Stuck on how to write a cover letter? Having trouble figuring out what a cover letter should look like?
Read through our cover letter handbook for guidance on how to write an effective cover letter. Our handbook includes:
Don't know where to start? Have little work experience?
Look over our new resume handbook for tips and tricks on how to write a resume. Included in this handbook is:
Still confused as to why you should write a resume for every job that you apply to? Read the Forbes magazine article Decoding the Job Search (May 31, 2016) which describes how employers utilize ATS Systems, or Applicant Tracking Systems, to screen through your resume for key "skills, experience, and qualifications that they find the most desirable..."
"It's the key words that determine which resumes are identified for further consideration, a phone screen and then ultimately an interview. Simply put, if your resume doesn't contain a number of key words, your resume won't be found. It doesn't matter how qualified you are, it's simply an algorithmic formula." (Forbes, 2016)
The essential components of a resume.
Heading: Your name and contact information such as a professional email, mailing address, and number.
Education: The schools that you have attended or are currently attending in descending, chronological order (i.e. the most recent experience at the top).
Experience: Your past paid or unpaid work experiences in descending, chronological order.
Skills & Qualifications: The skills that you have acquired from your school, work, or volunteer experiences.
(optional) You may include an objective in your resume if you have limited work experience related to the position you are applying to.
Make sure to start with a blank Microsoft word or google document to begin writing your resume. Do not take a format or template from the internet.
Make sure to use Times New Roman, 11-12pt font.
If you BOLD the first section of your resume (i.e. EDUCATION) then you must BOLD all of the sections included in your resume.
If you use two bullet point statements under one of your experiences, you must use two bullet point statements under all of your experiences.
If you put a line to separate a section of your resume, you must use a line to separate all of the sections on your resume.
If you are including the month and year (i.e. April 2017 - October 2018) of your experiences, you must continue to include month and year throughout your resume.
Don't write job descriptions - write accomplishment statements.
What is an accomplishment statement?
An accomplishment statement is a descriptive statement on a resume that goes beyond what you did in the position. It tells the reader what you accomplished in the position by highlighting your responsibilities and the results of your hard work.
Where do I put accomplishment statements?
Accomplishment statements are bullet pointed sentences placed below a position that you have previous held.
What do I include in the accomplishment statement?
o Quantify – How many people? How much money?
o Describe the population – Kids? Adults? Education level? Region? Country?
o Results – What was the impact? Did you make a difference? Were scores improved?
o Key Words from Job Description – What skills/qualifications is the employer looking for?
o Use proper tense – Are you still working in that position? If not, use past tense.
WEAK, General, vague statement:
Planned charity events.
STRONG, unique, quantified statement:
Coordinated three fundraising events for local shelters, which raised over $8,000 (20% over goal) and greatly improved community awareness.
If you are applying to 10 jobs, you will want to have 10 different resumes.
You can make your resume relevant by changing:
1 (optional) Your objective statement. Use the specific title of the employer and job position.
2 (optional) The skills & qualifications section. Highlight skills that you believe are important for the job position you are applying for. TIP: Mention skills that are listed on the actual job description.
3 Your accomplishment statements. Use verbs that are appropriate and relevant to the job you are applying to.
For example, if you are applying for an entry-level position as a server at a restaurant, you will want to highlight the experiences and accomplishments that show your customer service and communication skills.
1 DO NOT have a resume that is longer than 1 page unless you have completed a Master’s Degree.
2 DO NOT use colored fonts, images, or templates.
3 DO NOT forget to put periods at the end of your accomplishment statements.
4 DO NOT make your name any larger than 14 pt font.
5 DO NOT lie on you resume. Employers will verify information that you include on your resume!
6 DO NOT send a resume to an employer without having a trusted friend, professor, counselor, or career specialist edit for grammatical errors and other suggestions.
7 DO NOT send 1 resume to 10 different employers.
7 DO NOT leave excessive space on the margins or at the end of the page. Fill up the page as much as possible!