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Resumes and Cover Letters

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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?
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