Your resume is a marketing tool that paints a picture of your skills, abilities, and experiences in a way that shows potential employers, internship supervisors, and graduate schools you are a match for the position/program they have to offer.
Because we all have unique experiences in our background, each person's resume will be different. However, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to make sure your resume has all of the essential information needed to paint a complete picture of your qualifications.
|Get Started||Tips & Hints||Format & Layout|
|Content||Show Your Uniqueness||Emailed & On-line Resumes|
|Major Headings||Transferable Skills||Action Verbs|
Start by reviewing the information presented in this web site. You may also want to check out the Piper Center's collection of resume books for additional ideas and examples. Once you've completed an initial draft, stop by the Piper Center to have a Peer Advisor review your resume. After having a Peer Advisor offer some insight regarding your creation, make an appointment with a Piper Center Coach for a final resume check. The Impression
Your resume is the first impression a potential employer/graduate school will have of you. Therefore, your resume should be a clear, concise summary of your skills, relevant experiences, and transferable skills. Your resume should capture the attention of your target audience, motivating them to invite you for an interview!
Remember - the person reviewing your resume typically takes no longer than 30 seconds to do so. Make sure your half a minute counts!
- Use the Resume Worksheet/Template - A worksheet you can use to start putting your experiences on paper!
Define your target audience (job, internship, graduate school, volunteer program, etc.) and jot down the qualifications and skills important to the position/program for which you are applying.
Next, think about the following areas of your background: education, off-campus study programs, work and internship experience, volunteer and community activities, awards, honors, distinctions, special skills and competencies, professional affiliations and activities in which you've been involved. List the experiences as well as the skills you used in the experience. Write down EVERYTHING that comes to mind! There may be pieces to your background that seem insignificant to the position/program for which you are applying, but these opportunities can show transferable skills.
Finally, create your first draft, edit it, get feedback from Piper Center Peer Advisors, academic advisors, supervisors, faculty and other students. Pay close attention to spelling and consistency in formatting. Get a final check from a Piper Center Coach!
TIPS & HINTS
There are no absolute requirements in the preparation of your resume, but there are generally accepted guidelines to follow. Here are some tips and hints to help you with your creation:
- A one page resume is considered ideal for college students and recent graduates. There are a few cases where a two-page resume is necessary - check with a Piper Center staff member to find out if a two page resume is right for you.
- Be consistent in your choice of font and layout. Times, Garamond, and Helvetica are compact fonts and allow for more information to be presented on one page. Don't use smaller than 10 point font.
- Don't crowd your resume; aim to have half of your page be white space. Your resume should appear uncluttered and be visually attractive.
- Use bold, bullets, italics, and underlines to highlight but, beware of looking cluttered. Highlights should be used consistently and sparingly.
- Be factual and 100% honest.
- Do NOT use personal pronouns (I, we, my) in your resume. Start statements with action verbs.
- PROOF YOUR RESUME! Your resume should be free of spelling errors and have perfect grammar and punctuation. Keep in mind that the resume is an example of your written communication skills!
- Print your resume on a laser printer. Use 20# bond resume paper in basic colors (white, off-white, cream, beige, or gray). If sending a cover letter and reference page, make sure they are printed on the same paper as your resume.
- Be e-friendly if submitting electronically. Make sure your resume translates well with other platforms and browsers. Test by sending "practice" emails to friends to see how the information appears on their screens.
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There are three traditional formats used in resume writing: the chronological, functional, and combination resume. Each format style is described below and is linked to an example illustrating that particular style. Choose the format that will best highlight your background!
Chronological Resume: The chronological resume lists experiences under each heading in reverse chronological order, listing the most recent first. This is the style one typically thinks of when contemplating a resume. The chronological format works well if the majority of your past experiences directly relate to the type of position/program you are seeking.
Functional Resume: The functional resume is designed to emphasize transferable skills and related accomplishments while de-emphasizing the specific positions you've held. It is most useful for those who lack experience directly related to their job objective yet have related transferable skills. It also works well for those seeking a career change.
Combination Resume: The combination resume combines the best elements of both the chronological and functional formats. It stresses your skills and abilities while including a chronological listing of your experiences. The combination resume allows the most flexibility in highlighting your background.
There are two basic options when laying out your resume: the "two-column layout" and the "tuck-under layout." Choose one layout and use it consistently throughout your resume. Both choices are professionally recognized and allow you to highlight your capabilities utilizing any one of the three formats listed above.
EDUCATION St. Olaf College Northfield, MN Majors: History and Philosophy GPA: 3.4 Graduation: May of 2003
QUALIFICATIONS Communication Skills - strong oral and written communication abilities as a result of classroom presentations, assisting peers with writing assignments, and giving tours as a guide for the Jesse James Historical Museum.
St. Olaf College Northfield, MN Graduation: May of 2002 Major: Mathematics Concentration: Management Studies GPA: 3.35
Actuarial Intern, American Memorial Life Insurance Company, Summer 2001 Researched individual policies and determined incorrect cash values. Recalculated correct cash values for various policies. Daily use of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and proprietary programs.
Your resume needs to convey what you are capable of doing in the future by summarizing what you have done in the past. You can show your target audience what you can do by strategically selecting key action verbs and words that show transferable skills, as well as choosing eye-catching headings for the various sections of your resume.
As a unique individual with a distinct history all your own, you must
carefully select what information to include and leave out to present and promote the image you wish to convey.
organize categories, focusing attention on your special competencies and qualities.
determine the arrangement and sequence of material to best highlight your particular "fitness" for the position.
begin descriptions with verbs. Avoid starting your resume descriptions with "responsible for" and "duties included." Write in the active, rather than passive, tense!
Though you'll find many options for headings under major headings, listed below are some of the more common choices. You can see an example by clicking on the heading of choice:
- Identifying and Contact Information
- Off-Campus Study Programs
- Work and Internship Experience
- Volunteer and Community Activities
- Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Special Skills and Competencies
- Professional Affiliations and Activities
Identifying and Contact Information - Name, address, phone number, and email address should be formatted in a way to easily identify you and how to reach you. If you are currently enrolled in school, you may want to consider including both your school and permanent contact information.
Permanent: 1001 Far Court · St. Paul, MN 55555 · (651) 555-0000 · firstname.lastname@example.org
College: 1500 Olaf Avenue · Northfield, MN 55057 · (507) 786-2000 · email@example.com
1500 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057
College Address: Permanent Address: 1500 St. Olaf College 1312 4th Street West Northfield, MN 55057 Duluth, MN 55401 (507) 786-4000 (952) 555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective - Include an objective statement if you can be specific about the type of position for which you are applying or the specific skills you wish to use in a position. If you are looking at several alternatives or are not sure which positions are a possibility for you, leave the objective off the resume; instead include a specifically written objective statement in your cover letter.
Objective: Science Teaching Position, grades 7 - 12, with involvement in extra-curricular activities.
OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position with the American Red Cross as a Volunteer Coordinator.
OBJECTIVE: To utilize written communication skills, editing abilities, and knowledge of computer programs with a local magazine.
Education - Include all institutions attended since high school. Include your high school if the position/program to which you are applying requires you to (typically teachers), or if you are a first year or sophomore student in college. Specify the name, location, degree held, majors and concentrations as well as areas of emphasis, and graduation date of each institution. You may want to include your GPA or the GPA in your major if it is above a 3.0. If there is specific coursework that relates directly to your objective or if you have taken courses that are not standard for your major/concentration, it may be beneficial to include the titles of those courses as well.
EDUCATION St. Olaf College, Northfield MN Bachelor of Arts to be awarded May 2008 Major: Spanish Concentration: Media Studies Cumulative GPA: 3.42
EDUCATION: St. Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota Majors: Family Studies and Sociology Graduation: May 2008 Overseas Studies: Aboriginal Culture in Australia Relevant Coursework: Social Deviance, Race and Class in American Culture, Crime and Delinquency: Sociological Views, Adolescent Development and Family Relationships
Off-Campus Study Programs - Off-campus study programs offer St. Olaf students a unique and rich opportunity to develop a variety of skills and interests. Potential employers and graduate schools see domestic and international travel as an indication of your ability to immerse yourself into another culture and develop skills otherwise not tested. Off-campus study programs can be highlighted in the education section of your resume or listed as a separate entity. A brief description is helpful in imparting the nature of the program.
ABROAD EXPERIENCE: University of Lancaster, Lancaster, England (Semester 1, 2007) Studied European economics and politics. Performed extensive research involving the beginning, the present, and the future of the European Union. Investigated the British economic crisis of the 1930's.
ABROAD EXPERIENCE: Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University, Perth, Australia (January 2008) Studied Aboriginal history, culture and lifestyle in six different Australian cities. Gained confidence in ability to relate and live independently in a different culture.
Work and Internship Experience - List all work, internship, practicum and student teaching experience in reverse chronological order, including the title of your position, name of organization, location of work (city, state) and dates. Describe your responsibilities, using skill-based statements to communicate what you did in each position. Emphasize achievements. Describe the most related experiences fully yet briefly and omit experiences that are irrelevant.
RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE: Research Assistant, St. Olaf Biology Department, Summer 2008 Investigated the surface properties of a Phosopholipid Bilayer fused to a glass surface. Under a grant from the National Science Foundation, worked under the close supervision of a highly trained faculty member. Throughout the summer presented information numerous times in front of as many as 50 people. Excellent opportunity to sharpen communication, team-work and problem-solving skills.
RELATED EXPERIENCE: Intern, Anoka County Courthouse, Anoka, Minnesota (Sept. - Dec. 2007) Studied drunk driving, juvenile crime and foster home placement recidivism. Researched, analyzed, processed and presented a study on these subjects to the county board. Provided further development in research, writing and presentation skills. Obtained valuable technical computer skills.
Marketable Experience: Tutor, Educational Talent Search & Upward Bound, St. Olaf College (Sept. 2007-May 2008)
- Selected and trained to tutor junior and senior high students in various subjects. Taught study skills, time management, organization, planning and prioritization skills.
- Coached students in personal and academic goal setting, dealing with peer pressure, communicating with others, and resolving conflicts.
- Oversaw self-assessment and career exploration components.
INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: Ordway Music Theater, Marketing Intern, January 2008. St. Paul, MN Assisted the marketing and public relations department in the preparation of marketing settlements for Broadway shows. Planned and orchestrated publicity events. Created and distributed press releases, fact sheets, and press kits.
Volunteer and Community Activities - Co-curricular activities often help demonstrate your abilities. Describe your responsibilities using action words if you believe the experience illustrates skills related to your objective. Indicate recognition received or a leadership role in an organization.
- News Editor, Manitou Messenger, St. Olaf Newspaper, 2005 - 08. Began as columnist and writer for special on-campus events. Within a year, supervised a staff of 30 assigning stories and overseeing deadlines. Designed innovative newspaper layout each week using Quark Xpress.
- Program Director, St. Olaf Political Science Honor Society, 2004-05. Facilitated programming on campus which emphasizes the contributions of political science to public discourse. Inducted to membership in May 08.
- Junior Counselor, St. Olaf College, 2003 - 04. Resided in a first year residence hall; counseled and assisted with adjustment to college life, designed and implemented both corridor and all-hall programs.
Extra-Curricular Activities: Senior Gift Committee Captain, Sept. 05 - May 07 Marketing Committee Co-Chair for campus nightclub, Sept. 05 - May 06 Student Activities Committee, Sept. 00 - May 05 Project Friendship, Sept. 03 - May 04 Cross Country Running Team, Sept. 02 - May 03 Manitou Singers, Sept. 01 - May 02
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions - Awards, honors and distinctions may be listed on your resume as a separate category or as part of other sections where they may be most relevant (Education, Professional Affiliations, Activities, etc.).
Academic Honors: St. Olaf College Buntrock Presidential Scholarship, 2005-present. Honors Day Recognition, each year 2004 - present. Psi Chi (National Psychology Honor Society), 2004 - present.
Special Skills and Competencies - Special skills that you've developed through classroom experiences, internships, volunteer work, and other experiences have the ability to show you're qualified for specific positions/programs. These skills can be presented in a "Special Skills" type section of your resume to show their significance.
Special Skills and Strengths: Technical Skills - Proficiency with PC computers and various software programs including Microsoft Word, Excel, Minitab (statistics program), Maple (mathematics program), and PowerPoint. Time Management Skills/Work Ethic - Completing a double major, while being a student athlete and working 10 - 15 hours per week has resulted in excellent time management skills. This type of co-curricular schedule requires a strong work ethic and strong desire to learn. Communication Skills - Excellent communication skills attained through working as a customer service representative at Target Stores and as a waitress. Presentation skills gained via classroom presentations and as president of the Sideburn Club. Strong writing skills developed in creative writing and research-based coursework.
Professional Affiliations - If you belong to a professional association or have participated in professional activities, listing the organization, your position and the nature of your involvement is another great way to illustrate your commitment to a particular field of work.
Professional Affiliations Student Minnesota Education Association (SMEA), Member, 2005-2007 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM), Member, 2004-2006 Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), Treasurer, 2004-2005 Mathematics Association of America (MAA), Presenter, 2003 Conference
We all have a unique set of experiences that have allowed us to develop sets of skills and competencies unlike anyone else. These special skills and competencies are what often give us an edge over others who are applying for the same opportunity.
One way to highlight your unique background is to combine the academic, work, internship and co-curricular activities that are most relevant to your goal into one section of your resume. For example:
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Senior Economics Project, St. Olaf College, September 2001 - December 2001 Researched and analyzed the accounting method for intangible assets, especially human resources, and applied it in a business setting. Intern, All Star Financial, Summer 2001 Observed day to day operations of financial institution with company president. Gained knowledge in financial planning, financial analysis, research, and sales techniques. Prepared for first CFP exam. Developed financial planning model. Co-editor, Manitou Messenger, September 2000 - May 2001 Proofread and evaluated submitted articles in business section, created visually appealing layouts, collaborated with peers to brainstorm ways to strengthen paper. Assistant, St. Olaf College President's Office, September 1999 - May 2000 Assisted office personnel. Answered phones, created mailing lists and databases, responsible for office filing system.
Another way to show your unique capabilities is to combine some sort of statement of your qualifications with a chronological listing of your experience (combination resume). There are many ways to title and format this statement. Here are some examples:
PROFILE: Extensive experience in customer service to ensure friendly rapport. Excellent organizational skills and time management while working in a busy, high-pressure work environment. Strong attention to detail. Take initiative with strong sense of urgency. Committed to timely, comprehensive, and accurate completion of tasks and projects.
STRENGTHS: Strong Analytical Skills - developed through coursework in finance and logic. Excellent Interpersonal Communication Skills - utilized in coursework for English major and in team assignments. Leadership Ability - held leadership roles in academic and extracurricular activities. Time Management Skills - Involvement in music, athletics, coursework and other co-curricular activities demands a strong work ethic and desire to learn.
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS: Possess strong social, interpersonal, communication and listening skills. Computer literate in MS Word, Excel, MS Publisher, Adobe PageMaker software and the Internet. Analytical research and writing skills enhanced due to solid background in multiple research projects. High aptitude for learning languages; fluent in German and competent in survival Thai. Effective problem solving, teamwork and prioritizing skills due to past employment experiences.
When an organization receives hundreds of resumes for the same position, they will likely scan your paper resume into a computer database. When the employer needs to fill a position, the computer is programmed with key words that describe the qualifications sought in a candidate. The computer searches its database for resumes that include those key words. The resumes with the most matches are forwarded to the employer as prospective candidates.
Be sure to find out if the organization to which you are applying uses this method to sort through resumes! If it does, you'll need to make sure your resume is computer friendly. The following steps will increase a scanner's ability to read your resume:
Use non-textured white or off-white paper with black letters.
Choose a well-known font such as Times, Arial, or Helvetica.
Pick a font size of 10 - 14 points, and do not condense spacing between letters.
Do not underline or italicize text, and do not use bullets, asterisks, or parentheses. Modern systems can understand bold, but older systems might not. You can still distinguish headings by using capital letters.
Avoid boxes, graphics, columns, and horizontal or vertical lines.
Put your name on its own line at the top of each page. Also, give telephone numbers their own lines.
Do not staple or fold your resume.
For answers to additional questions, stop by the Piper Center to review a selection of resume books that will provide you with more information on scanned resumes. You may also want to speak with a Piper Center peer advisor or coach.Emailed Resumes
More and more employers and graduate schools are accepting application materials via email. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) offers the following suggestions should you choose to email your resume:
Proofread everything. A typo in an email can eliminate you from consideration just as quickly as it can on paper.
Introduce yourself with a brief (1–2 paragraph) cover letter stating your interest in the job and why you'd be a good fit for the company. Do this in the text of the email, not as an attachment.
Be e-friendly. Make sure your resume and cover letter translates well with other platforms and browsers. Test by sending "practice" emails to friends and asking them how the information appears on their screens.
Make information clear and accessible. Send your resume as both text and as an attachment, and include the position and your name in the subject line. Label you attachment with your name (e.g., Beth Gardner — resume).
Utilizing on-line resume services is a great way to get your resume to potential employers. Some sites allow you to download your resume as a word document, some have you scan your resume onto their site, and others create categories for you to enter your information. No matter the format of an on-line resume service, there are a few important safety tips to keep in mind:
Posting your resume online makes your information very public. You may want to limit the contact information you provide to your email address and/or phone number.
ALWAYS ASK CALLERS TO IDENTIFY HOW THEY GOT YOUR RESUME.
There is no easy way to control the type of employers who will search online databases for potential employees. You may get calls from companies/organizations that are not of interest to you. Be assertive in letting these callers know you are not interested.
If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a recruiter/company/organization, ask the caller to send you a position description and literature about the place of employment. Let that person know that you will call once you've had a chance to review the material if you are interested.
Be aware of third-party recruiters (these are typically recruiters who represent positions for a variety of companies either on a temporary basis or as a placement agency). This particular group of recruiters are always interested in expanding their candidate pool. If you are contacted by a third-party recruiter, ask for specifics on the service provided. DO NOT ENTER INTO ANY AGREEMENT IN WHICH YOU MUST PAY A FEE FOR PLACEMENT SERVICES! Do not feel obligated to use a placement service or to provide any information to a third-party recruiter.
If you have any questions or concerns about how to handle phone calls from recruiters, please contact the Piper Center for advice and assistance!
Headings About Your Career Plans
The following is a list of key words that work well to create meaningful sections to your resume. This is not an exhaustive list but will help to spark ideas. Mix and match various words to create headings that will make your resume stand out!
Objective · Career Objective · Career Focus · Career Goal · Professional Objective · Professional Ambition · Employment Intention · Job Target · Position Desired
Headings Summarizing What You Have Done
Summary of Qualifications · Key Qualifications · Profile · Professional Profile · Strengths · Special Skills · Summary of Skills · Demonstrated Skills · Skills Profile · Areas of Proven EffectivenessHeadings About Your Education
(High School [if necessary], Vocational, University/College, Overseas/ Domestic, Experiential)
Education · Educational Background · Educational Preparation · Relevant Education and Training · Educational Highlights · Educational History · Formal Qualifications · Academic Background · Academic Training · Academic Record · Academic Achievements · Scholastics · Special Training · Course Highlights · Relevant Coursework · International Study · Abroad Experience · Foreign Experiences · Domestic Experiences · Travel · Senior Research Project ·
Certification · Credentials · Licenses · Accreditation · Scholarships · Honors · Conferences · Continuing Education · Academic Internship · Internship · PracticumHeadings About Your Experience
(Professional, General, Voluntary)
Experience · Experience Summary · Experience Highlights · Related Experience · Experience Profile · Field Experience · Career Highlights · Career History · Career Achievement · Career Overview · Professional Background · Professional Employment · Professional Skills · Employment · Employment Record · Employment History · Part-time Employment · Summer Employment · Internship · Internship Experience · Student Teaching · Community Involvement · Community Service · Civic Activities · Volunteer · Voluntary Work · Volunteer Activities · Positions Held · Appointments
(Professional, Personal, Sporting, etc.)
Achievements · Accomplishments · Scholarships · Awards · Publications · Portfolio · Honors · Distinctions · Professional Development · Special Recognition · Leadership Experience
(General and/or Specific)
Areas of Expertise · Special Skills · Strengths · Relevant Skills · Technical Skills · Skill Summary · Capabilities · Competencies · Career Skills Summary · Professional Skills and Achievements · Summary of Qualifications · Personal Attributes · Computer Skills · Foreign Language Skills
Headings About Groups You Have Joined
(Professional, Social, Recreational)
Memberships · Professional Memberships · Professional Affiliations · Professional Associations · Extracurricular Activities · Co-Curricular Activities
Headings That Are Usually Irrelevant
Date of Birth · Age · Place of Birth · Nationality · Ethnic Origin · Marital Status · Religion · Number of Children · Health · Height and Weight
Transferable skills are skills that are developed in a specific context but are "transferable" to a variety of other situations and tasks.
Below you will find a list of words under each cluster heading that describe transferable skills. The lists are not exhaustive but give you ideas to work with on your resume. Most of the words are written in present tense, typically in resume writing, you will be using the past tense.
speak · write · listen · express · facilitate · provide feedback · negotiate · perceive · persuade report · describe · interview · edit · articulate · sell
· improvise · present · summarize
HUMAN RELATION -
help · develop · be sensitive · listen · convey · provide support · motivate · share · counsel · cooperate · delegate · perceive · assertive · mentor
· deal tactfully · empathize · deal with conflict
PROBLEM SOLVING -
anticipate · determine · take control · improvise · stay calm · evaluate · mediate · reconcile · diagnose · refer
imagine · brainstorm · artistic · design · develop · sense · envision · perform · conceptualize · construct · draft · entertain · visualize
ESSENTIAL WORK SKILLS -
implement · cooperate · enforce · be punctual · manage · attend to detail · meet goals · enlist help · accept responsibility · set and meet deadlines · organize · decisive
delegate · instruct · recruit · hire · promote · mediate · troubleshoot · lead · demonstrate · supervise · advise · monitor · resolve · schedule · represent
forecast · predict · create · identify · imagine alternatives · be resourceful · gather · solve · interpret · evaluate · clarify · diagnose · research · set goals
· extract · define · analyze · synthesize · develop · calculate · set priorities · understand
initiate · handle · coordinate · mediate · troubleshoot · organize · develop · strategize · arrange · list · timely
inspire · encourage · lead · convince · persuade · hearten · instill · collaborate · guide · influence · promote · validate
assess · compute · design · engineer · fabricate · operate · program · upgrade · solve
When job hunting, you must express your assets, experience, and accomplishments in the best possible manner. Action words produce a strong impact on the reader or listener. The following is a list of action verbs that can be used to start accomplishments statements when you are describing your experience:
A worksheet you can use to start putting your experiences on paper!
|Fine Arts||Graduate School||Nonprofit|
|Art||Curriculum Vitae I||General I|
|Dance||Curriculum Vitae II||General II|
|General||Physical Therapy||Science & Math|
Stand Out with a Modern Resume
by The Daily Muse Editor
Vault - Online Career Library- download career guides, research companies, search industries & professions and view "a day in the life of stories".
Always print your references on a separate sheet that will follow your resume.
Three references are standard, listing an additional two is helpful.
Start your reference sheet by duplicating the heading from your resume - name, address, phone, and email.
Type the word "REFERENCES" centered under your heading.
Either centered or aligned with the left hand margin, type the name, title, address, phone number, and email address for each reference. Be sure to ask each person's permission and inquire about what contact information they would like to have listed (work vs. home).
Use professional references (i.e. faculty, supervisors, academic advisors, etc.) rather then personal references (i.e. a friend's parent, uncle, mom).
Once you've mailed, emailed, or posted your application materials online for jobs and internships that have been advertised, follow-up with a phone call 7–10 days following the application deadline. If a deadline is not posted, follow-up 7–10 days after you mail your application materials.
A resume and cover letter may also be sent to inquire about opportunities that have not yet been posted. Should you choose to send a "letter of inquiry", follow up with a phone call 7–10 days after mailing your materials to ask the potential employer/supervisor about the status of your application and potential openings.
GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICANTS: If you are sending application materials for graduate school programs, be sure to follow-up prior to the application deadline to make sure your file is complete!
Making the Call
"Good afternoon. My name is Jorja Ryan and I am a senior at St. Olaf College. I applied for the position of ____________, and am calling to inquire about setting up an interview."
"Good morning, this is Renee Roberts calling, I sent my resume and cover letter last Monday applying for the ____________ position. I indicated in my application material that I'd call you today to answer any questions you may have for me and to inquire about setting up an interview."
"Hello. My name is Bjorn Johnson and I am a junior philosophy and math major at St. Olaf College. I mailed my resume last week inquiring about the ___________ internship position. I am calling to see how you are coming along in the selection process."
"My name is Meredith Drake, I sent my application materials last week for the graduate program in ______________. I'm calling to make sure you've received my information and that my file is complete."