Examples of Resumes and Cover Letters

An effective resume and cover letter will highlight your strengths and accomplishments and de-emphasize your weaknesses. Employers generally look at a resume for three to five seconds before deciding whether or not to remove it from the competition. Your application package must convey that you are worth talking to in person.

There are four different resume styles: chronological, functional, combination and scannable. The type of resume you choose will depend on the position you are applying for, the amount of relevant experience you have, and the employer's preference. Included with each resume sample in this section is a sample cover letter.


Chronological resumes are a widely used resume style. This format illustrates your work experience by listing your job titles and responsibilities from your most recent position to your first job. It is sometimes appropriate to list only positions directly related to the desired job. People with many years of experience need only list the last ten years of employment history. This resume is often preferred by individuals with substantial, progressively responsible work histories.

Here is an example of a chronological resume for a fictional person.


The Functional resume lists your relevant skills and dates after the objective. While it may also list employment experience, experience is not the focus. The functional resume may also highlight educational background for people newly out of school. This resume style is useful for people who do not have a lot of experience, who are changing jobs, who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, or who have an abundant amount of experience and expertise.

Here is an example of the functional resume for a fictional person.


This resume style combines the previous two. It is often the resume of choice for people who have experience and skills and would like to effectively emphasize both. This format usually begins with a summary of qualifications and skills followed by a chronological list of employment experiences. This resume is preferred by people with a track record of progressive responsibility in their professional lives.

Here is an example of a combination resume for a fictional person.


Scannable resumes are quickly becoming the most popular format among employers. More and more companies are using systems to help them manage the volume of resumes for their job openings. This is called "electronic applicant tracking." This new system is designed to help employers save time and energy in reading and extracting information on resumes. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is used to read your resume and convert it to a text file. The scannable resume is based on facts and nouns. Unlike the verb and action-oriented chronological, functional, and combination resumes, scannable resumes are screened by computers, not people. Computers require concrete, fact-based descriptions. Because your resume will be "read" by a computer, you need to design it for maximum legibility by OCR systems, not for visual appeal to a person. Many people choose to submit a scannable resume and a "people friendly" resume to companies requesting this format.

To help make your resume readable by a computer database, follow these tips:

  • Use white, standard weight (20 lb.), 8 1/2 x 11 paper printed on one side only.
  • Use a laser printed original copy of your resume. (Some high quality photocopies are also. suitable)
  • Do not fold or staple.
  • Use a standard font size (10 to 14 points).
  • Use a standard font such as Times, Courier or Helvetica.
  • Avoid italics, underlines, bold, shadows, symbols and reverse lettering.
  • Avoid vertical and horizontal lines, graphics and boxes.
  • Avoid the two-column format.
  • Place your name at the top of the page on its own line.
  • Use standard address format below your name.
  • List each phone number and electronic mail address on its own line.
  • Use key words and jargon to define your skills, experience and education.
  • Increase your list of key words by including specifics; for example, list names of software you use.
  • Avoid using pronouns.

Here is an example of a scannable resume for a fictional person.