Marilyn's Life From East to West


Resume & Cover Letter Tips
January 19, 2010, 3:50 am
Filed under: PR Practicum 3711

Resumes are so so so important!!!  It is important to really let your company know all about you- but in no longer than a page, preferably.  I think that when you are looking for a job/internship, it is important to list not only jobs you have had but also other accomplishments, internships, and relevant experience that could increase your value.  Another important and ethical standard for your resume is do not lie!!!  Don’t put a job or skill about yourself on there that isn’t true because that could end up killing your chances.  Here on some other tips I have found from professionals:

  1. Prioritize your resume: This is a more time consuming task but many times well worth the effort.  It will most likely catch the recruiters eye when they see that your experience, skills, and qualifications match the job position they are looking to fill.
  2. Look at resume examples: I found this to be one of the most helpful tips when I was beginning my resume process.  It’s not easy to come up with excellent wording and style without checking out a few examples first.  Sometimes you might read one and think “That is just the sentence/style I have been looking for.”
  3. Prioritize the content on your resume: Make sure to list the most important content, including relevant experience and skills,first on the resume.  Key accomplishments should also be listed at the top of each position so that recruiters don’t have to search for the most important information.

Recently, I feel like I have been writing cover letters every single week- sometimes many in just a few days!!  I think it is extremely important to personalize each letter to the company but also keep a similar frame that can be used for many different ones.  Also, if you are using a general outline for each cover letter MAKE SURE to not forget to change the company name and list your goals and skills overall and with that company.  I have done some research on the web and found a few tips that might come in helpful for all of us looking for jobs soon:

  1. Make sure there are NO mistakes: It is so very important to read over and over again to make sure there are no typos and all contact information is correct.  I personally think that one of the best ideas is to have at least two people read your cover letter to make sure that the content flows and everything sounds right.  Sometimes when we are reading are own material, we skip over the mistakes because we already know what we intended to say/write.
  2. Convince the reader to look at your resume: A cover letter is almost like a first impression without meeting you.  Be eloquent and professional when presenting yourself and your value to the company, but the key is leading them to your resume since that is where the bulk of the information is.  However they most likely will not read the resume unless the cover letter is without error and gets to the point.  The first time I tried to write a cover letter on my own it was over a page and then I read some tips and got it down to a page- basically weeding out information that the recruiter could review in my resume.
  3. Be Brief: Similar to what I said in the last tip, it is important to be short and sweet in your cover letter.  You want to let the reader know about yourself, what you expect to get from the company, and what you can do for them.  It is important to remember, especially for internships, that they are not just there to teach you- you are helping them (and potentially getting a job from them!).  A standard cover letter should be about 3-4 paragraphs.  This should be enough space to touch on every topic that you wish and also will be informational to the reader.

Sources:

  1. Jobsearch
  2. www.Career.vt.edu
  3. Accent Resume
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6 Comments so far
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I know someone who almost didn’t get an interview even though they were a PhD with over 30 years of experience. They had misspelled “finance” on their cover letter (spelled it “fiance” which the spellchecker didn’t flag).

Comment by Chris

I agree with you comment about not lying on your resume. With your tips on having several people read over your cover letter I would have one of those people at least be familiar with how you convey ideas verbal and written. For instance, my best friend edits and revises most of my work with me; she knows (or can figure out) what I’m trying to say and “translate” so to speak. Do you find that you have a hard time writing cover letters? I have a few bullet points on my cover letter, what is your opinion on this?

Comment by Shannon McCloud

[…] # 8 Resume & Cover Letter Tips, Marilyn Lintel April 12, […]

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Thanks this helped me a tremendous amount !. People have to make sure that they follow these steps in order to make sure that their experience with interviewing is the best!

Comment by The Pink Tulip

[…] by The Pink Tulip April 17, 2010 @ 8:23 pm 13.) The Pink Tulip said,April 17, 2010 at 8:26 […]

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My favorite part about this post is the last tip you provide, “be brief”. It seems that so many people (including myself) try to pile on the information because it makes them sound more qualified. But the main thing I have learned in my PR classes is to say a lot by saying a little. Almost every writing class I’ve taken stressed the importance of conveying a clear, concise message in a small amount of space. It makes sense; if hundreds of people are applying for the same job, employers do not have time to read each and every cover letter.

Comment by Jeremy




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