We are all familiar with the quote of “you never get a second chance at a first impression.” As unfortunate as it is, this quote holds merit. In our lives, we make first impressions constantly and first impressions are being made about us. Furthermore, it seems that first impressions hold meaningful significance in our professional lives. When we talk about making a good first impression professionally, we think about the first time that we interview for a new position. While it’s true that your interviewers are gathering an impression in an interview, they already have a first impression of you based on your resume, CV or cover letter. Perfecting this combination can only result in a good first impression.
What to include:
- Include name, phone number, address, email address and portfolio address (if applicable).
- List the type of position in which you are interested.
- Include the name of the institution, degree, graduation date and GPA.
- Include full/part time, self-employment, volunteering, education (Practicum and field).
- Include job title, dates of employment, company name, city and state and a description of your job responsibilities.
- Use bullet points and past tense action verbs to begin your job responsibilities.
- Make sure you make it specific to the job you are applying for and be concise.
Honors and Awards:
- List in chronological order
Professional Activities and Organizations
What to omit:
- Unless they pertain directly to the position you are applying for.
Every job you’ve ever had
- This will clutter your resume and make it difficult to interpret.
Salary expectations or previous salary
- Simply state “salary negotiable” to alert the potential employer that you are employable to them.
- Your resume should never include paragraphs of information. Instead, include concise sentences that are direct and to the point.
Visit the links below for more information regarding resume writing:
Cover Letter Writing
A cover letter is meant to introduce yourself to the individual reading your resume as well as provide them with some information that you didn’t include in your resume. It is one page document that should highlight some of your strengths while also acknowledging the institution that you are applying too. You should introduce yourself, describe why you are the ideal candidate for the position and also use this opportunity to explain some things that you couldn’t include in your resume. Below are some examples of how to design an effective cover letter.
- Contact Information
As in your resume, it is important that the hiring manager (or whomever is reading your resume) can identify you right away. You should also include the employer’s information and the date.
- Addressing your cover letter
Do your research and address the hiring manager properly. You can use websites like LinkedIn to identify the hiring manager or you can directly call the institution to which you’re applying.
- Introduce yourself
Tell the manager what position you are applying for and how you learned of the position.
- Convince them you are the right person for the job
The next paragraph should be spent convincing the manager that you are the right person for the job. The paragraph should discuss your relevant experience, qualifications and certification.
Explain that you are very interested in the position and look forward to hearing back about an interview. Let them know that if they don’t contact you within the week, you will contact them on a particular date. This demonstrates your interest in the position.
Below are some additional resources regarding content to include, cover letter design and some formatting information.
https://resumegenius.com/cover-letters-the-how-to-guide#Write a Targeted Cover Letter