Cover Letter & Resume Writing


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Having trouble getting your cover letters read? Finding it difficult to organize your resume?
This workshop will introduce you to the steps and strategies necessary to write effective cover letters and put together resumes that will best highlight your work experience and objectives.

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  • These are the services offered by the Office of Academic Support. There are a variety of topics and ways in which we can assist students with their academic success. Updates are made frequently on the Academic Support @ NEC Website and resources will be available in the online community group in the ANGEL learning environment.
  • Tip – save each “job clump” (the information for each position held including dates, job tasks, accomplishments) saved in a document. When you are applying to jobs, cut and paste each clump in a way that makes the most sense for that job (if you are doing a functional resume).
  • Think about the process of going through 200 applications each with it’s own cover letter and resume. Of course we would love to assume as the applicant that the person deciding is taking their time and carefully scrutinizing the actual experience and not being so picky about the format, few errors, etc. But realistically they are likely looking for a reason to put as many applications in the “no pile” as possible. Don’t let them put yours there by being sloppy or pleasing to the eye.
  • Even if… your address is in Albany, NY and you are applying to a job in Dallas. State that you are currently seeking employment in the Dallas area. It’s ok to do this even if you are actually considering many other places as well. Sometimes people will assume that since you live so far away that you are not that interested in this specific job. Don’t let them make that assumption! Even if… your recent degree is not an exact match to this specific job. Explain that although you have recently received your degree in Education, you are actively persuing a career in the Marketing field, etc. Otherwise they might feel that you are just looking for something temporary until you find your “dream job”
  • is easy to use, free and has some great free resources for resume and cover letters
  • pulls job postings from many different sources. Type in any job in any area and see what happens!
  • This site does require a fee. But you can house all of your resumes, cover letters, recommendations letters, etc. And pay per mailing. It is easy and saves time (and although you have to pay, you don’t have to worry about stamps, printing costs, etc.)
  • Cover Letter & Resume Writing

    1. 1. Building a Professional Resume & Cover Letter Learn how to build a resume and cover letter that highlight your strengths and get employers attention!
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Academic Support Services & Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is available? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Building a Professional Resume </li></ul><ul><li>Crafting a Persuasive Cover Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? Ask throughout! </li></ul>
    3. 3. Academic Support @ NEC <ul><li>Learning Coaches & Content Tutors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One-to-one appointments in person or via phone, e-mail, Internet, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workshops (online & onsite) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small group assistance (online & onsite) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Content Area Tutoring – Smarthinking ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ANGEL Community Group - NEC Academic Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Log in with your MyESC Username & Password </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A self-paced or credit-bearing study & resources - </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Facebook - NEC Academic Support & Student Services </li></ul></ul>Services & Resources Helping You Connect the Pieces for Academic Success
    4. 4. The Pieces of Academic Success Time Management Effective Thinking Goal Setting Understanding Learning Styles Developing a Study Plan Active Reading Writing Critical Thinking Academic Research Stress Management
    5. 5. Meet the Learning Coaches What is a learning coach? A learning coach is someone who provides academic support to students in one-on-one or small group settings in all areas of the writing process and related study skills strategies including time management, organization, reading efficiency, developing a study plan, goal setting, critical thinking, library research skills, note-taking, and learning styles. Sarah Spence-Staulters is located in Latham working with Schenectady & Latham/Albany students Her hours are: Mondays - 4: 30pm - 8:00pm Wednesdays - 4:30 pm -8:00 pm F ridays - 9 am -11: 15am Contact Sarah to make an appointment : (518) 783-6203 ext 5992 or [email_address] ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Kate Stockton is located in Latham working with Johnstown & Latham/Albany students Her hours are: Mondays - 4:30 pm - 7:30pm Tuesdays - 4:30 pm - 7:30pm Thursdays - 4:30 pm - 7:30pm Contact Kate to make an appointment : (518) 783-6203 ext 5992 or <ul><li>Mary Sanders-Shartle is located in Saratoga working with Saratoga & Queensbury students </li></ul><ul><li>Her hours are: Mondays – 12pm-2pm </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wednesdays – 3pm-6pm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thursdays 4pm-6pm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact Mary to make an appointment : </li></ul><ul><li>(518) 587-2100 ext 2827 or </li></ul>____________________________________________________________________
    6. 6. Cover Letters and Resumes <ul><li>Your cover letter and resume should work together in presenting you effectively to a potential employer </li></ul><ul><li>Your cover letter will allow you to present your “voice” through written word while… </li></ul><ul><li>Your resume will be an accurate and detailed representation of your experience and accomplishments </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Make a list of your education, recent work experience, community service, research, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Make a list of your strengths and limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the details of your ideal job </li></ul><ul><li>Use job descriptions to help you write your work tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your mentor, instructors, current employer for their advice (sample resumes, pet peeves, etc.) </li></ul>Information Gathering
    8. 8. <ul><li>A resume is a quick reference for someone to quickly gauge whether or not you are a qualified candidate </li></ul><ul><li>A resume is a snapshot of your professional writing ability </li></ul><ul><li>A resume is a first impression </li></ul><ul><li>A weak resume is an excuse to “weed out” i.e. too many resumes, too little time </li></ul><ul><li>A well-written resume can have the power to make a candidate seem well-organized, proficient with technology, a strong writer, and many other positive attributes! </li></ul>Consider the Purpose
    9. 9. Purpose continued… <ul><li>A professionally crafted resume should… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sell you as the best candidate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly match your experience and credentials to the open position’s requirements and qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evoke a sharp first impression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get you an interview! </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. A Professionally Designed Resume <ul><li>Does highlight your unique talents, interests and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Does appear well organized and succinct </li></ul><ul><li>Does use meaningful action words </li></ul><ul><li>Does fit on 2 or less pages </li></ul><ul><li>Does reflect the field you are in or are entering </li></ul><ul><li>Does take time to develop into a masterpiece </li></ul><ul><li>Does win you an interview! </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t only list tasks performed </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t use more than 2 pages </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t look like anyone else’s </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t have spelling, grammar or punctuation errors </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t leave out information like degree earned, graduation & employment dates and locations of employers and education. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Pertinent Information <ul><li>Name and contact information </li></ul><ul><li>Email addresses should be professional! </li></ul><ul><li>Recent and relevant career experience </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Awards, recognition, specific skills </li></ul>
    12. 12. Tips in writing work experience details <ul><li>Use powerful action words in all of your job descriptions (see next slide) </li></ul><ul><li>Research job duties for each work experience </li></ul><ul><li>Always include anything above and beyond your actual job title </li></ul><ul><li>Use numbers if possible (ex. Increased productivity by 12% over last 12 months, decreased number of errors from 25 to 10 per day) </li></ul><ul><li>Include any professional development you obtained during that experience </li></ul><ul><li>Try to point to any responsibilities and/or duties that would be beneficial or suitable for the position for which you are applying </li></ul>
    13. 13. Action Words
    14. 14. Chronological <ul><li>Lists positions from most recent on top to the oldest on bottom </li></ul><ul><li>Education section should be placed depending on how recent and relevant it is to the job </li></ul><ul><li>Other sections can be presented at the end </li></ul>
    15. 15. Functional <ul><li>Sections are divided into skillsets </li></ul><ul><li>Still should include a list of employment but this can be listed in order of relevance to the job </li></ul><ul><li>Employment history can be listed at the end to allow your skills to be highlighted </li></ul>
    16. 16. Combination <ul><li>Sometimes it is beneficial to use a combination of the functional and chronological resume </li></ul><ul><li>Sections can labeled in similar job clusters, “Marketing Experience” and then list all employment that is relevant in chronological order (most recent first) </li></ul>
    17. 17. Electronic <ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Use many action verbs </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure to include searchable keywords that employers are likely to use in their searches </li></ul>
    18. 18. Types of Resumes Chronological Functional/Skills Format Combination Electronic Best for Those whose work history is very closely related to the desired job Those who want to highlight their skills and people who are seeking a career change Those who have a mix of relevant skills and similar work experiences Best for Best for Best for Everyone!
    19. 19. Crafting a Persuasive Cover Letter <ul><li>Make it clear that you really want this job </li></ul><ul><li>Show that you have done research on this position and the company </li></ul><ul><li>Use specific names and titles whenever possible! </li></ul><ul><li>Always focus on your strengths and the positive elements you will be bringing to this job </li></ul><ul><li>Express interest in an interview </li></ul><ul><li>Try to steer the reader to consider you even if… </li></ul>
    20. 20. Stylistic Tips to Consider <ul><li>Testimonials </li></ul><ul><li>Bulleted list of “potential values to the company” for hiring you </li></ul><ul><li>Two columns comparing the qualifications in the posting to your own experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Finding the common themes in your varied work experiences and allowing them to work FOR you rather than AGAINST you </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>Your Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Communicates in Portuguese and Spanish </li></ul><ul><li>International Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Public Relations/Liaison/Communications/Sports Experience </li></ul><ul><li>My experience </li></ul><ul><li>Fluent in reading, speaking and writing Portuguese, Spanish and English </li></ul><ul><li>Translated an entire book from Portuguese to English </li></ul><ul><li>B.A. in International Relations </li></ul><ul><li>US Citizen who has lived in Brazil, Japan, Australia and Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Completed Sporting Goods Analysis on Brazil’s economy for US Department of Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve ongoing public relations and communications challenges as the “flight attendant in charge” </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Date </li></ul><ul><li>Your Street Address </li></ul><ul><li>City, State Zip </li></ul><ul><li>Their Name </li></ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul><ul><li>Company </li></ul><ul><li>Street Address </li></ul><ul><li>City, State Zip </li></ul><ul><li>Dear Mr./Ms Blank: </li></ul><ul><li>1st paragraph - Explain why you are writing; identify the position and your source of information. </li></ul><ul><li>Indicate in summary form your strongest qualifications for the position using a series of phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>Should contain at least 3 sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>2nd paragraph - Outline your qualifications and experiences in detail and show how they match the </li></ul><ul><li>position requirements. As much as possible, provide evidence of your related work, extracurricular, </li></ul><ul><li>and academic experiences and accomplishments. Refer to your resume. Should have between 5-10 </li></ul><ul><li>sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>3rd paragraph - Optional. Convince the employer that you have the personal qualities and motivation </li></ul><ul><li>to succeed. Relate your interests and qualities to your knowledge of the company. Should have 3-8 </li></ul><ul><li>sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>4th paragraph - Thank the person for looking at your application. Offer to provide any necessary </li></ul><ul><li>additional information and indicate how and when you can be contacted. Should have 3-5 </li></ul><ul><li>sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>Sincerely, </li></ul><ul><li>(Handwritten signature) </li></ul><ul><li>Your name, typed </li></ul><ul><li>Enclosure </li></ul>Cover Letter Format 1. Why you’re writing, identify the position, summarize your strengths. 2. Match your qualifications with the preferred requirements. 3. Sell yourself! 4. Offer gratitude and state how you can be reached.
    23. 23. Rough Drafts, Editing & Feedback <ul><li>You have to start somewhere! </li></ul><ul><li>Save all rough drafts if possible </li></ul><ul><li>Save some templates based on similar job types </li></ul><ul><li>Use! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask anyone else you trust to look it over (mentor, instructors, colleagues, friends) </li></ul><ul><li>If you are using your own templates, scrutinize very carefully that you changed every detail! </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone has their own hang ups about resumes and cover letters, in the end – it’s up to you! </li></ul>
    24. 24. Creating a System <ul><li>Have a “Job Search” folder </li></ul><ul><li>Have similar jobs in separate folders </li></ul><ul><li>In each folder keep a generic resume and generic cover letter </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a copy of each individualized resume and cover letter </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes it is helpful to house a resume and cover letter in one document </li></ul><ul><li>Keep track of each job application </li></ul>
    25. 27. ESC Online Career Resources Go to , Library Resources by Subject Name, Career Resources
    26. 28. Resume & Cover Letter Resources
    27. 33. Fall 2010 Workshop Schedule <ul><li>Sept. </li></ul><ul><li>Start the Term Right </li></ul><ul><li>27 Time Management </li></ul><ul><li>Start the Term Right </li></ul><ul><li>Oct. </li></ul><ul><li>Navigating the ESC Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction Library Skills ( 10am-11am ) </li></ul><ul><li>Navigating the ESC Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Time Management </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Reading More Efficiently </li></ul><ul><li>25 Leveraging Your learning Style </li></ul><ul><li>Unblock the Writing Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Nov. </li></ul><ul><li>Reading more Efficiently 3 </li></ul><ul><li>3 Introduction to Library Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Unblocking the Writing Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Stress Management </li></ul><ul><li>Time Management (10am-11am) </li></ul><ul><li>22 Resume and Cover Letter Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Dec. </li></ul><ul><li>Stress Management </li></ul><ul><li>Ending the Term Right </li></ul><ul><li>Ending the Term Right </li></ul><ul><li>Writing a Rational Essay </li></ul><ul><li>Stress Management </li></ul><ul><li>Resume and Cover Letter Writing </li></ul>
    28. 34. <ul><li>Please give us your feedback at: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for attending tonight's workshop If you would like to view this worship again to refresh your memory or just for fun please visit: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>