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Resumes and Cover Letters

  • Posted by: on June 14th, 2006 |
  • 1 Comment

Employers are forever on the lookout for the resume that jumps out at them. Not in terms of being fancy and pretty to look at. Employers are looking to be impressed! Reading your resume, they want to be able to feel that YOU are the right candidate for the job. They want to be able to do this before ever setting eyes on you!

Tall order, right? You betcha it is!

The very first step in landing that ideal job is to write an ideal resume and cover letter. Without those two most primary of introductions, there most likely won’t be a first interview!

Taking That First Important Step

Your resume places you in the front lines when job hunting. It becomes your calling card. It is not about compelling drama or clever prose; it’s a few simple pages, expertly written, containing information that is all about you.

Your resume will either place you front and center where all the good jobs are or it will not — there is no middle ground.

It’s Now or Never

For the serious job seeker, this “Resume and Cover Letter” ebook will become as a trusted friend. This will be your personal and comprehensive guide to everything you could ever hope to know about conquering the never ending “resume and cover letter” paper trail.

Your resume writing skills will become well honed and your resume will be fine tuned. You will learn to sell yourself with simple, yet, effective words. Your resume will not be relegated to the bottom of any pile — it will be placed where it belongs….at the very top!

You will write a resume that will rival any resume written by a top-notch professional writer, and you will do this in complete confidence.

Let’s Get Started!

Effective Resume And Cover Letter Writing

To begin, make a decision to discard any former knowledge learned about the “rules” of resume and cover letter writing. People commonly become stuck in “bad” writing habits from a time gone by.

It is almost a certainty that since you last wrote your resume, much has been learned and even more has been changed. This is as it should be, for everyday, very creative people are adding to the resume and cover letter writing arsenal.

This ebook is chock full of the most recent and cutting-edge resume and cover letter writing techniques, culled from writing professionals and employment experts.

The Basics

For years, we have been told that to be most effective, a resume should be only one page. This just ds not apply any longer! Today’s resume is creative and unique.

Aside from the most essential and key elements, a resume should reflect the personality and need of the job seeker and not be some cookie cutter rendition of what is “acceptable and expected.”

Standards in resumes and cover letters have changed dramatically, but, only so far as the job seeker has the creative expression and know-how to pull it off! Therein lies the difference. Everyday, employers read all of the standard resumes. They are required to go through each and every one! But, which one will catch their eye?

Formatting in resumes and cover letters has expanded, too. When you consider that your resume will be your own, personalized form of marketing yourself — this lends itself to all manner of unique communication and expression.

Again, so long as the essential elements are included in each resume and cover letter, you are at complete liberty to make certain that your resume will impress and with a bang!

Just how, exactly, ds one do this?

First of all, learn about the most basic principles involved in writing a highly effective resume and cover letter. Once you have this down, the creative expression can begin!

Your most basic purpose in writing your resume and cover letter will be to be noticed among the many. You want to stand out as not just a good candidate but as “the” candidate just fitting for the job you want.

When you consider that next to your well written resume, not even one hundred other resumes will be written as well as yours, you can see the odds will be in your favor. Your salvation here is in writing a resume that will compel a perspective employer to notice your credentials. If you can master this technique, the rest will be pure gravy.

The Purpose Of Your Resume

Your resume is an important tool that communicates all about YOU. When it ds the job right, you win an interview.

Your resume dsn’t simply provide a prospective employer with your work history. It speaks loud and clear that you have the credentials needed to be a complete success in this new position or career.

Your resume will attract immediate attention. The reader will want to pick it up and read it top to bottom. Interest will be stimulated. An interview will be arranged.

Your resume will contain:

  • Your contact information, i.e. name, address, phone, email address, website address.
  • A defined job objective.
  • A work history.
  • Educational history.
  • Affiliations.
  • References.

Your resume will be written using professional grade printing and paper.

Resume Presentation Is Key

An employer can have hundreds of boring resumes to pour through. This means when something catches the eye, it must really pop out!

Your resume must impress within the first important seconds or it will not impress at all. Employers will quickly scan all resumes and then grab for those that catch their eye best.

To write a really effective resume, you will use powerful statements that will impress. This is very important, but, you do not want to oversell! There is a very fine line here and you will learn all about it.

Above all, you will make honest statements about yourself. They will be strong statements and 100% true, or they will not be effective at all.

Just as you would sell any product that you believe strongly in, you will learn to sell the product that is you! Once you have learned to do this, you will find that you will get a better response from a prospective employer than other prospects do and even those with better credentials. It is all in how you market your product!

Wow The Employer

First of all, who are you writing this resume for? Your prospective employer will be the one who oversees the day to day operations of the company you want to join.

They make the hiring decisions and they are entirely invested in ensuring that you are the right one for the job. This person will care about whether or not you can do a good job for that company and so this is the one you are writing your resume for.

You want to be sure that you are the right candidate for the job. You want to be sure you know everything there is to know about this company. You want to understand exactly, which qualities are needed to be the right candidate for this job.

You want to be sure you are not a good candidate for this job, but, that you are the best candidate for this job.

Time to start writing

This is the time to put pen to paper and to lay out clearly what your prospective employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. You need to be able to solidify what it is that you bring to the table, even before you begin.

Jot down every fine point about your training and experience, your unique characteristics, special talents, even your attitude — everything that shows you most qualified for the job you seek.

If you are new to the job market, be creative and draw on your upbringing, life exposure and anything that can account for your unique experience and qualities.

You will begin to be able to connect the dots during this process. Simple statements will turn into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Keep this information in a safe place. You will use it later to be incorporated into your finished product.

Elements Of A Resume That Will Impress

The primary element of an ideal resume contains powerful and assertive statements about your talents, characteristics and accomplishments. No need to be shy. You are going for the gold so sell yourself with all that is in you!

The secondary element of an ideal resume will show “you know your stuff” and know it well! This will be proven by education, experience, work history and any other relevant affiliations that shows the prospective employer that you are a person of substance and not only of design.

Keep in mind that the more standard resume will simply be a chronological account of a very boring life and most people will not give it a second glance. Write your resume to be interesting and even impressive and watch as your phone rings for that important interview!

You will write a resume that ds much more than just inform; you will write a resume that compels to action! Your resume will become as a good bargaining tool! Your prospective employer will be interested and will stand up and take notice! This is exactly what you want.

Be bold about your assertive statements, but, not too bold. Leave them wanting for more. Tease a bit with nuggets of information and let them be interested to know more.

Writing Your Objective

Be very clear in defining the name of the job or job title you are so qualified for. Be specific. Avoid general terms such as: I am seeking a Management position. Well, OK, but what kind of Management position are you seeking? Marketers signal in on one product at a time and so will you!

You will hit the bull’s eye when you define your precise career direction and put that down on paper. When your prospective employer reads it, they should have no doubt that you are seeking the exact job that they need filled.

After starting your resume with your contact information, your next section will clearly start with your job objective. Once your prospective employer can see that what you bring to the table is what they want, they will continue to scan for more.

Employers separate the wheat from the chaff very quickly. They look for objectives that meet with their own expectations. They know there are many prospects out there that really don’t know what they want.

Employers are not looking for these types. Your objective will convey that your objective proves you will make the kind of contributions to the company that they need and want.

Keep in mind, too, that an employer is looking for a candidate who will meet their own needs, and not for one who is looking to meet his or her own goals and agenda.

Your goal can be to offer this company your unique skill set and experience, but, the key is in putting that across in a way that proves you are their to service them and not the other way around.

Your resume must grab them within the first few seconds, so, your objective must be dynamite! Clearly state the job title you are going for and then add a few key phrases to show you will meet their exact needs…more on this later.

Writing Your Summary

The Summary element of your resume needs to pack a punch to be most effective. It contains the best about how and why you qualify for the job.

You want the employer to focus in quickly on this section because it will highlight your most important accomplishments, talents, and qualities.

After reading your Summary, the employer should know, without any doubt, that you are the best man or woman for the job. This is where you will shine! This will be your moment to show your stuff. After reading this section, the employer will be compelled to read more!

Writing this section, you will use many colorful and descriptive words. If one of your best talents is sales, write that you are a gifted salesman, able to close the deal in record time!

If your talent is hairdressing, write that your creations have been featured at XYZ hair show and that your technique is now copied in Salons throughout the Mid-West! You get the idea.

This section will only contain information about you that is commendable and that will set you apart from the crowd. Using the right kind of descriptive, complimentary words, you achieve this handsomely. Your summary will show your prospective employer that you alone will be the best fit for the position needed to be filled.

Tailor your Summary to your Prospective Employer’s Needs

Before writing your resume, you wrote notes on what makes you the best candidate for your intended position. You will have looked at the many characteristics and qualities that you believe your prospective employer will be looking for in the ideal candidate.

Now is the time to tailor your Summary section to matching those specific needs. Every statement made in your Summary section will be targeted to show the employer that you have what it takes to fill that position.

Work on writing positive and affirming statements that exemplify your unique abilities and talents to be most affective in the intended position. Practice using descriptive words.

If you want to write that you are a good leader, write instead that you are “proven leader” with initiative and motivational skills that cause others to act! Describe why you are good at what you do and leave no room for interpretation.

Using words like “good” and “competent” speaks in general terms. Describe how you possess these attributes and you will have done your job well!

Below, you will find a variety of suggestions for composing your Summary section. You can select those that best suit your skill-set. Experiment a bit, first, and then zero in on those that best reflect what you have to offer a perspective employer. Remember, your Summary section is critical to your resumes success.

Few people will use all of the suggestions. Doing this might be seen as over-kill. You are encouraged to say the most, while writing the least.

  • Start with a concise phrase that describes your profession.
  • Next, another concise phrase showing your broad or specialized experience.
  • Make a few more concise statements to show the following:
    • the full extent of your skill-set
    • the variety of your skills
    • diversity in your experience
    • an accomplishment worth noting
    • Anything remarkable about your accomplishments.

Optional

  • Professional achievements
  • Personal Characteristics worth noting
  • Concise statement to highlight professional objective.

Writing The Skills And Accomplishments Section

In the Summary section of your resume, you can brag a little. In the Skills and Accomplishments section you can brag a little more.

This section will cap off all that qualifies you for your intended position. You will show your prospective employer that there can be no other and the journey stops with YOU!

How do you do this best? You continue to show that you are the right one for the job by going into better detail about all that you wrote of in your Summary section. This requires careful wording so as not to be repetitious. If you can pull this off professionally, using words that glow, you will have the attention you are looking for!

The most key point about writing this section is you are not going to inform. You are going to highlight in more detail, what your prospective employer already believes to be true about you as an ideal candidate.

The Purpose of your Skills and Accomplishments Section

Go into good detail about the following:

  • Any benchmarks or landmarks accomplished as the result of your unique skill-set.
  • Using facts, figures and statistics, show how your best efforts showed the best results.
  • Your specific talents and unique gifts as related to your job.
  • All accomplishments that sets you apart.

To be most effective, you will use clear, crisp writing that sums up. You are going into detail here, but not so much that this section reads like a story.

Key Point — Write so that you give hints and not complete details. You want your prospective employer to call you in for the interview to learn more! This is critical.

Resume Formatting

There are Three Basic Resume Formats

The three basic formats of resumes are: Chronological, Functional, and Chronological/Functional combined.

The Chronological resume is the more structurally formatted of the three.

  • Experience section is the key.
  • Jobs are listed in detail.
  • No focus of skills or achievements at beginning of resume.
  • Used generally when remaining in same job or career.
  • Caters to conservative type positions.
  • Always has an Objective section and Summary section.
  • Used especially with legal and academic professions.

This resume type is ideal when:

  • Applying for positions within a more conservative profession.
  • Of particular interest to older, more traditional types.
  • Wanting to show good job detail and highlight employer names.

This resume type is not ideal when:

  • You want to showcase your best qualities and experience.
  • Wanting to make a change in career.

Example of a Chronological Resume

John Pavlow
1032 Sherwood Street, Wildwood, NJ 07886
201-555-9384
jpavlow@aol.com

SKILLS:

Proficient in Windows 95, Windows NT, Microsoft Office, HTML, C, C++, Java and conducting Internet research. Fluent in both French and Spanish. Excellent interpersonal skills and fine-tuned organizational ability.

WORK EXPERIENCE:

“¢ 1984-Present: Forsythe Metals & Alloys Company, Secausus, NJ

Manager, Chemicals Procurement

Successfully managed a corporate group that purchases the key chemical raw materials for more than 150 plants within the US Initiated all purchase decisions for pulp and paper chemicals, plastic resins, inks, waxes, coatings, solvents, plastic film and sheet, and lignosulfonates. Directed six professional buyers and non-exempt employees. Personally created, developed, and implemented a critical cost reduction program with a total savings of more than $1 million per year. Established pioneer program in support of Hazardous Waste Disposal project. Chaired meetings of strategy planning and successfully negotiated for new cost-effective raw materials.

“¢ 1992-1994: Allied Metals & Alloys Company, Secaucus, NJ

Materials Manager

Designed key systems and procedures to establish automated purchasing functions for C&K Chemicals, a subsidiary of AB&X. Implemented primary purchasing activities between corporate purchasing and C&K.

“¢ 1988-1992: Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, LTD., Secaucus, NJ

Purchasing Agent

Successfully negotiated some $60 million in specialty and commodity raw materials. Contributed largely to Mistek’s cost reduction programs. Initiated liaison function between corporate purchasing and Mistek of America, Ltd. This program greatly improved reporting systems between plant Managers and purchasing department.

EDUCATION:

“¢ Master of Science in Chemistry, Browns University, May 1980
“¢ Bachelor of Science, University of America, May 1975.

Major: Chemistry and Business.

References available upon request.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Next Basic Resume Format is the Functional

  • Showcases achievements and major skills from the top.
  • Clearly states your strong suits.
  • Employer ds not need to read through boring job details.
  • States (through summary) all you will bring to the table.
  • Only brief mention of company names and positions held.

This resume type is ideal when:

  • Wishing to change careers, for those who job-jump, for homemakers returning to workplace, for students and the military.
  • Wishing to make only a minor change in job direction.
  • Highly recommended by resume writing professionals.
  • Used as an effective aid in achieving a new direction or goal.

This resume type is not ideal when:

Read by a more conservative employer looking for more information on each of your jobs.

Example of a Functional Resume

Janice P. Smythe
1692 Banff Rd., Portland, OR 97208
(555)823-6169
jsmythe@msn.com

Insurance Law Practices:

“¢ Directed management on insurance company policy and legality of key insurance transactions.
“¢ Evaluated critical legal decisions and implemented necessary changes in insurance clauses to line up with corporate policy and to protect company from fraudulent insurance claims.
“¢ Directed claims department in appropriate filing procedures to identify against over-payments.
“¢ Initiated formatting and wording of all critical legal documents such as insurance claim contracts and payment release papers.

Corporate Law Practices:

“¢ Created and developed key corporate law structure policy and procedure, wrote landmark manual on corporate legal rights.
“¢ Retained as leading law agent for several major corporations in wide variety of essential law transactions.

Real Estate Law Practices:

“¢ Performed multi-million dollar sale and transfer of prime commercial property.
“¢ Performed detailed ownership and transfer searches.
“¢ Created and executed appropriate forms for commercial deeds, mortgages, and leases.
“¢ Acting trustee of multi-million dollar commercial property and recommended help funds for investment.

Work Experience:

“¢ 1985-Present: Commercial Underwriters of America, Inc., New York, NY — Head of Insurance Services

Education:

“¢ 1984: University of California Law School. LL.B., Insurance Law Policies, Corporate Law Policies, Estate Planning and Income Tax Policies.
“¢ 1992: University of California. BA Degree, Major: Geography

References on Request

The Final Basic Resume Format is the Chronological/Functional Combined

Can include headings of various jobs held with description of accomplishments.
OR
Only a brief job description chronology.
Only a brief Achievements and Skills section.
OR
More detailed Summary that includes skills and qualifications.

This resume type is ideal when:

Wishing to take advantage of both resume types.
Highlights positives and down plays any possible negatives of either type of resume.

This resume type is not ideal when:

Wishing to present a shorter resume.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Example of a Combination Chronological/Functional Resume

PETER J. PROBOST
222 Sport Crescent, New York, NY 95520
(336) 746-1345
bb3177@appstate.edu

EDUCATION

Avondale University
Bachelor of Science, Geography Cooranbong, Australio
1998

GIS
Minor in Geology

GIS INTERNSHIP

American Geological Society
New York, NY
1999

“¢ Developed a geomorphic prototype data base with Arc/Info and ArcView on a UNIX platform.
“¢ Performed leadership role in the development of maps for use with the “Map of the World” radioactive waste site assessment.

RELATED SKILLS

Computer Software and Operating Systems:

Arc.Info (PC and UNIX),ArcView, SAS, Atlas GIS, Surfer, ERDASIMAGE, MapInfo, GSMap, GSMCad, XV, PaintShopPro, Corel Draw, all versions MS Word, MS Power Point, DBExpert, WordPerfect, Lotus, Color Works, Canvas, and C programming

Advanced knowledge of: DOS, UNIX, Windows: 3.1, 95, NT, MacOS, and OS2.

Technical Expertise:

“¢ Intermediate experience with interpreting air photos and satellite images, digitizing of web site design and advanced knowledge of web site analysis.
“¢ Published credit for 6 geological maps.

SELECTED WORK EXPERIENCE

Beaker Inn and Lodge
Manager, South Dakota
1993- 1998

Maintained long term work relationship while engaged in a full academic course load throughout college.

“¢ Managed and supervised staff of 14 employees.
“¢ Trained newcomers.
“¢ Reported to owner.
“¢ Responsible for overseeing entire operation in owner’s absence over summer season.

REFERENCES AND PORTFOLIO

Available upon request

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WRITING AN ELECTRONIC RESUME

An Electronic Resume will not be read by an employer until it has, first, been scanned by a computer. More and more, employers are opting for this method of finding the best candidate for their position.

Even when your qualifications are especially good, and you are very confident that you are the best candidate for the position, unless your resume meets with the standard in formatting, your resume will *not* reach the employer’s desk. Those that are not aware of how to format an Electronic Resume, even with stellar qualifications, will never be called in for that important interview.

Below are the elements necessary to meet the Electronic Resume standard:

Write using Nouns and not Verbs — Nouns are the dominant words in a scannable resume. Use descriptive words such as bookkeeping, supervisor and Pratt & Lambert.

Use of Descriptors — Use keywords such as education, skill-set, experience, talents and abilities. These are the words employers look for when wanting to fill a position. Use plenty of keywords. The more, the better!

Fancy is Out — Scan able resumes are very conservatively written. Do not decorate and do not use uncommon typefaces. Use only white or beige paper, do not underline and do not use italics.

Use Simple Design — The computer will read text and not graphics. Anything that is complex, such as tables and leader dots, should be excluded.

Avoid Abbreviations — With the exception of very common abbreviations, such as, BA (Bachelor of Arts,) use full terms.

Write your Name First and then your Contact Info on a Separate Line

Make Good use of White Space — Leave ample space between sections for the computer to pick up that one section has ended and another has started.

Write using Proper Language — Use common words that all people will understand.

Three to Four Page Resume is Acceptable — The hard and fast “one-page” resume rule no longer applies. Electronic resumes run 3-4 pages in length.
A separate section of this ebook will be devoted to a variety of different resume types and formats. This will give you full creative licensee to select what suits you best. Getting the basics down first, though, is every bit as important as the final product that you will create using this ebook.

The more creative that you will be in writing about yourself, your credentials, your experience and everything else of importance to a prospective employer, the better.

This next section will deal with the *why and where for* in writing specific information in a variety of ways. There will be something of interest here for everyone.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

The job of the employer is to pour through, sometimes, hundreds of resumes each and every day. They have a well-trained eye for scanning and for identifying the candidates that interest them most. All the same, they must read through all kinds of really boring information.

Some resumes read like a long list of data that is anything like remarkable. Your resume, however, will not. Your resume will be formatted to give your prospective employer your most meaningful and interesting information first and then all of the pertinent, less exciting information, after.

Your resume packs a punch to begin with and then you boldly assert your best qualities and talents. Now, you will back up your assertions by proving you know your stuff. You will now show how qualified you are for the job based on your work experience.

Writing Your Resume With Power

Use These Resume Power Words with Confidence

A

accomplished advertised arranged
achieved advised assembled
acquired analyzed assisted
adapted appraised audited
adjusted approved augmented
administered arbitrated authored

B

budgeted built

C

calculated conceived coordinated
catalogued conceptualized copyrighted
charted conducted corrected
closed (a deal) consolidated corresponded
coached constructed counseled
compared consulted created
compiled contacted cultivated
completed controlled
composed convinced

D

debugged detected discovered
decreased determined dispatched
delegated developed distributed
delivered devised documented
designated diagnosed
designed directed

E

edited enhanced examined
elicited enlarged exceeded
eliminated established executed
empowered estimated expanded
engineered evaluated explained

F

fired flagged formulated
founded

G

gathered generated guided

H

headed hired

I

identified initiated interpreted
ignited innovated interviewed
implemented inspected invented
improved installed inventoried
increased instituted
influenced instructed

J

justified

L

lectured lobbied logged
led

M

maintained mediated motivated
managed modified
manufactured monitored

N

negotiated

O

obtained ordered overhauled
operated organized

P

patented prepared programmed
performed presented promoted
persuaded presided proposed
placed processed provided
planned produced purchased
posted proficient

Q

quantified qualified

R

recognized reorganized researched
recommended repaired restored
reconciled replaced reviewed
reduced reported revised
referred represented
regulated rescued

S

scheduled sold suggested
screened solved supervised
selected steered supplied
served streamlined systematized
simplified studied

T

taugh tracked transcribed
tested trained translated
traced

U

updated utilized

V

vended

W

won wrote

As a practice exercise, take your old resume, and at random, look for places to insert good power words. Watch how quickly your old resume will be transformed!

Make good use of adjectives when writing your resume.

Remember, an Adjective Describes. When writing your resume you want to be able to describe all that is important to you and your accomplishments.

Write with description and your resume will be more interesting!

Writing The History / Experience Section

You can use a number of headings here: “Professional Experience,” or “Professional History,” they both work well. Shy away from using: “Work History,” or just “Employment.” These are not as effective and they don’t look as professional.

To focus your reader, list all jobs held in reverse chronological order. Concentrate on giving good detail about your most current positions and offer only limited information about the jobs held earlier on. In many cases, you can write a simple statement to sum up holding several jobs earlier on.

Decide which you want to highlight more, your job titles or the names of the companies you worked for. The one you wish to highlight is listed first and then the next follows.

Example:

Dow Chemical Petroleum, Ltd. – Product Engineer

OR

Product Engineer – Dow Chemical Petroleum, Ltd.

For this section include all service work and internships as well as any key volunteer experience. This section is not only for paid experience.

Writing Education Center

As with your History/Experience section, list your Education credentials in reverse chronological order. Show your completed degrees or licenses first, and then show your completed certificates and key training. Follow by listing Education in progress with a proposed date of completion.

Boldtype anything you wish to highlight, such as your completed degrees. No need for too much detail here. Be concise by showing only your major as well as any awards and distinctions received.

To be impressive list grade point averages of 3.5 or better and highlight any courses of study engaged in currently as it relates directly to the position you seek.

If your awards and commendations are impressive, give them a section of their own. Always quote sources to substantiate.

Writing A Professional Affiliations Section

In this section show your community involvement and highlight current participation, especially in an area that might impress the employer as being relevant to key work issues. Give detail to show your abilities within specific areas, such as: “Initiated leadership role in organizing minority group of women wishing to return to the workplace.”

List participation on a Board or as a Chairman.

Hold back when stating political involvement as this can be judged negatively by an employer or company.

Writing A Publication Section

If you can offer experience in this section, your employer will be impressed! Only highlight published material and summarize if you have lots of credits.

Include stellar critiques and comments of your work and edit to contain only the most impressive.

Writing A Personal Interest Section

This can be a tricky call for someone who ds not have a lot of job hunting experience. Do you or do you not write a Personal Interests section?

In most cases, you do not!

Those with targeted personal interests and skills that relate directly to the job sought can take advantage of this section to highlight how their hobbies and interests relate to the position they seek.

For example, a baker who is applying for a chef’s position might present a prospective employer with cookbook recently published. This showcases talent, creativity and ability! An employer would like to see this!

On the other hand, an accountant seeking a managerial position within a large corporation would not be smart to include a Personal Interests section to highlight his interest in collecting 18th century currency from Spain.

This becomes a judgment call on your part! In most cases, candidates opt to forgo this section.

Writing A References Section

The final closing of your resume can read, “References on Request,” or “References Available upon Request.”

Some candidates don’t use this as a close, however, and the prospective employer generally will assume you have references to offer. An employer will not hesitate to ask for references when needed and they most always are.

Consider writing a separate page listing a few really good references. Include contact information, as well. You can hand this page to your prospective employer when needed and so, this is always good to have on hand.

Your Resume A Work Of Art

Now that we have covered the most basic elements of an impressive resume, let’s take a look at some finer points.

Your resume will be written to look appealing to the eye. This is best accomplished by keeping in mind:

  • Structure looks clean and flows well.
  • Very easy to read/not at all complicated.
  • Easily understood with simple wording and phrases.
  • Contains good overall balance.
  • Not crowded/contains plenty of white space.
  • Sections are concise and shorter when possible.

All formatting should be offered consistently. Not too heavy on the bolding, italics and underlining. This should only be used for best effect and not in uniformity.

Your resume will be your front line in communication. Before you meet your prospective employer, your employer will meet you via your resume.

Your resume will be error free. This means free or typo’s, improper spelling, poor grammar, lack of punctuation and no errors in facts.

Key Information Included in your Resume:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Positions held list
  • Reverse chronological order
  • Education credentials
  • Degrees attained
  • Targeted information as necessary

Positions Held List will Include:

  • Position title
  • Name of company
  • City and state of company
  • Years there
  • Earlier held positions can be summarized
  • Part time work can be excluded

Your resume will be targeted to show your suitability for the desired position. This position will be a goal you wish to achieve. You will be able to show how and why you are the best candidate for this position. Your resume will show you are uniquely qualified and should be chosen.

Your resume will contain no filler. You will only highlight your best and this will be expertly brought across by the use of strong, clear wording and phrases that are descriptive and colorful. Your resume writing will persuade and cause your employer to want to know more. You will hint at attributes, not giving out too much information. You want your employer to feel compelled to bring you in for the interview. Your resume will grab the eye through the use of design, formatting and proper balance.

Your resume will impact. The prospective employer will immediately grasp your meaning and will not feel the need to read through entirely.

Your resume will contain powerful words and statements that will convey a message of impressive credentials and experience. Show you will get the job done better than anyone else.

Write about your qualifications through clear statements about what you have accomplished. Don’t bore them with long-running lists of your potential, talents, or previous job responsibilities.

Show the exact results of your targeted accomplishments. Make good use of adjectives to show the extent of your skills and experiences. This will show you are results-oriented.

Write to be concise and keep to the point. Write sentences as short and direct as you can. Eliminate all repetitions. Don’t use several examples when one example has the same impact. Avoid trying to impress by using larger words. Be as direct as possible and avoid complex sentences.

Use good variety by offering short and punchy sentences along with sentences that are longer. Don’t repeat a power verb within the same paragraph. Punctuate throughout for easy reading.

Create a work of art! Use the best supplies for your resume. Use a laser printer or an ink jet printer to produce the best results. Use a good-sized typeface (font) in 11 or 12 point. Use off-white, ivory or bright white 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, in high quality. Submit a resume without smudges, staples and leave a generous border.

A shorter resume is often best, however, if what you need to write takes up 3 pages, then offer 3 pages. There is no hard and fast rule for resume length.

Just make certain you don’t bore them with the details. Always leave them wanting to know more. Remember, you are marketing yourself and not your entire life history.

Add good variety. Break it down into sections. Your resume will contain no more than six lines of writing in any one writing section or paragraph (summary, skill section, accomplishment statement, job description, etc.) If you require more, start a new section or a new paragraph.

Submit an accurate telephone number with area code. Be sure the phone number on the resume will be answered in-person or by an answering machine, Monday through Friday, from 8-5pm. You want to be available when invited in for that important interview.

If you don’t have an answering machine, buy one. Include your e-mail and fax numbers as an alternate means of reaching you.

Omit any kind of information that can be seen as being controversial, such as political affiliations.

Start each section with your most important information on the first line. This will be read the most.

Use bold caps to highlight. Your name, section headings, skill headings, titles or companies, degrees, and school name can all be written in boldface. Your name should be on top of each page of your resume.

Do Not Put In Your Resume

  • RESUME at the top of the your resume
  • Flowery “objective” statements
  • Salary information
  • Addresses of former employers
  • Why you left your previous jobs
  • The names of supervisors
  • Detailed references

Only The Facts

While you definitely want to sell yourself, you want to do this honestly. Do not inflate the truth to put yourself in a better light. You will need to be able to back up all claims about yourself.

A Variety Of Resume Samples

There are a very wide variety of resume styles set up to contain specific information depending on the experience of the applicant. Resumes can be categorized by profession and experience, such as: Nursing, Legal, Teaching and Business.

Below are a few sample varieties of resumes written a specific way to highlight a specific profession. There are hundreds more!

Banking & Real Estate Resume Sample

ANDREW PONDS
456 Pondrew Circle
St. Louis, Missouri, 55555
(555) 555-5555
email: ap4545@udu.net

QUALIFICATIONS

“¢ Outstanding communication, presentation, and sales skills
“¢ Strong ability in personnel interviewing, training, and motivating
“¢ Skilled in organization and office procedures
“¢ Ability to achieve immediate and long-term goals and meet
operational deadlines

EXPERIENCE

Development Corporation, 1990 – Present
St. Louis, Missouri
Vice President

Planned successful marketing and advertising strategies targeting and developing new accounts, bringing more businesses and greater economic support to the city

Expanded customer base through a variety of effective sales techniques

Delivered convincing oral sales presentations to upper management of major companies

Effectively coordinated the hiring of subcontractors and monitored their performance

Able Bank
St. Louis, Missouri 1979 – 1990
Consumer Banking Manager-Supervisor

Promoted 3 times in 7 years from Teller to Consumer Banking

Interviewed, trained, supervised, and evaluated up to 22 employees

Identified and resolved conflicts between public and bank, employees and management, clarifying work relationships and alleviating communication problems

As Secretary to Board of Directors attended monthly board meetings, took minutes, and handled all Board correspondence and directives

Initiated promotion of bank products utilizing various marketing and advertising methods

Other positions held: Wall-Mart: Hired as Desk Clerk, promoted to Lead Manager. Anton Fishery: Hired as Window Washer, promoted to Front Desk.

EDUCATION

Monteray Business Careers Institute 1975 – 1979
St. Louis, Missouri
Office Management

Banking Courses, Seminars, Workshops
American Institute of Banking
Introduction to Supervision
Commercial Loans
Principles of Banking

First American Corporation
Building Retail Business
Managing Retail Business
Quality Service University

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

* Alpha Beta Sorority, Past President, Secretary
* American Business Association, member American Business Club
(AMBC) Secretary.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Recent Business Graduate Sample Resume

Gerry Traindorf 3332 Orange Drive
516-555-5555 Korham City, NY 55555

Personal Profile

Academic background in International Business, Marketing, Economics, and History, including a semester of study in Great Britain. Practical foundation of administrative, supervisory, computer, and organizational skills acquired from broad-based part-time work experience.

Enthusiastic, resourceful and trainable. Offer old-fashioned work-ethic and excellent prioritization abilities developed through balancing of rigorous academic and employment objectives throughout high school and college. Will do whatever is necessary to get a job done.

Education

New Fellow University
New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Business 2001 – 2005

Concentration: Business and Economics
Member: Languages Club
Representative courses: Marketing, Economics, Accounting, Business Information Systems, Management, Corporate Finance, International Trade and Investments, Business Law, Statistics, Quantitative Methods, International Relations, History and Culture of Africa.

University of Klein
London, England
International Culture 1988 – 2001

Studied British and Western European life and culture from medieval times to present. Gained a valuable overview of European economic and social culture through travel throughout Great Britain, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Observed European and British cultural differences, economic and business practices, currency exchange, Euro Dollar conversion process, and national political environments.

Business Experience

International import export exposure with UPS. Learned to work in high-pressure, quick-response disaster environment with Red Cross. Gained supervisory and training knowledge from NYU’s Arts’ Department. Experienced working in local government with Nassau County.

Performing Arts’ Assistant
New Times University, Cheshire, NY
1999

Estee Launder Assembler/Auditor
Graver Packers, NY
1998

International Audit Clerk
United Delivery Service, NY
1997

Audit Clerk Nassau County
City of Nassau, NY
1996

Flight 555 Disaster Aid
Blue Cross, NY
1995

Key Computer and Communication Skills

Mastery of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access; WordPerfect; Windows 95/3.1 and DOS. Familiar with Quattro Pro. Published writer and editor.

Management Consultant Sample Resume

MANQUIST P. ROB

5333 Western Blvd. (555) 555-5555
Los Angeles, CA 55555 mct55@anydomain.com

PROFESSIONAL GOALS

Leadership role in a management consulting firm whose clients will benefit from my strengths in revenue enhancement, economic analysis, product development, governance system development, performance bench-marking, and other organizational enhancements.

QUALIFICATIONS

Projects: Project management support pertinent to managed care delivery systems for HMOs, IPAs, medical groups, multihospital systems, and national health care providers.

Verbal: Client communications/interaction (medical directors, chief executives, administrators), interdisciplinary team collaboration, and management reporting.

Research: Data collection, organization, and analysis; investigative and interviewing skills.

Finance: Predictive models, financial impacts, budgeting, projections. Economics degree.

Bilingual: Fluency in Spanish language, business etiquette, and culture.

Computer: PowerPoint (multimedia presentations), Excel (financial modeling, budgeting), Word (report generation, business communications), and E-communications.

EXPERIENCE

MEDICAL MANAGEMENT ADVISORS, Los Altos, California 1997 – Present

Consultant for consulting firm servicing market-leading health plans, integrated delivery systems, integrators, and providers throughout the US Clients include Columbia-HCA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, U-Mass Memorial Health Care, and others. Provide project support in strategy and planning, network design operations and organization, and health care finance.

Sample projects:

Challenge: For New England regional health system-expand scope of services, create physician-linking mechanisms, foster medical group-hospital relationships, and optimize acquisitions position.

Action: Developed and implemented instrument to conduct national survey; determined respondents’ needs and interests in joining client’s new institute that is designed to provide expertise in practice management, managed care administration, and population-based management.

Result: Proposed infrastructure model, regional sites, program content, and target groups to participate in unique think-tank/training institute; program will link physicians and senior management from key IPAs and medical groups, expand scope of services, and provide client with solid acquisition opportunities.

Challenge: For leading Midwestern health system-develop revenue enhancement opportunities.

Action: Collaborated with team to identify 14 major opportunities and was assigned to handle Medicare Select component. Conducted competitor research; prepared financial models (administrative and marketing budgets, hospital impacts, enrollment projections, annual growth rates); structured product benefits; developed story-lines, slides, and materials for client presentation.

Result: Client selected Medicare product as strongest growth opportunity with a projected revenue enhancement of $10 million.

EDUCATION

Scripps College
Edgeton, CA
Bachelor of Arts, English/History; minor in Economics 1997

Sigma Delta Pi. Economics, history, and literature courses

University of Sandrais
Spain 1995

Marketing/Advertising/Public-Relations Sample Resume

Chance Braithwait
145-87 21st Street
Bevins, NY 55555
555-555-5555
cbraith@anydomain.com

Objective: Management Level in Marketing/Advertising and Public Relations

Profile

Enthusiastic, resourceful, and trainable recent graduate with academic background in communications and internship experience as Communications’ Program teachers’ assistant.

Offer old-fashioned work-ethic and excellent prioritization abilities developed through balancing of rigorous academic and employment objectives throughout high school and college years.

Professionally committed and responsible. Adapt easily to new situations. Successfully handle a wide range of functions using a combination of creative, organizational, and writing skills.

Maintain focus in demanding work environments, under deadline and pressure conditions. Meet challenges head-on and always find a way to effectively complete multiple assignments or tasks.

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
Post University, Greenmail, NY 2003

Courses included Introduction to Public Relations, Message Criticism, Advanced Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communications, Organizational Communication, and Persuasion.

Internship

Teachers’ Assistant Post University, Greenmail, NY 2002

Assisted professors in planning, teaching, and record-keeping for forty-two students in two Communications classes: Interpersonal Communication and Group Interaction and Discussion.

Tutored students daily and taught one day per week.

Wrote study guides and held review sessions. Aided in preparation of professors’ lesson plans and prepared lesson plans for own teaching. Served as liaison between students and teachers. Kept teachers’ attendance records and grade book.

Originally suggested internship to one professor and pursued existing opportunity with the other. Received excellent evaluations from each teacher and from students.

Computer and Communication Skills

Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel. Work in PC and Mac environments. Accomplished writer, editor, and public speaker. Conversant in Spanish.

Employment

Donways Grocery
Deli Clerk
Flowerside, NY
1999

Theater in the Round
Theater Attendant
Flowerside, NY
1998 to 1999

St. John’s Nursing Home
Nurse’s Aide
Bayside, NY
1995 to 1996

Reitman’s
Cashier
Brooklyn, NY
1993 to 1994

Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Sample Resume

ANDREA PROPIST
5555 West Norland
Treydon, California 55555
Phone/Fax (555) 555-5555
aprop@yourdomain.com

CAREER FOCUS

Senior Pharmaceutical sales position with a research-driven organization committed to developing and marketing products that preserve and improve the quality of life.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Experienced Professional: 14 years’ sales experience, including national key accounts management, product launches, territory management, and training of national and retail sales associates.

Technical Skills: Good grasp of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, systems and disease processes, as well as managed care, the formulary system, and cost issues facing practitioners.

International Orientation: Multilingual skills include fluency in Italian, French, and German; classical studies in Latin; conversational Spanish; extensive travel throughout Europe; former resident of Italy.

SALES & BUSINESS EXPERIENCE

Atone House Co., Inc.
Fullerton, California 1990-1997

Cofounded construction company that specialized in fabrication of marble and granite, as well as installation of exterior finishes for commercial structures. Developed marketing strategies for public and private-sector accounts. Served as primary contact regarding contracts, fees, billing, and project scheduling.

Sales Performance: Built annual sales from start-up to $600,000. Identified niche market that delivered above-average returns, in many cases adding more than 22% to profit margin.

Account Service: Developed relationships with decision-makers that led to major contracts (e.g., Well-Known Theater restoration, State of California prison, numerous medical office buildings).

Expense Management: Negotiated supplier discounts on purchases of raw materials; implemented quality control system to control labor expenses at well-below industry average.

Jacoby and Sons
Los Angeles, California 1983-1990

Negotiated exclusivity agreement as sole US importer and distributor of Sabattini, a premier collection of silver object d’art and household implements.
National Sales: Developed national sales presence, opening major markets (Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Beverly Hills) and establishing 160+ high-end accounts such as Gums, Gnomon Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman (average opening order was $17,000). Conducted sales seminars for territory reps and retail sales associates.

Event Management: Organized promotional exhibits at major US museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Modern Art in New York.

EDUCATION

International School of Design
Milan, Italy
Interior and industrial design 1980 – 1983

Institute Tenneco Linguistic Cardinal Ferrari
Milan, Italy
Business 1978 – 1980

The Importance Of Writing Cover Letters

The cover letter is every bit as important as your resume and should always accompany your resume or CV. Your cover letter introduces you (and your resume) to your prospective employer.

Your cover letter serves to ask for an interview. Your prospective employer then decides whether or not to read your resume to learn more about you. When all is said and done, the prospective employer will feel compelled to call you in for that important interview to learn more about you.

Below is an outline on how to write an effective cover letter. Following, there are several different examples of a cover letter, including a basic cover letter template.

Cover Letter Outline – How To Write A Good Cover Letter

Top left hand corner of letter, write your contact details, date

Jennifer Tilly
2150 Orange Grove
New York, NY 55555
(555) 555-5555

February 20, 2009

Write contact details of prospective employer

Mr. John Smythe
Director
Icon Management
5854 Tombon Road
New York, NY 55555

Dear Mr. Smythe

Opening paragraph – Use an opening that will bring yourself to the attention of the reader and make clear the exact job you are applying for. Use one of the following:

1. Summarize the opening
2. Name the opening
3. Request an opening
4. Question the availability of an opening

Secondary paragraph(s)- Provide descriptive information to provide the reader with good reasons to invite you to an interview. Use a variety of the following:

1. Education
2. Work experience
3. Ability to work with others and/or alone
4. Interest in your field
5. Interest in the company
6. Responsibilities in previous positions

Closing paragraph – This will be written so your prospective employer will take action!

Take the initiative and suggest a good time for you to come in for an interview. Be sure to include all of your contact information, including your email and fax numbers.

Close with:

Sincerely,

Enclosure (this will be your resume)
To review, you will always begin your cover letter by placing your full name, address, telephone number and email address, if you have one, in the top left hand corner of your letter. You will follow this with the same information addressing your letter to your prospective employer.

When addressing your prospect, always use full name, address, etc., and do not use abbreviations.

Address your letter directly to the person in charge of hiring.

Sign your letter by hand.

Key Phrases To Be Used In Your Cover Letter

1) I am writing to you in response to your advertisement in the Washington Post, dated May 13th, 2004.

2) As you can see from my enclosed resume, my experience and accomplishments match this position’s requirements.

3) I would like to point out……(add text that is most relevant to the position.)

4) During my 5 yrs. with Amsted and Querns, I initiated extensive improvements that resulted in garnering 30 more clients for the period ending….

5) I would appreciate the opportunity…. to meet with you to discuss my qualifications for your position, OR,…to speak with you in person.

6) Please accept this letter as an expression of my interest in the position of…

7) A copy of my resume has been enclosed for your review.

8) I believe that my skill-set matches perfectly with your requirements.

9) I possess the right combination of nursing skills to be an asset to your organization.

10) I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my potential contributions to your company.

11) I look forward….to hearing back from you….OR…..to your reply.

Cover Letter Sample in Response to a Newspaper Ad

Jennifer Tilly
2150 Orange Grove
New York, NY 55555
(555) 555-5555
February 20, 2009

Mr. John Smythe
Director
Icon Management
5854 Tombon Road
New York, NY 55555

Dear Mr. Smythe

I am writing to you with regards to your advertisement, February 19th, in the Washington Post, for a Sales Assistant, specializing in Public Relations and Marketing. As you can see from my enclosed resume, my experience and qualifications match this position’s requirements.

I especially would like to point out at this time that I graduated from the renowned Brown’s Public Relations College and I have a history of exemplary service in the field of Marketing and Advertising. I have had the very good fortune of working side-by-side with seasoned PR representatives, this past 5 years.

During my stay with DeClerc Advertising, I added 30 new clients to their already impressive roster and I was quickly promoted through the ranks all within my first year.

I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you and I will call you within the next three days to arrange an interview that will be convenient for you.

Sincerely,

Enclosure (this is your resume)

Cover Letter Sample to Request a Position

Jennifer Tilly
2150 Orange Grove
New York, NY 55555
(555) 555-5555
February 20, 2009

Mr. John Smythe
Director
Icon Management
5854 Tombon Road
New York, NY 55555

Dear Mr. Smythe

I am submitting this letter in interest of the position of Director of Nursing Services.

Please accept a copy of my enclosed resume for your review. I am familiar with the important role your Center plays within the community and I believe that my combination of Nursing and practical experience will bring a very significant contribution to the Center.

In my current role as lead Nurse, I am responsible for coordinating a very busy midnight shift. This has fine-tuned my administrative skill-set, as well as my leadership skills in nursing. I am a team player, with intuitive leadership ability and I have mastered working in a high-pressure, team environment.

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my potential contributions to your company with you. Please contact me at your earliest convenience, at: (555) 555-5555, M – F, 8 – 5pm.

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Enclosure (this is your resume)

Basic Cover Letter Template Example

Using a good cover letter template, you can simply fill in the blanks. You might want to do this until you feel entirely confident in designing your own. All of the samples given are just a few appropriate ways to write a good cover letter.

Your full name
Your full mailing address
Your City, state, and zip
Your Telephone number(s)
Your Email address

Today’s date

Your addressee’s full name
Their professional title
The Organization name
Their mailing address
Their City, state and zip

Dear Mr. (full name here) or Ms. (full name here)

Open your letter with something that will command attention””a statement that establishes you to your reader. Briefly state which job or position you are applying for.

The secondary section of your letter should be highly relevant to the position applied for. Offer one or two (brief) paragraphs that point to why you are the best one for the job. Do NOT simply summarize your resume!

Your closing paragraph is critical to your success! You need to initiate action! Do this by explaining what action you will take, such as: I will call you at such and such a time to arrange an interview. If not being so forward, end with: I look forward to your response. If you leave the calling in their hands always state: Please contact me to set up a good time for an interview and make certain they have your contact information at hand.

Always finish your letter with:

Sincerely yours, or Yours truly, or similar

Your signature written by hand

Your name (typewritten)

Enclosure (you can type in “resume” after Enclosure, or leave blank)

Conclusion

Now that you have mastered the art of resume and cover letter writing, it is time to become a seasoned job-hunter.

Everyday, some 32 million people will leave their homes for a job they absolutely hate. Dark feelings of negativity will touch every aspect of their lives, including their family, their friends and not to mention the many activities they put their free time into.

These people might lack the know-how they need to change. They might be afraid to leave the security of a weekly paycheck behind, or they might just feel locked-in to accepting a dead-end job.

Whatever the reason, there is a far better way to live. All it takes is that first inkling to want more, want better and then…..to just move on. Sure, there is an element of risk involved, but that just comes with the territory. Without risk in life, well….life is not nearly so interesting.

Change is not always easy. We all deserve change, though, if that is what we need to live a better life. Meaningful purpose in our lives can be the one driving force that adds dimension to our days. Finding that meaningful purpose through our work, through our career, well, that is what life is all about!

Take your passion for life and make that into your career — live your dreams now while you still can — your job, your career, your life — can be so much more than just a wish, it can be your truth and your reality.

It is up to YOU!

One Response to “Resumes and Cover Letters”

  1. Mat says:

    Wow talk about in depth! That will come in very handy when comes to the time to polish the old CV.

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