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Résumés and Cover Letters

Résumés and Cover Letters. Killer Résumés Top Secret Résumés Slam-Dunk Résumés Trash-proof Résumés Goof-proof Résumés Wow! Résumés Dynamite Résumés High-Impact

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  • Rsums and Cover Letters
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  • Killer Rsums Top Secret Rsums Slam-Dunk Rsums Trash-proof Rsums Goof-proof Rsums Wow! Rsums Dynamite Rsums High-Impact Rsums Wow! Rsums Rsums! Rsums! Rsums!
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  • What Employers Most Want to See Not historical summary But probable future performance
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  • Which Is to Say... Keep your documents reader centered
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  • Rsum Format/Design Usually 1-2 pages Longer rsum (cv)used in medicine, law, education, jobs overseas Simple fonts, such as Times Roman (serif) or Arial (sans serif) not like this Arial Black O R LIKE THIS Brush Script
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  • Rsum Format/Design... Make key information stand out Larger type All caps Bold and italic type Alignment / Order Dont overemphasize dates, minor details Avoid abbreviations, periods, ampersands (&)
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  • Rsum Format (Cont.) Chronological format: preferred by most job recruiters Functional format: good if you have little experience or negatives to hide Combination format: increasingly popular
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  • The average Fortune 500 company receives hundreds of rsums every week Scanning Rsums
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  • Computer-friendly Format Avoid italics, shading, borders, double columns Put your name at the top of every page Dont worry about page count and redundancy Proofread carefully Mail your rsum flat Create a Keywords section
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  • E-mailing Rsums Pay attention to format requirements: plain text (.txt) or rich text (.rtf) file? PDF? Consider sending in body of e-mail messagenot in an attachment (an in-line rsum) Use relevant keywords Include a cover letter Follow up with recipient
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  • An Objective Statement ?
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  • Objectives Avoid using generic statements of purpose: Motivated individual seeks challenging position with opportunity for advancement Compare: A Financial Management position in the consumer goods industry
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  • Objectives (Cont.) Tell what you will give to the employernot what you will get. Compare: A position as a computer systems analyst with an innovative and growing company To develop software systems that provide efficient control of inventory, ordering, and billing for a web-based business
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  • Alternatives to Objectives Summary of Qualifications Career Interest Areas of Expertise Profile Commercial lending professional with extensive experience in structuring innovative and traditional business loans
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  • Education List academic degrees first if you are a recent grad. GPA listed should be cumulative unless you indicate otherwise. (3.0 typical cut-off) If space is available: list relevant coursework, training, portion of costs you covered
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  • If Your GPA Isnt Great Major GPA: 3.3 GPA 2.8 (Worked 30 hours per week during academic year) GPA 2.8 (3.2 since leaving electrical engineering program)
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  • Experience List jobs in reverse chronological order. Consider subdividing your information Beware of puffing your accomplishments.
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  • Rsum Fraud 25-30% contain false info Common problems: fake academic degrees, fudged dates, exaggerated titles and skills, falsified references Credentials verificationa growing industry
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  • fakedegrees.com
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  • Rsum Hall of Shame George OLeary, Notre Dame football coach Resigned Sandra Baldwin, President, US Olympic Committee Resigned
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  • Rsum Hall of Shame Kenneth Lonchar, CFO, Veritas Software Fired Ronald Zarrella, CEO, Bausch and Lomb Forfeited $1 million bonus
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  • Rsum Hall of Shame George OLeary, Notre Dame football coach Resigned Larry Lawrence, U. S. Ambassador to Switzerland Disinterred
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  • Marilee Jones
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  • Experience (Cont.) Be specific and quantify wherever possible. Highlight results. Compare: Raised level of sales above previous year Reversed negative sales trend; sales up 41% over prior year
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  • Experience (Cont.) Compare: Started new employee programs that lowered turnover Created and implemented two new employee relations programs (flex time and job posting), resulting in 33% reduction in turnover
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  • Play the Numbers Game Phone lines answered Forms processed People supervised $$ amounts handled
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  • Emphasize Results Responsibilities Performance Qualities
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  • Compare-- Parks department crew leader Supervised crew of five workers to implement physical improvements in city parks General clerical tasks Established new system for organizing medical records Sold shoes at the mall Initiated more than 300 sales and handled customer services at a retail outlet
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  • Experience (Cont.) Describe an employer that is not well known. --RSG, Inc. (Financial services firm) Distinguish yourself from coworkers. --Asked to work full time after one month --Earned end-of-year bonus
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  • Experience (Cont.) Use STRONG verbs: Weak: began, worked on, dealt with Strong: created, produced, instituted, increased, upgraded, pioneered Use verb tenses appropriately
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  • What If You Have Little Relevant Job Experience? Emphasize knowledge gained in employment. E.g., For job as grocery stocker: Learned to see consumer marketing from the perspective of both the manufacturer and the retailer. Emphasize community work, professional affiliations
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  • Awards and Honors Explain awards/honors with adequate detail. Compare: -- 2nd place in Debate 2005 --Awarded 2nd place out 64 entrants in National Collegiate Debate Finals --Bertram Young Scholarship --Bertram Young Scholarship ($5,000 award for students in top 5% of high school class)
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  • Activities Include benefits and outcomes of involvement --President, Marketing Club, 2004- present (doubled club membership by presenting guest speakers and special events) --Social Chairman, Phi Delta Fraternity, 2005 (raised $10,000 for American Cancer Society through Jail or Bail event)
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  • Things to Leave Out Salary needs Reasons for leaving other jobs Marital status Race, age, health Religious/political affiliation References Available Upon Request Exception: International jobs
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  • Questions Your Cover Letter Should Answer Why do you want to work for ___ instead of someone else? How do your knowledge and experience connect with whats happening in this company? How will you contribute to the success of this organization?
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  • Cover Letter Conventions Avoid abbreviations. (State postal abbreviations in addresses are OK.) When possible--personalize Use a colon, not a comma, after the salutation. Most formal: full-block format Less formal: modified block format
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  • Cover Letter Strategies 1st Paragraph: Clearly identify your text as a job application letter. State how you learned of the job opening. Name drop if possible. Body Paragraphs: Supply specifics to support generalizations. Show confidence and some personality. Final Paragraph: Orient toward future action. Include necessary dates, numbers.
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  • Cover Letter Strategies (Cont.) Watch out for repetitive phrasings/syntax (e.g., too many sentences starting with I) State negatives in a positive way. Compare: Unfortunately, I have little experience in the publishing industry. I am eager to apply my marketing skills in the field of publishing.
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  • And Watch Your Tone After noticing the Finance Training Program at American Express, I realized that I am willing to provide my strong quantitative and analytical skills to you this summer.