Spring 2013 — UC IrvineInformation & Computer ScienceICS 139WDavid G. Kay

Résumé and Cover Letter: Peer Editing Guidelines

Because this assignment is very short, you should have at least two of your classmates edit it (and you should edit two of your classmates' papers). Try to work with people you haven't worked with before. (There's a separate page of guidelines for the promotion piece; consult that one if you're doing that alternative.)

  1. Talk to the author. What kind of job does the author want? What does the author think are his or her strongest points or best qualifications? weakest points or shortcomings?

  2. Read your classmate's work once through without making any comments. Then, write down briefly your first impressions:

    1. Are both the letter and the résumé clean, clear, professional, and perfectly correct?

    2. Does it contain anything alienating or off-putting?

    3. Would it make you want to hire the author if you were hiring people for the kind of job the author wants?

  3. Read it again, more carefully, making specific comments in the margins.

    1. Consider the résumé:

      1. Does it include all the author's appropriate qualifications?

      2. Does it indicate any gaps or other areas that need more explanation?

      3. Does it include any inappropriate material?

      4. Does it use consistent, parallel language?

      5. Does it list concrete accomplishments for each position held (where appropriate and available)?

      6. Does it give indications, where applicable, of good communication skills, of the ability to work with others, of leadership skills?

      7. Can you list three ways in which the typography and design actually help the résumé do its job? Can you list ways in which they interfere, and suggest improvements?

    2. Consider the cover letter:

      1. Does the letter follow an appropriate form? Does it use consistent, parallel language? Is the tone appropriate?

      2. Does the author highlight the qualifications most likely to get him or her an interview for the job?

      3. If something in the author's résumé might raise serious questions with a potential employer, does the cover letter deal with them adequately without drawing undue attention to them?

  4. Review your comments with the author (and vice versa). Be sure to write "Edited by" and your name on the copy you edited. Give your comments to the author, who must include them with his or her turned-in version. Be sure you get comments from your editors, too.