by Amy Minervini
Some jobs require a simple application followed by an interview. However, other employers require more information from you, such as a more extended work history that you would provide on a resume. A resume tends to be about 1-page long and nutshell the most recent and relevant work experience, education, certifications, and soft skills. Once you more experience under your belt, resumes can become quite a bit longer. These are known as Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) and illustrate a more detailed picture of your academic credentials, relevant classes that you have taken, internships, etc. Unless you have a lot of work experience and multiple degrees, most people can get by with just submitting a basic resume. With resumes, just remember that simpler is better. Some resumes are never even read by a human but rather scanned by applicant tracking systems that electronically assess your resume by use of keywords. Therefore, it’s important to cater each resume to a specific position by embedding keywords from the position announcement. Your document should be easy to read, look aesthetically pleasing, and highlight your strengths and talents. A resume is never a place for inauthentic information or exaggerations. Everything should be verifiable.
Some employers, especially when you are applying for jobs after graduation (or applying to graduate schools), require not only a resume but also a cover letter. Think of a cover letter as your elevator pitch. This is an opportunity to expand upon any relevant work experience or special skills mentioned in your resume. This opportunity to sell yourself should showcase your unique personality and enthusiasm for the job to which you’re applying. Furthermore, the letter should address the specific ways in which you can offer to the company. When there are dozen or even hundreds of applicants for the same position, the cover letter is a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Finally, the thank you note is a nice gesture following the sending of a resume + cover letter or after a personal or phone/Skype/Zoom interview. Most people do not send a thank you note or email, so again, it’s an additional opportunity to distinguish your submission from other applicants’.
Whether you are applying for a part-time job, internship, graduate school, or full-time employment, your writing skills will be on display. Make a great first impression by submitting documents that are coherent, meticulous, and polished. Good luck getting that job!
What’s in this chapter:
- Resume writing
- Cover letter writing
- Thank you notes