Seven Tips for Effective Resume Writing
- Pay attention to detail—Don't cut corners by, for instance, not proofreading the cover letter, failing to include information the hiring manager asked for, or beginning the cover letter "Dear Sir or Madam" when the hiring manager's name is on the company web site. Take the time to make sure the correspondence and information sent is correct and error-free.
- Do the basics—Proofread for spelling, grammar, and tone, and make sure you have followed the instructions of the employer. Firing off an e-mail is a convenient method of communication. However, don't let the sloppy nature and informality of e-mail correspondence seep into your communications—whether it's e-mailed or written—with potential employers.
- Construct an effective resume—Organize your information in a logical fashion and keep descriptions clear and to the point. Include as much work experience as possible, even if it obviously doesn't relate to the job you are seeking. Also, use a simple, easy-to-read font.
- Customize their response—Address the hiring manager directly, and include the name of the company and the position for which it is hiring in your cover letter/e-mail response.
- Make it easy for the hiring manager—Use your name and the word "resume" in your e-mail header so it's easy to identify. If the employer asks for information—such as references or writing samples—provide it.
- Focus on what you bring to the employer, not what you want from the job—This is an opportunity for you to market yourself and stand out from the other candidates. What can you do to make the hiring manager's life easier? What can you do to help the company?
- Be professional—You won't be taken seriously if you don't have e-mail or voice mail/answering machine. If you don't have e-mail, set up a free account through Yahoo! and Hotmail. Provide the recruiter with a cell phone number if your voice mail/answering machine doesn't pick up when you are online. Also, it's a good idea to ditch the cute e-mail address or voice mail/answering machine messages in favor of something that sounds professional.
Sources: Newsday and Job Choices