How to Build a Resume and Cover Letter for your First Genetic Counseling Position

Did you all tune into the Student/New Member SIG Webinar on November 29th?

Cindy Soliday (Kaiser HR hiring manager for GCs) & MaryAnn Campion, MS, CGC (co-director of Stanford program) discussed how to obtain your first GC position. And while I coudn’t stay on the line for the entire lecture, I jotted down some notes on resume and cover letters.

Quick Notes on Resumes:

  • Keep it short (1-2 pages)
  • Use simple, obvious formatting
  • Use the formatting to draw attention to your key points; don’t bury them
  • Include (1) personal contact information (2) education (3) experience (clinical placements, relevant work experience, relevant volunteer work) (3) professional organizations (4) awards (5) special skills (bilingual, etc.) (6) major publications and presentations
  • Indicating “References available upon request” is OK
    • However, choose your references wisely and always ask your references in advance
    • Prep your references and give them a heads-up as to which jobs you’re applying for
  • Ensure your resume is TARGETED to the specific job; create multiple versions of your resume that are tailored to each job opportunity
  • Absolutely no excuse for typos! Have multiple people proof read
  • Tips:
    • Keep one long continuous (all-purpose) resume/CV saved, then cull the long version for specific jobs/opportunities
    • Turn resumes into PDFs before submitting so they remain visually appealing. Otherwise, formatting may get messy depending on how it’s saved into the system.

Quick Notes on Cover Letters:

  • Intended to introduce and complement your resume/CV (should NOT be a repetition of your resume)
  • 1 page, simple, NO TYPOS
  • Address the letter to the specific hiring person or company
  • Explain why you are writing
  • Main body should list major accomplishments or experience; convince the employer to interview you
  • Tailor the letter to the position
  • Emphasize your specific career goals at this position
  • Encourage the employer to contact you in the last paragraph



My understanding is that the presentation slides will eventually be posted on the SIG board. If you’re not already a member, consider joining. The rest of the webinar provides information regarding job searching, salary and benefit negotiation techniques, and
examining what HR hiring managers and lead genetic counselors are looking for in an applicant.

Happy job searching!

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