Few people actually enjoy putting their resumes together, but it doesn’t have to be an anxiety-ridden nightmare. Remember: what you’re doing is showing your potential employer why you’d be such a good fit for the job. You’ve earned the experience, education, skills and credentials in your resume, so be sure to let hiring managers know about them.
If you’re applying for a specific position with Reliance, a cover letter is a wonderful thing to include. If you’re applying simply to join our team of candidates, a cover letter isn’t required, but it would help you stand out a lot to have a cover letter that quickly explains the high points of your resume. After all, for many positions, the first thing a potential employer sees is not your resume but your cover letter. So make it good:
• Whenever possible, address the letter directly to a specific person – preferably the person who’s making the hiring decision.
• Be yourself in the letter, but don’t be cute or overconfident.
• A cover letter is your foot in the door. Use it to explain how your skills fit the employers needs and how you can be part of the company.
• Read the job opening carefully and address each point within the cover letter.
Spelling and Grammar Count
Even if you’re the best possible person for a position, if your cover letter and resume read like you texted them, you’ll be hard pressed to get an interview, much less the job. Make sure what you write is professional and reads well. Run your resume and cover letter through spell-check, and even grammar-check, in your word processor. You can also ask friends or family members who are good at writing to proofread your resume and cover letter. You can even hire a professional resume writer to help, but be sure to check their work samples first.
Learn From Others
The Internet offers an almost unlimited selection of cover letters and resumes to look to for guidance. Other people have gone before you, so make sure you learn from their experience. You can also check out profiles on LinkedIn for some possible ideas on how to describe your achievements.
An unfortunate trend is exaggerating– or downright lying – on resumes and cover letters. Not only is this unethical but, unlike several years ago, most resumes today are checked for accuracy. Even if you don’t get caught in a lie during the application process, you can be let go when it finally catches up with you. Make your life simple and be honest.
Fill in the Gaps
Most applicants have had that odd period where they were between jobs. If you were in school or were doing some sort of activities or volunteer work that applies to the work you want to do, be sure to put that on your resume. However, if you were caring for family members or recovering from an illness yourself, there’s no need to list that. Most interviewers will ask about large gaps on your resume.
And if you’re between jobs right now, think about doing something in your community that relates to what you’d like to do. Not only will you be keeping your skills sharp and buididng a better resume, you’ll be helping others and making connections with people that might help in your job search.
Tell What You Did and Why It Mattered
When writing your employment history, don’t simply use the job description. Tell the employer not only what you did, but what you accomplished and how it benefited the company. The goal of your resume is to convince a potential employer that your skills and experiences can help them reach their goals. Make sure you don’t let this opportunity pass you by.