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Resume and Cover Letter Tips

Read our career tips and articles for 'how to write, build and format' your resume and cover letter for supporting your career opportunities.
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Resume and Cover Letter Tips

Top Tip: The Best Resume Cover Letter Format Help You!

You have no doubt heard of the sound business advice of all entrepreneurs which is "find a need and fill it". Well this exact same advice can apply when you're looking for the right resume cover letter format to present to a prospective employer. It's essential when preparing your CV that you include everything that your future boss is going to want to see and it's even more important in your cover letter that you show that you can fill the need that they have. So how do you go about doing this?

To make thing easier it's best that you split this process up into two stages. Find out what your employers needs may be Obvious really. How can you prove that you have what it takes to fill the need if you don't know what it is? So start by writing down a list of around twenty companies that you would like to work for. Yes that's right, segregate who you would like to work for as opposed to what jobs are available. It's right at this point that most people get it wrong by simply picking up the newspaper and looking down the classifieds for any job advertisement. Think about it if you get a job with a company that you really want to work for and most importantly look forward to working for, you'll be in the correct environment to do your best work. In such an environment you'll shine and even if you start off in a job that you didn't particular want, you'll be able to progress, sideways or upwards to something within that organization that you enjoy.

The alternative is that you take a job that you do like within a company that you detest and very soon you'll be dreading going to work and will be back looking for another job in double quick time. Once you have the 20 or so companies that you have identifies as companies who you would like to work for, start doing a little research on what their need may be or what opportunities these companies may have. If you have a network of personal or professional contacts within the areas that these companies operate you can start by tapping into them. If not, use a professional service such as Linkdin.com or try Myspace.com and Zoominfo.com, these websites are great resources and what's more they are free. Another great free resource for this type of research is Google Alerts who will notify you by email any time your target company is in the news (Google.com/alerts). The next phase is also essential

Demonstrate how your skills or experience can fill a need that they have
To do this you must first sit down and really study your own background and what you have achieved to date. It always surprises me that so many people who are searching for or indeed applying for jobs haven't taken the time to actually get to know themselves. So start by selecting three specific skills or areas of skill that you have, these don't need to be connected although sometimes it helps if two of them are. Let me explain.

Let's say that you have identified three core skills that you have, in this instance we will take marketing, customer service and writing. Having done this, next try and quantify these skills into something that your employer will see as something that can help them

Ok, let's say you take your skill of customer service and you want to quantify this into some kind of value for your employer. Think back on your working history and pinpoint a success story related to that skill. Example: your company screwed up big style with a major customer who was threatening to take their business to a competitor; you were able to calm them down, help solve the problem and retained them as a client. Now if that customer was spending $300,000 a year and you managed to keep that customer, then it's obvious that in this instance your customer service skills were worth at least $300,000. The value of your skill maybe less or even more than this but the only way you'll find out is by digging deep, if you look hard you'll find something even though it may be hidden or disguised.

Can you see how this is starting to take some shape? You've identified the companies that you would like to work for, you've dug deep, found a success story and attached some dollars to it. Now you need to match your skills to a prospective employers needs, that's where your previous research or information from Google alerts comes in to play.

Let's say that you have discovered that one of your target companies - for our purposes we will call them ABC Inc - has announced that it wants to open up some new markets and increase their annual revenue. Your next job is to let ABC know that you have the skills to indeed help them with what they are trying to achieve, or put another way show them that you can fill their need. you'll under normal circumstances only get two opportunities to do this and that's with your resume cover letter and a job interview and guess what, you won't get the interview unless you have grabbed their interest with your cover letter.

This is why the correct resume cover letter format is essential. The pertinent part of what you want to get over to your potential employers may go along these lines "Having read recently that you're looking to expand ABC Inc by opening up new markets, I also noticed that one of the countries you're looking to break into is Spain. I have recently created new sales of $880,000 working for XYZ Inc who you'll be aware operate in the same market place as yourself and I believe that this experience coupled with my knowledge of the Spanish language would make me an ideal candidate to help you achieve your goals

This approach will greatly increase your chances of getting an interview, because you have done your homework and told the employer that you care enough to make an effort. Yes there's that word again, effort, all of this will take a little work on your part but it'll pay dividends in the long run.

You must make the effort to find out what the specific skills your target employer is looking for, then dig deep and find a success story that aligns with those needs. Attach some dollar return to that success story and incorporate all of this into a great resume cover letter format and you'll be fired up ready to blast any competition away.

More Resume & Cover Letter Tips

A Memorable cover letter Will Boost Your Chances

For some senior executives, this may be the new rule to writing these introductory letters. They're viewing them as lead-ins to their resumes and offering only brief introductions and perhaps a testimonial about their character and leadership qualities.

Cut Out the Creativity In Your Online Resume

With the job market tight, some applicants are trying a little too hard to stand out. Big companies like Dell Inc., Abbott Laboratories and Sprint Corp. say that resumes increasingly are turning up that contain links to the applicants' personal Web sites, which include everything from baby pictures to political rants to sample cuts from favorite bands. For companies, this is often more than they want to know about a candidate. In some cases, applicants that look good on paper wind up in the reject pile after a case of over sharing.

E mailing cover letters

Something happens to people when they get online. Maybe it's the instant access, maybe it's the "I-could-be-naked" anonymity, but when people get online they sometimes get overly casual and informal. This might be fine when your talking to your buddy in Omaha or the sweetheart you just met in a chatroom, but it doesn't work well when you're trying to get business done.

Eleven Ways to Improve Your Resume

To learn the latest, most accurate information on what makes a resume really grab attention, ask the folks on the other side of the desk: hiring managers and human resources professionals. A recent survey asked HR specialists and hiring managers to give their insights on the mistakes job hunters make most often, plus what approaches really impress them. Here's their advice.

Five resume Mistakes That Will Kill Your Candidacy

Jim Pallouras was a senior executive at a national retailer based in the Northeast when he was laid off as part of a downsizing. He'd joined the company after leaving the military, worked his way up the ladder and took pride in his contributions as the retailer expanded nationally.

Has the resume Passed Its Prime

Job seekers who spend hours agonizing over their resumes can take heart: one day, the resume may be obsolete. So say some recruiters and human-resources managers, who foresee employers, overloaded with data, turning to technology and database management systems to track professionals throughout their careers. Merely having to update a file to keep your history current will make resumes, with their cumbersome keywords and usually short shelf-life, a thing of the past, they say.

How an Active resume Earns Job Offers

Hiring managers want to know right away how a candidate will affect the employer's bottom line. When they review resumes, they look for the answer to the question, "What can you do for me?" "In reviewing the resumes of senior-level managers, we look for people who drive the process through the end," says John Sands, executive director of human resources for operations at Estee Lauder in Melville, N.Y. Like many hiring managers, Mr. Sands wants to see candidates' results on their resumes.

How to Get Employers To Read Your Resume

"I don't understand it. I must have responded to over 50 Internet postings in the last month, and I haven't gotten a single interview." "I've answered over a dozen ads in major newspapers, and I haven't heard from one company." I often hear these complaints from job hunters who sometimes become so frustrated by a lack of responses that they give up. Adding to their difficulty is the fact that the job market is tougher than it's been in recent years, making interviews harder to come by.

How to Create a resume That Captures Attention

In a competitive employment market, standing out from the crowd is challenging -- specially for executives seeking new positions. But if you're an experienced manager, you have an advantage over candidates with shorter work histories: the practice and wisdom gained from recruiting and hiring your own staff throughout your career. From that, you've probably gleaned the insight to develop a resume and cover letter that will attract the attention of other hiring managers.

How to Write A Winning Resume

In a perfect world, you wouldn't need a resume -- you'd be out sailing the Mediterranean, exploring the outer galaxy or basking in the Cozumel sun, cold drink in hand. But since the world isn't perfect and almost everyone needs a job, you have to create a winning resume that stands out from the crowd.

Improve Your resume In Twelve Simple Steps

Writing an effective resume often is one of the most difficult aspects of job hunting. After all, it requires turning your life history into a glittering one-page advertisement that highlights all your best attributes. Fortunately, by using this 12-step process, you can make this daunting task much easier.

Making Headlines With Your Resume

Newspapers and magazines use eye-catching banner headlines to sell copies of their publications. You can use this technique to sell yourself to prospective employers. Whether you're mass mailing your resume or responding to newspaper advertisements or Internet job postings, you're competing for readers' attention.

Online Portfolios Show More Than a Resume

when most people were just beginning to hear about the Internet, Richard Shin had a personal web site and began storing examples of his work on what he'd later use as an online portfolio. Shortly after creating it, he put it to work in a job search. He was seeking a position as a project manager at DIRECTV Inc., a broadcast satellite service provider in El Segundo, Calif.

Recruiters Want E Mailed Resumes

Jeffrey Weiner, a human-resources director, keeps a scrapbook on a nearby shelf to keep him humble. It's filled with more than 400 "no thank you" responses he received from employers during his last job hunt. During his search, he emailed more than 50 resumes a week to employers. "Email made the process so easy. It was the quickest way to contact companies," says Mr. Weiner.

Sort out your resume in 10 easy steps

Write down your current job title and list down all the things you do and are responsible for on a day to day basis. Re-read what you've written and try to prioritize your responsibilities. Think about what skills you need to do what you do. What have you done in your current role that has made you most proud? Asking yourself these questions will not only get you in a CV/resume frame of mind, it'll provide you with all the information you need.

Tips on writing a resume that wins contract work

How important is a well-written perfect resume to a "free agent" or independent contractor? When Dennis Berk, a database developer and technical project consultant in Red Wing, Minn., revamped his resume, he was recommended for three projects that he wouldn't have been considered for if he had used his old resume.

Top Rules of Resume Writing and Format

Fred Runyan didn't want to be left holding the bag when the Northern California-based management consulting firm he worked for completed a pending merger. After 10 years with the firm, the senior consultant knew there would be big staffing changes ahead, and decided to explore opportunities elsewhere.

What HR Professionals Look for in a Resume

Pamela Messier, a senior advertising manager for The Bristol Press, a daily newspaper in Connecticut, considers herself a go-getter. She frequently initiates projects, conducts research and devises success strategies at her company, where she's worked for more than 15 years. Although she hasn't needed a resume in all that time, her employer recently announced a reorganization, and she now wants to put together a top-notch document.

When a Lengthy resume Makes Sense for Executives

If you've ever sought advice about resume writing, you know the rule: A resume should never exceed two pages. Overburdened screeners should see just enough at first glance to be impressed. Hit the high points, set the hook and save the details for the face-to-face interview.

Why Someone Else Should Always Proof Your Resume

The number of resumes reaching prospective employers always increases in the spring as college and university senior and postgraduate students start job hunting. And as long as job hunters write resumes, Resumania will always have plenty of material.

Why Your resume Isnt That Important

Larry woke up full of anticipation. Today, he was to begin his career as chief financial officer for Acme Software Systems, a position ideally suited to his background and skills. In the past four months, Larry had pursued his job search full time, networking with at least 50 people, collaborating with headhunters, responding to postings on web sites, and following up on potential leads.

Writing an Effective resume Is A Key Step in Your Career Path

Controversy and resumes go hand-in-hand. Should your resume be one page or two? Should your experience or education be listed first? Should you use the functional or chronological format? There's so much contradictory advice on how to write a resume, it's no wonder that executives often procrastinate before writing new ones.

Resume Cover Letter Format, Write Better Cover Letters

Ask yourself a question. "What is the most important document when searching for a job, your resume or your resume cover letter? Now whilst most people would acknowledge that they are both important many people would put the resume above the cover letter.

Write A Thank You Letter That Helps Clinch An Offer

Don't think of a thank-you letter as a thank-you letter. That's the last thing it is. Instead, view it as an interviewing tool that will increase your chances of winning the offer. If you write and send your thank-you letter immediately after the meeting, you'll reinforce the qualifications you discussed with the interviewer and rise above other applicants -- perhaps to the top of the list.

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