A cover letter is a document that accompanies a resume or CV when applying for a job. It is typically a one-page letter that introduces you to the hiring manager, explains why you are interested in the position, and highlights your relevant skills and experience. The key importance of a cover letter includes: Introduction: A cover letter provides a personalized introduction to the employer and a chance to showcase your personality and communication skills. Customization: A well-written cover letter can show the employer that you have taken the time to research their organization and the specific position you are applying for, demonstrating your interest in the role. Highlighting relevant skills: A cover letter allows you to highlight your relevant skills and experience that make you a strong candidate for the job. Addressing gaps or concerns: If there are any gaps or concerns in your resume, a cover letter provides an opportunity to address them and explain why you are still a good fit for the position. Expressing enthusiasm: A cover letter is a chance to express your enthusiasm for the job and the organization, which can set you apart from other applicants. Professionalism: A well-crafted cover letter demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail, which are important qualities for any job. Overall, a cover letter can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting an interview and ultimately the job.
A resume is a document that summarizes an individual's qualifications, experience, and skills. It's a critical tool for job seekers looking to showcase their abilities and impress potential employers. Here's a guide to the most commonly used resume formats: Chronological Resume: This is the most common type of resume format. It lists your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. It's best suited for individuals with a stable work history. Functional Resume: This format focuses on your skills and abilities rather than your work experience. It's best suited for individuals who are changing careers, have gaps in their work history, or have limited work experience. Combination Resume: This format is a mix of the chronological and functional formats. It highlights your skills and abilities, but also includes a detailed work history section. Targeted Resume: This format is customized to the job you're applying for. It highlights the skills and experiences that match the job requirements and uses keywords from the job description. Regardless of the format you choose, your resume should include the following sections: Contact Information: Your name, address, phone number, and email address. Summary or Objective Statement: A brief summary of your experience and qualifications, or an objective statement outlining the type of job you're seeking. Education: A list of your educational qualifications, including the name of the institution, the degree earned, and the year of graduation. Work Experience: A list of your previous work experience, including job titles, dates of employment, and key responsibilities and accomplishments. Skills: A list of your key skills, including technical skills, soft skills, and certifications. References: A list of professional references, including their name, job title, and contact information. Remember to tailor your resume to the job you're applying for and highlight your most relevant qualifications and experiences. Keep it concise and easy to read, and use bullet points to highlight key points.
The resume you writw is paramount to getting the job you want. Creating a resume can be very intimidating, but after reading this guide, you'll feel confident in creating your very best resume. What is a resume then ? When applying for a new job or embarking on a career change, your resume is often the first thing that a potential employee sees. A resume is a written document that provides details of your employment history, education, accomplishments, skills, and qualifications. It is typically submitted in combination with a cover letter, and it will be used by hiring managers and HR professionals to decide if you are a suitable candidate for an interview. In short, it determines your eligibility for a position that you are applying for within a company, as well as your potential salary. With most resumes only being viewed for a few seconds, yours must make an instant impression. There are useful resume building tools available online, and this handy guide to resume writing should help you in creating a professional resume. Moreover, it is essential to include the skills that your potential new employer will need to decide your eligibility. Areas that should be included are: Contact information - Name, full address, phone number, and email address Career summary or objective - One or two lines describing your career goals or targeted career objectives Work history - A brief description of prior roles and experience, including job titles, responsibilities and descriptions of your duties and achievements Education – A list of all qualifications and dates, including any awards or individual honors received Additional skills - Any special skills or certifications relevant to the position, including work-specific training or a second language, which can be prime topics for negotiation References - Names, locations and contact information of previous employers, managers or supervisors that can verify your suitability for the role, which is where networking come into play A resume should be purposefully brief—one to two pages long—and not to be confused with a CV, which is a much more detailed document. It provides a higher level of candidate information, along with more details about qualifications. Researching a resume It is always worth assessing the competition when attempting to apply for a new position. Many job sites now contain areas where you may search and view other people's stored resumes by specific roles or city. This can provide you with valuable insights into the information candidates are offering and can also be useful in obtaining salary information. It will also offer ideas on how to choose the best format and an appropriate template for your resume. Consider the position you are applying for and review other job advertisements for the same position. What skills are they looking for on your resume? Are your qualifications appropriate? Answering these questions will be valuable in helping you to compile the best resume possible. Writing your resume Header with contact information - Even though this is the most basic piece of information, it is amazing how many resumes lack contact information. Make sure you are providing your phone number and email address. You can have the best resume in the world, but it will be useless if the employer has no means by which to contact you. Professional title and resume summary - Include your current title and provide a brief overview of your role, responsibilities, and achievements. Skill matching - Carefully examine the position advertised and identify the skills and requirements that the company will target. Then you can creatively weave these into your resume in a way that sounds natural to the reader. Keywords and action verbs - Use of the correct keywords and action verbs can assist in the selection of your resume. Keywords demonstrate the skills and qualifications you possess, while action verbs speak to your ability to be successful in the advertised position. Use verbs like accomplished, developed, and managed. Achievements - Describe the successes and results which are relevant to the position. This is your time to demonstrate how you are the best leader or the most efficient organizer and, most importantly, to show how you can be an asset to the company. Software competencies and language proficiencies - If you have technical skills or applicable software skills, make sure you let your employer know that. If you have experience in an industry-specific software or are an expert user in spreadsheet packages, then it should be included on your resume. If you can speak, write or translate a second language, you should also add that information. Font and color theme – Take a moment to consider what font you will use for your resume. With the time spent reviewing each resume being so limited, you must use an easy-to-read typeface. It is best for resume purposes to stay with classic fonts such as Times New Roman, Helvetica, and Arial. Keep the color theme for your resume to a simple black text on white paper. You can use a highlight color such as blue or green, very sparingly. Stay away from colorful text and paper combinations, as it just doesn't look professional. Proofread Now that you have completed your resume and have created a professional representation of yourself take the time to proofread. Many great resumes can fall by the wayside due to avoidable and straightforward grammatical or phrasing errors. Make sure that the spelling is correct, and that the sentences are constructed correctly. Your resume should be easy to read while providing pertinent information accurately. Printing and saving Once completed, your resume should be saved with the right title and in the correct format. The file should be saved in .doc and .pdf formats and named appropriately. Naming your resume simply as "resume.doc" or "bobsresume.doc" isn't advisable. Take the opportunity to let the employer know who the resume belongs to at first glance. Using your full name is a safe bet, and you can also promote yourself even further. "BobSmith - Business Analyst.doc" is a great way to communicate who you are and what you do before the hiring manager even opens your document. Typical mistakes and tips on avoiding Irrelevant experience - During proofreading, it is also an excellent time to make sure that all the information you are including is entirely relevant for the position for which you are applying. While it is commendable that you hold first place in your neighborhood's fantasy football league, it's probably not a deciding factor in the management position that interests you. Don't be afraid to edit and cull any information that does not directly speak to the role. Keep it relevant. Not explaining a gap - While it can be awkward to explain any employment gaps, it is still better to provide information, rather than leave a blank. If you were unemployed for a while or took time off due to an illness, then document that. Try to turn it into a positive by highlighting positive traits that you learned during a challenging time. Layout and organization - Your resume should look simple, clean, and pleasing to the eye. If you have multiple prior roles in your work history section, be sure to list them in chronological order from most recent to the oldest. Once again, stay away from loud colors and fancy fonts. You are going for professional, sophisticated, and clean. Grammatical errors and typos - It was mentioned earlier in the article, but it's worth mentioning again. Errors in grammar and typos are the single biggest resume killer. The best resume on the planet will head immediately for the trash if it contains spelling mistakes or typing errors. Take the time to proofread. You can even have a friend or relative look it over, as a fresh set of eyes often picks up errors that you can't see. You should also use a spellchecker. While hundreds of resumes can be received for any one job posting, it is possible to set yourself apart from the crowd by following these simple guidelines. Take time to check your resume thoroughly and critically review your work. Does it say what you want? Does it reflect your achievements accurately? Does it portray you in the best possible light to a future employer? If the answer to these questions is "yes." then you have a solid resume that you can use to apply for future positions.
Read our ultimate guide to writing a cover letter to learn how to craft a letter that impresses potential employers and makes you stand out among a crowd of other candidates. What is a cover letter? As the name implies, a cover letter is simply a letter of introduction that precedes your resume. It tells the hiring manager a little about you before they check out your resume or look into your references. This can be a great opportunity to build a personal connection and show who you truly are. Typical components of a cover letter include: A header that contains your contact information A greeting that directly addresses the letter reader A brief introduction of who you are and what your career goals are Examples of why you are interested in that specific position Descriptions of skills you have that would make you a good candidate for the facility Your handwritten or typed signature A cover letter is not quite the same thing as an email introduction. It is usually a little longer and more formal than an email. At the same time, cover letters tend to be more personal. Instead of just bluntly stating who you are and what job you want, a cover letter helps the hiring manager get a glimpse into your personality. Researching a cover letter Review professional cover letter examples for your career to get an idea of what your letter should look like. Never copy sentences and phrases from these letters exactly since this can make you seem bland and unmemorable. Instead, use these samples as inspiration for the type of general outline and tone you should use. Cover letter templates are not quite as strict as resume templates. The majority of the letter will just follow a basic letter template. However, you may want to take a look at templates just to get ideas for how you will structure the heading of your letter. You can pick one that emphasizes your name and achievements or find a template that puts focus on how to contact you. Before you write the letter, read the job posting. Pay attention to all essential requirements, and show how you satisfy these criteria. In addition to looking at the original job posting, it is a good idea to check out postings for  similar jobs on SimplyHired . Take note of the language frequently used in postings to identify buzz words that describe what the typical employer wants. Employ these phrases in your cover letter to subtly show you can understand and anticipate the business's needs. Writing your cover letter The first step in ## Writing a cover letter is understanding proper formatting. Sticking to the basic letter writing format provides you with an easy outline and makes sure you do not forget anything important. Feel free to add more parts to your cover letter if you desire, but ensure it includes these essential features. The header – This is the part of the letter with all your essential information. Write your name, address, phone number and email, and put the date of the letter above or below the section with contact information. If desired, you can include any job title or career designation you have. Your greeting – The greeting will address who you are trying to contact. Write the name of the business, the business's phone number and email and the name of the hiring manager if you have it. After writing the recipient's information, greet them politely. A safe greeting is always "Dear" followed by their honorific and the person's last name, but if you do not have a specific name, you can just write "Dear Hiring Manager." The body – Cover letter bodies are usually three to four paragraphs in length. The first paragraph should introduce you and explain why you want the job. Then, you can move on to describing relevant education, work experience and life experience that makes you a good choice for the job. The closing – Sign off with a professional and polite closing like "Respectfully yours" or "Sincerely" followed by your name. It can be a nice touch to leave space on the letter to hand sign your name if it is a hard copy. When formatting, stick to a professional font in a 10- or 12-point size. Put a full line of space between each section of the letter and each paragraph of the body to avoid making it look like a giant block of text. If desired, you can align the header to the center or right side of the page to make it stand out. A good cover letter should read almost like a story. You want the whole thing to smoothly flow from one concept to the next, and every point should emphasize the main theme of you being a desirable candidate for the job. There are a few essential things to think about when telling your story. Match your skills to the ones in the job ad – A cover letter is not meant to be a list of every skill you have. Instead, you should highlight  two to three skills  you have that could be used to fulfill the duties that the job posting described. Focus on your achievements – Your cover letter is a good time to brag about yourself a little. Take the time to mention any notable achievements that could improve your ability to perform the job. This can include educational awards, changes you implemented in the workplace or career awards. Why do you want to work at the company? – Take the time to show that you have done a little research because  companies look more favorably on unique letters  tailored specifically for their business. The cover letter should show that you understand the company's goals and want to help achieve these goals because of your own personal interests and objectives. The whole point of a cover letter is to make you stand out. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you are memorable. Pick your voice – Having a clear, defined voice in your cover letter helps the hiring manager remember you due to some sort of definitive trait. Think about the one thing that defines your personality and career achievements, and craft each sentence carefully to convey that concept. Avoid cliches – A big danger of cover letters is cliches. People tend to feel unsure of their cover letter writing abilities, so they fall back on cliche concepts like "My greatest skill is my attention to detail." Try to use original concepts and phrasing to make sure you are memorable. Proofread You need to proofread because mistakes can make you look unintelligent or lazy. Start by reading over the letter for spelling mistakes and common grammatical issues. Then, read it out loud to see if it flows smoothly. Finally, read the content again to make sure you have not included unnecessary details. Printing and saving Make sure you save your resume in a file style that will retain your format even if it is opened with another program. It is a good idea to save in multiple formats in case one gets corrupted. If you plan to print a hard copy, use quality paper. Stick to a basic white or cream color in standard letter size to keep a professional look. For some extra oomph, purchase resume paper, which is a thicker weight and has a bit more texture than standard copy paper. Common mistakes and tips on avoiding To make sure your cover letter is as effective as possible, check to see if it contains any of these mistakes. Irrelevant experience – Never include experience that seems irrelevant. If you have no work experience in that career, explain how your past jobs taught you skills like customer service or office filing that could come in handy in the new job. Disorganized – A disorganized cover letter can make you look scatterbrained. Try to arrange your talking points into distinct paragraphs to stay on track. Grammatical errors and typos – This major issue can be avoided by taking the time to proofread. Consider asking a friend to proofread it too. Not being specific enough – Being vague can prevent you from being memorable. Use precise examples and details about yourself to avoid this problem. Not being personal enough – This is a big mistake because it wastes your chance to build a personal connection with the hiring manager. Remember to include personal touches like writing about why you entered your career or your favorite thing about the company you're applying to.