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.