"Résumé and Cover Letters"
Chapter 4 Résumé and Cover Letters What You Need to Know 55 Generally, when applying for a position, submitting a cover letter and résumé is required. The cover letter should not summarize but, rather, highlight the résumé and make the “Perseverance reader want to know more. Then, once an employer decides is the secret of all triumphs.” to look at the résumé, you have less than a minute to “wow” ~ Victor Hugo them before they move on to the next applicant. Your skills and qualifications should jump out on the résumé and be easy to skim through. Use your minute wisely by learning how to write a résumé and cover letter that will get you invited for an interview. Résumés The résumé is a document for presenting your skills and experience to potential employers. It should be easy to scan quickly, yet contain enough information to reveal essential details about where you’ve been and suggest where you have the potential to go. A one-page résumé is usually sufficient for people in or near the beginning of their professional careers. 56 Five Different Types of Résumés 4. Scannable F A text version of your résumé is the most and When to Use common and preferred format for electronic 1. Chronological résumés. They are designed to be scanned F Lists experiences [usually work experiences, into a computer database. Because of the but not always] from the most recent to large number of résumés received, compa- oldest. nies are turning to computer databases to do F A useful format showing career progression the searching for qualified candidates. for those who have had increasingly respon- F It is extremely important to use terms and sible positions and worked consistently. familiar industry acronyms [jargon] that F Not recommended for those with gaps in describe your skills and experience. work history, or those who are making a F The scannable text version may be any of career change. the above types. F Employers tend to prefer this commonly F Font should be at least 12 point. Avoid using used format because it is easy to find bold, italics, underlining, bullets or multiple employment history and gaps in employment. columns. The computer will not read these. F Use flush-left alignment. 2. Functional/Skills-based F Mail or deliver your résumé in a flat envelope F Puts the emphasis on what you have learned or by fax. Do not staple multiple-page résumés. and the tasks and skills performed on the job, not on where you have worked. 5. Internet F This format is good for those who have F You can post on the Internet in two ways: an established or long work history, a through a Web based résumé database or on sporadic history, or those who are making a a Web page. career change. F The Internet format follows the same guide- F Employers like this format because they can lines as the Scannable résumé. easily see what knowledge and skills you F Since the employer will be viewing the have acquired on previous jobs. résumé on a computer screen, you need to F Employers are wary of this format because put the most important information first. it may not list the work history or dates of Use a personal statement that summarizes employment. your experience and your job objective. F It is recommended when posting your 3. Combination résumés on a Web site to provide only your F Combines the chronological format and the e-mail address as a contact. functional/skills format. F A good format for those who have an established or long work history, have a sporadic or “job hopping” history,” or those who are making a career change. F Employers like this format because it lists skills and provides a work history. Chapter 4 Getting Started Guidelines for Résumé Development 57 When you first sit down to write, Look through half a dozen books on résumés, and you’ll think “more” rather than “less.” At find six versions of what a résumé must and must not this stage you’re simply using your include. Many of these rules are merely opinions. We’ll Résumé Worksheet 1-7 to list out start with the premise that your résumé will be read items within the major résumé cat- quickly, followed by a closer look if you make the first egories. The time for editing and cut. So your résumé has to be short and easy to read, but refining is later. filled with information. Follow these guidelines: F Keep to one page for entry level or new graduate. It’s helpful to think of your résumé F Use Chronological, Functional, or Combination as a work in progress, beginning with format. the rough draft, moving on to in- F Objective or Summary of Qualifications near the top— creasingly polished drafts. This is your opportunity to communicate that you know what you're looking for and are qualified for Stop by the Career Services Office the job. in Room 1145 of Ivy Hall between F Focus on the “hot spot.”—Is the most impressive, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through relevant information on the upper half of the page? Friday, or call  269-5612 or F Information on a resume should be listed in order of  669-4882 , ext. 5612 [within importance to the reader. Therefore, in listing your Indiana] for an appointment to talk jobs, what’s generally most important is your title/ with staff members who can help you position. So list in this preferred order: Title/position, identify how the content or look of name of employer, city/state of employer, dates of your résumé might be improved. employment. Reader relevance is also the reason that experience and education are listed in reverse chronological order on your resume; it’s assumed that your most recent education and experience are most important to the reader. F Generally, brand-new graduates list education first, while job-seekers with a few years of experience list experience first. F Top down—It's better to read like a list than a letter. This is achieved with action-oriented, “bulleted” statements. These are rarely complete sentences; personal pronouns—I, we, etc.—are not included. F Lead your statements with action verbs. 58 What to Include Skills Form Your Résumé’s Foundation Everyone has their own style of writ- A recent survey from the National Association of ing, their own style of organizing Colleges and Employers listed the top desired skills for their thoughts. Microsoft Office has entry-level job candidates. The list included these skills: templates that can help you format F Oral Communication the “look” of your résumé. In addi- F Teamwork tion, there are many sites on the Web F Interpersonal that will offer loads of advice. F Analytical F Leadership But there’s no getting around the fact that the first step is to sit down Often, entry-level candidates with limited experience at and identify what you’ve done in your the professional level in their chosen fields can present work, schooling and life—specifically these as transferable skills. Again, transferable skills are the things that might be important ones that you’ve picked up somewhere other than the for a potential employer to know place you’re headed but which will be relevant in your about you. You should have already new field or position. done this in Résumé Worksheet 1-7 on page 22. These things may For instance, maybe you worked on a sales team in the include: retail environment of a part-time job. You may not be F Educational details, including going into retail work as a career, but consider the pos- scholarships sibility that your new employer—in whatever field or F Accomplishments in part-time jobs company—probably values teamwork and interpersonal and internships communication skills. So, entries such as: “Acted as F Campus activities and/or volunteer member of six person sales team” or “Assisted customers work with purchases and merchandise returns” demonstrate F Interests and activities the development of important transferable skills. F Skills and qualities Writing About Your Skills Résumés should consist primarily of high-impact accom- plishment statements that sell the job-seeker’s qualifica- “Personal tions as the best candidate. relationships are fertile soil Avoid the use of expressions such as “duties included” from which all advancement or “responsible for.” That’s job description language, not in real life accomplishment-oriented résumé language that sets you grows.” apart. Don’t sell yourself short! ~ Ben Stein Chapter 4 As you compose your rough draft, be sure to refer back to your skills and résumé worksheets and give yourself credit for your transferable skills. The skill phrases you construct are central to 59 making your résumé clear, concise and informative. These phrases will begin with action verbs. Some examples are: F Organized event for the Student Leadership Academy F Maintained inventory control F Calculated and reviewed project estimates The following action verbs are appropriate to begin your skill phrases: acted defined initiated publicized supported adapted delegated inspired published symbolized addressed delivered interpreted purchased systematized administered demonstrated invented raised tabulated advertised designed judged reacted talked allocated detected led read taught analyzed developed learned reasoned tended appraised directed lectured recommended terminated assessed discussed listened reconciled trained assigned dissected lobbied recorded translated bargained drafted made policy recruited traveled built drew managed reduced typed calculated edited manipulated reflected understood cared for educated mapped related validated catered encouraged mediated remembered visualized changed enforced memorized repaired wrote clarified enlisted modified reported collaborated evaluated motivated reproduced collected examined negotiated researched communicated expedited observed restored compared experimental operated reviewed compiled explained ordered risked composed expressed organized scanned computed facilitated operated scheduled conducted filed perceived screened constructed fundraised performed serviced contributed gathered persuaded served controlled gave planned shaped cooperated graphed preached simplified coordinated guided prepared sold counseled heard prioritized spoke created helped processed staged critiqued hosted programmed studied debated identified promoted summarized decided implemented proofread supervised 60 Major Résumé Categories It’s also helpful if you can work in not only a suggestion of what you want to do, but also In this section, we’ll highlight five categories what you’ll be bringing to the position. Ask most often used in the résumés of undergradu- yourself: What is it that makes me believe ate students the type of work I’m seeking will utilize my strengths? An answer could be: 1. Identification The résumé begins with your name, address, - I am seeking a position in consumer phone number and e-mail address. Most often, product sales that will utilize a strong this information is at the top of the page. For customer service background and excellent example: problem-solving abilities. Kelly B. Goode - I am seeking an entry-level position in 1314 Mockingbird Lane accounting in which a strong educational Lafayette, IN 47904 background and analytical skills will be  962-7777 applied. firstname.lastname@example.org - I am seeking an internship in public 2. Objective relations that will build upon and expand The objective identifies the focus of a candi- strong written and oral communication date’s search. It is important to clearly state the skills. type of work you’re seeking. For example: - I am seeking a position that includes - I am seeking a position in consumer responsibilities for systems analysis, product sales. maintenance of records, evaluation of - I am seeking an entry-level position in programs and projecting future sales accounting. trends. - I am seeking an internship in public relations. Not every résumé must include an objective. If you don’t really know what type of experi- Note: Some people customize their objective ence you’re seeking, an objective can be prob- for each position: lematic. If an objective suggests only a very general interest in obtaining employment— - I am seeking a position in the human I am seeking a challenging position that will resources department of the XYZ Company. utilize my skills and provide for advancement— the objective is probably better left omitted. A case can be made that this will get an employer’s attention. Others believe it is too obviously tailored towards a particular vacancy 3. Education and may not persuade the employer of the job For most current students and recent seeker’s overall focus. graduates, education is the most relevant accomplishment to potential employers; so it is included before experience. Chapter 4 Educational experiences can be highlighted While a public services student who held the with special activities and honors. For example: same job might list it as: 61 Ivy Tech Community College E’s Home for Youth Lafayette, IN Summers, 2005 to present A.A.S. in Business Administration Bookkeeper Concentration: Agribusiness Lafayette, IN Graduation: May 2008 GPA: 3.6/4.0 Try to include more entries in your most recent employment, with fewer lines in subsequent Honors and Activities: entries. This subtly suggests that as your work - Elected Finance Chair of Communication history has progressed, you’ve done a bit more Club in each job. For instance: - Member, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Kinko’s - Student Ambassador Lafayette, IN Customer Service Associate Notes on Education category: Honors and January, 2005 to present activities are not essential. Not all students can claim them. Also, these may be set apart - Assisted customers with computer and copy in a separate section if you prefer. If you have machine questions achieved a GPA of 3.0 or better, do include - Resolved customer complaints as necessary that on your résumé. This is a good place to - Trained new service associates include elected leadership and scholarships. - Reconciled register drawers It is not advisable to include high school details - Deposited cash and checks from daily sales in this category. Ivy Tech Community College, Career Services 4. Experience Lafayette, IN This section is where you detail your paid work Work Study experience. Jobs are listed in reverse chrono- September, 2004 to December, 2005 logical order. Before you begin, really think about what functions you’ve performed in each - Provided excellent and timely assistance to of the part-time, full-time or summer jobs students in the Career Resource Center you’ve held. Refer back to Résumé Worksheet 1-7. - Created and maintained attractive bulletin board designs You may list the place of employment or the job title first. Consider: “Given what I want to do, Knutson Family what do I want my prospective employer to no- Richfield, IN tice?” So, an accounting student who has done Nanny basic bookkeeping might go with: Summers 2002, 2003 Bookkeeper - Provided complete day care for two Summers, 2005 to present young boys E’s Home for Youth - Organized educational and social activities Lafayette, IN 5. Presenting Skills through Work Description 62 Try to use the action verbs previously suggested. The tendency when describing work experience is to focus on duties and responsibilities: I typed, I cleaned rooms, I waited tables, I sold clothes. However, this approach may not fully represent your skills. Some examples of correct and incor- rect ways of presenting your skills are presented below: Incorrect Correct F I had certain jobs to do everyday, and F Effectively managed time to meet deadlines I just got them done. in completing assigned projects F I talked with people who came in, and F Tactfully interacted and communicated I answered the phone. with customers F I typed, filed and answered the phone. I did F Assumed full responsibility for office everything when the secretary wasn’t there. coverage in secretary’s absence F I took returns and tried to help people F Exercised diplomacy in handling customer with problems. complaints and returns F I got along with the people I worked with. F Worked cooperatively with seven co-workers F I sold clothes. F Effectively initiated sales of casual and professional clothing F I waited on tables and took orders. F Developed ability to deal with high-pressure situations in assisting customers at up to six tables at a time F I learned menu items and prices quickly. F Quickly assimilated and memorized information on items and prices F I tried to be nice to all my customers. F Patiently dealt with the public F I always showed up for work and got F Demonstrated reliability in achieving a my jobs done. perfect attendance record over a one-year period F Well, some days they wanted me to come in F Demonstrated flexibility in working an at 7 a.m. and other days at 9 a.m. irregular work schedule Chapter 4 Other Résumé Categories - C++ - SQL 63 Identification, Objective, Education, Skills - Adobe InDesign [designate version] through Work Description and Experience are - LINUX [designate distribution/version] fairly standard categories for a college student’s résumé. There are nine other categories that 3. Internship Experience can be included. Whether you use these will You may want to highlight an internship that depend on your particular achievements and is not your most recent experience. One way experiences, as well as how meaningful and to get this closer to the top of the page is to relevant they’re likely to be to your potential give internship a separate category between employer. Education and Experience. 1. Qualifications or Summary 4. Related Skills of Qualifications This is a recommended section if you have not The purpose of this section is to summarize worked for pay, but have significant skills that why you are qualified to do the job you say you relate to your job objective. It is also effective want. It allows you to specify the reasons why to include the skills you will be highlighting in the employer should hire you. For example: the job objective. For example: QUALIFICATIONS OBJECTIVE - Thirteen  years of industrial/ I am seeking a mechanical design/ manufacturing experience drafting position. - Six  years of industrial electrical and mechanical service and repair SKILLS - Over six  years of customer service - AutoCAD [designate version] experience and interpersonal skills in - Microsoft Office [designate version] working with diverse public. - Microsoft Access [designate version] - Welding: MIG, TIG, SMAW, Stainless - Pro Engineer [designate version] - Knowledge of PLC, hydraulics, structural - Wildfire [designate version] fabrication - Tolerancing - Ten  years of military experience - 3-D dimensioning - Section drawing 2. Computer Skills - Mechanical parts design Increasingly, this is something employers like - Isometric and oblique drawings to know about even for non-technical posi- - Facilities design and layout tions. Here you’d list basic current technolo- gies, hardware, software and languages 5. Campus Honors and Activities [including the version] that you’ve learned This can be part of Education or a separate and used. For instance: category. This is great for students who have done quite well academically or have been COMPUTER active in campus life. For instance: - Visual Basic [designate version] - Java [designate version] ACTIVITIES - Microsoft Office [designate version and - President, Phi Theta Kappa International which part[s]: MS Word, Publisher, Excel, Honor Society [1 year] Access, PowerPoint] - Secretary, Ivy Tech Community College If you choose to include this phrase, prepare a 64 Student Government Association [SGA] typed sheet titled “References for [your name]” [2 years] in the same format as your résumé. For each - Coordinator, Holiday Dinners, Food Finders reference, list name, position or title, address, Food Bank [4 years] phone number, and e-mail address if appropri- - Founding Member, Students in Free ate. Provide this document when requested or Enterprise [2 years] offer it at the conclusion of your interview. 6. Professional Development References are individuals who can attest to This provides a summary of the professional your qualifications for a particular position, association memberships, seminars attended, and discuss your skills and attributes. There professional presentations, and any other are three types of references: Personal, related activities that helped you to develop Professional and Work. professionally in your field. For example: Personal references are friends and family who PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT know your character and can vouch for you - National Association of Social Workers being a good person. Avoid using personal [NASW] Member references whenever possible. - Attended the Mayor’s Council for Domestic Violence Seminar Professional references are people with whom - Presented paper, Premarital Violence, to you have some formal relationship such as in- Social Services Club structor or work supervisor. Generally firms will - Attended Adolescents and Eating Disorders want professional references. Most employers NASW 2-day Seminar assume that references will be provided. Gen- - Created a 7-unit curriculum on Premarital erally, three to five references are preferred. Counseling for Family Life for an Education course project Work references are places where you have worked. Employers will often request a list of 7. Volunteer Activities your previous employers to verify that you have Noting your volunteer activities helps the indeed worked at those companies. In this employer to see you as a well-rounded person. situation, only the verification of employment is given, not a description of your work skills or 8. Interests how you performed on the job. Some people dislike this category, thinking of it as filler. Others believe it can be a useful It is essential to discuss your job search with conversation starter. your references. You should only list an indi- vidual as a reference if they have agreed be- 9. References forehand to be a positive reference for your “References: Available upon request” is option- job search. It is a good idea to provide a copy al, but it can signal to the reader that they’ve of your résumé to your references so they can reached the end of your document. Some refer to it if an employer contacts them. You people dislike this category and believe that should also advise your reference about when references being available should be assumed. to expect that a specific individual might be calling. Chapter 4 Résumé Examples 65 The following pages are samples of Notice how the candidates: undergraduate or entry level résu- F Give themselves maximum credit més. The first is a graduating student for the skills they’ve acquired up seeking her first post-graduation to this point. position in her field of accounting. F Highlight experiences most The second is a business major seek- relevant to direction in which they ing an internship [in this case, his want to go. second internship] that will expand F Present a clean, easy to read his skill base and help him attain a picture of who they are and what greater sense of what opportunities they have to offer the employer. he’ll want to pursue upon graduation. While this person has fewer academ- ic and campus related credentials, he effectively emphasizes transfer- able skills acquired in his work and life experiences. “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind” ~ Lee Iacocca Anne I. Super 124 Raven St. Lafayette, IN 47909  555-1314 email@example.com 66 Objective To obtain an entry-level position in accounting requiring strong analytical and communication skills Education Ivy Tech Community College 1/2002 - Present Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration Lafayette, IN Specialty: Accounting GPA: 3.25/4.0 Graduation, May 2004 Honors and Activities Vice President Accounting Club Orientation Ambassador Experience Bookkeeper/Service Counter/Cashier 6/2003 - Present Byerly’s Rossville, IN - Prepare weekly and daily financial reports, including balance sheets and sales reports for the grocery store and restaurant - Deposit cash and checks from daily sales - Reconcile cash register drawers and fast bank - Train new cashiers - Assist customers with requests, post office needs, and check cashing Work Study Support Staff 9/2002 - 5/2003 Ivy Tech Community College Lafayette, IN - Discussed résumé basics with students prior to establishing appointment with Career Services staff - Provided assistance to students in Career Resource Center - Created and maintained attractive bulletin board designs Nanny Summers 2001, 2002 Knutson Family Richfield, IN - Provided complete day care for two young boys - Organized educational and social activities Computer Skills Spreadsheet applications: Microsoft 2007 Excel and Quattro Pro X3 Word Processing applications: Microsoft 2007 Word and WordPerfect X3 Business applications: QuickBooks Pro 2007 and Peachtree 2008 Volunteer Activities Led spring break service trip to Appalachia Acted as Girl Scouts fund raising block coordinator Chapter 4 Mark S. Guy 3250 Grand Avenue, Apt. 202 Lafayette, IN 47905  555-6776 firstname.lastname@example.org OBJECTIVE 67 Seeking an internship in marketing that will build on existing teamwork skills and business experience E D U C AT I O N Ivy Tech Community College Lafayette, IN Associate of Science Program: Business Specialty: Business Administration Graduation: May 2005 INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE Funcorp Central Monticello, IN Events Intern May - December 2003 Performed store demonstrations of company’s birthday party products for ten retail locations Communicated with store personnel and parents on safe use of toys and balloons Built positive relationships with store owners Completed and submitted reports within one day of events EXPERIENCE More 4 Less Department Store Lafayette, IN Sales Associate December 2001-Present Acted as part of men’s casual clothing sales team in company’s largest grossing store Recognized as Associate of the Month in third month on the job Maintained in-store displays and presentation of merchandise Guys Doing Lawns Lafayette, IN Owner Summers 1999-2001 Initiated and developed lawn service with twenty-five customers Doubled size of business in two years, based on word of mouth customer satisfaction ACTIVITIES & INTEREST Member, Communication Club Volunteer, Annual Neighborhood Paint-A-Thon Weekend for Senior Homeowners Member, Lacrosse Club REFERENCES Provided upon request 68 Do’s and Don’ts on Résumé Layout and Appearance Do Don’t F Limit the résumé to one page if you are F Duplicate your résumé on a photocopy a new graduate with little experience. machine. The copy will be on copier paper, A separate, second page is acceptable for the type will not be correctly aligned with individuals with extensive experience and the edges of the paper, and it will not be qualifications. The separate, second page crisp in appearance. should include your name and Page 2 in F Use yellow, blue, green, pink or other colors the header or footer format. unless you are in a field such as graphic arts F Provide a consistent, easy-to-read look by where creativity is expected. limiting the number of different fonts and F Use abbreviations or acronyms on your type sizes, and avoiding excessive bold face, résumé except for postal abbreviations of italic and underlining. states [Indiana: IN], degrees [Associate F Have someone else proofread your of Applied Science: A.A.S.], and grade point résumé for grammatical and spelling errors. average [G.P.A.]. It may be acceptable to Your résumé should be completely free use abbreviations that are well known in of mistakes. the industry to which you are applying [for F Type in short paragraphs and avoid clutter. example, CAD instead of Computer Aided Leave adequate “white space” in margins Drafting], as well as acronyms after a name/ and between paragraphs. Keep in mind that title has been fully spelled out in first use. your résumé may only get 30 seconds of Always check a style guide that is commonly attention. used for that industry or business sector. F Select a good quality paper stock, one with F Staple newspaper advertisements to your some cotton content. Résumé paper is résumé or staple pages of the résumé available at all office supply stores and in together. most department stores. Off-white or cream F Send a résumé without a cover letter unless is a good choice; very pale beige or gray is specifically instructed. acceptable. Pure white paper tends to F Update your résumé by hand; always retype. glare but is very acceptable, especially for F Have margins under 3/4 inches on top, business majors. bottom, left, or right sides. F Purchase extra blank sheets and matching F Use too many different fonts and excessive envelopes in the same stock as your résumé bold face or underlines. for cover letters. F Use standard 8 1/2" x 11" paper. F Be sure to review your résumé periodically and update as needed. F Print your résumé on a laser quality printer. Chapter 4 The Cover Letter 69 A cover letter accompanies the résumé, expressing your in- terest in working for an organization. It answers the primary question asked by every employer: “Why should I consider “Of all those arts this applicant, and what value will they add to our efforts?” in which the wise excel, Nature’s chief masterpiece A cover letter may be sent in response to an advertised is writing well.” ~ Duke of position, or to inquire about unadvertised openings. It Buckinhamshire Sheffield communicates a personalized message about your potential value to that organization. It’s an opportunity to expand upon the information included in your résumé without the limitations imposed by the standard format. Guidelines for Cover Letter “I'm addressing some correspon- dence to the person in charge of Development your regional sales force. Could Many people find cover letters easier you please provide me with a to write than résumés. You are not name and official title?” bound by the résumé format, and F Conclude with a statement are free to express enthusiasm for a indicating when you will follow-up specific position or organization in with a phone call or e-mail, rather a more natural voice. Nevertheless, than “I look forward to hearing there are certain guidelines to follow. from you,” and then be sure to do what you promise. F Keep your cover letter to one page that highlights and emphasizes information and Easy Enough: Paragraphs experience that is especially One, Two and Three relevant to the position for which A cover letter can be as brief as three you're applying. short paragraphs. F Always address your letter to an individual in a hiring capacity [i.e., Paragraph one [2-4 sentences] not “To Whom It May Concern”]. F State the reason of your letter: This may take a little bit of time, I am writing to express interest … and phone [or Internet] research, F Mention how you learned about but there is a specific person who the position: … in the position will be reading your résumés. advertised in last Sunday’s Journal You’ll need to use tenacity, and Courier. persistence and the right question: F Generate interest and grab the reader’s attention. Paragraph two [6-8 sentences; may Create a résumé to be scanned so 70 be two paragraphs if necessary] it is ready when you need it. It’s an F Explain what you can offer the absolute must these days: 80 percent company. of résumés today are placed directly F Express your enthusiasm for the into keyword-searchable databases. opportunity. F Highlight qualifications, academic Scannable résumés are designed to major, achievements, and be read by a computer, rather than accomplishments. the human eye. Therefore, having F Demonstrate how your skills, two versions of your résumé [one expertise and/or experience relate scannable, one not] is advisable. to the employer’s needs. The good news is that many of the F Clearly communicate your basic guidelines of a good résumé purpose. [e.g., using action verbs and reverse F Avoid excessive use of “I.” chronological format] are compatible with and appropriate for this new Closing paragraph [2-3 sentences] technology. F Indicate your desire for an interview. Other tips include: F Indicate when you will follow-up F Eliminate graphics, boldface, by contacting the employer. italics, and underlines F Use white or off-white paper Cover Letter with Résumé F Use at least 12 point, standard fonts, such as Times New Roman, and Other Letter Examples Arial or Verdana Sample résumés with cover letters F Use terms and jargon specific to are in the Appendix and illustrate your field how they complement each other. F Spell out acronyms There are also other sample letters used during the job search process. Scannable Résumé Examples Technology Scannable résumés are included in Considerations the Appendix on page 119. Scannable Résumés and Cover Letters Many organizations use technology to scan résumés and letters into a database from which they can later be retrieved. Company Web sites will often indicate this preference. A quick inquiry to a company’s human resources department may also pro- vide this information. Chapter 4 Electronic or E-Résumés 71 and E-Cover Letters E-mailing directly to potential em- ployers is an increasingly accepted way of sending your cover letter and résumé. Tips for using this method “Each person has an ideal, of delivery include: a hope, a dream F Don’t forget to include the which represents attachments for your cover letter the soul. We must give to it and résumé. the warmth of F Use an “e-friendly” format that love, the light of can be easily viewed by various understanding and the platforms and browsers. A good essence of idea is to send your application encouragement. materials to a few friends first, There is only one success to make sure they have no trouble …to be able to receiving and reading them. spend your life F Indicate in your e-mail the in your own way, and not give application in which the attach- others absurd ments were created. For example, maddening “Attached are my cover letter and claims upon it.” ~ Colby résumé, which were created in Dorr Dam MS Word 2003.” F Label your attachments with your name. Receiving dozens of attach- ments marked simply “résumé” can be confusing to a prospective employer. F To assure that employers also get a look at the higher quality that goes along with bonded paper and more elaborate graphics, some candidates send e-mail letters and résumés with the notation “hard copy to follow.” 72 Summary A well-developed résumé and cover letter can showcase the skills and experiences in your work, schooling and life— specifically the things that might be important to a potential employer. You can choose from many different formats, customizing your job search materials to fit your targeted opportunities. Want to Know More? Campus Resources for Federal Résumé Guidebook: Write a Winning Federal Résumé Résumé Preparation to Get in, Get Promoted, and 1. Résumé critique sessions with Survive in a Government Career! Career Services staff Kathryn Kraemer Troutman 2. Résumé Workshops Applying for a federal job or promo- 3. Resources in the Career Resource tion no longer requires a lengthy, Center lifeless form. Instead, applicants F Books on résumé writing can emphasize their strengths, skills, F Video on creating a résumé and smarts in résumés that will F Computer software on résumé hook hiring staff and make personal writing qualifications shine. Books High Impact Résumés and Letters: The Career Change Résumé: How to Communicate Your How to Reinvent Your Résumé Qualifications to Employers and Land Your Dream Job Ronald L. Krannich, William J. Banis Karen Hofferber, Kim Isaacs This guide focuses on writing, pro- “Don’t try to go too fast. Learn Written by the official résumé ad- duction, distribution, and follow-up, your job. Don’t visers to Monster.com, this is the and offers step-by-step guidance on ever talk until developing conventional and elec- you know what ultimate guide to help aspiring ca- you’re talking reer-changers reinvent themselves by tronic job search skills, selecting about. If you showing them how to transform their appropriate résumé formats for dif- want to get ferent levels of experience, producing along, go along.” résumés. The book includes step-by- ~ Sam Rayburn step instructions demonstrating how several types of letters for different to craft résumés that open doors to employment situations, and distrib- new careers; more than 150 sample uting résumés and letters through résumés and cover letters; valuable, the most responsive channels. Forms innovative career-change tools and for completing résumés, and sample strategies; and solutions to common résumés and letters, are included. problems plaguing career-changers. Chapter 4 The Elements of Résumé Style: Strategic Business Letters Essential Rules and Eye-Opening and E-Mail 73 Advice for Writing Résumés Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts and Cover Letters that Work In this lively guide, a business writ- Scott Bennett ing consultant introduces her six-step Bennett explains why some of the process for writing persuasive letters, most popular “tricks” backfire more then provides sample letters for mar- often than they work, and offers keting, job searches, customer rela- clear, smart strategies for creating ré- tions, collections, placing orders, and sumés and cover letters that get jobs. contacting the media. The closing From entry-level to executive, users section briefly suggests a proper form of this invaluable guide will: for electronic mail and offers tips on F See their résumé from the creating effective Web sites. employer's perspective F Avoid the errors most candidates Guide to Basic Cover Letter make Writing F Handle job-hopping, employment Public Library Association, Editors of gaps, and other touchy subjects VGM Career Books honestly and effectively A solid, well-written cover letter is F Write cover letters that stand out- crucial to getting a job interview. and learn the untapped power of Written under the auspices of the the inquiry letter Job and Career Information Services Committee of the Public Library As- The Résumé Handbook: sociation—a group of librarians with How to Write Outstanding many years of collective experience Résumés and Cover Letters in researching and providing job as- for Every Situation sistance information—this practical Arthur Rosenberg, David V. Hizer guide provides easy-to-follow instruc- Completely revised and updated, this tion in crafting outstanding cover all-new fourth edition teaches you letters for any type of position. Com- how to: pletely updated, it features guidance F Stay away from dull writing in job seeking effectively online and F Organize all your information in the best ways to showcase experience a clean and easy-to-follow layout with the latest technologies. F Include the essentials and avoid excess information F Use the best action words F Post online and garner immediate results F Features 32 of the best résumés ever written and filled with no- nonsense advice, this outstanding guide gives you the edge you need in a competitive marketplace. 74 Online Résumé and Cover Letter Resources General Features of the résumé that always produce interviews and job offers: http://www.careerlab.com/art_rules.htm Experienced The key is to determine which experiences to emphasize and which to down- play—and what to exclude. Present only the most important information on one or two pages. http://jobsearch.about.com/od/cvsamples/a/blsamplecv.htm Portfolios Why settle for a standard two-page résumé when a detailed, graphically sophisticated portfolio would present your background and talents so much better? http://www.careerlab.com/portfolio.htm Cover Letters Get tips and see sample job application letters to use when applying for employment. http://jobsearchtech.about.com/cs/coverletters/ht/ht_cover_letter.htm http://careerlab.com/letters/default.htm Thank-you Letters http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/thankyouletters/1/aa041398.htm Additional Job Letter Samples, Examples and Templates Here are a variety of employment-related letters you can edit to fit your circumstances. Includes sample letter to send with an application, writing a resignation letter, rejecting a job, accepting a job, networking and more employment letters. http://jobsearch.about.com/About_Job_Searching.htm http://jobsearch.about.com/od/moreletters/a/lettersamples.htm