magna cum laude, Biology, 1998. Phi Beta Kappa. GPA: 3.8/4.0
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2006 – present
Investigated neural mechanisms of song learning in zebra finches, a model for language development in humans
 Acquired and analyzed complex behavioral, electrophysiological, molecular, and cell structural data over
three developmental stages of song-learning in birds
 Recipient: Post-doctoral National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health, 2006 – present
Columbia University, New York, NY
Graduate Researcher, 1999 – 2006
Investigated developmental changes in neural communication underlying a simple reflex in Aplysia, a model
system for learning in more complex animals
 Adapted electrophysiological techniques, traditionally used with large adult neurons, for use in recording
from juvenile neurons (100 times smaller)
 Characterized developmental changes in synaptic transmission during emergence of reflex modulation
Biosure Corporation, San Diego, CA
Assistant Scientist, Summers 1996, 1997
Optimized enzyme production necessary for synthesis of a B-Lactam antibiotic
 Increased yield of a yeast enzyme by 25% and a bacterial enzyme by 15% on small scale
 Developed method for mass production and harvest of enzymes
LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Columbia Graduate Women in Science (CGWS), Columbia University, New York, NY
Co-Founder and President, 2004 – 2006
 Organized and led student representatives from 25 natural science departments to promote issues of
concern to women scientists at Columbia
 Managed 3 public symposia featuring nationally-renowned women scientists
TEACHING and TRAINING EXPERIENCE
University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Written and Oral Communication Advisor, Department of Psychology, 2006 – 2007
 Advised graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty on scientific writing
 Led workshops critiquing writing and oral presentations. Edited grant proposals and articles
 Resulted in 30% greater acceptance rate for journal articles and 25% more grants awarded
Columbia College, New York, NY
Head Teaching Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Cellular Basis of Behavior, 2001 – 2003
Teaching Assistant, Neurobiology, 1997
 As Head Teaching Assistant for biology course (250 undergraduates), managed coordination of lesson
plans for 9 teaching assistants in collaboration with professor. Taught section of 25 students
Ellen R. Joseph, (813) 566-4321, page 2
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
Joseph, E.R. and Shen, Y.X. (2007). Two-stage, input-specific synaptic maturation in a nucleus essential for
vocal production in the zebra finch. Journal of Neuroscience. 22:9107-9116.
Joseph, E.R. and Schmidt, T.J. (2006). Developmental dissociation of serotonin-induced spike broadening and
synaptic facilitation in Aplysia sensory neurons. Journal of Neuroscience. 21:334-346.
Joseph, E.R., Chang, A.R., Kline, N.J., and Schmidt, T.J. (2005). Pharmacological and kinetic characterization
of two functional classes of serotonergic modulation in Aplysia sensory neurons. Journal of Neurophysiology.
78:855-866.
[Note: You may choose to include select articles that were published in prestigious, peer-reviewed
journals, for which you were first author. You can also simply include a line: “List of publications
available upon request.” You may also wish to include, under a separate heading, a section for patents
held.]
Ellen Joseph’s academic and industry CVs are shown in
the OCS guide, CVs and Cover Letters. Here, we have
adapted her resume for jobs beyond the bench, such as
management consulting or other business positions. For
fields like science policy or patent law, the industry CV
may be more appropriate.
Resume Sample 4
SUZANNE M. LILLY
____________________________________________________________________________________
103 Commonwealth Avenue ∙ Boston, MA 02122 ∙ (617) 555-1234 ∙ [email protected]
EDUCATION
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Ph.D., Biology, expected 2011
 Dissertation on the dynamics of Eskimo hunting in a multi-prey system. Use mathematical models and
multivariate statistical techniques to examine causes of variation in harvest levels of wildlife populations
University of British Columbia, Canada
M.Sc., Zoology, 2005
 Thesis on population dynamics of marmots
University of Victoria, Canada
B.Sc., Biology (Honors), 2003
EXPERIENCE
STATISTICAL CONSULTANT, Martilla & Kiley, Boston, MA, April – May 2005
 Recommended statistical techniques for analysis of political polls for this political consulting firm.
TEACHING FELLOW, Harvard University, Biology Department, 2006
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, Baffin Region Inuit Association, Northwest Territories, Canada, 2003 – 2004
 Designed and managed first successful survey of wildlife harvest levels in the Northwest Territories. Raised
over $1M to fund project. Through public meetings, persuaded 99% of Eskimo hunters in eastern Arctic to
participate in survey. Managed budget and designed accounting system. Hired and supervised staff of 20.
Statistically analyzed three-million-piece dataset using custom support programs.
PROJECT MANAGER, Consultant to Northwest Territories Wildlife Service, Canada, 2002 – 2003
 Assessed impact of construction of major highway on wildlife populations. First in N.W.T. to implement a
statistical model to estimate numbers of moose not observed during aerial surveys.
WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, Northwest Territories Wildlife Service, Canada, 2001 – 2002
 Conducted research on population dynamics of polar bears, caribou, seals, and falcons. Authored reports
with recommendations to management.
SKILLS
 Analytical: Completed coursework in accounting, computer programming, and statistics. Developed system
for predicting point spread in National Football League games. Scored in top 1% in quantitative section of
GRE
 Languages: Fluent in Spanish and French; knowledge of Latin and Inukitut (Eskimo)
 Communication: Published papers in scientific journals (list available upon request); authored successful
funding proposals; former political analyst for CBC radio
Suzanne is seeking a position as a quantitative analyst in an investment bank. As such, she makes
her research understandable to the layperson while also emphasizing her experience with statistical
modeling. In addition, she is careful to highlight her transferable supervisory and management skills
by emphasizing her job titles and including a separate Skills section.
A version of this resume originally appeared in Building a Job Search Toolkit: Writing a Resume, Office of Career Services,
Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 2003.
Resume Sample 5
LIAM MIGUEL GUTIERREZ
123 Pleasant Street • Cambridge, MA 02138 • (617) 491-0000 • [email protected]
EDUCATION
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
PhD, Music Composition, June 2011. Dissertation: String Quartet No. 1
New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA
MM, with honors, 2004. BM, 2002.
MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE
NuClassix, Inc., Boston, MA
COFOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, 2002-present
Founded, with partner, this nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation that launches the careers of gifted composers.
 Managed transformation of company from an ad hoc group of composers to a growing public service
corporation through the creation and implementation of a multi-board organizational structure.
 Directed successful fundraising efforts generating over $100,000.
Liam Gutierrez Quartet, Boston, MA
FOUNDER AND MANAGER, 2002-2004
Small music performance business specializing in corporate trade events.
 Conceived and conducted all marketing, contracting, and client relations for a four-piece jazz band.
Developed successful marketing strategy based on product differentiation (high level jazz and swing
performance) and specific market focus.
VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
Ronan Park Neighbors Association, Dorchester, MA
VOLUNTEER, 2005-present
 Collaborated with and advised start-up management team for this early stage community group dedicated to
improving area living conditions.
 Wrote grant proposal that resulted in $5000 reward.
TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
LECTURER, DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC, 2010-present
TEACHING FELLOW, DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC, 2004-2010
 Awarded Oscar Schafer Scholarship in recognition of “an extensive and outstanding contribution to the
teaching of music.”
MUSIC PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTION

Experienced jazz pianist. Composed and met deadlines for 15 new works over six years, performed
throughout New England and New York. Numerous awards for creative work.
Liam is seeking a position in a nonprofit arts organization in either fundraising or marketing. He
highlights his most relevant transferable skills by including separate sections for his entrepreneurial
and volunteer experiences.
A version of this resume originally appeared in Outside the Ivory Tower,
Office of Career Services, Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 1993.
Resume Sample 6
CHARLES CESTARI
[email protected]
10 Mt. Auburn Street #3
Cambridge, MA 02122
(617) 555-1234
123 O Street NW
Washington, DC 20057
EDUCATION
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
AM, East Asian Studies, expected 2011
 Thesis on the role of traditional religious ceremonies in modern culture
AB, Social Studies, 2009
 Served on Social Studies Curriculum Review Board
 Harvard National Scholar (awarded to top 5% of entering class)
EXPERIENCE
LET’S GO, INC., Managing Editor, Cambridge, MA, 2007 – 2009
 Completed final edit of over 2,400 pages of text, including Let’s Go Europe, the world’s best-selling travel guide
 Recruited, hired, and managed a staff of eight editors and 30 researcher/writers
 Served as researcher/writer in Japan in summer of 2003, researching, writing and editing chapters of first
edition of Let’s Go Japan
WORLDTEACH, HARVARD INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, Assistant to Director, 2007 – 2009
 Assisted with recruitment, placement, and training of volunteers in WorldTeach’s China Program.
 Researched and prepared current news articles and social information for two 50-page educational readers
HARVARD MODEL CONGRESS EUROPE, Executive Assistant, 2008 – 2009
HMCE provides talented secondary school students from around the world the opportunity to learn about the US
government and international institutions through role-playing
 Worked in team of 15 to plan and conduct a simulation of the US Congress for European students
HARVARD INTERNATIONAL REVIEW, Special Features Editor, Cambridge, MA, 2005 – 2007
 Executive Board Position; researched, solicited authors, and edited approximately one-fifth of magazine.
Directly supervised three to five research assistants. Authored piece on Asian financial markets and book
reviews on international relations theory
CITY OF CAMBRIDGE, Assistant Registrar, Cambridge, MA, 2005 – 2006
 Registered local residents and led registration and nonpartisan voter education campaigns
SKILLS & INTERESTS
 Travel: Japan, China, Korea, France, India. Spent early childhood in Italy
 Languages: Fluent in Italian; proficient in spoken and written Japanese
Charles will be applying to international organizations that make use of his language skills and
multicultural experience. Since he came into his master’s degree program directly from college, his
experience section includes relevant activities in which he was involved as an undergraduate.
A version of this resume originally appeared in Building a Job Search Toolkit: Writing a Resume, Office of Career Services,
Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 2003.
Cover Letter Template
Your Name
Street Address
City, State Zip Code
Note that in an e-mail message, you would
omit both your and the addressee’s contact
information, as well as the date. Simply start
with the salutation.
Month Day, Year
Contact Name
Title (if known)
Organization Name
Street Address
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name:
Opening paragraph: Clearly state why you are writing. If applying for a job, indicate the position title
and where you saw it advertised. If you were referred to the position from someone within the
organization, or by someone the addressee knows, mention that as well.
Middle paragraph(s): You should have one or two paragraphs that elaborate on how you have
developed the relevant skills required for the job, and any relevant experiences or education you have
acquired. Of equal importance is your argument for how your interest in both the job and the
organization developed—you need to make a coherent argument for why it was a logical decision on
your part to apply for the position, and why it would be a logical decision on their part to hire you.
Closing paragraph: Indicate that your resume is enclosed, if a hard copy letter, or follows or is attached
if you are sending it via e-mail. Express interest in speaking with the addressee further in a personal
interview, and indicate that you will follow up within an appropriate time frame. Thank them for their
time and consideration of your application.
Sincerely,
(signature, if a hard copy letter)
Name (typed)
Enclosure (if not sent via e-mail)
If sending your resume via e-mail to someone you do not
know, do not assume that they will be able to open any
attachments; many companies have policies against it in an
attempt to halt the proliferation of viruses. Instead, include
a “plain text” version of your resume (all left justified, no
bold, italics, bullets or other graphics, or tabs) immediately
after your letter in the body of your e-mail message. Follow
up with a “nice” version of your resume via snail mail.
Sample Cover Letter
GINNIE LU
[email protected]
1212 Palm Blvd., #34
Los Angeles, CA 90669
(111) 222-3333
September 21, 2011
John Smith
Management Consulting, Inc.
123 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 00000
Dear Mr. Smith:
54 Dunster Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(222) 333-4444
Winnie is applying online to a global consulting firm that recruits Harvard students,
but expects cover letters and resumes to be uploaded to its Web site. As such, she
uses a formal business letter format, and indicates her preferred offices.
For companies that recruit Harvard students, including those who use Crimson
Compass to take in resumes, it is not necessary for her to say he will follow up with
the recruiter the way she might with companies she finds on her own. However, she
does indicate that she has spoken to a consultant and expresses interest in
continuing the conversation about opportunities within the firm.
Kamina Jackson suggested I apply for the associate position with Management Consulting, Inc. when I
recently spoke with her at your information session at the Charles Hotel for Harvard University students.
Please accept this letter and enclosed resume as an application for the position of consultant with
Management Consulting, Inc. Based on my research of your firm and my qualifications, I am confident
you will agree that I am a good match for your organization. I will complete my PhD in the History of
Science in May 2012 and look forward to the possibility of joining Management Consulting, Inc.
My interest in a business career is long standing and coupled with strong research, analytical,
communication, leadership, and teamwork skills. I believe I will be able to deliver value to Management
Consulting, Inc. and your clients. While I interviewed with a number of consulting firms for internships
during my junior year, as an undergraduate at MIT, I ultimately chose to hone my research and
analytical skills and explore my passion for Galactic History. I feel it is time to return to the business
world. I have kept up my interest and knowledge of the industry through the business press, as well as
by participating in the Business Management Study Group, a joint venture between Harvard Business
School faculty and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences that exposes PhD candidates to business
principles and the case method of study. In addition, I founded and am currently president of the
graduate student Consulting Club at Harvard. This experience led to my participation in Big Consulting
Firm’s Entre to Consulting Program, which solidified my interest in entering the field upon completion
of my PhD. The feedback I received from the consultants at the firm with regard to both my analytical
abilities and teamwork skills was very positive, and I am convinced I can make a significant
contribution to your firm and its clients.
I look forward to speaking to you about the possibility of my joining your team at Management
Consulting, Inc. I am most interested in working in your offices in Boston or Los Angeles as through my
research I have discovered that many of the firms you serve fit best with my area of expertise. Thank
you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Ginnie Lu
Enclosure: resume
Sample Request for Informational Interview
This e-mail message is not designed to accompany a resume as a job application, but rather to
request an informational interview to learn more about the field of investment banking. As such,
Suzanne is careful to avoid asking for a job, or for anything other than the chance to listen and
ask questions about the alumna’s experience making the transition from academe to Wall Street.
Dear Ms. Ramos:
I found your name through Harvard’s Crimson Compass database, and saw that you completed your
PhD in Applied Math before beginning your work as a quantitative analyst. I will be completing my
PhD in Biology next summer and am interested in learning more about how I might use my quantitative
and analytical skills in investment banking.
Banking is a career option that I have been reading and thinking about for some time. While I do not
have specific work experience in finance, I am an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal and the
Financial Times and have spoken to a few former members of my department about their own decisions
to leave academe and use their skill sets in the private sector. Working as a quantitative analyst appeals
to me because I feel it would allow me to continue to use and develop my mathematical modeling and
statistics skills, while indulging my fascination for the business world.
I will be in New York the week of October 9, and would greatly appreciate the chance to speak with you
about your experience at Wall Street Bank. If this time frame is not convenient for you, I am happy to
arrange a time to speak on the phone.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Suzanne Lilly
Sample Thank You Letter
Having completed a formal interview with this organization, Charles sends out a thank
you note within 24 hours. He sends it via e-mail, as the interviewer has indicated that
the organization intends to make a decision about his candidacy within a few days.
Dear Ms. Funahashi:
Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me yesterday morning about employment
opportunities with Global Education Associates. I am even more enthusiastic about the work that you do
now that I have had the chance to learn more about it.
As we discussed, my experience at WorldTeach and my extensive international travel has instilled in me
the desire to foster educational opportunities worldwide, and to promote cross-cultural understanding of
educational methods and adapt them as appropriate in developing countries. I am particularly interested
in the Educating for Global Citizenship Program due to its commitment to meeting the educational
needs of the emerging global community by offering teachers, youth leaders, and community organizers
ways to comprehend and respond to the critical and creative task of educating the world in the 21st
century.
Thank you once again for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you further
about the contribution I could make to your organization and its constituents.
Sincerely,
Charles Cestari
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