Resumes & Cover Letters
When a hiring manager takes her first glance at your resume, you have just ten seconds to convince her that you're special.........can you do it?
We're continually astonished by talented, well-educated people who do a lousy job of writing their resumes. Our conclusion is that they simply don't know how to sell themselves to a prospective employer. Whatever your field, your resume should not be a boring list of job duties and responsibilities. Your next employer isn't seeking a robot, but a creative worker who takes the initiative to solve complex problems.
Successful candidates demonstrate that they can communicate well with others and be a terrific representative of their future firm. To land an interview, you must show that that you've made a strong contribution in your previous jobs by providing specific (measurable) examples. Without strong supporting documentation, your resume will ultimately land in the trash can.
How important is that "piece of paper?" Resumes have four ultimate functions:
2) A personal marketing document. Your resume can persuade employers of your unique value for the type of position you are seeking. Hiring managers tpyically see hundreds of resumes each week; yours must do an exceptional job of selling your talents in an efficient manner.
3) Interview guide. Many times, an interviewer will use a candidate's resume as a road map for the actual discussion. A well-written resume will keep the interviewer focused on your strengths and inspire questions that elicit positive responses.
4) Post-interview comparison document. Following interviews, a hiring manager often meets with his/her team to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of all candidates. Your resume remains behind as a summary of your fit for the position. A thoughtful, well-constructed document can shift the hiring decision in your favor.
Your resume's first "reader" will probably be electronic, as organizations increasingly rely on an "applicant tracking system" to pre-qualify candidates. All documents are scanned into a computer, which selects key words and phrases for appropriate classification. If your resume does not include the specific key words and phrases selected by the hiring manager, you will be eliminated from consideration. Clearly, for firms that use this selective system, the only viable candidates are those whose resumes are formatted properly and contain the relevant structure and key words.
We can help you stand out from the crowd and make a positive first impression. With more than 20 years experience in human resource management, we have inside knowledge of what employers and hiring professionals want. We know how to market your accomplishments to dramatically increase the responses your resume will receive. We also know the typical pitfalls that most candidates fall into that ruin their chance of landing a top position. In most cases, the applicant who gets hired is NOT the best one for the job, simply the best one on paper. A polished and professional resume really IS your ticket to success. We can help you draft the best one possible.
1) a detailed discussion of resume organization and structure
2) advice for writing and using cover letters
3) a world-class resume and cover letter preparation service
a) Avoid the use of articles (a, an, the), which add no meaning or clarity
b) Eliminate personal pronouns (I, me, you, they, them, us), which distract the reader
c) Use descriptive phrases and clauses, rather than complete sentences
d) Keep the resume under two pages
2) Be neat, clean, uncluttered and easy-to-read
a) Make effective use of white space, bold type and underlining to improve readability and to provide good separation of resume contents
b) Use standard 8 1/2 x 11 " white or buff color paper, 20- or 24-pount weight
c) Use bullet points to highlight your accomplishments. Large blocks of text are tedious to read and will most likely be ignored.
d) Use a font size (10 or greater) and type (Arial, Times, Courier) that is easy to read
e) Proofread carefully to eliminate typos and grammatical errors
3) Carefully describe your "relevant skills" to match typical employer keyword screeners.
a) Emphasize key accomplishments rather than providing a full job description
b) Begin most phrases with an action verb
c) Quantify the magnitude of your accomplishments: percentages increased, accounts expanded, awards won, etc.
d) Include only relevant items in your professional description. Don't simply copy the job description jargon from your company's HR manual.
list every course or seminar you ever attended. Focus on your most relevant
and marketable skills.
4) Include an objective statement to indicate the level and type of position you seek.
a) Don't be too broad or too vague when stating your objective
b) Avoid using specific job titles, which are not consistent among companies and industries
5) Provide enough information for employers to evaluate and contact you
a) Include your email address in the heading of the resume
b) Adequately describe the companies where you have worked (size, products, services, industry, key contacts)
c) Don't lie, exaggerate or embellish
d) Only apply for positions for which you are qualified.
6) Use a chronological format, which allows hiring managers to assess your career progression and the impact you made at each position. Use a functional resume only if you:
a) must minimize gaps in employment
b) have had erratic career advancement
c) are seeking to enter an entirely new field
By using a functional or skills-oriented format, you can present your relevant experience and skills upfront.
7) Research the company to correctly identify the hiring authority
a) Include an effective and personalized cover letter with every resume you send
b) Address the cover letter directly to the person who makes the hiring decision
c) The cover letter should emphasize personal characteristics (tenacity, communication skills, rapid promotions, etc.) and how your qualifications meet the job's requirements
8) Send your resume at least one week after you see a classified ad for a position. Your resume has a better chance of being read if it is received in the "trickle" instead of the "flood" of responses.
a) Be persistent. Hiring managers usually get hundreds of inquiries per week. Write follow-up letters to request an interview.
b) Ignore requests for salary history or requirements, which are best discussed after the first interview.
9) Don't include any of the following:
a) personal information such as height, weight, health, marital status, age, race, family or hobbies.
b) the reasons you are no longer working at each job listed on your resume.
c) copies of transcripts, letters of recommendation or awards, unless you are specifically asked to do so.