What You Need to Know about Resumes and Cover Letters
- lundi, der 30. décembre 2013
Most people think of these two documents as carved in stone. In other words, once you’ve done a resume and cover letter you can use it for every occasion, right? Wrong!
You should see your cover letter, and resume as fluid documents to be tweaked, and possibly rewritten for every new job application.
Each Job Application is a Unique Connection to a Specific Institution
Realize that every job is unique, and rather than presenting a perspective employer with a “here I am, take me or leave me” statement, your aim should be to tailor your documents to the specific requirements of each job. In fact, just doing that will put you heads and shoulders above most job applicants.
In recent years, how you present your skills, knowledge, and accomplishments has become quite flexible depending on your background, and the type of job for which you are applying.
For example, if you are going after a professional or executive job at a university or another private sector area, it is quite acceptable to first state your objective for your job search, and then highlight your skills followed by places of employment, and accomplishments.
Constructing a resume in this way allows you much more room to be “creative “with any employment gaps you may have and /or lack of experience.
If, on the other hand, you are applying to an academic institution as an instructor or administrator, you will be expected to present a more traditional resume or CV, with your professional experience first, in chronological order, starting with the most recent job. Academic recruiters will also be looking for educational history in chronological order, as well as special tasks or secondments, committee and association memberships, recent professional development, community or volunteer work, and publications.
Get a Second Opinion on your Resume and Cover Letter
The internet is a fantastic source of examples for the latest trends in resume styles, and they do change. So make sure to do your research when creating your resume.
If you are in doubt about your ability to package yourself in an attractive way or bring out your best qualities and skills consider engaging someone to help you. There are lots of people who make a living doing nothing but helping people construct resumes, and it can be a great investment in your future.
Cover letters are probably even more important than resumes. They will open the door for you if done correctly or slam it in your face if done poorly. Why? Because most employers skim the cover letter first. If it doesn’t capture their attention, they will often move on to the next applicant without even bothering to look at your resume
How to Impress the Employer
How can you capture a potential employer’s attention? By telling them how you can help them. The way to do this is to go through the job ad line by line until you fully understand exactly what they want. Only then do you start writing your cover letter. In it you should address each one of the requirements they have, and show them how you have the skills, and abilities as well as accomplishments to do the job.
From a prospective employer’s perspective, it boils down to what contributions you can make or how you can help them. So you should strive to answer this single question in your job application.
People who take the easy way out, and use one size fits all cover letters, and resumes rarely get anywhere with their job search except to the bottom of the pile.
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