Friday, July 27, 2012

Resumés and Cover Letters, Oh No!

Sometimes I shy away from applying to some jobs because I don’t want to write a new cover letter. It might seem intimidating at first to write a cover letter (hey, not everyone has J.K. Rowling’s writing skills), but I guarantee that your cover letter can be magical if you follow some simple tips.
1. It’s not an essay. Your cover letter should never be longer than a page. Even a page is slightly over-doing it. Employers get hundreds of applications; they don’t want to spend hours reading cover letters. Make sure your letter is concise and includes only necessary information – no fluff!
2. It shouldn’t mimic your resumé. You don’t need to include every single position you’ve ever held. Include the ones that are relevant to the position you’re applying for, and if possible, the ones you spent the most time at.
3. Make sure you include one, even if the posting doesn’t specify it! If a posting ONLY asks for a resumé, then you don’t need to include a cover letter, but if it does not specify whether to include a resumé AND a cover letter, include both. Cover letters are the first impression your potential future employer has of you, so make sure it’s a good one!
For more details and advice on what to include in your letter, check out this tipsheet!

As far as resum és go, I personally find them to be easier. The only real issues you might run into are formatting issues. Make sure you come in for a Resumé Critique at the AA&CC to have a counselor look over your resumé (sign up on the Intranet)! With advancements in job searching techniques, many job postings are now online and require electronic resumés. Check out this tip sheet, which will give you some ideas on how to format electronic resumés:

Above all, stay positive! Don’t feel discouraged when you’re job-hunting; remember that every time one door closes, another door opens.

Speak soon,

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