Get to Work! – Career Counseling Series Part V: Resumes and Cover Letters
Resume and Cover Letter writing can be confusing and overwhelming. Here are some tips that apply to both job seekers and bloggers looking to attract brands.
FYI: I don’t know much when it comes to artistic and educational portfolios- sorry!
There are 2 main resume writing formats: chronological and functional.
- Presents your education, experience etc. in reverse chronological order beginning with your most recent experience
- Easy to read and used most often
- Gives duties and accomplishments under each position
- Focuses on your skills and accomplishments
- Highlights skill clusters – not when you developed them
- Consider if changing careers, reentering the job market
Be consistent in form and verb tense.
- Use present tense when describing current position.
- Use past tense when describing previous positions.
- If you end one bullet with a period end ALL bullets with a period and vice versa.
Keep your font size to 10 -12 points. Not too small and not too big.
Use bolding, italics and capitalization to help emphasize what is most important. Don’t OVERUSE.
Most employers prefer bullet style because it is easier to read.
Begin sentences with action verbs and avoid “I.”
- Provide concise and well-written information about who you are and what you can do.
- Should be as short as possible without omitting any relevant information.
Focus on your strengths and accomplishments (no negativity!).
Tailored to the positions/industry to which you are applying. Don’t send generic resumes and cover letters!
Sample Entry Level Resume:
Market your transferable skills. According to Quintessential Careers there are 5 transferable skill sets:
I bet you have these skills and you didn’t even realize it!
Market those transferable skills appropriately.
I would not recommend writing the following sentence:
I have good communication skills because I use Twitter. Yea…no, just no.
Try this instead:
Through appropriate use of social media outlets I have finely tuned my electronic communication skills. I understand the importance of maintaining professionalism in all forms of communication. As an agent for your company I can use these skills to reach out to potential clients.
- No more than one page
- 3-4 paragraphs
- Always include the position and name of the company
- Always be SPECIFIC about your experience
- Mention why you want that particular position at that particular company (or why you want to represent that brand for bloggers)
- Avoid being too wordy
- For bloggers: Include site stats and social media traffic information
This information should get you started on the path to a killer cover letter and resume. If you would like assistance with resume and cover letter review contact me!