Resumes & Cover Letters
A resume is your professional life encapsulated. Its purpose is to sell your skills to the prospective employer and to progress to the next stage in the hiring process. There are some key elements to preparing a successful resume.
- Keep it clean and simple in formatting.
- Maximum of 2 pages
- Use bullet points
- Use the same font throughout the document
- No photos or graphics. There are some creative jobs like UX design where a resume is actually considered part of the portfolio.
- It is recommended that you have several people review your document for spelling and grammatical errors. Spell check is not sufficient.
- Triple check dates and details.
- Rename your resume for each company you submit to.
- Use a professional email address. Something like “twistedJohn@…” may not get the best results.
- Always include an attention-grabbing cover letter either as an attachment or as the body of the email.
There are some critical elements that need to be addressed in the cover letter:
- Why you are interested in this particular job, not just any job.
- What drew you in? The type of work, the products, corporate culture?
- Highlight any relevant experience, skills or education pertinent to the job opening.
- If you are underqualified, acknowledge the fact. Explain why you feel you should be given the interview anyway.
- If you are overqualified, explain why you want the job that may seem less than you can handle.
- Add any reasons you might be a good fit for the company.
There are some immediate responses that are developed when a potential employer reads your resume. Here are some things to be on the lookout for.
- Using the correct tense; past tense versus present tense.
- Formality is important; too casual and you will not be taken seriously.
- Bullet points.