How To Write A Convincing Cover Letter
Every job application consists of 2 parts – the resume and the cover letter. Now that weve covered the first, lets briefly explain the latter.
Most job-seekers flinch when they hear that they have to write a cover letter. What do you even mention in a cover letter, anyway? If you were good at writing cover letters, youd be applying for a writing job!
In reality, though, writing a cover letter is pretty simple, if you know its purpose.
You should think of a cover letter as a direct message to the hiring manager. You get to briefly explain why youre such an awesome fit for the position. When we put it that way, it doesnt sound as hard, does it?
Heres a format you could follow:
- Introduce yourself – As a start, give a brief run-down on your work experience and mention why youre interested in working for the company youre applying for. You can also mention 1-2 of your top professional achievements to leave a good first impression.
- Explain how youd excel at the job – Identify the top 3 requirements in the job ad. Then, dedicate one paragraph to explaining how you fulfil each requirement. So for example, if the requirement is Facebook Advertising Experience, mention how you have done Facebook ads in the past and how youve excelled at it.
- Wrap it up and say thanks – Thank the reader for reading your cover letter and propose the next steps. For example, If youd like to know more about my experience with Project XYZ, Id love to chat!
Highlight Your Relevant Work Experience
Your work experience section is the most essential part of your resume because its the best representation of your qualifications.
If you lack formal work experience, however, dont worry. Simply title this section Relevant Experience and use it to highlight details about your volunteer work, extracurriculars, or relevant school coursework.
To create a logical and informative work experience section, list your relevant experience from most recent to least recent . For each job, list the following information:
- Your title
- Company location
- Dates of employment
If youre still currently working at a company, you can simply write , present for the employment dates.
A general rule is that each job title includes about 35 bullet points of your main duties and achievements working in that role.
3 parts of a strong bullet point:
- 1st: Action verb
- 2nd: Quantifiable point
- 3rd: Specific and relevant job duty
Trained5+ cashiers, managing their cash limits and guaranteeing quality customer service at all times.
Spearheadedthe development of the first media kit amalgamation for all company projects, increasing national sales by 8%.
One reason the above bullet points are effective is that they use action verbs to grab the attention of hiring managers. Describing your experience using strong action verbs helps illustrate to employers what youve accomplished and what kind of skills you have.
How To Fit A Resume On One Single Page
Lets get real.
An entry-level applicant can insert all relevant information under one page because he/she doesnt have much relevant experience. The alternative is appearing like theyre not making a serious enough effort to write a concise application.
For folks with more experience, however, this can be a bit trickier.
Here are some tips on how to turn your resume into a concise one-pager:
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+ Pdf Resume Templates
Online resume builders are an awesome option when youre making a resume.
They are ready-made and set up for you – whats left is to fill in the data. You can customize everything: font, color, layout AND you can also get feedback on the content.
The best part: You can save your resume as a PDF.
Check out our list with the top PDF resume options below.
Call Attention To Important Achievements
Instead of listing your job duties under the experience section, select your top three or four most important achievements in each role youve held. Where possible, include numbers that measure your success for that particular goal or achievement.
You might also consider including a separate Achievements or Skills section to specifically highlight relevant achievements in your education, career, volunteer work or other experiences.
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Tailor Your Resume For Each Position
Its important to revise your resume to tailor it to each position you apply for. For each job, adjust the keywords in the skills section so that its a great fit for what the employer needs. You should also change what you emphasize in the professional history and educational experiences sections depending on whats listed in the job description.
How To Write A Resume: Template And Tips
Resume writing can be a daunting prospect when starting your job search, particularly if it has been a long time since you last entered the job market or if you are looking for your first professional role. Your resume, along with your cover letter, is what a potential employer uses to make their first judgement about you.
Knowing how to write a resume will help you stand out from all the other applicants and reach the interview shortlist. Your resume must demonstrate that you possess most or all the criteria required in the job. Tailor your resume for each position you apply for by expanding on your experience relevant to the job and cutting back the less relevant parts.
Your resume must also get past any initial screening algorithms, or applicant tracking systems , which identify suitable candidates based on the use of relevant keywords.
Follow our tips for updating your resume or download our resume template below.
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Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land A Job
Employers use resumes throughout the hiring process to learn more about applicants and whether they might be a good fit. Your resume should be easy to read, summarize your accomplishments and skills, and highlight relevant experience. Below are 10 tips to help you write a great resume.
If you’re interested in professional and personalized resume feedback, learn more about Indeed’s free and paid resume review options at indeed.com/resumehelp.
How To Ace Your Next Interview
Youve perfected both your resume & cover letter. Now, its time for the next step – the dreaded job interview.
Whether youre an extrovert or an introvert, you probably hate the interviewing process. After all, sitting there while someones prodding into your past experiences and judging the hell out of you isnt the most fun experience.
Did you know, though, that most interviewers ask the same questions? Yep – all you have to do is learn how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and youll be an interview away from landing your dream job!
Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide to Job Interview Questions and Answers.
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How To Edit Your Resume
Youve written your resume, and read it twice, but thats not enough. A good editing job will take a little longer and some specific tactics meant to catch resume errors.
First, dont attempt to edit your resume until its done. Yes, it can be difficult to leave a glaring error while you move on to write your skills section, but force yourself to finish your resume before you edit it. Why? Youll save yourself time, and letting go of errors now could help you write a better first draft because youre focusing on the writing itself. Youll be glad you decided to go back and make all the edits at once.
Next, never try to edit your resume right after youve written it. In fact, you should give yourself a 24-hour break before editing your resume. With time away, youll see your resume with fresh eyes and for what it really isnot what you meant it to be.
When you give your resume a read, try reading your resume backward. It sounds odd and its not always easy but reading backward forces you to focus on each word, and helps you better catch both spelling and grammatical errors in the text.
Ask a friend or family member to read your resume, too. They may spot errors that you missed, or have suggestions for how to show yourself in an even better light.
And lastly, be sure to look for common resume pitfalls before you press send.
Hard Vs Soft Skills: Whats The Difference
Heres the difference between hard skills and soft skills:
Hard skills are quantifiable, job-specific abilities learned through education, training, or on-the-job experience. Language skills, computer skills, and being able to operate heavy machinery all count as types of hard skills.
Heres a list of 24 popular hard skills to put on your resume:
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List Any Awards You’ve Won And When You Won Them
When you’ve been recognized by someone else, you should let potential employers know about it. But you shouldn’t worry if you haven’t received any awards just skip this section.
Richmond County National Essay Contest, Honorable Mention, May 2006.
Honor Roll, South Satchewan High School, Junior and Senior Years, 20082010.
Leave Out What’s Not Relevant
The key is to emphasize the things that demonstrate your value to the company and leave out those that dont. For example, if you are looking to work in information systems, your programming internship will be important, but the fact that you have won awards for water skiing wont! Dont include hobbies or experiences unless they relate to the job.
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How Often Should I Update My Cv
Even if you arent actively looking for a new role, its important to get into the habit of regularly updating your CV. So, for example, if youve learnt a new skill or successfully completed a big project in your current role, update your resume to reflect that. Its also a good idea to update your LinkedIn profile at the same time.
If you keep your resume up-to-date, when you do come to the point when you want to find a new position, theres no risk that youll forget key points.
Regularly updating your resume can also make you more aware of any skills or experience gaps that you need to fill to take the next step in your career.
List Your Experiences Or Skills
For Chronological/Combination Résumés, List Your Experiences
Starting with your most recent or current job, list your previous work experiences.
- This section shows where you have worked and when. It also states specific accomplishments for each position or job.
- This is where content can make your résumé run over a page, so be selective about what you include.
- Pick experiences that seem most relevant to the position you seek. For inspiration, think of your full-time or part-time work, summer jobs, occasional jobs, internships, fieldwork and special projects.
- Don’t worry whether your experiences are “good enough.” Employers admire people who have worked hard in a variety of positions.
- Always start each achievement with an accomplishment verb, like accelerated, achieved, expanded, influenced, solved, maintained, generated, effected, advised, controlled, trained or utilized.
- Don’t worry if there are gaps in the timeline, but keep everything in chronological order, with most recent jobs at the top.
Southwestern Writing Center, Peer Writing Tutor, Yuma, AZ
Camp Granite Falls, Area Director, Mountainville, TNJune 2013September 2017- Directed staff of four while supervising 20 campers.- Taught crafts, sports and cooking.
For Functional/Combination Résumés, List Your Skills
Self-Motivated: Proactively organized volunteers to assist with distribution at the community food bank.
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Create An Effective Resume
The resumes primary function is to showcase your talents and skills to an employer – clearly, convincingly and quickly. A resume is:
- An individual summary of your background, experience, training and skills
- A way to tell employers what you have accomplished in the past and what you can do for their company now
- Your most important job search tool that can get you an interview, and leaves a lasting impression on a potential employer
- A guide for you and the employer during an interview
It is critical that you invest your time and effort into creating a resume that meets the employers needs and highlights your assets. You should target your resume for specific jobs, and edit and update it according to what job youre applying for.
What Are Employers Looking For In A Resume
Hiring managers look for three things on your resume, What did you do? Why did you do it? And what was the result? says Muse career coach , owner of Career Therapy. If you can answer all three of these questions in…your resume bullet points, youre going to be on the right track.
Clear, easy-to-understand language is key. The truth is that most resumes make no sense. They are stuffed with jargon, they are too technical, and they are filled with redundancies. Try to read a resume that isnt yours and you will quickly realize that it feels like an alien wrote it, McGovern adds. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter who has no idea how your role workshow can you make your resume accessible to them?
The hiring manager also cares about more than just you and you alonethey care about you in relation to them. Hiring managers want to see if a candidate matches the requirements of the role theyre hiring for, Yurovsky explains. Your resume should paint this picture so the hiring manager not only knows what day-to-day responsibilities you can handle, but why you, above other, bring value to their organization.
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Best Resume Format In 2021
You have the perfect resume in hand, ready for the job hunt. Youve proofread for typos, double-checked the sections, and everything seems good to go.
But, theres one last piece of the puzzle left:
The job post doesnt state which format to use – should you choose to send it in PDF or Word?
Get it wrong, and the Applicant Tracking System might eat your resume before it even reaches the employer.
Read along to find out:
List Your Professional History With Keywords
Write your professional history section in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent job and provide a short description including the company name, time period in which you were employed, your job title and a few key achievements during your time at the company. You might also include relevant learnings or growth opportunities you experienced while employed there.
When listing your professional history, you should keep a few best practices in mind:
- Use numbers to measure your impact, when possible. Including specific numerical achievements can help employers understand your direct potential value to their company.
Example: Developed new process for requesting supplies, reducing fulfillment time by 10%.
- Use keywords from the job description. Similar to your skills section, you should also include information from the job description in your job history bullets. For example, if the job description mentions the importance of meeting sales quotas, you could include information about how youve met or exceeded quotas in past roles.
Example: Achieved goal of reaching 250% annual sales quota, winning sales MVP two quarters in a row.
Follow the same process for other work experiences. If you do not have extensive professional history, you should also include internships and volunteer opportunities following the same format.
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Include Only The Most Relevant Information And Put The Most Important Information First
While you might have extensive work or educational experience, its important to keep your resume as brief as possible without leaving out key information. Hiring managers dont spend a lot of time reading each resume. Research has shown that hiring managers tend to spend only 6 seconds per resume. If your resume includes old or irrelevant information, such as jobs held over 10 years ago or minor degrees and achievements, it may distract from key information.
Try to include only work experience, achievements, education and skills most relevant to the employer. You can find the most relevant attributes by closely reading the job posting. You should prioritize important information higher on your resume to draw attention to key skills and achievements.
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Consider Adding Optional Sections
If you have significant white space on your resume, consider adding an achievements or interests section. This can help supplement a shorter resume, especially for those with limited work and educational experience. Makes sure that the achievements and interests you list support your career goals and are relevant to potential employers.
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Include Your Name And Contact Information
Your resume should begin with your name and contact information including your email address and phone number. You have a choice about whether or not to include your mailing address. Your name should be highly visible at the top of your resume with a bolded or larger font than the rest of the document, but no more than a 14 point size. You might also include a link to your online portfolio if you are applying to creative positions, for example.
Quantify As Much As Possible
Anyone can say that he or she excelled at his or her last job. So, you need to prove to the hiring manager that you truly did. Numbers, percentages, and supporting facts go a long way in showing that you have a track record of success. For example, rather than saying successfully hit sales quotas as a bullet point in your resume you should say successfully hit sales quotas 100% of the time and exceeded goals by 25% in the last 5 months. You can even do this if your position doesnt involve using numbers.
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