Friday, July 10, 2015

Job Search Part 2: Resume and Cover Letter

Did you know the average recruiter/employer only takes 6 seconds to read over your resume?

My career adviser left me with one tip, resume's should be short, sweet and preferably ONE page long! 

When applying for child life jobs, only include things pertaining to child life (volunteering, practicum, internship, jobs, camps, etc.)

Remember when hospitals hire you, they call every single place on your resume even if you only volunteered for a few hours, so choose wisely. 

While work experience at a local restaurant is great to have, your future employees aren't going to care about it. They also aren't going to care about the nanny job you had during college or the volunteering you did at the local animal shelter. (Sorry, they really did impact the person you are today though!)


  • A well organized resume will win everyday over a poorly organized one. 
  • Are you having trouble aligning your dates and names? A sneaky tip is to create your resume in a table and remove the lines. 
  • Make sure your resume is in chronological order, present to past.
  • Check and double check for all grammatical errors. Have another set of eyes look over it! 
  • All things you are not currently involved with should be written in the past tense. i.e. Helped, Facilitated, Created...etc.
  • Come up with a creative objective...I'm in search of a child life specialist position isn't going to cut it. 


  • Each cover letter should contain specific information regarding that hospital. Can you include their child life mission statement, or did you read something interesting on their child life page? 
  • Address each cover letter to that hospital's child life team or director. (Tip: Go to the hospital's internship page to see if they have an address you can use on your cover letter)
  • Find a way to incorporate the hospital's name into your objective. 
  • A cover letter should be no longer than a page and is typically composed of three paragraphs. 
  • Each cover letter should be signed with a pen on resume paper before mailing or sending. 

Sell Yourself

  • Don't be shy. The cover letter is your place to shine, brag and be excited about this new opportunity. 
  • Discuss why you feel you would add a great addition to their team. 
  • Future employees want someone with big ambition and someone who isn't afraid to let their talents show. 

Resume Format

  • Traditional font, no smaller than 10pt and no larger than 12 pt. The largest thing should be your name.
  • Margins should be appropriate to the length of your resume. It's okay to manipulate them to be small in order to fit it all on one page. 
  • Categories you can include, but do not have to: 
    • Name and Contact information
    • Objective
    • Education
    • Child Life Experience
    • Volunteer Experience/Related Volunteer Experience
    • Work Experience
    • Leadership Experience
    • Professional Experience (i.e. applicable certifications, professional organizations, and conferences)
    • Research Experience

Cover Letter Format
  • Name on top, same size as resume
  • Same font and size as resume, but margins can be wider
  • Personal contact information aligned right
  • Hospital contact information aligned left
  • Addressed personally
    • We recommend sending a cover letter to EVERY hospital you apply to. Personalize it based on that hospital. But double check behind yourself. The tackiest thing you can do is send the wrong cover letter to the wrong hospital! 
  • Three paragraph structure
  • Hand signed by you

Good luck and keep us updated on your journey! 



Anonymous said...

This post was SO helpful. I'm applying for a spring practicum and had NO idea where to even start with my resume. Thanks so much!
Tara from WI

Child Life Blog said...

So glad it was helpful! It's encouraging to know our posts are actually being read and used! Let us know if there is anything else we can do to help you!


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Cover letters are the first chance you have to impress an employer – they're not just a protective jacket for your CV. Here's our guide on what to include and how to format them

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Charles Kee said...

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Daniel said...

No, we don't know how to read the cover letter in just 6 second with just check it here. Maybe that cover letter will be a one line letter or something like that.

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A resume and cover letter should be designed to help a process seeker to study their accomplishments, competencies, and studies with regards to a job target or targets.