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Setting Up A Resume And Cover Letter

As a career coach, I can tell you that there are plenty of things that make cover letters stand out in a bad way . But how do you move past mediocre and get it to catch the employer's eye in a good way?

That’s the burning question, when one sheet of paper stands in the way of your potential employer seeing your masterpiece of a resume . You’ve worked hard on editing and polishing it, after all, and even harder on earning the experience and accolades it boasts.

So, to avoid your resume landing in the circular file and to achieve your goal of getting an interview, follow these five guidelines—and the easiest-to-remember acronym ever: “C-O-V-E-R.”

C

Call out leadership positions, relevant awards, and advanced skill sets right at the beginning. This is the easiest way to catch someone’s eye as soon as he or she starts reading. “I am writing because I am interested in the Communications Manager position” doesn't say a lot, but “I believe that my experience securing international media coverage for high-profile tech clients make me the perfect match for the Communications Manager position” does.

Not sure which facets of your experience to include? Start with the points listed specifically in the job description. By proving you meet an employer’s top requirements, you’ll keep her attention to read on.

O

Offer stats to illustrate your impact on companies or associations you’ve worked for in the past. Employers love to see numbers—it shows them that you speak their language and that you understand what they’re looking for in an employee: results.

Show them that you’ve made your mark in your past positions and didn’t just follow your predecessor’s checklist, whether it was at an internship, your last job, a college club, or a team-building event you organized to boost company morale. Earned your division more money than the person before you? Share that monetary difference. Reeled in more vendors than your peers did to participate in a fundraiser? Show that outstanding work with something no one can argue with—math.

V

Verify the appropriate contact name to use in the greeting of the cover letter (you would be shocked at how many people don’t do this). If you can’t find it online, do some digging. Call the company and ask who the HR representative or the hiring manager is for the position. You should never have a general greeting like “To whom it may concern” or “Dear [Insert Company Name].” You want it to be as personalized as possible so that the employer sees that you’re resourceful and that you’re OK with doing your homework.

E

Exemplify your strengths . Avoid , at all costs , describing yourself as a “team player” or a “people-person.” It’s like a graphic designer using the font Comic Sans—it’s overused, oversimplified, and it underplays your unique attributes.

Instead, show off your skills with descriptive statements like “I’m an expert communicator with experience bringing together diverse departments to develop a cohesive program.” It’s longer—but it’s also stronger.

Then follow that point with an instance in which you displayed this skill, saying something like, “For example, when tasked with leading a marketing campaign for the rebranding of my company, I coordinated meetings with all divisions of the marketing department to ensure the promotion’s consistency in all channels of communication, including business-to-business messaging and media materials.”

Remember, too, that your cover letter itself should serve as an example of your skills. Meaning, if you’re an aspiring journalist, you’d better check that you used AP style correctly throughout your cover letter. If you’re applying for a graphic design position, then your cover letter should be a visual masterpiece .

R

Refrain from regurgitating all of the same information already detailed in your resume. Your cover letter should complement your resume, in that it delves into the high points and provides a fuller picture of who you are after the employer reads both.

In addition, while your resume language is pretty cut-and-dry, your cover letter should have a personal touch—almost like you’d write a letter to a friend or family member —expressing a tone and using language that is true to you. Also be sure to make your letter precise and punchy. You never, never need to go over one page—the goal here is to draw someone in and showcase your qualifications using as few words as possible.

Now, you’ve got a checklist that’s easy to remember and that ensures your cover letter will showcase why you’re right for the job. So, your final checkpoint to get your cover letter ready to go? Make sure the one thing you’d want to say to your dream employer—before the elevator door closes on your conversation —is in your letter. Then, my friend, you’ve done it.

Photo of typewriter courtesy of Shutterstock .

For most people, writing a good resume is tough, and it takes time. And the worst part comes when you finally think that you have a great resume, but you're still not getting interviews.

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could figure out how to make a resume that would get you an interview almost EVERY time you applied for a job?

 

Is it possible?

 

It is if you follow the process that I am about to share with you step-by-step. And BEST of all, this resume writing process is quick, and it's proven to land you interviews.

 

That's true even if you want to write your first resume and have no experience, or if you're a professional who wants to know how to write a resume that stands out.

 

Here's what you're going to find:

 

  • How to write a resume for a job with examples for every section.
  • Quick but little-known tips to follow to get up to 10x MORE INTERVIEWS.
  • Answers to all of your questions about how to make the best resume for a job.
  • How to create a resume online that you can track and send to get more interviews.
  • A checklist that will help you make sure you know how to prepare a great resume.

 

Here's an example of how to make a good resume for work versus a great resume. What's the difference? Is it the way it looks?

 

Not only. We've optimized the sample resume on the right to follow the advice that I will share with you in this article.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you'll get tips and right vs. wrong examples while writing your resume. See +20 resume templates and create your resume here.

 

Good vs Great Resume Example - See more templates and create your resume here.

 

 

1

Decide Whether You Need a Resume or a CV

 

Hello, blank page. Now, what? 

 

What is a resume?

 

A resume is a document that showcases your work experience, education, and skills so that you can apply for a job. 

 

What's the difference between a resume and a CV?

 

Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a Latin phrase meaning "course of life" and is a document that entails much more than a resume. Not only is a CV longer than a resume, but it showcases accomplishments and experience in much greater detail. It's the ideal document for academics. 

 

Not sure you should write a CV or a resume? Double-check with our guide: CV vs. Resume: What is the Difference? When to Use Which (Examples)

 

If you know for a fact you need to write an academic CV, head on over to our dedicated guide: Academic CV: Example, Template & Writing Guide

 

And finally, if you're a student applying for a scholarship, you might need a scholarship resume. Write one that gets you the funding with help from this guide: Scholarship Resume (Template & Complete Guide 20+ Examples)

 

Want a quick way to make sure your resume will hook every recruiter and get you that interview? Get our free checklist and learn what makes a job-winning resume: 46 Things You Need To Do Before You Send Your Resume.

 

Once you know if you should write a CV or resume, it's time to choose the right format.

 

2

Choose the Right Resume Format to Stand Out

 

What does a resume look like?

 

There are three types of professional resume formats:

 

 

Most job seekers choose the reverse-chronological resume format. Here's what a sample resume looks like written in the reverse-chronological format:

 

 

Resume FormatProsCons
Reverse-chronological
  • Traditional
  • Familiar to Recruiters
Combination
  • Experienced professionals can highlight skills.
  • Career changers can emphasize transferrable skills.
  • Uncommon and not as familiar to recruiters.
  • Not suggested for entry-level job seekers.
Functional or “Skills-based”
  • Entry-level job seekers can emphasize skills instead of experience. 
  • Recruiters may think you're hiding something.

 

Still not sure which professional resume format is best for you? Need to see examples of resumes with different layouts? Read our guide: 3 Resume Formats: How To Choose The Best One [Examples]

 

 

3

List Contact Information So They Won’t Pass You By

 

Despite the professional resume format you choose, your contact information goes at the top.

 

Here is how to write a resume contact section:

 

Contact Information
Your Name
Phone Number
Professional Email Address
Social Media Handles (Twitter and LinkedIn)
URLs to Personal Websites or Blogs

 

Adding your address is optional. It is no longer necessary to add it to a modern resume. Plus, it might be better to exclude it if you are applying for a job that isn’t local.

 

Your email address should be professional which means:

 

  • Choosing a sophisticated email provider.

 

RightWrong
johnsmith@gmail.comjohnsmith@hotmail.com

 

  • Not using your current work email. Instead, create a professional, private email address.

 

  • Avoiding email addresses from when you were in high school. It won’t amuse recruiters to see johnlikesgoats@hotmail.com or sexysara@gmail.com. Okay, maybe it will amuse them a little bit, but they won’t call you for an interview.

 

RightWrong
johnsmith@gmail.comjohnlikesgoats@hotmail.com

 

Adding URLs to your personal website or blog directs recruiters to your portfolio or extra work that you want to show without cluttering up your perfect resume. 

 

Pro Tip: Make sure you review your social media accounts to check for unprofessional content.

 

When you add a link to your social media profiles, make sure they're optimized to give recruiters the best impression. Not sure how to optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract employers? Read our guide: "How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile To Get More Jobs"

 

 

4

Start Your Resumes Like the Best Candidates Do

 

Again, what does a resume look like? Well, you know that contact information comes first. But what comes next? Education? Experience?

 

Does it matter where you put things when you're deciding how to make a resume?

 

The short answer is yes, it does matter. That's because your best stuff should go in the top third of your resume.

 

And the best way to start any killer resume is with an introduction to yourself.  

 

Think of it like this:

 

The top of your resume is the penthouse - the most important piece of real estate on the document. But why?

 

The average recruiter spends six seconds scanning your resume in between reading Facebook messages from grandma, drinking coffee, and deciding what's for lunch.

 

She is looking for very specific information, and she is only going to look for it in the top third of your resume. If you do not grab her attention - game over.

 

That's why a creative resume summary or objective can save the day. Here's a sample resume:

 

 

What is a resume summary statement?

 

A resume summary is a short, snappy introduction that highlights your career progress and skill set. It should also demonstrate why you'll be a valuable hire. 

 

Example Resume Summary:

 

Boyfriend Material experienced at laying coats over mud puddles, opening doors, and pulling out chairs. Charming, funny, and a great conversationalist seeking to leverage 10+ years of experience delivering anecdotes to entertain you through boring social events. Has an MA in hand holding and a license to cook romantic dinners.   

  

What is a resume objective statement? 

 

A resume objective achieves the same thing as a resume summary. The difference is how you write one and who should use it.

 

Example Resume Objective:

 

Experienced Chef interested in becoming a Zoo Keeper. Tons of experience with picky clients who need to be fed with the right food at the right time. Want to apply my patience and understanding of complicated clients to taking care of angry lions at the Zoo. 

  

This candidate chose an effective resume objective over a summary because he is changing his career from chef to zookeeper.

  

Our resume builder will give you tips and examples on how to write your resume summary. You can easily copy them straight into your resume - it will save you a ton of time.

 

 

  Inside our resume builder you will find tips and examples for your resume.

 

Either way, the point is to focus on the employer's needs and not your own.

 

Who should use an objective for a resume?

 

  1. Entry-level Applicants and Students
  2. Career Changers 
  3. Professionals Targeting Specific Positions

 

You can also choose to write something called a professional profile. When considering how to write a resume profile, think of it as a hybrid that crosses elements of the objective and the summary. 

 

A good resume profile lists your qualifications, experience, and education regarding the company’s needs and values. It can be formatted as a paragraph or as a list with resume bullet points.

 

Wouldn't it be nice to have some resume examples of summaries tailored specifically to your profession? Read our guide: A Resume Summary That Will Get You The Job [7 Secret Steps]

 

 

5

Write a Resume Experience Section That Will Get You More Job Offers

 

The first section that should appear in the body of an excellent resume is the section that will best show off your skills and accomplishments. 

 

For most of you, that will probably be the experience section. 

 

Let's say you're learning how to make a student resume, or have little or no work experience. In that case, lead with your education or skills section.

 

But do you know how to write a resume employment history?

 

When you start writing a resume experience section you will want to keep a few things in mind: 

 

  • Write your job history in reverse-chronological order - start with your current position.
  • Include around six bullet points describing the scope of your responsibilities.
  • Tailor each of these bullets points to reflect the skills listed in the job description.
  • Follow the bullet point format (see below), and include facts and figures. 
  • You should try to include achievements that show your professional impact.
  • Tell a career story that reinforces your professinal persona.

 

Sample Resume Experience Entry: 

 

Right

Marketing Manager 2014 - Present

ABC Company, Albany, NY

  • Spearhead a global brand strategy for our top performing product. Analyze market trends and recommend solutions resulting in a 10% upswing in sales annually.
  • Prepare Portfolio Deployment Plans.
  • Head up a team of 10+ marketing specialists.

 

Wrong

Marketing Manager 2014 - Present 

ABC Company, Albany, NY

  • Organize marketing materials.
  • Responsible for brand strategy.
  • Responsible for analyzing market trends.
  • Responsible for a team of marketing specialists.

Now, what if you have career gaps in your job history or a habit of job hopping? 

 

Let’s face it. Not all of us have a pristine job history. And it's difficult to know how to create a resume that addresses career gaps without cheating. 

 

One approach is to include a brief explanation next to each job. 

 

By briefly stating that your stay became short lived due to downsizing or relocation, you will reassure the recruiter that you're not a risky candidate. 

 

Chronic career hoppers may be tempted to tamper with dates, leaving only the years in their experience section:

 

RightWrong
October 2005 - January 20062005 - 2006

 

Excluding the months makes it look like you worked a year instead of three months. But it's a dirty trick that employers know well, which makes it a big no, no.

 

Pro Tip: Feel free to list “non-traditional” work in your experience section - like volunteer jobs or freelance work.

 

Talking about your experience on your resume is tricky. Worry not, let us show you: How to List Work Experience on Your Resume

 

Then, kick it up a notch with this in-depth guide: What To Put on a Resume To Make It Perfect [Tips & Examples]

 

 

6

Prepare an Education Section Which Adds More Value Than Others

 

You should also write your education section of your resume in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent degree appearing first. 

  

Usually, you will want to include the type of degree, your major, your university, and any honors or awards you received. 

 

You can skip your GPA. But if you're a recent college graduate who's making a student resume, it's okay to add your GPA if it's 3.5 or higher. 

  

You can also include a coursework narrative. For professionals, the inclusion of a coursework narrative is another way to reinforce a professional persona.

 

Do you know how to make a resume when you have a GED or didn't graduate? Not sure how to write a degree on a resume? We can help with that. Check out our article: How To Put Your Education On A Resume [Tips & Examples]

 

 

7

Focus On Your Skills Section to Increase Your Interview Chances

 

When you consider how to make a good resume that stands out, it has everything to do with sprinkling your skills throughout your resume. 

 

But, it also makes sense to have a big section labeled “SKILLS.” 

 

Use the key skills listed in the job description. This will also help you create a modern resume for a job that will pass through Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software. More about that later.

 

Recruiters should be able to see two things when they look at your skills for a resume: 

 

  1. You have the skill set they want and requested in the job post.
  2. You have extra skills that prove you are a valuable worker.

 

RightWrong
MS Excel - Advanced (Macros, Pivot Tables)Has a great command of MS Excel.

 

Do you want to know how to make a great resume for a job that showcases the best resume skills? I thought so. Read our guide: What Skills To Put On a Resume [Examples + 6 Proven Tips]

 

 

8

Add Additional Resume Sections to Stand Out from the Rest

 

Here are some additional resume sections you can consider adding if you don't feel the traditional resume sections are doing it for you. 

 

  • Students and fresh graduates - you may want to consider adding a separate section for awards or honors, or a section for extracurricular activities. 
  •  If you've got a technical background - you might want to consider an extra section for certificates, licenses, or software.
  • Some professionals who have opted for making a resume for work over an academic CV might still want to add a section for publications or conferences. 
  • Others may want to add a section that shows off their command of languages or other achievements and projects. 

 

Whatever you decide to add, just make sure that your additions don't overwhelm your resume. You still want everything to fit onto one page if possible.

 

 

9

Include a Hobbies & Interests Section to Show You’re a Great Fit

 

The hobbies section of a resume is optional. But, I recommend adding one if you have space.

 

Adding your interests shows off extra skills for a resume, makes your resume stand out, and gives the hiring manager a fuller image of you. 

 

Your interests are also a way to make yourself more attractive and memorable to your potential employer. 

 

You can always cut this section later if your resume is too long.  

 

RightWrong
Reading Russian LiteratureReading 

 

Not convinced? Well, it's true. Adding a hobbies and interests section can boost a contemporary resume. Find out how: Best Examples Of Hobbies & Interests To Put On A Resume (5 Tips)

 

 

10

Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description to Get the Best Job Offers

 

Did you know that R2D2 might run a scan on your resume before a human does?  

 

On average, a corporate job offer attracts up to 250 resumes. Of those, 4 to 6 candidates will get invited for an interview. And only one person will get the job.

 

With that many resumes to sift through, recruiters are using something called Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software.

 

The software compares your resume to the job description based on resume keywords. How to prepare a resume that will make it through ATS? You need to tailor your resume.

 

Tailoring a resume to the job description is adding resume keywords and information from the job offer.

 

For starters, you're going to want to make a master resume. 

 

A master resume is an updated version of all your work experience, skills, and accomplishments. 

 

When you sit down to write a tailored version of your resume, you will pick and choose material from your master resume to match the specific job for which you are applying.

 

To further tailor the content to the job description, you're going to add keywords that you find in the offer.

 

Let's say you want to apply for a job as a copywriter.

 

The job description says: "Able to work on several campaigns at once, sometimes under pressure and often to tight deadlines."

 

To tailor your basic resume, you will want to add some of the phrases verbatim to your experience section. For example: "Work on several campaigns at once."

 

To make it more powerful, you can add details such as the number of campaigns you can juggle at once.

 

RightWrong
Juggle up to 4 campaigns at once often to tight deadlines.Work on several campaigns at once.

 

Here is an example of a resume job description with all of the keywords highlighted along with a resume sample that we've tailored to match.

 

Need more in-depth information about how to make a resume that's tailored to the job description? Need more resume samples? Read our guide: "6 Proven Tips On How To Tailor Your Resume To The Job Description"

 

 

 

11

Show, Don’t Tell - Here’s How to Include Achievements for the Win

 

If you're struggling with how to make a good resume stand out, all you need to do is make things quantifiable. Wherever possible. Everywhere. Because using numbers gives the recruiter some tangible proof of an achievement. 

 

Here are some basic resume examples of achievements:

 

RightWrong
Increased sales by 15% by renegotiating a key account contract in the first month of employment.Significantly increased sales.
Proficient use of MS Excel (pivot tables and macros).MS Excel. 

 

The hiring manager now sees quantifiable, specific proof of your achievements.

 

Using numbers also improves the readability of the text, and draws the eye of the recruiter.

 

 

12

Add Achievements to Show Why You're the Best Match

 

Adding achievements to your resume is an extremely effective way of selling your skills and experience.

 

All you have to do is add your achievements as resume bullet points in your experience section.  

 

You will want to use the PAR (ProblemActionResult) Approach to writing your achievements:

 

Here're a few right and wrong resume examples of how to write achievements:

 

Problem: My previous employer wanted to increase revenue.

Action: I created a new marketing campaign on Facebook.

Result: We saw an increase in sales by 15% and an increase in revenue by 10%. 

 

Right
Increased revenue by 10% and sales by 15% by implementing a marketing campaign on Facebook.
Wrong
Increased sales and revenue through social media marketing techniques.

 

CEO, Managing Director at Professional Resume Service, Inc.
Think about accomplishments you've had, not necessarily meaning solid sales numbers or percentages. Were you involved in something that had great success? If so, include it! Showing what you've done beyond your daily duties is what will prompt employers to call you. Employers want to hire someone who exhibits motivation, participation, and ambition.

 

Not sure how to quantify your achievements? Want more examples of accomplishments to put on a contemporary resume? Read our guide: Examples of Professional Achievements To Put On A Resume [3 Tips]

 

 

13

Replace Boring Words with Action Words - Here’s How

 

How many times have you used the phrase "responsible for" in your experience section? More than once?

 

You may want to consider mixing up your vocabulary. Overusing words and phrases like “responsible for” or “manage” is boring. 

 

Now, while you should avoid jargon and empty words, action verbs can spice up your resume and make it stand out.

 

Also, be sure to use the present tense when describing your current role.

 

Here're a few before and after resume examples:

 

RightWrong
OrchestratedManaged
NegotiatedCommunicated
OverhauledInnovated 
 
Negotiated a streamlined approach to the internal use of Salesforce among project leaders.
Overhauled external marketing materials for Continental Europe across all markets.

 

Pro Tip: Don't overdo it. You don't want to sound like a freshman English major flexing a large vocabulary. And avoid resume buzzwords like "synergy." Trust me.

 

Want more examples of action words for resumes? Read our guide: +80 Examples of Resume Action Words For Every Profession

 

 

14

Show Your Career Progression to Prove You’re the Right Candidate

 

What makes a good resume? CEO, Director, Manager - all you need is a big, impressive title, right?

 

Not exactly.

 

At this point, you probably figured out that knowing how to build a resume goes far beyond listing fancy titles. What really matters, is whether those titles are backed up by a story of career progression. 

 

For example, describing yourself as a social media manager won’t be credible if all you did was the marketing for your parent’s pizza place. 

 

You have to show a steady progression into a management position. Each former role should reinforce your place in the next one.

 

Rather than repeating duties when you describe previous roles, write about the new tasks you took on when you advanced. 

 

Marketing

 

Marketing Manager:

 

  • Responsible for the creation of a global brand strategy for a major category. 
  • Prepare Category and Portfolio Deployment Plans.
  • Analyze market trends and recommend solutions.
  • Team Management (10 marketing specialists).

 

Marketing Specialist / Senior Marketing Specialist:

 

  • Planned and implemented promotional campaigns.
  • Cooperated with interactive agencies.
  • Managed project budgets and timeline control.

 

Marketing Intern:

 

  • Researched information.
  • Assisted during promotional campaigns.

 

See how these responsibilities evolve?

 

What if you're a student? A newbie with no experience, or if you're targeting an entry-level job?

Read our dedicated guides:

 

 

  

15

Draw Attention to Promotions to Stand Out from the Crowd - Here’s How

 

Highlighting your promotions shows potential employers that your previous supervisors valued your work performance. Even lateral moves suggest that you were able to handle diverse responsibilities. 

 

Here are a few ways to describe your promotions while writing a resume:

 

  • Repeatedly recognized for top performance through fast-track promotions and selection for high-priority initiatives.
  • Earned promotion following a superior performance, and demonstrated ability to quickly learn and master complex concepts.

 

What if you moved up within the same organization?

 

You don’t have to mention the name of the same company more than once. It will make even the best resume look messy. Here’s what to do instead:

 

COMPANY NAME – City, State, 2001 to Present

  • Store Manager  January 2005 to Present

Describe responsibilities and achievements.

  • Assistant Manager  January 2002 to January 2005

Describe responsibilities and achievements.

  • Clerk  January 2001 to January 2002

Describe responsibilities and achievements.

 

16

Make Your Resume Easy to Read - A Quick Tip

 

Need to know how to make a resume easy for a recruiter to read? It's as simple as aligning your text to the left.

 

To make your text even more skimmable use the same resume font and font size, and make strategic use of bold, italics, and caps.

 

The bulk of your resume will consist of bullet points. Here's how to construct them: 

 

Action Verb + Quantifiable Point + Specific Task 

 

Spearheaded a targeted email campaign that resulted in a 15% upswing in newsletter registration.

 

You might also want to consider how to create a resume using templates. Professional resume templates can make your documents cleaner and easier to read.

 

They also save you time and energy. Let's face it. No one likes trying to control one-inch margins in Word. 

 

Need more tips on how to make a resume for a job? We've got a ton of them. Check out our guide: "42 Amazing Resume Tips That You Can Use In 30 Minutes [Examples]"

 

 

17

Choose the Best Font So Your Resume Reads Well

 

While choosing a basic resume font may seem like a silly chore - it's not. A good font will ensure that your resume is readable. 

 

What is the best font for a resume?

 

The best font for a resume is one that a recruiter can read with no effort.

 

Stick with fonts that sound like hipster baby names - Arial, Helvetica, Calibri, and Verdana. 

  

What is the best resume font size?

 

The Goldilocks font size is 10-12 points - not too big and not too small. Keep it uniform.

 

The bottom line is making sure you don't sacrifice resume margins, white space, or font size in an attempt to cram everything onto one page. 

 

RightWrong
ArialComic Sans

 

 

 

18

Save Your Resume the Right Way - Follow These Steps

 

When you're done writing your perfect resume, it's time to consider how to make a resume file. And that's not as obvious as it sounds.

 

The best advice is to save your resume as a PDF and give it your name.

 

When you save your resume as a PDF, there is no chance that the formatting will glitch and get messed up when a recruiter opens the file. 

 

Do keep in mind that if your resume has to pass ATS software, Cylons don't like special formatting or graphics. 

 

Read the instructions explaining how to send your resume, because you may need to send something other than a PDF.

 

How should you name your files?

 

RightWrong
Your Name ResumeResume1

 

For example:

 

“Han Solo Resume” 

 

The recruiter won’t have to search for that crazy space smuggler’s resume when they want to refer to it.

 

Not sold on saving your file as a PDF document? Need to see some pros and cons about different file formats? Read our guide: "Word VS PDF Resume: What Is The Best Resume Format?"

 

19

Keep Your Resume Short - Here’s An Easy Way

 

How long should an ideal resume be?

 

Or, more specifically, should a resume be one page?

 

Most contemporary resume guidelines will tell you that while making a resume, you should do your best to keep it to a single page.

 

But will a 2-page resume crush your chances? Not necessarily. You don’t want to keep relevant experience off your resume. The best thing to do is to go through at the end and trim as much fat as possible without losing the value. 

 

Here are three tips on how to make a resume for a job shorter:

 

  • Trim introductions. 
  • Cut extra bullet points. (6 or less)
  • Kill or trim the additional sections. (Hobbies)

 

If you aren't sure how long your resume should be or need more advice on how to make a resume shorter, read our guide: How Long Should a Resume Be? Ideal Resume Length (+Tips)

 

20

Use Proofreading Tools to Make Your Resume Error-Free in 5 Minutes 

 

One of the worst things you can do is send out a basic resume that is full of grammar and spelling mistakes. 

 

You need to proofread your resume. 

 

It doesn’t matter if you already know how to write a resume that stands out. Even the best resumes need to be proofread by a second person. 

 

Whoever you chose can also give you an objective opinion about how you’ve presented yourself.

 

Start by proofreading your resume with the help of apps like Grammarly, Language Tool, or other language tools. 

 

Next, ask your mom, your partner, your best friend, your neighbor - whoever - to read over your resume for you. 

 

Head Proofreader at Grammarly
It can be especially hard to proofread your own resume because you've probably been staring at it for ages. The more time you spend rewriting things and fidgeting with bullet points, the more likely you are to miss that typo in your job title. Even if your experience is impressive, it will look like your attention to detail is lacking, so it's worth running your resume by a fresh pair of eyes.

 

 

21

Clean Up Your Online Image to Improve Your Interview Chances

 

Before sending your resume, you will want to check your online presence. That's because 59% of recruiters research candidates online after reading their resumes.

 

Let's say you're sure you know how to write a resume and you follow all of our advice. That won't matter if you skip this step.

 

Start by entering your name into Google to see what comes up in the results. 

 

Most of you will find links to your social media profiles. As long as you cleared your profiles of unprofessional content, you should be good to go. 

 

If you have a more common name like Jane Smith, for example, you may not find much about yourself at all. 

 

 

Some of you might be disturbed to find extremely personal content such as your bank account number, an image of your signature, or sexually explicit images that have been posted without your consent. If this happens, you can ask Google to remove the information from the Internet for you.   

 

If you find some embarrassing content on a web page, Google suggests that it is best to contact the webmaster (owner) to have the image or content removed. 

 

22

Write a Cover Letter - Here's Why It's a Must

 

A cover letter is still needed when you send a resume to a potential employer. Up to 45% of recruiters will reject resumes without cover letters.

 

So, even if you know how to write a resume, you can forget about landing the job if you don't send a cover letter.

 

Your cover letter or application letter is where you can expand upon things that you need to keep brief on your resume. 

 

It also needs to be tailored to the job for which you are applying. 

 

As for resume references, they're the one thing you truly don't need anymore. So, lose the phrase "references upon request." 

 

Plus, a great cover letter that match your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write your cover letter in our resume builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

See more templates and create your resume and cover letter here. 

 

Okay, so you need a cover letter. But do you know how to write an application letter? And better yet, how do you write a convincing one? Read our guide: How to Write a Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps

 

 

23

Send a Personal Message to be Better than 9 Candidates out of 10 

 

When you send your resume to a general email address like jobs@company.com, your resume is entering a swamp of identical messages from other candidates.

 

One thing you can do to differentiate your message is to try to find out the name of the person who will be reading your resume and send them a personal email.

 

This is not the best solution in every case. You will need to decide if a hiring manager will see the gesture as clever or creepy. 

 

Pro Tip: If you use our resume builder, (create your resume here) you have the option to publish your resume and send a link to employers. 

 

Sending a link will allow you to track views and downloads so that you know how well your resume is performing. 

 

Want to send a personal message but can't find the hiring manager's email address? Need to know how to write a resume email? We've got you covered: "How To Email Your Resume To Get More Replies From Employers"

 

24

Find Out If the Employer Read Your Resume - Here's How 

 

Once you've sent your resume, it's a good idea to track it. You can install a free sales tool like Mixmax or YesWare to help you. 

 

Knowing if recruiters have opened and read your email will enable you to follow-up on your job application promptly or find different email addresses.

 

Key Takeaway

 

Your resume is your passport to job interviews. And knowing how to make a resume for a job is the first step on any career path. 

 

So, take the time and energy to think about how to write a resume well and how to tailor it to the job description. If you can do that, you're well on your way to the next level - the interview. 

 

Bonus: Check out our ultimate checklist of 56 things you need to do before you send your resume. How many have you missed? Download: “Resume 101 Checklist.”

 

Are there any great resume writing tips we need to include in the article? Do you have any questions about how to make a resume for your position? Add a comment. I’ll be happy to answer.

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