Great resumes and cover letters: Your key to more interviews
Candidates and applicants frequently ask us for assistance with the format and content of their resumes. We are pleased to offer these resume tips and suggestions, just some of which are shared below, we hope you find it all helpful.
Cover Letters: Do I need one? They can only help!
A cover letter is an especially important way for you to introduce yourself, and is the place to emphasize the characteristics that set you apart from other applicants, highlight your qualifications specific to the position in question or to include information not found in your resume.
Your GENERIC cover letter, used when you are not applying for a specific position, should contain all that you would say as an introduction. Include a description of the kind of position you are seeking, your major strengths, significant accomplishments and what makes you special. Also give information about your desire or willingness to relocate if there is a geographical area that you would consider. Your compensation information is also needed.
A JOB SPECIFIC cover letter must explain why you are very well qualified for the position being applied for and must address how your experience fits each of the requirements listed in the job description. Click here for an example of an effective cover letter.
When preparing a resume, most people make the critical mistake of detailing their duties and responsibilities instead of highlighting accomplishments. Potential employers have only a secondary interest in the duties and responsibilities you performed in a previous job. Titles and duties say nothing about actual performance or what you can bring to this new employer that is unique and worthy of consideration. On the other hand, if your resume indicates that you increased sales by 20%, receiving “Salesperson of the Year” honours, or designed a new production system that reduces material costs, saving $200,000 annually, you can bet an interview will follow.
Your accomplishment statements need not be dramatic, but they should always be quantified by adding numbers or percentages, when possible. Answer the questions “How much, of what, by when?” And don’t forget the results of your actions!
When describing accomplishments, the use of action verbs can make the difference between a statement that attracts attention and one that seems commonplace and uninteresting. Some examples to get you thinking:
The DO’s of resume preparation:
- Make your resume easy to read
- Keep the overall length of your resume short – two or three pages is ideal
- Use concise sentences and avoid overwriting
- Know your audience – use the vocabulary of your targeted field
- Stress past accomplishments and skills you used to get the desired results
- Focus on information that is relevant to career goals
- Stress skills that are transferable to the new career
- Accuracy counts – proofread for spelling and grammatical errors
The DON’Ts of resume preparation:
- Include your salary information
- Include personal information (marital status, whether you have children, your country of origin, gender, etc.)
- Stretch the truth! Misinformation or untruthful comments will come back to haunt you
Need inspiration, examples and best-in-class templates? You’re in luck!
We get it. Writing a new resume isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, nor idea of a good time. No need to reinvent the wheel! Click here for a comprehensive variety of excellent, effective and compelling resumes examples and templates, spanning a variety of positions, industries and job functions! (source: Indeed job board)
Need a tool to create you’re next winning resume?
Canva is a great, easy-to-use tool loaded with enough free features and functionality, allowing anyone to create a variety of engaging content, including your resume. Here are just some of their eye-catching resume templates that will help you stand apart from your competition while unlocking your creative flair.