Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Resume and Cover Letters

Jones Lang LaSalle


Linda Leonberger, PHR, CEBS
Senior Human Resources Business Partner
Jones Lang LaSalle


Q: What is the first thing employers look at in a student’s or recent graduate’s resume? How can one improve in that area? 
A: Education – did they study in an area that is applicable to the job they are applying for?  GPA.  Experience – have they had any internships?  Are they applicable to the job they are applying for?  If not directly applicable, what skills did they learn that could be applied to the job they are applying for. 
Q: Could you describe common mistakes students or recent graduates make when writing and submitting resumes? 
A: Any errors, such as grammatical, formatting, and spelling, show a lack of attention to detail.  If there is an objective, make sure it is applicable to the company/job you are applying for.  Often times, objectives will state that a candidate is looking for a job in a function different from the function of the job. 
Q: What are appropriate skills to list out in the “skills” portion of a resume and which are not appropriate?
A: Skills that are applicable to the job function, technical/computer skills.
Q: How important is a cover letter?
A: A cover letter can help set you apart from the other applicants if it is done right.  It has to be customized to the job/company you are applying for and be error free.  However, a cover letter can also hurt your candidacy.  If it is not company/job specific, recruiters know that you submitted the same letter to every position you applied for.  This shows a lack of dedication/interest in the company/role.
Q: Is there a secret to writing a unique and effective cover letter that will stand out?
A: You should customize it to the job/company.  Show an understanding of the company and why you want to work for them.  It should make your resume come alive and provide additional insight into you as a candidate.  It should help the recruiter connect the dots – what skills/experiences do you have and how do they relate to the requirements of the role. 

For more resume tips from Jones Lang LaSalle: Resume Tips