Effective Resumes and Cover Letters: 10 Best Tips

Having effective resumes and cover letters should be at the foundation of any job search. Although not many people take the time for a cover letter, they really should. This shows why you want to be with this company and little more detail about yourself. Here are ten tips for effective resumes and cover letters.

effective resumes and cover letters

Effective Resumes and Cover Letters Tips

1. Emphasis on strengths

Don’t be afraid to get into moderate detail about things. It is not enough to say that you work for this one company. Okay, what did you do for this company? What did you learn from that experience? What responsibilities did you take on? This is point where you want to show yourself off. Don’t be to modest and don’t be to cocky. Find the in-between.

2. Attractive, consistent formatting

There are absolutely no set ways in presenting your resume. You can choose any font, any size, and any type of paper you want to use, but you should keep in mind that you are giving this to companies. It is okay to stand out but keep it professional. If you are out to raise eyebrows, make sure those are good looks and not the bad ones. Keep it clean and straight forward.

3. Absolutely no typos

This may seem like a small minor detail to some people, but to others it is a huge deal. So your job does not entail that you must be an English major in the listing but there really is no excuse for error. When you present yourself, you don’t want to make yourself look bad. Spell check everything, even if you think it is perfect. Remember in elementary school when your teacher would make you pass your paper over to the left so the other student could find the errors that you surpassed, yeah, that is what spell check is to you now, the student to the left.

4. Grab the reader from the get-go

Cover letters are very important to have. Not only does it show your interest more, it also opens up a welcoming door into you. Because a cover letter is the first thing anyone sees make sure it is catchy. There will be dozens of other people out there starting there cover letters with ” I am responding to your ad on” and instantly you have hit the snooze button. Try getting creative with out you start your paragraphs. Maybe something like ” My experience in management, customer service, and merchandising would make me a great fit for you.” Don’t be afraid to add a little spice here and there.

5. Avoid passive voice

Many people are not even aware that they are using a passive voice when it comes to writing. It is very important to know the voice of your writing when it is presented to a future employer. Instead of saying ” I earn all my credentials doing my work”, maybe you could say something like ” I have earned many credentials through the course of my work.” See, doesn’t that sound a little better?

6. Don’t be touchy-feely

It is so natural for anyone person to start writing about their feelings. The employer knows that you feel you are the fit, but why. They know you believe this is where you belong, but why?

7. Target the Right Person

Finding the right person to hand and present your resume too is key. That is what makes the difference between the top of the pile and the recycling bin. Instead of starting off your cover letter with “To whom it may concern,” try finding out the name of the person you have to give it to.

8. Avoid Exaggeration

It is always important to sell yourself when all you have talking for you is a piece of paper. Be careful not to over sell yourself. Mainly because if that interview time comes along it will be pretty hard to tell them what you mean by “greatest in all the land,” so avoid over exaggeration.

9. Be Proactive

You have done the first step, now you can sit back and wait, right? Wrong. You won’t get anywhere if you are waiting for the employer to take any action. Show them that this is the job you want. Following up on your resume is one of the key points in landing a job.

10. Keep It Simple

Never send a letter that is over a page long. First of all this will be a waste of both you and the employers time. They won’t read it and you wasted time writing it out to sound nice. The first sentence should catch their attention. Keep it simple, brief, and to the point.

Solution Based Cover Letter

When you’re writing a cover letter always keep in mind the role or position you are applying for. Generally the job that interests you wants to make sure that you as potential employee knows what position you are applying for, what skills you have to offer and how much you know about their company/ organization.

Be specific as possible. This is important. Make sure that your cover letter is exclusively for the specific job description. In the first paragraph,enthuse the employer about how well you know about their company. You should mention what position you are applying for, and state in a convincing way that you would like to be considered for an interview.

In the next paragraph describe what you have to offer to this specific job. Use examples of your skills that will apply to the demands of the role or position being offered. Be clear and concise in your description. In the final paragraph thank the employer for taking the time out to consider your cover letter, include information that you will follow up via phone or email. End with “complimentary close”, your name and the word “Attached” for your resume to be considered. Good luck.

Marketing Yourself With A Cover Letter

A market yourself cover letter has the same concept of a salesperson’s sales pitch. When a sales person is trying to sell a product he or she describes the uses, essentials, functions, price and why it is useful for the customer. A marketing cover letter is essentially the same idea. The person applying for a job (The product), is using this letter to sell themselves to a company (The customer).

This type of cover letter should start out with a bold and confident introduction. Let the company know right away you’ve done your research and know what they want, and make them believe it is you. An example of a bold, confident introduction would be, “I’ve read your company ad in the newspaper and if you are in need of a highly professional , experienced, Trained, Administrative assistant to ensure your administrative needs are met within the company, I am the person for you”. Following this introduction provide data and facts as to why you would make a great employee. Tell what you have to offer the company. Give examples such as, past projects you’ve completed, training you’ve had, and work experience related to the position.

The closing of the cover letter should guarantees you have the ability to back up what you’ve stated you have to offer the company. Simply state something of this nature; “I am certain with my experience, training, skills, and flexible, but dependable personality and work ethic I would make a top notch candidate for the position your company is offering.

Building an Effective Cover Letter

A cover letter displays the summary of information for the specific individual including their name, address, and contact information. Typically, a cover letter also incorporates a briefing for why the individual finds themselves a valuable asset to the company, as well as contributions that an individual can make. When writing an effective cover letter, it is important to include the information in the correct format; this not only allows the potential employer to quickly see the individual’s contact information, but also a quick summary of their skills.

Before an individual writes a cover letter, they must decide which format of letter they should write. An application cover letter is used by the individual when applying for a published job opening; while a prospecting letter is used as an inquiry letter for various positions. Lastly, a networking letter is used to find information, or assistance pertaining to the particular position. It is important for an individual to choose the correct styling of cover letter so their information is represented correctly and addressed for the right motive.

Once the format has been chosen, the individual may begin writing their cover letter by addressing the official in regards to their motive. Also, one must properly write their details among mission briefing in the right format. Including the proper details in the correct format will ensure the information can be read clearly and understood well. It is also important for one to remember that a cover letter is meant to supplement a resume, not clone it; a cover letter should effectively represent what the ensuing resume and other documents will entail. Finally, the individual should remember that the cover letter is not purely about themselves, but mainly about their inquiry and personal briefing with the specific company.

An example of a cover letter might be:

“Dear Human Resources, or Hiring Manager:

I have enclosed my resume within for the position of cashier clerk.

I am currently employed with Grocery Unlimited where I perform a variety of cashier related duties; I am responsible for handling cash, coins, checks including corporate checks as well as credit card transactions. My duties are to receive the correct payment amount, while giving the correct change back to the customer. Before working with Grocery Unlimited, I worked at a similar grocery outlet where I utilized customer service skills and was also in charge of setting displays.

I am seeking a position that will utilize my skills as a cashier, and to help me further my career.

I look forward to hearing from you with any additional questions.

Sincerely,

John Smith”