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March 21, 2012

Free Resume Advice - Part 2

After a long delay (sorry about that!), here are the additional tips I promised would follow! Of course, I left out obvious advice that is common sense, like having someone else proof-read; spell all names and businesses correctly; ensure there are NO typos!

On your Cover Letter:
-Truly consider what makes you outstanding compared to others - stress those aspects.
-Explain how education, talent, skills, etc. prepares you for this job. Don't just list your past experiences.
-Getting an interview is the PURPOSE of the letter – don’t put limitations on when people can contact you.
-Be creative and interesting  – this is your opportunity to shine, even if for a few seconds.
-Be as specific about the job you are applying for that you can be – a “shotgun” approach to sending out resumes is often not successful and appears lazy to the potential employer.

Your Resume:
-Punch your skills or job duties with action verbs. Start each “bullet” after specific work experience with powerful words.
-For routine jobs, focus on skills gained versus the duty itself. For instance “taking the trash out” can be written as “developed discipline and strong work ethic."
-Consider the order of importance –  chronological order vs most pertinent?

-Always ask permission to use a reference!
-Ask if they will provide a GOOD reference.
-Don't use a reference who has fired you.
(No joke, this has happened to me!)

I don't hire people with bad references and may choose not to hire based on whether the applicant first asked the reference for permission. (I consider this to be both an aspect of respect and attention to details.) I can also assure you if someone used me as a reference without my consent, he/she rarely got the job.

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