Thursday, March 28, 2013

Winning Resumés And Cover Letters

Yo yo yiggity yo! Here's me, just Mining my own business! 

This week was a very stressful week for me. I've felt overwhelmed and unsure of my future. In order to grab the bull by the horns and make myself feel better, I went to the Career Center for a seminar on how to make a successful resumé and cover letter. My future is near, and I need to make sure I will be okay after college, let alone now while I'm still here. 

As you can see the crowd was huge. It was a ghost town. This seminar turned into a one on one date with me and Mr. Michael. He taught me hands on what I needed to know. (Get your mind out of the gutter).

He had a cute lil tush too. Made my day a little brighter. 
Michael is trained by the university's College Of Business to teach students how to talk in interviews and career fairs as well as how to dress for success. I'd love to teach HIM how to dress for success myself...some leather pants, a little eyeliner, and some pressed powder would benefit him. 

Today, the subject was resumés and cover letters. I'm glad I came to this...I learned a lot about the two that I didn't know about. 

For starters, the purpose of a resumé is to impress the employers and showcase writing skills. In this, you are documenting qualities and experiences to demonstrate your overall well-roundedness. Necessary components, obviously, are contact information and name at the top. Your name should stand out...make it sparkle baby. When filling out education, avoid high school education. As for work experience, include present job and leadership experiences you are currently involved in.  Optional parts of a resumé are a job objective, relevant coursework, professional organizations, and study abroad information. Optional components that are smiled upon by most companies are honors/rewards, certifications, and skills. Transferable skills for any general job, if you need filler, are communication skills, teamwork, and strong work ethics. 

Bullet points are the main points of a resumé. Use action words in them to make the sentences stand out and to ensure the verbs. Any bullet point is stronger if you quantify. For example, instead of just stating what you did on the job, describe how or why you did it, and what you benefited to the company. Something I learned that I didn't know was that a resumé should never include periods at the end of your sentences. 

Ex: -"Was a waiter and took orders."
 should look like...
-"Served hundreds of customers monthly and helped increase restaurant sales by 60%"

Companies love to see numbers and statistics. Always remember to stress your compliments, oversell instead of undersell, and appear aesthetically balanced. NEVER lie, don't talk about high school at all, do not include extraneous skills, avoid using the same action words, don't include current or expected salary, leave out your religion, race, or ethnicity, and never include for leaving a job.

After this, we moved on to cover letters. This is really your chance to showcase your writing abilities to the company. The main point of a cover letter is to expand upon the most important experiences on your resumé. Here, fell free to indicate interests, passions, and knowledge of the company. In the cover letter, you are more likely to get the recruiter's attention than in the resumé. Exemplify your fit for the position, include where and how you found the job opening, and most importantly include internal networking contacts if you have any. Never be blunt about requesting an interview.

When starting off the cover letter, use a colon in the header.

Ex: "Dear Miss Moss,"
should be...
"Dear Miss Moss:"

You include a colon because comas are for writing to people you know personally. ALWAYS thank the recruiters for their time and consideration. Address a direct name in the header of the cover letter if you know who will be reviewing your resumé. The last thing I learned that I wasn't aware of was the fact that you aren't supposed to include your references on the resumé. If you want to send in your references with your content, you include them on their own page.

Well, I better get to correcting before I start sending them out there.

See you next week!

MWUAH <3  

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