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Developing Skills

Preparing for your next steps may involve developing relevant skills. But it will also involve putting together a strong resume, learning how to write a cover letter, developing graduate school or fellowship applications, understanding the importance of networking, honing your interviewing skills, and developing a timeline for how you’ll achieve your goals. 

A resume is a brief, informative document summarizing your abilities, education, and experience. It should highlight your strongest assets and differentiate you from other candidates.

Your cover letter is a way to introduce yourself to organizations in a narrative form that will accompany your resume. Use your cover letter to describe your qualifications as well as your interest in both the job and organization so the employer will want to interview you. Since the primary purpose of a resume and cover letter is to “market” you, always keep the organization’s hiring needs in mind.

Networking is nothing more than talking with people who can provide you with information, advice, resources, and possible contacts related to your fields of interest. 

An interview allows the employer to assess your qualifications for the job or internship, your fit with the organization, how well you have considered your reasons for applying, how clearly you express your potential contribution, and your “soft skills” such as communication and professionalism. In essence, the interviewer wants to know: Why should we hire you? Interviews are also an opportunity for YOU to evaluate the organization and whether the opportunity you've applied for aligns with your professional interests, skills, values, and goals.