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Tips for Resume and Cover Letter
Foundation Format for building your initial Cover and Resume
Watch these videos to gain valuable tips on how to succeed!
Brief Overview of a Cover Letter
- Just a one-page document that you submit along with your job application resume. (NO MORE THAN ONE PAGE!!!!).
- Its purpose is to introduce yourself and briefly summarize your background (beginning learner, background you have in construction, or professional background).
- A good cover letter can spark the hiring manager’s interest and get them to read your resume.
- Reminder! A cover letter is in addition to your resume and not a replacement. If you are to generate one, make sure it’s not a repeat of your resume.
Format to create a one-page cover includes only six easy steps
- Header- your contact Information.
- Hiring manager/Department information.
- Opening paragraph- greeting to the hiring manager and also captivates the reader’s attention. Make it personal and tailor it for each job application.
- Second and third paragraph (Body of Cover Letter) – Describe personal achievements or accomplishments and how it will benefit the company you are applying for also mention why YOu are the right person for the job/position.
- Closing paragraph- follow up to your job application.
- Formal salutation – Sincerely, Randy.
- Dear [Department] Hiring Manager,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- To whom it may concern,
- Dear [Department] Team
Stucture of a Cover Letter
STEP-BY-STEP RESUME BREAKDOWN
DECIDE WHICH TYPES OF RESUME YOU WANT.
There are three types of résumés: chronological, functional and
combination. You might want to consider more than one format of résumé if
you’re applying for multiple jobs.
- Chronological is the most traditional format and lists experiences according to the order in which they took place. These résumés generally appeal to older readers and may be best suited for a conservative field.
- Functional is a type of résumé that lists your experiences according to skill. This is the format to use if you’re changing career direction (and lack direct work experience). Because it displays your skills first, your work experience, or lack thereof, is not the main focus.
- Combination combines the best aspects of the chronological and functional Be careful with length for this format; the résumé can quickly get long.
Create a header
- Use a phone number that you plan to answer and change your voicemail to a more professional message if necessary.
- Make sure your email address is professional. If your current email address, for example, is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, it’s time to set up a new email, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Write a Summary
- The summary can be useful to explain why you’re applying for a role that is a departure from your career path.
- You don’t have to include a summary, especially if your experience speaks for itself and is relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.
List your experiences or Skills
- This section shows where you have worked and when. It also states specific accomplishments for each position or job.
- This is where content can make your résumé run over a page, so be selective (if necessary) about what you include.
- Pick experiences that seem most relevant to the position you seek. For inspiration, think of your full-time or part-time work, summer jobs, occasional jobs, internships, fieldwork and special projects.
- Don’t worry whether your experiences are “good enough.” Employers admire people who have worked hard in a variety of positions.
- Always start each achievement with an accomplishment verb, like accelerated, achieved, expanded, influenced, solved, maintained, generated, effected, advised, controlled, trained or utilized.
- Don’t worry if there are gaps in the timeline, but keep everything in chronological order, with most recent jobs at the top.
For Functional/Combination Resumes, List your skillsThe “skills” section of your résumé is a place where you can show your strengths and individuality. Start by stating each skill. Then back it up with a two- to three-line explanation of how you learned that skill or why you believe you have it. Make these entries short, clear and to the point.
- List skills that are most relevant to the job you seek. Think about what the employer is looking for in relation to what you’ve done and who you are as a person.
- Don’t forget to list computer programs you’ve had experience with; proficiency can be seen as added value.
List your Activities
- This is the place to note membership or leadership positions in clubs, organizations of any kind, athletic teams, community organizations and so on.
- If you’ve had an interesting job unrelated to the field you’re pursuing—such as reading to blind children or teaching English as a second language (ESL)—add it here. Employers are always looking for people with diverse backgrounds to work for them.
List your Activities
- List the schools you’ve attended, starting with the most recent one. Include details such as GPA, class rank or
- Add any other educational experiences, such as training programs, community college or summer courses, seminars and so on.
List Any Awards you’ve won and when you won them.
List Your Personal Interest
- This section shows you’re a well-rounded person who people would want to know and work with.
- Employers often use this section at the start of an interview to break the ice.
- Casual interests are better not to list (e.g., napping, watching reality TV, gossiping). This is really about highlighting hobbies that have helped you grow as a person.
- This résumé step is considered optional. If you’re having trouble coming up with interests, or feel your résumé is already too long, feel free to leave it off.
Submitting your Resume
When it comes to applying for a job, there are several ways you can share your résumé with an employer. Make sure you’re aware of these dos and don’ts to ensure your hard work is represented clearly.
Saving your Resume as PDF
Emailing a Resume
Posting a Resume
Most employers prefer to receive résumés in the Portable Document Format (PDF). To create yours, look for the “Save as PDF” or “Print to PDF” option in your word processor. Review the file carefully to make sure your formatting is preserved.
When emailing a résumé, you will likely be asked to send it as an attachment. Review the job listing carefully to see if there is a preferred format; most likely, employers will ask for a PDF.
When submitting your résumé to a human resources website, review the upload instructions; the PDF is the most common format here as well.
Another consideration when submitting your résumé online is using job-specific keywords. Employers often search résumé banks for special words or requirements specific to a job description. Including keywords in the summary, experience, skills and awards sections of your résumé will increase your chances of being flagged as a potential match. You should also use such keywords in the title and brief description of yourself that most job sites request.
Keywords tend to be nouns that are industry-specific qualifications, skills or terms. Some keyword examples include degrees or certifications, job titles, computer lingo, industry jargon, product names, company names and professional organizations.
And lastly, if you’re posting your résumé or portfolio to a job website, be sure to conceal your contact information by activating the privacy settings offered on most job sites or by providing only an email address. Posting personal information on the web could attract unwanted attention.
PRINTING YOUR RESUME
It’s a good idea to have printed copies of your résumé on hand when you go on interviews. Start with a well-formatted document and make sure it has been proofread. You also want to make sure it’s the same version that you submitted as part of your application. Use high-quality paper rather than regular copy paper; it will make a much better impression. Make sure your printer has fresh ink and then print a test run to check for any errors or inconsistencies.