3 Steps Towards a Perfect Resume

9 05 2017

Job hunting can be extraordinarily exhausting. It can be especially taxing when you feel like you’re not getting much response. Submitting your resume to dozens of employers week after week can feel like you’re fishing without a hook. However, one of the most effective things you can do to get a bite from potential employers is to spruce up your resume and cover letter. Let’s take a look at exactly what it takes to get the sparkling resume you’ve been dreaming of.

3 steps to a perfect resume

Cover Letter

Cover letters are truly commonplace in the job-seeking world these days. As such, it’s important to make sure that yours stands out. Essentially, what you want in a cover letter is a little bit more detail about who you are, what experience you have, and why you’re a great candidate.

Since this page should go before your resume, it is a first look into what type of employee you are and what professional experience you have. As a result, it can be quite easy to go overboard and provide the recruiter with too much information or irrelevant information. To avoid this, keep a few things in mind while writing your letter.

Keep your cover letter at a page long if you can. All of your job history, schooling, and references should be included in your resume, so you don’t have to go into detail about those topics in your cover letter. This is a great opportunity to tell your employer just a little bit about yourself. You might have some hidden talents that you practice as hobbies or you might want to explain your career goals or just expand on some awesome opportunities you’ve been able to be a part of in the past. Just make sure that you keep it short, concise, and to the point. If it doesn’t have a direct correlation with the potential employer hiring you, it doesn’t need to be in your cover letter.

References & Recommendations

Asking someone to be a reference or offer their personal recommendation for you as a spectacular employee is a tricky business. However, there is definitely a right and wrong way to do it. Namely, who you choose and why you choose them. Just because your good friend will say good things about you doesn’t necessarily mean you should put them on your resume.

Try to choose a reference that has worked with you in some sort of professional capacity. Ideal candidates for this task would be previous/current managers, teachers/professors, or other professional mentors. Let’s put it this way, putting down your parents or best friend from elementary school can come across as a bit childish. There are people in your life that know you have done great things and will go on to accomplish much more. It’s okay to let someone brag about you.

In addition, you shouldn’t need too many references. A good middle ground is about three references and/or recommendations. Unless they are going to list particularly amazing accomplishments of yours, I wouldn’t go above five. That just creates more work and research for your potential employer. Lastly, choose people that don’t all know you in the same way. For example, choosing three managers from the same job is not the way to go. Choosing one teacher, one manager, and one volunteer manager would be a great setup. They will all have unique things to say about their experience with you.

Once you decide on the best people for the job, you really need to make sure you have their permission before you let people give them a call or assume that they will explicitly recommend you for a position. Get in contact with that person and ask for the recommendation based on your previous professional interaction. Keep the request short and sweet. If they get back to you in a timely manner (probably a couple of days) then they are a good reference and will be responsive when potential employers give them a call. If they don’t respond or take too long, thank them for their time and move on.

Design

There are tons of fancy templates available on the web, but don’t be coaxed by all the frills you see on the page. Remember, your potential employer is probably looking at tons of these every single day. Keeping the page as de-cluttered and sleek as possible is the best plan of action.

Stick with simple black font on a white page. Obnoxious colors and themes are sure to turn off recruiters quickly. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick to New Times Roman size 10 or anything like that. There are plenty of downloadable fonts that look crisp, but also modern instead of dated and tacky. Try out a few before you decide on just one.

Your resume is simply to list your accomplishments. Again, try to make yours look as clean as possible. If you have additional information that you think is crucial for the recruiter to read, put it in the cover letter. Try not to expand too much on job details, personal reasons for starting or leaving school or a job etc. If there is information that the potential employer is curious about, it can be discussed in the interview. Although, you should feel confident that they have all the necessary professional information right in front of them already.

Creating the perfect resume takes years of experience. Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you have to make changes from time to time. As you grow in life and professionally, so will your ability to market yourself effectively to potential employers. It’s okay to ask for help from time to time. Co-workers and mentors can usually give you some insight into what a great resume looks like. However, take pride in your own style, accomplishments, and creativity. Making your resume your own is exactly what will attract the perfect employer. Good luck!

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Trisha Miller!!****

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Top 10 Tips for Writing Eye-Catching Cover Letters

24 07 2012

By Sandy Dsouza

Are you having a hard time drafting a persuasive cover letter for your resume?  If you answered yes, here are 10 tips which will help you to triumph in your quest for winning your most desired job interview.

The cover letter seems to be a minor factor for most applicants, but has to ability to make a major impact on the recruiter, making room for attaining prosperity in your profession. A few years ago, applicants applying for jobs put very little value in cover letters. They failed to determine the worth of drafting a cover letter for a resume which I feel is very important in any process of job application. This was one of the factors that I believe was responsible for the failure of the applicants to gain success in their respective job interviews.

Here are the top 10 cover letter tips:

  • Know the objective of the cover letter. It is very important to get acquainted with the objective and motive behind creating the cover letter. A good cover letter can be drafted for a number of reasons. It may be drafted for the purpose of posing your response towards the job posted by the organization. It may even be a blind application that is usually drafted in anticipation of an employment vacancy.
  • Research the organization. Researching the organization is an essential component in the process. One needs to gain information about the current trends, needs, business requirements, culture, and the business obstacles faced by the organization. This can always be used as a handy tool for depicting your strength and ability to find apt solutions for the organization and prove your worth over other candidates.
  • Prepare a rough sketch of the cover letter. It is always a beneficial practice to start with a rough sketch or template for your cover letter. It prepares a good foundation for your cover letter which helps you to build a unique and employer friendly cover letter. You can gather the important points that need to be added before actually initiating to draft the cover letter. Then, you have a better idea in mind as you begin to format your text.
  • Enter complete and accurate information. A cover letter should always include precise and complete information. This information could be the date, name, address, and contact details of both the addresser and addressee. It could also be the information about the job profile such as your qualifications, credentials, and work experiences. Incorrect and inaccurate information can cause the employer to lose faith in you and decrease your prospects.
  • Focus on your qualifications and skills. The cover letter should give the recruiter what they want. You need to know the requirements of the expectations of the job and add the qualifications, abilities, skills, and other credentials that are pertinent to the needs of the job. You can also include your accomplishments and awards you might have won in your academic years and past employment organizations. You can tell the employer how your skills and capabilities are different from other candidates in the competition.
  • Maintain a positive flow in the cover letter. Most recruiters like to read the cover letters that are written in an optimistic flow of language. The candidate should ensure that he does not mention any such thing in the letter that will impose a negative effect on the reader. The best way to do it is to add enthusiastic and motivating words that will make a mark of your profile in the mind of your future employer.
  • Eradicate errors from the cover letter. An ideal cover letter has no room for errors. The most common type of mistakes that occur in the cover letter are typing and spelling errors. Grammatical errors and improper sentence structure are other types of mistake found in cover letters. Such errors in the document can lose the curiosity of the reader.
  • Proofread the cover letter. One of the most significant steps for ensuring a winning cover letter is to proofread it before sending it to the prospective employer. It is a good practice to make sure that your document is free of errors.
  • Thank the reader.  Ending your cover letter with a good note is as important as giving an enthusiastic start to your document. The candidate needs to show his gratitude and appreciate the reader for having read the letter. It gives way to depict your professional attitude and sincerity towards the job.
  • Present the cover letter. The cover letter should be presented in a neat and well organized manner. It should be formatted in such a way that the reader finds it easy to read and understand the document. It must be impressive enough to compel the reader.

About the author: Sandy Dsouza is a freelance author and blogger who has 4 years of experience in the field of writing. She is always eager to share her knowledge on various topics like resume and career development. Click here to find her blog.