Resume and Cover Letters

Step 3: Resume & Cover LetterThe Resume
The best resume is the one that quickly summarizes your work history and skills. No matter which resume format you use, there are 9 rules for resumes:

  1. Neatness counts. It must be typed (or printed on a letter quality computer printer). Use 8 ½ by 11-inch bond paper. Don't send out a resume that is smudged, crumpled or hard to read.
  2. Don't list salary or wage information
  3. Center or justify all headings
  4. PROOFREAD. Have someone else proofread it also.
  5. Be positive. Identify your accomplishments
  6. Be specific. Use short descriptive sentences.
  7. Use action verbs to say what you have done like "developed" or "produced."
  8. Don't use abbreviations
  9. Try to include interesting facts about yourself.

The following are three primary samples of resumes:

The Functional Resume
The functional resume is arranged by work experience and works well for people:

  • with limited experience
  • who have been out of the workforce for a while
  • who seek to change careers.

It focuses more on your skills than your employment history.


Simple Chronological Resume
The simple chronological resume is arranged by time and is the style that most people are familiar with. Remember, specific dates are not as important as accurately describing your duties and accomplishments in each job.


The Improved Chronological Resume
The Improved Chronological Resume is arranged by time, plus a description. This resume is much more descriptive, personal and exciting than the Simple Chronological Resume.


The Cover Letter
Along with the resume, you should always send a cover letter or letter of application. It should be neat, brimming with confidence and it should specifically address the job for which you apply.

The cover letter is your best chance to clearly and briefly state why you should be chosen for the job. Explain how the skills you have most closely match the job's requirements. (It's a good idea to have the job description or classified ad in front of you as you write the letter.)

Begin the letter by stating your interest in the position. Then briefly explain why you are uniquely qualified. Write confidently about your previous experience. Tell exactly how you have been successful in the past by mentioning ways you have helped increase production, or other specific things you accomplished that helped the company. What were the objectives? Was this success measured?

Close the letter by asking if you may call to schedule an interview.

Make sure the cover letter and resume together present a positive and powerful picture of who you are. The person receiving it just may want to hire you.

Example of cover letter

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