Cover Letter/Resume Writing The Do’s and Don'ts. Purpose of a Resume. A resume is not… A list of everything you have done in your career A way to document your experience and education The same for every position A resume is… A Marketing and Sales Proposal to a potential buyer
Purpose of a Resume A resume is not… • A list of everything you have done in your career • A way to document your experience and education • The same for every position A resume is… • A Marketing and Sales Proposal to a potential buyer • A way to get to the interview
Before applyingThings to ask yourself? • Does “MY” experience match the requirements stated in the ad or job posting? • If yes, make sure you have the most up to date resume highlighting those requirements • You should tailor your resume to the specific job—do not fabricate – but make it relevant to the position you are seeking • Before you apply – think in terms of the employer: • How can I solve the employer’s problems? • How can I add value? • How can I make the organization more effective, profitable, etc? Write your resume with these questions in mind…
General Tips • Do not spend more than 5%-10% of your time on job boards. • Try to get a contact and get your resume directly to the hiring manager. Avoid Human Resources! • Tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific position. • Most employers today are looking for exact or “very close” background-or even above the job requirements. • If you think it’s a stretch, they will think it’s a stretch and move on to next applicant. • Hints: Look for “required”…You have to have that experience or degree. Required means required. • If it says “Preferred” employer will look at your experience and make considerations; especially if you interview well!
Things to consider… • Prepare and list of accomplishments and examples of your work. • Conduct Organizational Research (On-line mainly) General info. (Size, Mission/Vision Statements, Locations, Annual Reports, Networking contacts, Internet Blogs, Articles/Press Releases, Non-profit or publicly held (Stock Symbol), future plans, etc.) Try to get a contact in the organization and ask the hiring manager about the position. He/she will remember you! This will help you with your interview too! You’ll be prepared!
Cover Letter • General Purpose Invites the hiring manager to read your resume and tells him/her why you are the best person for the job.
Cover Letters- Insider tips! • If the job posting asks for one- do one! • Make a list of the job requirements---then make a list of your qualifications. Also good preparation for the interview. • In the cover letter, create a table, on the left side of the table list the requirements, on the right side, list your qualifications. No more than five in total. • Don’t misspell anything! • Especially the Company or contact name of person. Automatic disqualification. Do not address Dear Sir or Madame – GET A NAME!!! • Don’t exaggerate or misrepresent yourself. • Don’t duplicate your resume.
Cover Letters – Why do one anyway? • It may put you above someone who doesn’t write one. • Shows your enthusiasm & interest to employer • Shows the employer your writing/ communications skills • Showcases & highlights your qualifications, experience, education.
What to include in Cover Letters • State position of interest • Where you learned of the position • Why you are interested (enthusiasm) in the position, organization/company. • Create the Table – with Requirements and Qualifications. • Thank the company for their consideration • List a date (two weeks) when you will follow-up.
Your Requirements Accounting Industry Experience Leadership Skills 3. Strong Communication Skills 4. BA Degree 5. Must be able to work long hours My Qualifications Five years of experience in an Accounting Firm Experienced in Leading Multidiscipline Teams 3. Made several presentations to Senior Staff on Finance Initiatives 4. BA Degree in Finance from Rutgers 5. Flexible Schedule Compare your qualifications to the job requirements
Example – Cover Letter Your Name Your City, State, Zip Code Your Phone Number Your Email Date Name Title Organization Address City, State, Zip Code Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name: I am interested in the Coordinator position advertised on XYZ. My resume is enclosed for your review. Given my related experience and excellent capabilities, I am a strong match for this position. I have highlighted my qualification compared to your requirements below:. Your Requirements My Qualifications I appreciate your taking the time to review my credentials and experience. Again, thank you for your consideration. I will contact you in two weeks to discuss the position and how I can add value to your organization. Sincerely, Your Signature Your Typed Name Why? Briefly Summarize What does this mean to the organization? Results?
Most companies are electronic… • Resume/Cover letters- uploaded through on-line electronic system. Include key words from the job ad into your resume (if you have those qualifications) • A very small percentage of employers take paper resumes/cover letters.
Resume General Purpose Often it is the first impression you will make on a prospective employer. The resume is aMarketing Proposaloutlining your skills and experience so an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the employer's workplace. You are selling – it is not a listing of everything you have done!!!
Resume Fundamentals • Recruiters/Employers want an organized resume: bullet points, highlights, and accomplishments. No fluff and writing your job description. Plenty of white space. No misspellings. • The top 3rd of the first page is the most important part of your resume—grab them in the beginning. • Most employers “scan” a resume – and spend an average of 7 seconds on your resume.
Top 3rd of your resume • Title – that describes your background High Performing Accounting Expert Strategic Human Resources Leader Results Driven Operations Manager Hard Working Electrician Summary of your experience and results: • High-Performance Leader with 15+ years of experience creating and executing operations initiatives to drive business performance. Skilled in establishing relationships and influencing across all organization levels. Proven track-record in the development of strategic and profitable initiatives that yielded strong return on investment. • Three top accomplishments: Expert in leading Operations initiatives to drive businessresults: • Propelled division productivity increases from 4th to 2nd quartile after developing strategy to enhance all levels of staff performance for a 2,000-employee business. • Developed a Six Sigma change process in preparation for significant industry change. Integrated results with recruiting initiatives to build key profitability margins. • Redesigned operations accountability measures and enhanced metrics. Presented process improvements at industry best-practice conference.
Job Objective No: • To add value to the organization by fully expressing my skills and abilities to realize top performance and value and reach my career potential. Yes: • To obtain an Electrician Position in the Construction Industry.
Summarize your skills and areas of expertise in bullets • Knowledge of Finance Principles • Skilled in “X” Computer Technology • Recruiting Talent • Ability to Read Blueprints • Understanding of Safety Codes in Construction Projects • Experienced in Understanding Federal Regulations in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Accomplishments • List Employer, Title and Dates of Employment • Begin with an Action Verb – expediting, implementing, creating – and end with a result. • For example, created graphic web design for a food company that resulted in an increase in sales by 15%.
Types of Resumes • Chronological Resume - Most Common format - Work experience listed in reverse chronological order (most recent job first). - The period of time during which you were employed is listed first, followed by the name of the employer and then the employer's location. - Description for each job is also included. - Following work history is a section on “education”. Consider a Chronological Resume if: You are trying to show career growth. EXAMPLE: If your most recent job is store manager, and your prior job was a department manager, and you started as a sales clerk, you can show a history of promotion.
Types of Resumes • Functional Resume - Categorize skills by function, emphasizing your abilities. - Career Objective is given first, followed by several paragraphs each discussing a different job function. (Supervision and Management, Accounting, Writing and Editing). TIPS - Begin with the one you want to emphasize most. If you are customizing your resume for different employers, you can change your functional career objective as well as the order in which you list the functions. Caution, if you don't list your previous jobs, the person reviewing your resume WILL be suspicious. Consider a Functional Resume if: You are changing careers and want to show how you can transfer your skills. It is important to show prospective employers what you can offer them. .
Resume Tips Education *Cite education if you have a college degree-list GPA if 3.0 or above *Place education near top of resume if: - completed within past 5 years and your degree is relevant to the position of interest * Relevant Certifications up at the top or bottom depending on years of experience Keep Resume to One or Two Pages (Two pages is completely acceptable today)! Do not include any personal information. Hobbies are irrelevant; even for new grads; everyone wants education/background/work history. Volunteer work and charitable organizations, yes! Posting resume on Job Banks like Monster/CareerBuilder is helpful to get Recruiters to notice you. If employed, mark “confidential”. Never include street address. Change our resume very three months – always work on your resume!!!!
But what if I am over age 50??? • Eliminate 5-7 years off of your resume • Do not include every position – just those within the last 10-15 years • Remake your “image” and how you present yourself
Example – Good Cover Letter Re: Project Manager-Media Relations Location: Voorhees, NJ Ref: 1123895 Dear (MANAGER), Today’s healthcare leaders are well challenged not only in the areas of corporate growth and profitability, but also in maintaining the public trust, the benchmark of which is the marketing and public relations process. All aspects of my varied professional accomplishments in the fields of public relations, marketing, clinical research, pharmaceuticals and general medicine uniquely qualify me to not only meet but exceed the requirements, demands and challenges of this truly outstanding and exciting opportunity. If you are looking for that one in a million charismatic, confident professional leader who can take a seemingly impossible challenge and deliver unheralded success; if you are searching for that highly self-motivated leader with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in order to achieve the desired objective and results; if you thought you would never find that dedicated, committed, detail-oriented team-player possessing not only adroit multi-tasking organizational abilities, but a sharp analytical mind with which to decipher problems and implement the appropriate solution, tempered with a cross-functional background, an insatiable desire to excel, dynamic presentation and superb written communication skills, with an outstanding and non-paralleled interpersonal skills, I then submit my enclosed resume for your review as Virtua Healthcare’s new Project Manager-Media Relations. The opportunity with which to combine my strong natural talents for communications, public relations and marketing, with my expertise of the pharmaceutical, clinical trials and medical industry, coupled with the opportunity to improve the quality of life for others is my passion, and I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with you. Very truly yours,
Examples of Bad Cover Letter Dear Mr. Garofalo, I am really in need of a position and will accept any job that you have. I can meet with you anytime and can make myself available—please contact me at 609-549-3232. OR Dear Mr. Garofalo, I am looking for a job in your field and I will b able to meet with u anytime u want please call me when u can. OR I am writing in response to your ad on CareerBuilders.com. This position requirements and my skills appear to be a perfect match. I can promise that meeting with me will not be a waste of your time—and I will make myself available at your convenience outside of normal business hours as my current manager is not aware that I am searching for a position. Sincerely,
Putting it all Together Name City, State Cell Phone and E-mail Resume Title Summary of Skills and Experience Objective: 4-6 Bulleted Skills and Areas of Expertise Employer, Title, Dates Major Accomplishments – actions verbs ending in a result Education Volunteer Activities