Post # 1
I’ve got to hop back into the job search as Darling Husband and I are moving…it’s been a while since I’ve re-vamped my resume and written a new cover letter. I know lots of bees are in the process of job-hunting, or just found great jobs, or are veterans at resumes and cover letters. Before I hunker down and get to work on my docs, I thought I’d solicit some advice (and maybe some good vibes!) from y’all on the tips, tricks, and secrets to great resumes and stand-out cover letters!
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Make sure you individually tailor each cover letter for each job. If the job description mentions a specific skill they want or experience you need to have, address that directly in your cover letter.
Post # 4
@mrsSonthebeach: That one I”m actually good at–thanks!! I have like, 234234 cover letters saved on my harddrive saved as each company I applied to (tough job market here in RTP over the last few years, ha!)
Post # 5
Cover letters: No one reads them. Ok, we may skim over them. My Fiance and I have a small recruitment company. We don’t read them.
BUT, if you do one, make sure your grammar is perfect. Punctuation, perfect.
It should be 3-4 paragraphs, no more than a few sentences long in each one. Cater it to why you would be a fantastic candidate for the job, then hilight your relevent experience to the position. Close it off with a professional salutation.
Resumes: Grammar and punctuation are the biggest reason employers throw out resumes. Make sure all relevent degrees, certificates are posted at the top of your resume. Use a professional and easy to read font, in a 11 or12 point. Dont make your font smaller to include points-just edit more.
Two pages is more than enough.
No photos, graphics, colours-unless you are applying to artistic roles or marketing, etc.
ETA: If you post your resume here minus your personal info, the bees could probably help you with it.
Post # 6
@mrsSonthebeach: This. I typically tailor my job duties/accomplishments to the job. I applied for a manager trainee position at a bank and played up my past management experience (talked up my communication, goal setting for my team, etc.). I also applied for a communications position, so I edited it a bit to play up how I’d used communication skills in previous jobs.
Read the job description, requirements, and directions carefully, too!
And check out any staffing agencies in your area! I know a lot of people see these as “temp agencies” with only factory jobs, but many of them have permanent placements/temp-to-hire positions in a number of fields. If you have a Volt office near you, check them out. I wish we had one of their offices here; they consistently have amazing jobs that they post. Basically you send them your resume, they call you in to take some tests (skill tests, mostly with Microsoft Office), and then the good ones will sit down with you and discuss what you’re looking for.
Post # 7
Make sure you bullet points show, dont tell. Ie follow a cause and effect format
“Managed such and such, to create such and such.”
Numbers are good where they fit because they show quantifiable success/action. “Developed a process improvement program saving $X per month in expenses”
Not everything you have done needs to be on the resume. The resume should reflect the job opening. If its a job that requires retail management, they may care about your interpersonal and selling skills as a real estate agent, but they dont care that you wrote the HTML for the website.
Post # 8
Sometimes tweaking the resume a bit to make it stand out helps a ton. Bullet points makes things easier to read. Mine has a red line across the page underneath my personal info separating the header from the experience and body and I made my name the same color. Just to create a memorable impact in hoping I dont get lost in a field of black and white.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@fivemonthsnotice: “Cover letters: No one reads them. Ok, we may skim over them. My Fiance and I have a small recruitment company. We don’t read them.”
That’s really going to depend on the field and maybe the specific recruiter. In my field (secondary and higher ed), the cover letter is the firs thing read and your entire application will be thrown out immediately if you don’t make your point by 1/2 way down the page. They won’t look at a CV/resume or read a single letter if you don’t have an impressive and specific cover letter.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Read the job description and tailor your resume and cover letter to the description. I tweak mine for every job in order to highlight the skills they list. I also take action words from their posting and incorporate them into my resume and cover letter. Some hiring managers use a search tool on certain words to see if they’re in the resume and/or cover letter. I also shamelessly name drop in my resume since I have worked for a few really respected people in my field.
Additionally, I always add a line about me being able to work harmoniously with other staff as well as another line about me being able to work independently to set and meet my own goals and deadlines. Try to keep it to one page unless you have an amazing CV that demands two or more pages (but still keep the most important and pertinent info on the first page in case they only look at the first page.) Finally, I mention in some shape or form that I am a hard worker with over 15 years experience in an office environment so I know what it takes to hit the ground running (i.e. if you hire me I will either be able to do the job right off the bat or learn how to do it quickly.)
Post # 11
I highly reccommend tailoring your resume to each job just like you do with your cover letter. The easiest way I have found to do this is to have a long version of your resume with everything you could possibly put on it. Then when you go to apply for a job just delete things that aren’t relevant or aren’t as interesting. Mine is 2 pages when its done (arts field, I worked 4 part time jobs all through school in addition to several internships so it jusy doesn’t fit on one page) with the exception of the applications I’ve sent to jobs I know want a 1 page resume (hotels, retail, not in my field but I need a job now so I’m applying to those in addition to jobs in my field which prefer the two page version). On my last (arts field) interview the interviewer asked why my resume didn’t include half the jobs I mentioned during the interview and when I said it was because it didn’t fit so I eliminated the less relevant jobs she said everything is relevant. Anyways, my point is its easier to think of everything else and put it in your “long” version and then delete then it is to start from scratch every time. I also have a couple good ones for job type I’ve applied for and often start with those when I’m applying for a similar position. Make sure you edit your resume and write your cover letter with the job description in front of you.
Post # 12
If a job posting requires a certain skill or ability, make sure you indicate that in your resume or cover letter. For example, when I need to hire someone, they generally must be bilingual. If an applicant’s resume didn’t indicate that, it got sent to the trash. I even specifically wrote in my posting that the resume or over letter must state they are bilingual or they wouldn’t be considered. For one particular job, I received over 500 resumes. Of those, probably 100 indicated they were bilingual.
I do read cover letters because they generally let me know what to expect from your resume. Proper punctuation and grammar are a must for both.
Post # 13
Just wanted to bump this thread and see if anyone has any more advice! I just started the job hunt again after moving across the country and need all the help I can get!
Post # 14
I’ve been told to always start with the same little bit about what role you’re applying for, where you saw the role, why you want it, and show some knowledge about the company.
Here’s an excerpt of the one I did for Fiance:
I would like to apply for the role of [ROLE] as advertised on [YOUR WEBSITE/JOB SITE/ETC].
I feel that working for [COMPANY] would greatly improve my career prospects as the company is widely regarded as having excellent standing within the accounting and business advisory world.
From an IT perspective, the website and social media integration are impressive additions to the company, and show that [COMPANY] is looking to the future and keeping up to date with current technological trends, which I greatly admire.
He was applying for an IT role, but obviously it all needs to be tailored to the job.
Also end with:
I am available for interview at anytime, and I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next step of the application process.
Post # 15
One page resume. I can’t stress that enough.
Post # 16
Write strong skill statements: strong action verb + details + results. I’ve used the action verbs list from a list like this to help get me started.
There’s been a lot of good advice here already, so I’ll just share a resource I often use when I’m updating my resume or writing cover letters. It has all the info like the stuff shared in this thread, just in a step-by-step way: http://www.careerhelp.umn.edu/PDFs/Resume%20Writing.pdf
And this, on skill statements: