If you’re applying to a marketing firm, listing your previous experience logging trees for three summers isn’t relevant and doesn’t highlight what sets you apart from other candidates. Pick out exactly what’s needed in the field you’re applying to, and don’t be shy about listing it. A resume’s sole point is to win an interview and if you don’t state exactly why you deserve it, you won’t get it.
Go on the company’s website and spend some time looking at the language they use. Learn the buzz words of that company and use it on your resume, showing you’re already familiar with who they are and what they represent. It also shows you mirror their values and philosophies, making them like you almost
A functional resume is one where you list your skills and experience, and is usually used by people who are changing careers or have gaps in their employment history. Conversely, a chronological resume leads off with your work history, starting with the most recent, and is used by people who want to highlight their strong work experience. Melding the two is a combination resume where your skills and experience are featured first, followed by your work history in chronological order.
Use a neutral font like Times New Roman or Cambria. Unless you’re applying to an avante garde graphic design company—and even then it’s iffy—a resume is not the place to use fun or different fonts.
Format it like you would for one of your college papers, using 1” margins and double spacing between headers. And other than increasing the font size to 14 or 16 for your name at the top and subsequent headers (e.g. employment history, skills and experience, etc.), use standard 12-font size with hyperlinks blacked out.
When applying for a job, a cover letter isn’t as necessary as having a resume, but it’s still a good idea to have one. Where a resume is a summary of your experience, skills and qualifications, a cover letter explains them in more depth, allowing your prospective employer to get a sense of the “why” behind your application.
Never, ever start your cover letter with “To whom it may concern”. It shows a lack of interest on your part and conveys the impression that you’re sending out mass copies of the same letter everywhere. Employers like to see that a cover letter addresses them and their company specifically, not a fill-in-the-blank template. Spend a few minutes learning who’s going to be reading it, and address it to them. And a great way to start it off is by mentioning someone you both know, such as writing “so-and-so suggested I get in touch with you”.
Your cover letter should not, under any circumstances, exceed one page. Even a full one-page cover letter runs the risk of leaving prospective employers bored and moving onto the next (concise) cover letter.
Start by listing why you’re interested in the company, keeping it light and semi- casual. Remember that employers read hundreds of cover letters that start off with “I would like to work for “I would like to work for Company X because it addresses future needs” and yours will just get lost in the pile.
Next, give a brief summary of why’d you be a good fit, highlighting the positives you’ve delivered at previous jobs and exactly why your skills and experience are better than others. Use comparatives so employers have something to root your letter in. For example, you can write something like “At my last position, I exceeded the yearly sales quotas by 13%”.
Last, end it off by saying something like “I’ve attached my resume and would be happy to talk about my qualifications at greater length. I can be reached at [phone number] and looking forward to discussing how I can benefit Company X. “