Resume & Cover Letter Best Practices

Resume & Cover Letter Content

Resume Best Practices

  • Tailor to the position for which you’re applying.
  • List the dates of your experiences, include month and year if possible.
  • Use professional, easy-to-read fonts (e.g., Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.)
  • Keep your format consistent (e.g., font size/type, order of information, layout, etc.)
  • Place the most important information first and group related experiences together.
  • Use power verbs to strengthen and diversify your descriptions of past roles.
  • Quantify and qualify your accomplishments—give specific examples of your work, including statistics and numbers (e.g. helped increase fundraising by 10%).
  • Include relevant non-work experiences.
  • Emphasize transferable skills.
  • Keep information up-to-date.
  • Keep it to 1 page.
  • Edit and proofread multiple times.
  • Always send as PDF unless asked to do otherwise.

Cover Letter Best Practices

  • Make sure you have spelled the company’s name correctly.
  • Talk about yourself in the first person.
  • Proofread your cover letter multiple times. Ask a friend or colleague to proofread it as well.
  • Limit your cover letter to one page, preferably 3-4 brief paragraphs.
  • Share your interest in the position and the organization—be specific!
  • State your qualifications for the position but don’t just reiterate your resume -help the reader understand why your experiences will help you be successful in the position you’re applying for.
  • Express how your skills and experience would benefit the organization.
  • Be confident but not boastful.  
  • Check if the institution lists requirements for the cover letter, as they may request specific answers or information. If so, be sure your cover letter speaks to each requirement.

Please note: This document is an optional resource and does not serve as a requirement for the City Center apprentice program application. Additionally, this list is not comprehensive and there are many online resources that can further assist in material preparation.

This list was created by How to Stand Out, a partnership between Disney Theatrical Group, New York City Center, Amy Harris Consulting, and Roundabout Theatre Company.