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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Perfct Cover Letters & Resumes - You can DO this!

Perfect Cover Letters & Resumes: You can totally DO this!

We live in an age of perfect information, with the answers to many of our most common and most complex issues literally at our fingertips.  You've got a one-of-a-kind story to tell, so let's get it right the first time!

So here it is, a list of probably the best tools available for creating a Cover Letter or a Resume that gets results!

I tried to make this a good mix, from the simplest infographics to full-fledged interactive writing guides.

Cover letters are frequently only one page, so you've got 300 words or less to make it truly effective.  Resumes are the same situation - one page to say it all.

Overall, the best advice I could possibly give you is this: do not use a cookie cutter approach!  Customize your Resume - yes, your resume! - as well as your Cover letter to your audience.  Recruiters, admissions boards, and more know what a form letter looks like as opposed to a thoughtful, well-planned, customized document.  It makes a difference and, frankly, it's your life.  You get out of it what you put into it.  So put in your best!

More specifically, cater your cover letter and resume to the company or school you are applying to, such as finding out names of contacts, reading, digesting and responding to the school's or company's mission, and or values statement.  Additionally, and by no means least, cater your skills and experiences to the position or program to which you are applying!

Purdue OWL: Introduction to Resumes – It's not just for APA and MLA citations!  Make your resume count! OWL provides a list of optional sections and offers specific suggestions to tailor your resume for each perspective employer and or academic program.

ALA JobList: Resumes – the American Library Association resume resource page offers a variety of suggested topics for creating and maintaining your resume, including librarian the Resume Review Service Committee (service requires ALA NMRT membership).

UC Berkeley: Writing Effective Resumes Online Workshop – Excellent example-focused video guide that offers a comparison of presentation formats, sections to consider including, as well as industry and objective-based suggestions. Advice from a panel of human resource representatives provides practical tips for improving resumes and avoiding common mistakes. How to Impress the Robots Reading Your Resume – Entrepreneur offers an entertaining and informative infographic that can help you understand how to tailor your resume to better appeal to filtering technologies, known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), to make your resume less susceptible to being filtered out of the selection process.

Boston University: Anatomy of a Resume – When researching resume writing you will encounter many terms regarding presentation styles and sections, such as chronological versus functional formats. Anatomy of a Resume is an interactive tool that allows users to identify common formats, sections, and styles with descriptions and tips to help you choose which ones best fit your needs.

Purdue OWL: Cover Letter Workshop – OWL asserts that the cover letter may be one of the most difficult documents you will write and offers a wide variety of advice regarding formatting as well as writing tips to help you get your audiences’ attention.

The Ladders: How to Write a Great Cover Letter – According to The Ladders’ research-based article on writing a cover letter, generalizations (such as a blanket salutation) can make you seem lazy and work against you. This article provides examples from hiring professionals on content and format to help you connect with perspective employers.

The Muse: The Pain-Free Cover Letter Builder – This interactive tool helps applicants create a custom cover letter (requires Muse account).

Boston University: Anatomy of a Cover Letter – Anatomy of a cover letter is an interactive tool that demystifies the components of a cover letter and provides specific recommendations for each section to help you refine your letter and make an impact.

The Muse: 31 Attention-Grabbing Cover Letter Examples – This article lists introduction suggestions for opening statements to cover letters that will help your resume get attention. You can also sign up for a free cover letter writing guide.

And of course, it is our belief that is quite possibly the only writing site you will ever need.