Do you have any tips for writing good resumes and cover letters?
I am starting to look for internships for the near future and many if not all require a resume and cover letter. I am just looking for some tips to improve my cover letter and resume. #resume #resume-writing #job-application
Cover letters are very important as they introduce you to the employer. Here are a few helpful hints as to writing a good Cover Letter:
1. Return name and Address, phone and email address should appear in the left, middle or right hand corner. The date should appear two lines beneath your address (write out date i.e. May 01, 2016.) Some people prefer right hand, I prefer left hand and the closing at the left. Others prefer right hand and closing and the right. Closing should be: Sincerely (full name and middle initial.)
2. You should always try and find the name and proper title of the addressee before you send out a cover letter (using Mr. or Ms.). On the next line use the individual proper title; next line the Company Name and following line company address
3. Dear Mr. or Ms. is the proper salutation and should be typed two lines beneath the Company's address.
4. First Paragraph: State immediately and concisely which position you wish to be considered for and what makes you the best candidate. If you are responding to a classified ad, be sure to reference the name of the publication and the date the add appeared. If you were referred by someone, be sure to reference that name. Keep this paragraph short, but concise and to the point such as: "I have a major in Mathematics at Boston University, where I have worked as a research assistant, and I am confident that I would make a very successful research trainee in your Economics Research Department."
Second Paragraph: Detail what you can contribute to this company and show how your qualifications will benefit this firm. If you are responding to an ad, specifically discuss how your skills relate to the job's requirements. Be brief.
Third Paragraph: Describe your interest in the corporation. Emphasize you knowledge about this firm and let them know that you have researched this company, and then tell them why you would be a good fit for the job, and how you could help them in this particular job.
Final Paragraph: Keep the closing simple and tell them "I would like to interview for this job with you at your earliest convenience. I am best reached between 3pm and 6 pm at ( ph. or email address.)
Don't forget to proofread and avoid messy corrections.
RESUMES: NAME, Address, phone # and emails address should be in middle of resume, but you can also put it on either side. I like the middle because that is where the eye goes.
1. If you have an objective it should be a one liner: "Film Production manager or assistant", in an agency or production house.
2. You can also give a short 2-3 line summary of what your have done and how it relates to the job.
3. Qualifications: THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT: Give you skills and abilities that you can off and you can refer back to the job description, such as: "Special talent for producing and directing award winning projects.
4. There are two types of resumes Chronological and Functional or a combination of both. (Check out the differences)
5. after qualification Area you can put in you Professional Experience: Name Company, Job Title, dates you worked and underneath those items put you job duties in bullet form (easier to read such as): Directed a summer repertory theatre at CSULB. You can also add in a section of Voluntary jobs if you have any.
6. Next is education: If you don't have a lot of work experience, then Education should come before Job experience.
In the education area you can put classes that you took that relate to the job description and the dates that you attended school and if you received a degree (date) or certification.
7. Last you can put in any awards that you have gotten especially if they pertain to the job and description of the job.
If you follow these suggestion you should have a very good cover letter and resume. Remember don't be to wordy (make it short and concise.)
I hope these suggestions help you in finding the right internships and jobs for you. Also when writing make sure your English is correct. Resume readers sometime just scan resume and only look for the words that apply to the job description. Good luck in your search!!
Try to keep your resume at 1 page. The general rule of thumb is 1 page for every 10 years of work experience. Since you are a student, 1 page should be enough.
Don't be afraid to use variations of your original resume when applying. It might be good to emphasize something for one internship or take out other experiences that might not be of interest to them. For example, if an internship is looking for someone who took classes in biology, you might want to list your biology class under education and include a few bullet points or a small description of what you did or learned- any labs, group projects, specific emphasis?
As a student, education should come first followed by your experience- this order should change once you graduate and have at least 6 months to 1 year of work experience . Since experience is a broad category, you can include both work and volunteer experience under this heading. This might be helpful starting out if you don't have much work experience to list.
When it comes to volunteer work, you can list something even if it was a 1 time event. There is no rule that it has to be ongoing volunteering, or happened more than once to be listed on your resume.
At the end of your resume, make sure to include a heading for "Interests." List 3-4 interests or hobbies you enjoy. For example- hiking, baking, volleyball, etc. This may seem silly or useless, but it's just as important to have on your resume. Some employers may ask you about your interests as an ice breaker- this has happened to me a few times. They may even share similar interests, which can be helpful in making you a memorable candidate and create a good connection with the hiring person.
Always address your cover letter to an actual person. Never use generic phrases like "hiring manager" or "to whom it may concern." If it's a generic internship posting with no contact information, you can always try calling the company and asking who is in charge of hiring for the internship. You can also use LinkedIn to search the company and find names of recruiters or HR employees to use in your cover letter.
For specifics on what to include or how to phrase things, try to use the language and key words you see mentioned in the internship posting. For example, if the posting wants a "team player" (a very common requirement) and you want to discuss your experience with a group project that demonstrates how you're a team player, be sure to use the word "team player" when describing your group project experience. (Side note- any sports you've been invloved with can also highlight good team player experience). For more details on how to describe experiences or use certain language, you can also search for templates online. You might also want to stop by your school's career services office if they have one.
Proof read! Read your resume and cover letter 2- 3 times before submitting, especially if you're using a variation of your original resume. Have people review both, especially your resume for any errors you might have overlooked. Common errors usually include not following the same format throughout - using abbreviations for months (Dec, Sep) in a few places and then spelling out months in others (January, October). Printing out copies for review can make it easier to spot any errors. This is especially helpful for finding spacing issues.
For your resume, try to make it as clear and legible as possible, with the most relevant experience and education near the top. For the most relevant experience and education, add some bullet points describing in more detail what you did, learned, or led. For volunteer and hobby items, keep them brief and to the point unless you showed leadership ability, in which case add some details. Overall, make sure that your resume is not longer than two pages. Remember that a recruiter will be going through stacks of resumes, so its important that they can find all the important info in the eight to ten seconds they will likely spend reading it (they won't be reading it word for word from beginning to end; they'll be skimming it).
Hiring managers and recruiters alike say they've seen more poorly written resumes cross their desks recently than ever before. Attract more interview offers and ensure your resume doesn't eliminate you from consideration by following these six key tips:
- Format Your Resume Wisely "Do the Hiring Managers" Work for Them
No matter how well written, your resume won't get a thorough reading the first time through. Generally a resume gets scanned for 25 seconds. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds two pages.
Use a logical format and wide margins, clean type and clear headings
Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader's eye
Use bullets to call attention to important points (i.e. accomplishments)
- Identify Accomplishments not Just Job Descriptions
Hiring managers, especially in technical fields like engineering, seek candidates that can help them solve a problem or satisfy a need within their company. Consequently, you can't be a solution to their problems without stating how you solved similar problems in other companies and situations.
Focus on what you did in the job, NOT what your job was there's a difference
Include a one or two top line job description first, then list your accomplishments
For each point ask yourself, What was the benefit of having done what I did?
Accomplishments should be unique to you, not just a list of what someone else did
Avoid using the generic descriptions of the jobs you originally applied for or held
- Quantify Your Accomplishments
Q: What's the most common resume mistake?
A: Making too many general claims and using too much industry jargon that does not market the candidate. A resume is a marketing document designed to sell your skills and strengths rather than just portray a bio of the candidate.
Include and highlight specific achievements that present a comprehensive picture of your marketability
Quantify your achievements to ensure greater confidence in the hiring manager and thereby generate interest percentages, dollars, number of employees, etc.
Work backwards to quantify your accomplishments by asking, If I had not done X, what could have happened?
- Cater Your Resume for the Industry
Unlike advertising and design professionals who have greater creative license in designing their resume for those fields, the mechanical engineering industry won't be impressed and may be turned off by distinctive resume design.
Err on the side of being conservative stylistically
Your accomplishments, error-free writing, grammatically-correct, clean, crisp type and paper will make the impression for you
- Replace your Objective" with a "Career Summary"
A Career Summary is designed to give a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Most Objectives sound similar: Seeking a challenging, interesting position in X where I can use my skills of X, Y, and Z to contribute to the bottom line. Not telling at all.
Grab a hiring manager's attention right from the beginning, remembering you
have only 25 few seconds to make a good impression
Spend time developing a summary that immediately gets their attention, and accurately and powerfully describes you as a solution to their problems
- Network. Network. Network.
For unemployed candidates, handing out resumes should be a full-time job. The majority of mid- to senior-level positions are filled through networking, so contact absolutely everyone you know in addition to recruiters who are in a position to hire you or share insights. Networking can include
Personal business contacts, people you've worked for or who worked for you
Vendors and sales representatives you've dealt with in the past five years
People listed in the alumni directory of your alma mater
With a solid resume in hand you'll greatly increase your odds of earning a closer look and getting that interview.
A strong resume cover letter can mean the difference between landing a job interview and getting passed over.
Don’t Regurgitate Your Resume
Instead of just repeating yourself (“I was in charge of reviewing invoice disputes”), use your cover letter to describe additional details that you weren’t able to squeeze onto the single page of your resume:
Think Not What the Company Can Do for You
A common cover letter mistake? Talking about how great the position would be for you and your resume. Frankly, hiring managers are aware of that—what they really want to know is what you’re going to bring to the position and company.
Clearly Show What You’re Capable Of
Beyond explaining what you’ve done in the past, show hiring managers what you can do in the future. “Determine the key requirements and priorities for this job, and make it instantly clear to the reviewer that you can deliver the goods on these key things
Showcase Your Skills
When you know you have the potential to do the job—but your past experience doesn’t totally sell you as the perfect one for the position—try focusing on your skills, instead
Not Necessarily Your Education
Many new grads make the mistake of over-focusing on their educational backgrounds. At the end of the day, what hiring managers care about most is your work experience —and what you can walk through the door and deliver on Day 1.
Highlight the Right Experiences
Not sure what skills and experiences you should be featuring? Drop the text of the job description into a word cloud tool like Wordle, and see what stands out. That’s what the hiring manager is looking for most