In the ever-changing landscape of job search, your resume and cover letter serve as the first point of contact between you and potential employers. These professional documents not only showcase your qualifications and skills, but also your personality. Crafting these documents effectively is crucial for landing a job that you want. In this blog, we will explore the key elements of both resumes and cover letters and provide valuable tips that you can use to stand out in a competitive job market.
Begin with your name, address (street name optional), phone
number, email address and your personalized LinkedIn profile URL if you have
Show your educational background in reverse chronological order. Begin with the degree title, followed by the institution name, and the time frame of that degree. You can highlight the degree title in bold to make it stand out.
Tailor this section to the job that you are applying for. Showcase past experiences that are relevant to the job. To make your experience stand out, we recommend using the CAR formula (Challenge, Action, Result). Craft 3-5 statements under each experience heading. The CAR formula is an excellent format to highlight what you did in a job, how you did it (skills used) and the outcome of your actions.
Showcase relevant volunteer experience. Tailor the details to align with the specific job you’re applying for by emphasizing the aspects of your volunteer experience that showcase your suitability for the position.
Include any additional training, certifications, or conferences you attended that shows an ongoing learning and growth within your field. It is a section in which you can show that you are current with industry trends.
If you want to highlight any special skills you might have such as, technical skills or languages, you can create headings for these and showcase them for potential employers.
Ensure a clean and professional look by using a consistent format, font size of 11-12, and use bullet points for easy reading. Restrict the page count to a maximum of two pages. Click here to see an example of a well-formatted resume.
While a resume can be a snapshot of your professional life, a cover letter gives you the chance to connect with an employer on a more personal level. Here are some tips to help you write a standout cover letter!
The goal of the introductory paragraph is to grab the reader’s attention right from the very start. A good rule of thumb is to mention why you are writing and why you are interested in the position.
The Body Paragraph:
The goal of this paragraph is to create the reader’s desire to read further by discussing how your skills and qualifications match the needs of the job. Talk about how your qualifications make you the right fit for the position. Your intentions should be to draw a connection between your qualifications and the job description and show the employer how you can bring value to the organization. Feel free to split the body paragraph into two paragraphs if you want to.
In your closing paragraph, request an opportunity to meet and discuss your qualifications for the position, in other words, request an interview. Inform them of how you can be reached and thank them for their time and consideration of your application.
A cover letter should never be more than one page. Format it similar to a business letter using font sizing 11-12 points. Everything in the cover letter, from the date, all the way to your name and signature, should be aligned to the left. Click here to review our cover letter guidelines.
For more information and resources on resumes and cover letters, please visit careerzone.brocku.ca > Student Resources. Good luck!
Ahrar Tahmid Rubab,
Goodman Career Navigator.