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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?


Most hiring managers have love-hate relationships with resumes. They need them to identify great job candidates, but they usually wade through dozens (sometimes hundreds) of poorly written documents to find the one true gem. Candidates who know how to best present themselves on paper have a huge strategic advantage over competitive job hunters.

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 listing 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, 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:


1) Initial communication. Your resume is your first introduction to a potential employer and will be the basis for their initial impression of you. Make sure it sends the correct message. Your resume should clearly describe your work-related skills to enable employers to assess your qualifications for future openings. A poorly organized (or sloppy) resume can eliminate you from consideration for positions for which you might have been a excellent fit.

2) A personal marketing document. Your resume can persuade employers of your unique value for the type of position you seek. 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 interview discussion. A well-written resume will keep the interviewer focused on your strengths and successes, inspiring questions that elicit positive responses.

4) Post-interview comparison document. Following interviews, a hiring manager often meets with his team to discuss the strengths of weaknesses of all candidates. Your resume remains behind as a summary of your fit for the position. A thoughtfull, well-constructed document can go a long way to shift the hiring decision in your favor.


At each step, your resume can also be the great "disqualifier", eliminating you from future consideration. Prepare your credentials thoughtfully, with a view toward getting the interview. In periods of economic stress (when firms received hundreds of resumes each week), writing a door-opening resume and cover letter can be a challenging job.

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.

We can help you stand out from the crowd and make a positive first impression. With over 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 responses to your resume. We also know the typical pitfalls most candidates fall into that ruin their chances to land top positions. In most cases, the applicant who gets hired is NOT the best one for the job, simply the best one on paper. A polished, professional resume really IS your ticket to success. We can help you draft the best one possible.

We offer:

1) a detailed discussion of resume organization and structure

2) advice for proper composition and use of cover letters

3) a world-class resume and cover letter preparation service

 


Our Best Resume Tips


1) Be concise and to-the-point

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.

e) Don't list every course or seminar you ever attended. Focus on your most relevant, marketable skills.

f) Personnel managers are most interested in your experience from the last 10 years, so focus on your most recent and most relevant career experience.

 

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 to positions for which you are qualified.

 

6) Use a chronological format, which allows hiring managers to 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, 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.

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