Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Résumé and Cover Letter Tips

Ensure a strong application package with a well-crafted resumé and cover letter.

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  • Office of Diversity and Strategic Staffing
  • Email


15 basic keys to success

  1. Make sure contact information is prominently presented.
  2. Don’t sell yourself short; showcase your accomplishments and impact.
  3. Be concise. Don’t include each job experience. Instead, be direct in how you meet the job requirements. Think: no more than 5 bullet points per previous employer.
  4. Make sure to include transferrable skills, as appropriate.
  5. Use numbers and figures to demonstrate success.
  6. Present your most relevant experience first and consider reverse chronological order to keep the most recent experience at the top of the document.
  7. Keep formatting simple. Ensure headings are relevant and eye-catching.
  8. Consider saving space by not including a summary statement or objective. If you do include an “objective,” ensure it communicates your main career aspirations.
  9. Use online resumé verb lists to help craft your experience bullets without redundancy.
  10. Don’t forget the basics. For Los Alamos National Lab, this will include GPA, research, course of study, and dates of accomplishment.
  11. Use the job requirements of the job you are applying to, to guide your experience bullets.
  12. Consider saving as a PDF to protect formatting.
  13. Name the document with key information, for example: Your Name Resume 2017.
  14. Proofread your resumé and consider asking a colleague or friend to review it, as well.

Cover letter

5 basic keys to success

  1. Address each of the minimum requirements individually in your cover letter, even if there are several minimum requirements. You must meet all of the minimum qualifications to be identified as an applicant and receive full consideration for the position.

    Also address desired requirements in your cover letter. Although you don’t have to respond to all of the desired requirements to be considered an applicant, individuals selected for interviews typically not only meet all of the minimum requirements, but at least some of the desired requirements.
  2. Remember, it is okay if your cover letter to Los Alamos National Lab is longer than ones you have sent to other places you have applied to. We are used to this and expect it.
  3. That said, IF NOT addressing minimum qualifications, consider the content and make sure you have not already stated the information in your resumé.
  4. Keep formatting simple and clean.
  5. Proofread your cover letter and consider asking a colleague or friend to review it as well.