Resumes and Cover Letters
Resumes and Cover Letters “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Confucius HR Professional Skills Define professional. Define professional identity. Put on your professional hats. Task for the day: identify the best ways to communicate your professional identity to others. Professional Identity Clean sheet of paper Eight boxes List strengths and assets you will contribute to an organization. 8 Room for notes Professional Identity, cont. 2nd sheet of paper List successful past work experiences What did you do at these successful jobs? Note job skills and transferable skills Keep it brief! Who at these places could be a connection for you? Potentially a reference? Professional Identity, cont. Back to your strength boxes Connect the info from page 2 to page 1 Identify which job utilized your strength Identify persons that can be connections for you to use that strength Complete the following sentence: Through my work as ____, professionally I am _______. Professional Network Former co workers Colleagues Supervisors Professional contacts On the back of your paper: Write a list of potential professional connections How many can you write in 60 seconds? Social Media and Professional Networks LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/ Social identity versus professional identity Professional Identity, cont. Create your elevator speech! What is it? A statement about who you are professionally that is quick enough to give someone in an elevator ride. May answer: What do you do? Which types of jobs interest you? What do you want to do with your life? PRACTICE!!! Communicate your professional Identity to group Share elevator speech with your group What is a Resume? Tool to present an individual’s skills and qualifications to a potential employer Advertisement of you and your skills Gets you selected for an interview Sarah A. Smith 123 South Wood Street Omaha, NE 68103 (402) 555 – 1234 [email protected] Objective To obtain cashier position with ABC Corporation. Education Metropolitan Community College Omaha, Nebraska Pursuing an Associates in Applied Science Degree: Office Skills Technology January 2005-present Anticipated Graduation: May 2006 GPA 3.23 Experience Cashier May 2002 to present Super Target Omaha, NE Balance drawer at beginning and end of shift Enter charges for all items; total items; subtract discount Take payments; issue receipts; count change Deliver outstanding customer service Employee of the Month: August 2002, January 2003 Skills Completed 4 years of Spanish in high school Remember… Employers get their first impression of your professional standards and talents from the resume. Employers spend 35-60 seconds on your resume You may be eliminated from consideration due to your resume. Components of a Resume: Heading- no title! Objective Employment History Education Training/Special Skills Heading Bold Sarah A. Smith Accurate Conservative Professional 123 South Wood Street Omaha, NE 68103 (402) 555 – 1234 [email protected] Clearly identify you Career Objective and Personal Profile Introductory statements for resumé Both statements are used on résumé to relate to target career, target employer, introduce key skills, and express interest in a position Statement will be first item listed on resumé Career Objective A Career Objective is for individuals with little or no work experience Include interest in position Brief one line description of skills related to position and how you will utilize your skills Acceptable to use “I” and “my” in career objective Career Objective Example: “Seeking a position with an established accounting firm where I can utilize and apply my current accounting and computerized skills toward the excellence of Bell Company.” Personal Profile A Personal Profile is for individuals with extensive work experience Group key skills and accomplishments into general categories Identify key qualities that match target job Take information and turn into two-three sentence statement that provides snapshot of professional qualifications Personal Profile Example: “Highly professional and detail-oriented accounting professional with demonstrated leadership and success in the areas of payroll, collections, and project management. Excellent analytical, communication, computer, and organizational skills. Bilingual (English/Spanish).” Tips! Decide if your education or your work experience is the stronger qualification List the strongest first For work experience, decide between: Chronological (most recent job 1st) pg. 129 Functional (list of competencies and skills developed) pg. 130 Employment History A section that emphasizes your past and present employment Other Names: Professional Experience, Work History, Volunteer Work Provide information to help persuade prospective employers that your experiences make you qualified for the job Tip! Stress duties or skills that are TRANSFERABLE to the new position Use short phrases Use action verbs Provide SPECIFIC EVIDENCE “Excellent customer service skills” “People person” What goes in this section? Position title Dates of employment/involvement Company or organization Location (City, State) Descriptions of skills, knowledge or accomplishments, etc. Example Cashier Super Target May 2002 to present Omaha, NE Balance drawer at beginning and end of shift Enter charges for all items; total items; subtract Take payments; issue receipts; count change Deliver outstanding customer service Employee of the Month: August 2002, January discounts 2003 Describing Experiences Use Action Verbs – pg 120 and 121 They are more descriptive and powerful Find an area of past employment and write down 5 action words you can use in your resume Developing your descriptions Sample Before: Planned activities Questions asked: What kinds? When? For Whom? After: Planned arts, crafts, activities, and exercises weekly for children Try to see your experiences as a professional would… Understated Answered phone Professional Acted as liaison between clients and legal staff Created healthy Wiped tables environment for customers and maintained positive public image Tailor this section to the specific job description… Select content that supports your qualifications and matches job descriptions Consider organizing by order of importance Use professional wording, integrating job specific terms Education Section A section that emphasizes your educational background and formal training Persuade employers your educational background is relevant to the job, providing evidence of your qualifications You need to include… Schools you have attended, including universities, community colleges, technical schools, etc. Do not include high school information Location of school(s) (city, state) Date of graduation, actual or anticipated Degree(s) earned or pursued What else may be included? Extra information about your degree Minor GPA Honors, etc. Specializations Special projects / involvements Example Metropolitan Community College Omaha, Nebraska Pursuing an Associates in Applied Science Degree: Office Skills Technology January 2010-present GPA 3.23 Anticipated Graduation: May 2013 Training/Skills Other relevant skills and training Computer skills Language proficiency Certifications Licenses, etc. Tips! No personal information Gender, race, religious affiliation, family information Provide a statement that references are available upon request Highlight your strengths and minimize your limitations Review your resume: Circle strengths Discuss with group Resume Writing Tips Write your own resume Make it error free Make it look good Be brief and relevant Be positive Be specific Use action verbs and short phrases Be honest Edit and edit and edit again Tailor the resume for the reader… Consider how much space you have on your resume Read job ads closely Select your most relevant experiences List in reverse chronological order or in order of importance Using fonts Size: Use 10 or 12 font avoid more than 2 different font sizes Two major kinds: Serif (Times New Roman and Courier) Sans Serif (Arial and Helvetica) Use bold type sparingly Resume Presentation Quality paper – off-white, cream, gray, white Paper weight – high quality,100% cotton fiber Producing – word processor ERROR FREE!!! Sarah A. Smith 123 South Wood Street Omaha, NE 68103 (402) 555 – 1234 [email protected] Objective To obtain cashier position with ABC Corporation. Education Metropolitan Community College Omaha, Nebraska Pursuing an Associates in Applied Science Degree: Office Skills Technology January 2005-present Anticipated Graduation: May 2006 GPA 3.23 Experience Cashier May 2002 to present Super Target Omaha, NE Balance drawer at beginning and end of shift Enter charges for all items; total items; subtract discount Take payments; issue receipts; count change Deliver outstanding customer service Employee of the Month: August 2002, January 2003 Skills Completed 4 years of Spanish in high school PAGE 127-134 Cover Letters Anytime a resume is sent, it must be accompanied by a cover letter. What is a cover letter? An opportunity to personalize your resume and target your skills A good cover letter will sell your qualifications Standard business letter Takes the reader into consideration It should be tailored to the reader Components of a Cover Letter: Heading (same on resume) Date Name/Address of Company Dear Mr. Ms./Appropriate title (do not use, “To Whom It May Concern”) Avoid Miss or Mrs. Body Closing Signature Body of Letter: 1st paragraph Greeting Begin by stating the reason for the letter Identify the position for which you are applying Tell how you learned about the position Any previous contact 2nd - this is why I want to Why are you interested in work for you Do research on the organization Keep it position, organization, or services provided Communicate your research Short Simple Sincere 3rd– Take the job ad and tell them what you have to offer- how you meet their requirements Highlight your strongest qualifications and relate them DIRECTLY to the needs of the position Be specific I am an accurate person So what? In my two years of experience as a student secretary, none of the letters, memorandums, and reports I typed were ever returned with a typographical error marked. PRACTICE! Highlight a statement about your qualifications Share with group Re-write to make it more specific 4th- closing Desire for interview Thanks Include contact information When you will follow-up Close with “Sincerely” , type name and sign in blue ink Cover Letter Presentation: Ask someone to proofread your letter for spelling, grammar, and content State a time when you will follow up Sign the letter in blue ink (original) Structure letter to reflect your individuality Keep sentences short and to the point No more than one page Use resume paper Tips! Maintain formality throughout letters You will not be hired for being cute Puppies are cute Professional, attractive, conservative Error Free! Applications Can go to MCC application from website http://resource.mccneb.edu/hmr Reason for leaving Reason for leaving – pg 324 Be honest, but professional The Interview Prior to the interview Prepare: Do research Utilize your connections Prep your elevator speech Create portfolio Portfolio Class portfolio Interview Portfolio Resume Cover letter for job Reference List Letters of recommendation/ accomodation Application Copies of certifications Performance Evaluations Practice for the Interview Pg 71 of your book Test Run Next week = Class Attire Interviews!! 15 Minutes Dress according to your own interview The Interview Arrive early: 5-10 minutes Communicate effectively Freshen up Verbally No gum Nonverbally: Smile Eye contact Feedback Cellphone off Greet everyone Maintain a pleasant attitude Answering questions Closing the interview After the Interview Deliver thank-you note Congratulate yourself Prior to leaving company property, make notes Evaluate impression of company Salary negotiation Handshakes The Interview PRACTICE Talking about yourself Group up with another Verbal Nonverbal Making a connection Handshaking Eye contact Posture group Stand up and line up Practice greeting and shaking hands of potential employers/ collegues One person shake hand of at a time Offer feedback to that person Application Watch video In your groups answer the following questions. One recorder. All names of group members on piece of paper. Answer: Who was dressed appropriate? Who was not? 4 recommendations for Sean Advice to Kevin How did Francesca use of portfolio/personal commercial to help her? Any advice for her?