Resumes And Cover Letters


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The Resumes and Cover Letters Presentation was part of the Resumes and Cover Letters Workshop on 2-18-12.

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Resumes And Cover Letters

  1. 1. Jennifer Wells – Owner and Chief Life Remixer
  2. 2. About Life Remix, LLC was formed to meet the needs of individuals wanting to affect personal change in the midst of our new and challenging economic climate. Life Remix, LLC supports and guides women and men in their academic, professional, and personal growth and development by providing individual sessions and group workshops. Life Remix, LLCs services focus on post- secondary education options, career transition and advancement, and professional image development-- including natural hair care and maintenance advising. If youre ready to take on the challenge of change, dont just do a "life-180," do a Life Remix!
  3. 3. Quote of the Day Resumes are like belly“ buttons, everybody has one! Is yours and Innie or an Outie?” --Linkedin User
  4. 4. Job Market Post-2008  Today’s challenging economy is the “new normal”  Candidates need to show/prove how they can contribute more for less  Now very difficult to get resume in front of HR manager  Old school “generic” resumes won’t cut it  Purpose is to get an interview, not a job  All about NOT getting excluded!
  5. 5. Resume Facts Typical resume receives 45 seconds of screeners attention About ½ of all resumes have some type of error Resume is French word meaning “to summarize” Most resumes are submitted electronically
  6. 6. Resume Do’s Tailor resume for each position Keep it to two pages Correct any formatting changes that occurred during electronic submissions Go back at least 10 years on employment history (or more depending on job description)
  7. 7. Resume Structure (sample in folder)1. Use Times New Roman or Arial Font (13 pt. for name, 10 pt. for contact info, 11 pt. for body)2. Use standard heading: name, address, phone, email, (Linkedin address)—all separated by dots/1 of each3. Bold face all titles and headings, w/ headings in all caps4. Use bullets to designate job duties/functions5. Justify all dates to far right6. Use reverse chronological order for past jobs/education7. Margins no smaller than .75 all around with 1.0 preferred
  8. 8. Resume Content Confident, clear, concise, and to the point phrases that include action-oriented, measureable goals (1-2 lines) Use $, #’s, amounts and figures to quantify points Begin EVERY experience/accomplishment with a strong, powerful verb (see handout) Use strong adjectives (see handout Never use word “I” or include a picture Spell out and abbreviate degrees Include as many key words from job posting throughout resume
  9. 9. How to List Accomplishments BAD EXAMPLE:  Coached students in basketball GOOD EXAMPLE:  Coached high school basketball for over 350 students, resulting in three WIAA regional titles in the last seven years
  10. 10. Chronological vs. Functional Resumes (see handouts)Chronological Resumes Functional Resumes Starts by listing your work  Focuses on your skills and history, with the most recent experience, rather than on position listed first your chronological work Employers typically prefer history this type of resume because  Used most often by people its easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have who are changing careers or worked at them who have gaps in their Works well for job seekers employment history with a strong, solid work  Also great for students and history. entry-level workers  Can minimize or highlight education
  11. 11. References (see handout for formatting) Only use “professional references”—individuals with whom you’ve had a personal and professional relationship and will say stellar things about you Ask for permission before using people for references Keep in regular contact with your “professional references” Use 3-4 references on your references page, but have six available Always include references as a separate attachment, even if employers doesn’t ask
  12. 12. Cover Letter Do’s Always customize to fit individual position Use same heading on top as you did for resume Always use HR manager’s/contact person’s name (if don’t know, call company or look on Linkedin) If can’t find contact’s name, use: To Whom It May Concern: Always use colon (:) after salutation Include as separate attachment along with resume and cover letter, even if not requested by employer
  13. 13. Cover Letter Content (see handout) Length: NO longer than 250-300 words Use bullets to illustrate key points in cover letter (3) Identify the position you are applying for Tone: don’t sound desperate! Confidence is king Use a creative, value-oriented opening statement; how you can add value to company (how you can make them/save them $) P.S.: Studies have shown that using a P.S. at end of cover letter increases readership. In it, say when you will follow up
  14. 14. If Relocating . . . Remember that HR managers view out-of-towners as riskier candidates To minimize the perceived risk, clearly state in your cover letter why and when you are relocating--usually in the paragraph below your bulleted points In your P.S., be sure to mention that you are flexible to fly out for any proposed interview--but only state this if this is indeed the case Be prepared to send out 2-3 times as many resumes as you would if you were applying locally
  15. 15. When Mailing Your Resume . . . Be sure to sign your cover letter Print all documents on resume paper (cotton or linen) Place all documents in a resume folder or other professional two-pocket folder Use a manila or white 10” x 13” mailing envelope Print out mailing addresses on 2” x 4” shipping labels using the Microsoft Word Avery template Place the label in the middle of the envelope Have the envelop weighed and mailed at the post office—DO NOT USE MULTIPLE STAMPS!
  16. 16. The Wrap Up  Resumes, cover letters, and references are living/breathing documents that must constantly change and adapt to changes in society—just like us!
  17. 17. Evaluation
  18. 18. Upcoming Saturday Workshops Tentative: March 10th – Job Search Strategies **All workshops are $10 and held between 3pm-5pm at Sherman Perk Coffee Shop