How To Write The Perfect Resume And Cover Letter
PowerToFly’s Head of Global Talent Management Rachel Valdez, Director of Global Talent in Tech Services, Suzanne Horner and Skillcrush’s Director of Content Randle Browning, who have placed thousands of women in jobs, share the do’s and don’ts of resume and cover letter writing. Check out the webinar video and highlights below!
Q: How do I get my resume down to one page?
A: Be ruthless in your editing! Intensively edit yourself. There are also 1-page templates you can find online that can help you stick to a single page. Spend time, pull pieces out and focus on “how does this relate to this job description?” Do these things especially if you’ve been working for a long time.
Q: Which items should I cut from my resume?
A: There are several easy cuts that can be made to even the best of resumes including: accomplishments and awards unrelated to your field or the desired field you want to be in, “in-training” language, irrelevant and out-of-date job experience, outdated skills that are almost universal, generic filler words (references upon request, team player, goal-oriented).
Q: Which items should I include on my resume?
A: Tell a story and tell it well. Then, take it a step further by showing not just telling. Link to specific projects. Make it easy for recruiters to get your skills. Quantify you accomplishments with stats and numbers. For example, how much time did you save your team with a new tool? How much revenue did you help increase?
Q: How do I address the gap in my work history?
A: Do your research and brush up on new skills that will expand on your previous experience to stay current. If you’ve taken time off to raise kids, help family, etc, it’s OK to share that information. Use the time to stay competitive by volunteering and taking courses. Proactively explaining your work gap prevents hiring managers from guessing erroneously about why you weren’t working.
Q: What’s the formula for a perfect resume, cover letter or cover email?
A: Always be closing. A-B-C. Focus on what will make you shine to a hiring manager. The successful ones are easy for the reader to read, are an email instead of attachment and are short, specific and interactive, striking the right tone. Focus on your hiring manager’s unmet needs. Cut down on everything except what you bring to that specific role.
I thought about writing this blog piece like one of those quizzes that used to be on the back pages of Seventeen and Cosmo where each question would offer several answers of varying point levels and you'd pick one answer per question, tally up your points at the end, and match your score to one of several possible results.
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