Paper Champs

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A glimpse at resume and cover letter development.

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Paper Champs

  1. 1. Paper Champs A look into the do’s and don’ts of effective resume and cover letter writing Presented by : Luke Schmonsky
  2. 2. What is a resume? • A resume is a job search tool that contains a summary of your skills and qualifications as they relate to your career objective • The purpose of the resume is to land you an interview
  3. 3. Resume Myths • Resumes need to be one page • You don’t need an objective • Experience only counts if you get paid • Once you finish your resume you should make many copies on resume paper • Limit the information to professional experience only • Resumes should end with “References Available upon Request” • There is only one way to do a resume
  4. 4. Appropriate Content • Heading • Objective • Education • Certification • Related Experience
  5. 5. Other Headings • Additional Experience/Employment History • Professional Affiliations • Volunteer Experience • Skills • Interests • Professional Development • Awards and Honors (*)
  6. 6. Developing Action Statements • The purpose of action statements is to convey your accomplishments, skills and responsibilities to the potential employer in the most effective way • Ultimately, you want to provide active descriptions that outline goal-oriented results in order to sell your unique experiences to the employer • Four approaches that can be used to help you build effective action statements
  7. 7. PAR Approach • What PROBLEM existed? • What ACTION did you take to resolve the problem? • What were the beneficial RESULTS of your action?
  8. 8. Example • Organized a neighborhood watch committee After using the PAR Approach • Organized a neighborhood watch committee that succeeded in improving the safety of our streets, and promoted a sense of community
  9. 9. Recognition Approach 1. Were you asked to take on more responsibility? 2. Were you awarded an advancement? 3. Did you get good feedback on performance evaluations?
  10. 10. Example • Trained new employees After using the Recognition Approach • Chosen out of a staff of 15 to train new employees in all aspects of peer mentoring
  11. 11. The “So What” Approach • This approach allows you to not only tell what you did, but why it mattered
  12. 12. Example • Reorganized the filing system After asking yourself…So What?! • Reorganized a volunteer organization’s filing system so they could find records more easily
  13. 13. The Who, What, When, How and Sometimes Why Approach • Asking yourself these five questions can help you elaborate on action statements • Focus on using action verbs to describe forceful, highly specific facts in your statements, instead of general verbs and adjectives
  14. 14. Example • Coordinated team teaching activities After using the Who, What, When, How and Sometimes Why Approach • Coordinated team teaching activities resulting in increased understanding and cooperation among all primary grades
  15. 15. Styles of Resumes • Chronological Resumes • Functional Resume • Hybrid Resume
  16. 16. Looks Are Everything • Use resume paper and matching envelopes • Type resume in a standard font type and size • Use a quality printer • Don’t utilize standard templates • Make sure bullets and headings are lined up • Keep everything uniform • Don’t go crazy with lines and avoid using pictures
  17. 17. Helpful Hints • Resume is clear, concise and consistent • Carefully proofread and edit your resume • Use effective action statements • Give yourself time to develop your resume • Do your resume yourself • Make it attractive • Focus on accomplishments • Have your career center critique your resume
  18. 18. Why Write a Cover Letter • Helps to personalize your resume • Displays writing skills • Express interest in employment • Allows you to highlight qualifications
  19. 19. Cover Letter Basics • Writer’s Address • Date • Inside Address • Salutation
  20. 20. First Paragraph • Tell them why you are writing • Discuss the position and why it is of interest • Mention relevant contacts if applicable and you have permission
  21. 21. Middle Paragraph(s) • Indicate why you should be considered • Why are you perfect for the job • Demonstrate knowledge of the firm & industry • Pick out points from your resume and elaborate on them
  22. 22. Last Paragraph • Give time frame in which you will follow up • Include a phone number • Thank employer for their time and consideration
  23. 23. Closing • Complimentary Close • Sign name • Type name • Enclosure
  24. 24. Sales 101 • What’s the purpose of your letter? • What can you offer an employer that’s special • How can you demonstrate your qualifications? • What outcomes do you want from this letter?
  25. 25. Helpful Hints • Make your letter clean, brief and professional • Speak to the requirements of the job • Ask yourself “why should I hire you?” • Like your resume use action verbs • Spend some time and make the most of your cover letter • Have the career center critique your cover letter
  26. 26. Things to Avoid • Using the same letter over and over again • Use clichés or too much humor • Tell the employer what they can do for you • Take the cover letter for granted • Repeat what has already been stated on the resume
  27. 27. Other Types of Letters that Work • Thank you letter • Reference Request • Networking or Follow up Letters

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