Resume & Cover Letter Tips

A Little Poetic License

Honesty on a resume is essential. In fact, some states have enacted resume fraud legislation. That said, you don’t have to reveal every wrong turn or short stay.

If you worked somewhere fewer than three months, you may want to omit that position from your resume. More than six months, though, and you need to list it.

Because you don’t list the months you started and ended employment, you get a little wiggle room. This also helps eliminate employment gaps from your resume—again, as long as they run fewer than six months.

When you worked several smaller jobs at one company, pull all those together under the main job title. This will reduce the impression that you are a job-hopper and save space on the resume.

No college? Omit the education category completely. A little college? List it without designating any degrees. If you want to be scrupulously honest, mention what you majored in but state you did not finish.

Cover Letters

Every resume needs a cover letter (though you’ll hear arguments to the contrary). This brief letter offers you a chance to introduce yourself to busy executives. Creative and professional cover letters encourage readers to delve a little further in who you are (i.e., read your resume)—and call you for a job interview. Hire a professional cv writer and he will be able to write for you a powerful resume and cover letter.

Headlines. Similar to the subject line in an e-mail, the headline tells the reader what your letter is about. You can list the job you are seeking or something more interesting about your skills. Insert it between the city/state/zip and salutation.

Be specific – if at all possible, address the letter to a person, not a title. Call for the name of the human resources manager or the person handling the interviews. Use “Dear,” the appropriate honorific (Ms., Mr., Dr., etc.), and the person’s last name.

Start your letter creatively. While you want to be clear about the position you are interested in, you don’t have to start the letter that way. Tell a brief story about how you fixed, added, or changed things for the better.

Skip the temptation to tell the reader how appealing the job position is to you. Of course it is or you wouldn’t be contacting the company. Everyone says this—you don’t earn points and you lose individuality.

Think about your readers’ needs—not what you want them to know about you. What skills do you offer that can make their lives easier? What pain can you solve?

Cover letters need to complement your resume—not duplicate it. It’s more of an introduction and summary statement.

Make the letter easy on the eye. Subheads, bullets and white space break up copy so that readers don’t just see a sea of words. Which means they are more likely to read further.
Be brief – one page is all you need.

Use the six Cs of strong communication: conversational, concise, clear, centered, creative and complete. Conversational is not casual or formal; it’s straightforward with a relaxed tone.

Write clearly without jargon or corporate speak. Cut out extra words or rephrase to make it more concise; e.g., substitute routinely for on a regular basis. Use positive words to reflect your self-confidence, interest and professionalism. And double check that you’ve included everything.

Proofread, go for a walk, proofread again. Typos seem to jump off the page when you take a break. Proofread a hard copy—we catch more mistakes off screen and on paper. Even if you’re filing your cover letter and resume online, proof a hard copy.

Print on high quality letterhead. If you don’t have letterhead, use high quality resume paper with matching envelopes. Be sure to list your contact information under your signature.

Online Cover Letters

If you are sending your resume via the Internet, use this format with a few tweaks.

The headline becomes the subject line. In this case, you may want to write something more creative to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other resumes arriving that day.

Delete the date and recipients’ snail-mail address.

Delete spaces for your signature.