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February 19, 2012

FREE Resume Advice - Part 1
I have reviewed HUNDREDS of resumes & cover letters (i.e applications). This may not make me an expert, but it does provide me experience to share, especially with those new to the workplace or simply struggling to schedule that elusive interview.

Let me first make two comments:
-A great resume/cover letter rarely gets you the job - it gets you the interview. In my world, I have considered my own applications successful if it opened the door to a positive discussion about my qualities, skills and experience.
-During my 5 years as customer service supervisor, I averaged hiring one new employee per month. After you do the math (I led an entry-level department where often my employees were "stolen" by other departments within the company, so I experienced HIGH turnover), keep in mind the gobs of applications I read in my effort to select each candidate. I now also teach a college course so students can best promote themselves in the marketplace - and yes, I assign them to prepare a cover letter with resume.

Those applying with sloppy, grammatically-incorrect materials are a waste of time both in the workplace and in this column. However, I love to help those who want to help themselves. So when I review materials, I always make sure to stress these are my suggestions only...I am not the expert on your skills, your experience, your goals or your life plan. I'm also not the expert on your target audience - but you should be! Researching the company you are interested in is one VITAL step often overlooked in our desire to have a typo-free resume. Whether you Google the company, speak to an employee, or actually step into the building to pick up brochures/materials, observe everything from dress code to the look-and-feel of the environment (i.e. office culture). Some of these cues will aid you in presenting yourself most appropriately for the position and environment.

More to come on polishing your cover letter/resume so it sparkles (and so will you!)
10:28 pm cst          Comments

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