Friday, February 20, 2009

Impressive Resume and Cover Letter

The Resume

The resume is a promotional sales tool designed to sell YOU to a prospective employer. The résumé's primary purpose is to get you a foot in the door and secure job interviews. It must attract the attention of employers and interest them in what you have to offer as a potential candidate for employment.

A resume should not be a full-fledged autobiography. Rather, it is a written summary of personal qualifications, education, and experience intended to demonstrate capabilities for a particular position. It should contain enough information in a brief, detailed, and specific manner to inform the prospective employer about you. Your resume should reflect strengths and achievements in a well-arranged, attractive, easy-to-read format. Your resume should always be current and contain relevant information.

The Cover Letter

An effective cover letter is as important to the job search as an effective resume. A cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume, and no resume should be sent without one. Research indicates that your cover letter has the life expectancy of about thirty seconds; so it must be brief, informative, and hold the reader's attention. Employers often use cover letters as an initial screening tool when deciding who to interview.

The goal of the cover letter or letter of application is to obtain an interview while the resume is the selling tool. A cover letter allows you to personalize and expand on the resume. A good cover letter should draw a connection between the needs of the current job opening and the skills you can bring to the job and is intended to summarize, mention particular points, provide additional information, and ask for an interview. Cover letters and resumes follow the same general rules of being specific, concise, and error free. A cover letter should always be enclosed with a resume that is being mailed.

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