Although the sample resume is simple, it presents Lisa in a positive way. She is looking for an entry-level job in a nontechnical area, so many employers will be more interested in her skills than in her job-specific experience. What work experience she does have is presented as a plus. And, again, you can combine elements of the chronological and skills resume formats to get the best of both.
There are several examples of combination resumes in chapter 7. Here I will discuss only those sections that are substantially different—the job objective and skills sections. Refer to chapter 2 for information on sections that are common to both resume types. The samples at the end of this chapter give you ideas on skills resume language, organization, and layout, as well as how to handle special problems. Remember, you are allowed to break some rules if it makes sense.
Job Objective Although a simple chronological resume does not require a career objective, a skills resume does. The job objective statement on a skills resume should answer the following questions: After reading the information on job objectives in chapter 2, you should know how to present the type of job you are seeking. Is your objective too narrow and specific? Job objectives often indicate a level of responsibility, particularly for supervisory or management roles.
If in doubt, always try to keep open the possibility of getting a job with a higher level of responsibility and, often, salary than your previous or current one. Write your job objective to include this possibility. These are often mentioned in a job objective. Whatever you choose to call it, this section is what makes a skills resume. To construct it, you must carefully consider which skills you want to emphasize.
Your task is to feature the skills that are essential to success on the job you want and that you have and want to use. You probably have a good idea of which skills meet both criteria.
Note that some resumes in this book emphasize skills that are not specific to a particular job. In your resume, you should provide specific examples of situations or accomplishments that show you possess such skills.
You can do this by including examples from previous work or other experiences. The Key Skills List On the next page is a list of skills that are considered key for success on most jobs. It is based on research with employers about the skills they look for in employees. So if you have to emphasize some skills over others, include these—assuming you have them, of course. For example, an accountant needs to know how to set up a general ledger, use accounting software, and develop income and expense reports.
These job-specific skills are called job-content skills and can be quite important in qualifying for a job. Add other skills you possess that you feel must be communicated to an employer to get the job you want. Write at least three, but no more than six, of these most important skills: For each skill, write several detailed examples of when you used it.
If possible, you should use work situations, but you can use other situations such as volunteer work, school activities, or other life experiences. Try to quantify the examples by giving numbers such as money saved, sales increased, or other measures to support those skills. Emphasize results you achieved and any accomplishments. The following is an example of what one person wrote for a key skill. It might give you an idea of how to document your own skills. Meeting deadlines I volunteered to help my social organization raise money.
I found out about special government funds, but the proposal deadline was only 24 hours away. So I stayed up all night and submitted it on time. Edit Your Key Skills Proofs If you carefully consider the skills needed in the preceding story, there are quite a few.
Here are some I came up with: You should have at least two proof stories for each skill area. After you select your proofs, rewrite them using action words and short sentences.
In the margins, write the skills you needed to do these things. Rewrite your proof statements and delete anything that does not reinforce the key skills you want to support. Do a similar editing job on each of your own proofs until they are clear, short, and powerful. You can then use these statements in your resume, modifying them as needed. You could easily use this same proof story to support other skills I listed earlier, such as hard work.
So, as you write and revise your proof stories, consider which key skills they best support. Use the proofs to support those key skills in your resume. Tips for Editing Your Draft Resume into Final Form Before you make a final draft of your skills resume, look over the samples at the end of this chapter for ideas on content and format.
Several show interesting techniques that might be useful for your situation. For example, if you have a good work history, you can include a brief chronological listing of jobs. This jobs list could be before or after your skills section. If you have substantial work history, you could begin your skills resume with a summary of experience to provide the basis for details that follow.
When you have the content from the proof stories you need for your skills resume, write or word process your first draft.
Rewrite and edit it until the resume communicates what you really want to say about yourself. Cut anything that does not support your objective. When you are done, ask someone to very carefully review it for typographical and other errors. Only after you are certain that your resume contains no errors should you prepare the final version.
Remember that this is your resume, so do it in a way you think presents you best. Trust your own good judgment. Then use it tomorrow. If you plan to look for jobs on the Internet, chapter 5 provides information on modifying your resume for online use. Just work on your next resume on weekends—chapter 6 will help you. In the meantime, use the one you finished today in your job search.
More Sample Skills Resumes Look over the sample resumes that follow to see how others have adapted the basic skills format to fit their situations. These examples are based on real resumes although the names and other details are not real , and I have included comments to help you understand details that might not be apparent. The formats and designs of the resumes are intentionally basic and can be done with any word processor.
Chapter 7 includes many other skills resumes, including many with fancier graphics and designs. But remember that it is better to have a simple and error-free resume—and be out there using it—than to be at home working on a more elaborate one.
After working for an alarm and security systems company and at a variety of other jobs, Darrel went back to school and learned computer programming.
The skills format allows him to emphasize his past business experience to support his current job objective. His resume includes no chronological jobs listing and no education dates, so it is not obvious that he is a recent graduate with little formal work experience as a programmer.
Darrel does a good job of presenting previous work experience and includes numbers to support his skills and accomplishments. Even so, the relationship between his previous work and current objective could be improved. And, although he is good at sales, his resume does not relate the skills required for sales to his new job objective of programming. If so, he could modify his job objective to include jobs such as selling technology or computer consulting services. Or, if he wants to be a programmer, I would suggest he emphasize other transferable skills that directly support his programming objective, such as his history of meeting deadlines.
Still, this resume is effective in relating his past business experience to his ability to be a programmer in a business environment. He has kept his job objective quite broad and does not limit it to a particular industry or job title.
Because he sees himself as a business manager, it does not matter to him in what kind of business or industry he works. He prefers a larger organization, as his job objective indicates. His education is near the top because he thinks it is one of his strengths. Thomas has worked with one employer for many years, but he presents each job there as a separate one. This allows him to provide more details about his accomplishments within each position and more clearly indicate that these were promotions to increasingly responsible jobs.
His military experience, although not recent, is listed under a separate heading because he thinks it is important. Note how he presented his military experience using civilian language. This is very important because most hiring managers are unfamiliar with military jargon.
See chapter 7 for more examples of civilian resumes for former military personnel. Write a Skills Resume in Just a Few Hours This resume could have been two pages, and doing so would allow him to provide additional details about his job at Hayfield Publishing and in other areas.
The extra space could also be used for more white space and a less crowded look, although the resume works fine as is. He got a survival job as a truck driver and now wants to make truck driving his career because it pays well and he likes the work. Notice how his resume figure emphasizes skills from previous jobs and other experiences that are essential for success as a truck driver. This resume uses a combination format that includes elements from both skills and chronological resumes.
The skills approach allows him to emphasize specific skills that support his job objective; the chronological list of jobs allows him to display a stable work history. The jobs he had years ago are clustered under one grouping because they are not as important as more recent experience. Also, doing so does not show that he is older.
Unusual elements are comments about not smoking or drinking and a stable family, although these comments work. Peter figures that an employer will think that a stable, healthy, and sober truck driver is better than the alternative. Also note how Peter presented his military experience as another job, with an emphasis on the truck driving and diesel experience. Over 15 years of stable work history, including substantial experience with diesel engines, electrical systems, and driving all sorts of trucks and heavy equipment.
No traffic citations or accidents in more than 20 years. I maintain correct maintenance schedules and avoid most breakdowns as a result. Substantial mechanical and electrical systems training and experience enable me to repair many breakdowns immediately and avoid towing. Excellent attention to detail. Familiar with recording procedures and submit required records on a timely basis. Thorough knowledge of most major interstate routes, with good mapreading and route-planning skills.
I get there on time and without incident. Not afraid of hard work, flexible, get along well with others, meet deadlines, excellent attendance, responsible.
Am trusted with handling large sums of money and handling complex truck-purchasing transactions. Developed numerous production improvements resulting in substantial cost savings. Prior to Truck delivery of food products to destinations throughout the South. Also responsible for up to 12 drivers and equipment-maintenance personnel. Air Force, driving and operating truck-mounted diesel power plants. Responsible for monitoring and maintenance on a rigid hour schedule.
Stationed in Alaska, California, Wyoming, and other states. High school graduate plus training in diesel engines and electrical systems. Excellent health, love the outdoors, stable family life, nonsmoker and nondrinker. It looks better, I think, than more crowded resumes. I would like to see more numbers used to indicate performance or accomplishments. For example, what was the result of the more efficient record-keeping system she developed?
And why did she receive the employee-of-the-month awards? As a recent high school graduate, Andrea does not have substantial experience in her field, having had only one full-time job since graduation. Because she has formal training in retail sales, she could have given more details about specific courses she took or other school-related activities that would support her objective. Even so, her resume does a good job of presenting her basic skills to an employer in an attractive format.
A responsible position in retail sales or marketing. Able to interpret customer concerns to help them find the items they want. Received six Employee-of-the-Month awards in 3 years. Developed display skills via in-house training and experience. Received Outstanding Trainee Award for Christmas toy display.
Dress mannequins, arrange table displays, and organize sale merchandise. Developed more efficient record-keeping procedures. Willing to work evenings and weekends. Punctual, honest, reliable, and hardworking. This resume shows the style that David prefers: This is another skills resume that breaks rules because it uses a skills format; however, the skills are really ways to organize job-related tasks.
Some skills include references to specific employers. So this would be considered a combination resume. The design for this resume is based on a resume template from a popular wordprocessing program.
Most programs offer several predetermined resume design options that include various typefaces and other simple but effective format and design elements.
This makes resume creation much easier for novices. I would like to see some numbers or other measures of results, although it is clear that Linda is good at what she does. Did you notice that this resume includes no dates? Well, it turns out that Linda did this on purpose, to hide the fact that much of her work was as a self-employed freelancer.
Linda is also a bit older. Copywriter or Account Executive in Advertising or Public Relations Agency Professional Experience Copywriter Developed copy for direct-mail catalogs featuring collectible items, for real estate developments, and for agricultural machinery and equipment. Writer Wrote many articles for Habitat magazine. Specialized in architecture, contemporary lifestyles, and interior design.
Developed theme and copy for grand opening of new store in the San Francisco Bay area. Other Writing and Promotion News bureau chief and feature writer for college newspaper, contributor to literary magazine.
Script writer for fashion shows. Won creative-writing fellowship to study in Mexico. Did public relations for International Cotton Conference. Graduate study, 30 credits completed in Journalism. It originally was squeezed on one page. This resume is unconventional in a variety of ways. It clearly takes advantage of the skills format by avoiding all mention of a chronology of past jobs.
There are no references to specific employers, to employment dates, or even to job titles. This is a clever example of how a well-done skills resume can present a person effectively in spite of a lack of formal paid work experience—or cover other problems.
Students, career changers, and others can benefit in similar ways. Jointly planned growth of group and related expenditures, investments, programs, and development of property holdings to realize current and longterm goals. Purchasing to Ensure Smooth Flow of Needed Supplies and Services Made purchasing decisions to ensure maximum production from available funds. Determined ongoing inventory needs, selected suppliers, and maintained a strong continuing line of credit while minimizing financing costs.
No significant project was ever adversely affected by lack of necessary supplies, equipment, or services on time. Personnel Development and Motivation Developed resources to ensure maximum progress in achieving potential for development among all members of our group. Frequently engaged in intensive personnel counseling to achieve this.
Sparked new community progress to help accomplish such results. Although arrangements with my partner gave me no say in selecting new members I took them as they came , the results produced by this effort are a source of strong and continuing satisfaction to me. Write a Skills Resume in Just a Few Hours Sara Smith Page Two Transportation Management Determined transportation needs of our group and, in consultation with members, assured specific transportation equipment acquisitions over a broad range of types including seagoing.
Contracted for additional transportation when necessary. Ensured maximum utilization of limited motor pool to meet frequently conflicting requirements demanding arrival of the same vehicle at widely divergent points at the same moment. Negotiated resolution of such conflicts in the best interest of all concerned. In addition, arranged four major moves of all facilities, furnishings, and equipment to new locations. Other Functions Performed Duties periodically require my action in the following additional functional areas: Crisis management; proposal preparation; political analysis; nutrition; recreation planning and administration; stock market operations; taxes; building and grounds maintenance; community organizations; social affairs administration including VIP entertaining ; catering; landscaping two awards for excellence ; contract negotiations; teaching, and more.
Some Specific Results Above experience gained in 10 years devoted to family development and household management in partnership with my husband, Harvey Smith, who is equally responsible for results produced. Daughter Sue, 12, a leading candidate for the U. Junior Olympics team in gymnastics. A lovely home in Piedmont social center for area teenagers. Vacation home at Newport, Oregon on the beach. Organized successful citizen protest to stop incursion of Oakland commercialism on Piedmont area.
Highly active in community affairs. Have learned that there is a spark of genius in almost everyone that, when nurtured, can flare into dramatic achievement. It includes various samples of each type of correspondence. Cover Letters Writing a simple cover letter is pretty simple. It is not appropriate to send a resume to someone without explaining why. It is traditional to provide a letter along with your resume—a cover letter. Depending on the circumstances, the letter would explain your situation and ask the recipient for some specific action, consideration, or response.
Entire books discuss the art of writing cover letters. Some suggest that a cover letter can replace a resume by providing information specifically targeted to the person receiving it. Although these ideas have merit, my objective here is to give you a simple, quick review of cover letter basics that will meet most needs.
If you think about it, you will send a resume and cover letter to only two groups of people: And this observation makes it easier to understand how you might structure your letters to each group. Seven Quick Tips for Writing a Superior Cover Letter No matter who you are writing to, virtually every good cover letter should follow these guidelines.
Although many situations require a formal letter, a simple note will do in many instances for example, when you know the person you are writing to. We all get enough junk mail. Make Absolutely No Errors One way to offend people quickly is to misspell their names or use incorrect titles.
If you have any question, call to verify the correct spelling of the name and other details before you send the letter. Also, review your letters carefully to be sure that they contain no typographical, grammatical, or other errors. Those computer-generated letters that automatically insert a name never fool anyone, and I find cover letters done in this way offensive.
Present a Good Appearance Your contacts with prospective employers should always be professional, so buy good quality stationery and matching envelopes.
Use papers and envelopes that match or complement your resume paper. For colors, I prefer white, ivory, or light beige. Use a standard letter format that complements your resume type and format.
I used such templates to create the formats for the sample letters in this chapter. Address it carefully, without abbreviations or errors. Provide a Friendly Opening Begin your letter with a reminder of any prior contacts and the reason for your correspondence now. The examples later in this section will give you some ideas on how to handle this. Cover letters are rarely handwritten anymore, and employers expect them to be word processed or typed without error!
To do this well, you must know something about the organization or person with whom you are dealing. Present any relevant background that might be of particular interest to the person you are writing. Close on a positive note and let the employer know you will make further contact. Written correspondence is less effective than personal contact, so the ideal circumstance is to send a resume and cover letter after having spoken with the person directly.
For example, it is far more effective to first call someone who has advertised in the paper than to simply send a letter and resume. You can come to know people through the Yellow Pages, personal referrals, and other ways. You might not have known them yesterday, but you can get to know them today. Within this assumption are hundreds of possible situations, but I will review the most important ones in the following box and let you adapt your approach to your own situation.
Each situation requires a different approach. An interview is scheduled and a specific job opening might interest you. In this case, you have already arranged an interview for a job opening that interests you. The cover letter should provide details of your experience that relate to the specific job. An interview is scheduled but no specific job is available.
In essence, you will send this letter for an interview with an employer who does not have a specific opening for you now but who might in the future. This is fertile ground for finding job leads where no one else might be looking. An interview has taken place. Many people overlook the importance of sending a letter after an interview. This is a time to say that you want the job if that is the case, your letter should say so and add any details on why you think you can do the job well.
No interview is scheduled yet. For example, you might be trying to see a person whose name was given to you by a friend, but that person is on vacation. In these cases, sending a good cover letter and resume will allow any later contacts to be more effective. I provide sample cover letters for each situation later in this chapter.
Look at the samples for each type of cover letter and see how, in most cases, they assume that personal contact was made before the resume was sent. The following are sample cover letters for the most common situations. Note that they use different formats and styles to show you the range of styles that are appropriate.
Each addresses a different situation, and each incorporates all of the cover letter writing guidelines presented earlier in this chapter. This writer called first and arranged an interview, which is the best approach of all. Note how this new graduate included a specific example of how he saved money for a business by changing its procedures.
Although it is not clear from the letter, he gained his experience with people by working as a waiter. I am following up on the brief chat we had today by phone.
After getting the details on the position you have open, I am certain that it is the kind of job I have been looking for. A copy of my resume is enclosed providing more details of my background.
I hope you have a chance to review it before we meet next week. My special interest has long been in the large-volume order processing systems that your organization has developed so well.
While in school, I researched the flow of order processing work for a large corporation as part of a class assignment.
With some simple and inexpensive procedural changes I recommended, check-processing time was reduced by an average of three days. While I have recently graduated from business school, I have considerable experience for a person of my age. I have worked in a variety of jobs dealing with large numbers of people and deadline pressures. This includes a good understanding of various computer spreadsheet and applications programs, the use of automation, and experience with cutting costs and increasing profits.
I am also a hard worker and realize I will need to apply myself to get established in my career. I am most interested in the position you have available and am excited about the potential it offers.
I look forward to seeing you next week. The writer explains why she is moving to the city and asks for help in making contacts there. Although no job opening exists here, she is wise in assuming that there might be one in the future. Even if this is not the case, she asks the employer to think of others who might have a position for someone with her skills.
Assuming that the interview goes well and the employer gives her names of others to call, she can then follow up with them. When Steve Marks suggested I call you, I had no idea you would be so helpful. Perhaps it will help you think of other organizations that may be interested in my background.
My spouse and I visited the city several years ago and thought it a good place to live. He has obtained a very good position here and, based on that, we decided it was time to commit ourselves to a move. As you can see from my work experience, I tend to stay on and move up in jobs, so I now want to research the job opportunities here more carefully before making a commitment.
Your help in this task is greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions; otherwise, I look forward to meeting with you next Tuesday. After an Interview Comments: This letter shows how you might follow up after an interview and make a pitch for solving a problem—even when no job opening formally exists.
In this example, the writer suggests that she can use her skills to solve a specific problem she uncovered during her conversation with the employer. Although it never occurs to many job seekers to set up an interview where there appears to be no job opening, employers do create jobs as a result of such interviews.
Christine Massey Import Distributors, Inc. I know you have a busy schedule so I was pleasantly surprised when you arranged a time for me to see you. As we discussed, I like to be busy with a variety of duties and the active pace I saw at your company is what I seek. Your ideas on increasing business sound creative. It would involve the use of a simple system of color-coded files that would prioritize correspondence to give older requests priority status.
The handling of complaints could also be speeded up through the use of simple form letters similar to those you mentioned. I have some thoughts on how this might be done, too, and I will work out a draft of procedures and sample letters if you are interested. It can be done on the computers your staff already uses and would not require any additional cost to implement. Whether or not you have a position for me in the future, I appreciate the time you have given me.
An extra copy of my resume is enclosed for your files—or to pass on to someone else. Let me know if you want to discuss the ideas I presented earlier in this letter. I can be reached at any time on my cell phone at I will call you next week, as you suggested, to keep you informed of my progress. No Interview Is Scheduled Comments: This letter explains why the person is looking for a job as well as presents additional information that would not normally be included in a resume.
Also note that the writer states that he will call again to arrange an appointment. As you may know, I phoned you several times over the past week while you were in meetings.
I hope that you received the messages. Since I did not want to delay contacting you, I decided to write. I got your name from the American Retail Clothing Association membership list. I am a member of this group and wanted to contact local members to ask their help in locating a suitable position.
First, I ask that you consider seeing me at your convenience within the next few weeks. Though you may not have a position available for me, you may be able to assist me in other ways. And, of course, I would appreciate any consideration for future openings. Second, you may know of others who have job openings now or might possibly have them in the future.
While I realize that this is an unusual request and that you are quite busy, I do plan on staying in the retail clothing business in this area for some time and would appreciate any assistance you can give me in my search for a new job. As you probably know, Allied Tailoring has closed and I stayed on to shut things down in an orderly way. I will contact you next week and arrange a time that is good for us both.
Please feel free to contact me at any time regarding this matter. You can reach me on my cell phone at This approach makes sense in some situations, such as if you are moving to a distant location or responding to a blind ad that offers only a post-office box number. Try to find something you have in common with the person you are contacting. By mentioning this link, your letter then becomes a very personal request for assistance.
Look at the two letters that follow for ideas. Responding to a want ad puts you in direct competition with the many others who will read the same ad, so the odds are not good that this letter would get a response. The fact that the writer does not yet live in the area is another negative. Still, I believe that you should follow up on any legitimate lead you find.
In this case, someone who is available to interview right away will likely fill the position. But a chance exists that, with good follow-up, another position will become available. Or the employer might be able to give the writer the names of others to contact. Your ad stated yours is a small office and that is precisely what I am looking for.
I like dealing with people, and in a previous position, had over 5, customer contacts a month. With that experience, I have learned to handle things quickly and pleasantly. The varied activities in a position combining bookkeeping and reception sound very interesting.
I have received formal training in accounting methods and am familiar with accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledger posting. I am familiar with several computerized accounting programs and can quickly learn any others that you may be using. My resume is enclosed for your consideration. Note that I went to school in Toronto and I plan on returning there soon to establish my career.
Several members of my family also live there and I have provided their local phone number, should you wish to contact me. Please contact that number as soon as possible, since I plan on being in Toronto in the near future and would like to speak with you about this or future positions with your company.
I will call you in the next few weeks to set up an appointment should I not hear from you before then. Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter. This is another example of a person conducting a longdistance job search using names obtained from a professional association. This letter also explains why he is leaving his old job and includes positive information regarding his references and skills that would not normally be found in a resume.
John asks for an interview even though there might not be any jobs open now, and also asks for names of others to contact. Most do not include graphics and were formatted in letter templates that come with well-known word processing programs. Although the formats are not fancy, they are acceptable and quick. Professional resume writer Rafael Santiago in Papillion, Nebraska, provided these letters.
I hope that these samples give you ideas on writing your own cover letters. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to write a simple cover letter in about 15 minutes. Just keep in mind that the best cover letter is one that you send after setting up an interview. Anything else is just second best, at best. I am interested in the position of national sales director, which you recently advertised in the Retail Sales and Marketing newsletter.
I have been active for some time now in environmental protection projects, both as a representative of my current employer and on my own. I recently successfully introduced a new line of kitchen products that exceeds federal standards, is environmentally safe, and is selling well. The enclosed resume outlines my experience and skills in both sales and marketing in the retail field.
I would like to meet with you to discuss how my skills would benefit Alnew Consolidated Stores. I will contact you soon to request an interview for current or future positions and may be reached at Thank you for your time and consideration.
I am enclosing a copy of my resume for your consideration and would like to call your attention to the skills and achievements in my background that are most relevant. I am an achiever, with four years of experience as a highly successful administrator. I acquired my training through the excellent programs the Air Force provides.
I am highly motivated and would be a dynamic administrator for whatever company I represent. I am confident in my administrative abilities and have already proven myself in the areas of office administration and customer relations. I look forward to hearing from you soon and having the opportunity to discuss your needs and plans. My resume enclosed outlines my four years of successful experience as a fast food manager with a nationwide network of restaurants.
I graduated from a Restaurant Management curriculum at Harman University with a 3. I have been impressed with the rapid growth and exceptional quality of product and service for which Desert Chicken has become well known.
This is the kind of organization I hope to work for now. My experience includes positions as cook, night manager, assistant manager, and manager for my current employer. I will call your office in a few days to see if we might schedule a convenient time to meet and discuss some areas of mutual interest. Thanks very much for your consideration. I was surprised by the positive employer reaction but paid attention and developed them further.
Over the years, I have seen them in every imaginable format, and forms of JIST Cards are now being used on the Internet, in personal video interviews, and in other electronic media.
It can be as simple as handwritten or done with graphics and on special papers. More amazing is that about 80 percent of employers say they would be willing to interview the person behind the JIST Card, even if they did not have a job opening at the time.
You can also use regular size paper, print several cards on a sheet, and cut it to the size you need. Print shops can also photocopy or print them in the size you need. Get a few hundred at a time. They are cheap, and the point is to get lots of them in circulation. Look over the examples to see how they are constructed. Some are for entry-level jobs and some are for more advanced ones. Type 55 wpm, trained in word processing, post general ledger, interpersonal skills, and get along with most people.
Can meet deadlines and handle pressure well. Willing to work any hours Organized, honest, reliable, and hardworking Joyce Hua H o me: Extensive PC network applications experience. Operations background in management, sales, and accounting. Hotel Management Four years of experience in sales, catering, and accounting in a room hotel.
Doubled revenues from meetings and conferences. Have been commended for improving staff productivity and courtesy. I approach my work with industry, imagination, and creative problem-solving skills. Enthusiastic, well-organized, detail-oriented Jonathan Michael Cell phone: Management More than 7 years of management experience plus a BS degree in business. Good organizer and problem solver. Sending thank-you notes makes both good manners and good job search sense.
I think that is one reason they work so well—people respond to those who show good manners and say thank you. Here are some situations when you should use them, along with some sample notes for each situation.
Before an Interview In some situations, you can send a less formal note before an interview. For example, you can simply thank someone for being willing to see you. Depending on the situation, enclosing a resume could be a bit inappropriate. Remember, this is supposed to be sincere thanks for help and not an assertive business situation. Kijek, Thanks so much for your willingness to see me next Wednesday at 9 a.
I know that I am one of many who are interested in working with your organization. I appreciate the opportunity to meet you and learn more about the position. Please call me if you have any questions at all. After an Interview One of the best times to send a thank-you note is right after an interview.
Here are several reasons why: The employer will assume you have good follow-up skills—and good manners. They fit well into an envelope and provide key information an employer can use to contact you.
JIST Cards also list key skills and other credentials that will help you create a good impression. And the employer could always forward the card to someone who might have a job opening for you. The following is an example of such a note. I want you to know that this is the sort of job I have been looking for and that I am enthusiastic about the possibility of working for you. I believe that I have both the experience and skills to fit nicely into your organization and to be productive quickly.
Thanks again for the interview; I enjoyed the visit. This includes those who give you referrals, people who provide advice, or simply those who are supportive during your search.
I suggest you routinely enclose one or more JIST Cards in these notes because recipients can give them to others who might be in a better position to help you.
Colcord Henderson and Associates, Inc. Colcord, Thank you for sharing your time with me so generously yesterday. I really appreciated talking to you about your career field. The information you shared with me increased my desire to work in such an area.
Your advice has already proven helpful—I have an appointment to meet with Robert Hopper on Friday. Use Quality Paper and Envelopes Use good quality notepaper with matching envelopes. Most stationery stores have thank-you note cards and envelopes in a variety of styles.
Select a note that is simple and professional—avoid cute graphics and sayings. For a professional look, match your resume and thank-you note papers by getting them at the same time. I suggest off-white and buff colors. Handwritten or Typed Is Acceptable Traditionally, thank-you notes are handwritten. If your handwriting is good, it is perfectly acceptable to write them. If not, they can be wordprocessed. Keep the Note Informal and Friendly Keep your note short and friendly.
As appropriate, be specific about when you will next contact the person. If you plan to meet soon, still send a note saying you look forward to the meeting and say thank you for the appointment. And make sure that you include something to remind the employer of who you are and how to reach you because your name alone might not be enough to be remembered.
Sign It Sign your first and last name. Avoid initials and make your signature legible. Send It Right Away Write and send your note no later than 24 hours after you make your contact. Ideally, you should write it immediately after the contact, while the details are fresh in your mind. It is both a reminder of you, should any jobs open up, and a tool to pass along to someone else.
The problem is that many job seekers assume they can simply put resumes in Internet resume databases, and employers will line up to hire them.
It sometimes happens this way, but not often. This is the same negative experience that people have when sending lots of unsolicited resumes to personnel offices—a hopeful but mostly ineffective approach that was around long before computers.
As with sending out many unsolicited resumes, putting your resume on the Internet is a passive approach that is unlikely to work well for you. Use the Internet smartly in your job search, but also plan to use other offline techniques, including direct contacts with employers. Multiple Ways to Use the Internet in Your Job Search Job seeking on the Internet involves more than simply posting your resume on one or more resume database sites or contacting employers by e-mail.
Here are some other ways the Internet can help you in your job search: Many employers have Web sites that include career information and a process for applying to current job openings. Checking out employee blogs short for Web logs, or online journals can give you a sense of the corporate culture. Some sites allow you to interact with staff online or via e-mail to get answers to questions about working there. You can use search engines such as Google and other Web sites to find information on a specific employer or industry for example, see www.
Large national sites such as Monster and HotJobs let you search for openings based on specific criteria. You can find Web sites that specialize in the jobs that interest you for example, www. Many have job postings, useful information, and access to people in the know. Also, many geographic-specific sites for cities and towns list local openings. Create a profile on business networking Web sites like LinkedIn, Rzye, and ecademy to organize your existing network and make new contacts for career research.
When you are able to see the contacts that your contacts have, you can better tell them how they can be of help. For suggestions on the best sites to help you in your job search, see the end of this chapter; for even more help, see the book Best Career and Education Web Sites from JIST. Adapting Your Resume for Electronic Use When you post your resume to an online resume database such as Monster, it is stored as a text file with no graphics or other fancy formatting, so that it takes up less space and any type of computer can read it.
Employers search these text files for keywords that match their requirements for the jobs they have open. Also, employers prefer resumes in electronic form to avoid having to scan them before adding them to their own searchable databases. Plus, scanning can introduce text errors and odd formatting due to the imperfect science of scanning technology.
So, you are better off making the modifications yourself before distributing your resume online. This resume has had all formatting and graphic elements removed for submission in electronic or scannable form. It has the following features: Liaison to five agents and some 50 companies. Collaborate with agents to protect loss ratios. Aggressively process submissions to meet critical deadlines and offer better premiums to customers. Personal Lines Property and Auto.
Windows 95 and National Association of Female Executives. Volunteer, Marine Mammal Center. Converting Your Resume to Electronic Format You can easily take your existing resume and reformat it for electronic submission. Here are some quick guidelines to do so: Eliminate bold, italic, and other styles.
Then name the file and click Save or OK. Then reopen the file to see how it looks. Make any additional format changes as needed. Close the document and reopen it in a text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit Mac OS X , just to double-check that all of the characters have been converted correctly.
Now you are ready to e-mail your resume. These files preserve your formatting and allow hiring managers to print an attractive version of your resume. The Importance of Keywords Creating an electronic resume is more involved than just putting it into a plain format. Employers look for qualified applicants in a resume databank by searching for what are called keywords.
Your task is to add the right keywords to your electronic resume so that your chance of being selected for appropriate jobs is increased. Most resume bank sites ask you to submit your resume by copying it from your file and pasting it into boxes on the Web site. Others ask you to upload your resume file directly to their database in plain-text format. This is especially important if you are applying to large companies, which might use a computer to search through all the resumes it receives and reject any without the right keywords—before a human being even gets to look at them!
Use Your Resume on the Internet Quick Tips for Selecting Keywords to Include in Your Resume The main thing to realize when thinking about which keywords to put in your resume is that computers, although they let you do wonderful things, are just not very smart.
So your job here is to use keywords that give the computer exactly what it is looking for. You might have been working in an office for years and are familiar with Microsoft Access, Word, and all the other parts of the Microsoft Office software suite.
The danger is that the computer might not know that Access is part of Microsoft Office and will toss out your resume. Therefore, if a job ad asks for a specific skill, use exactly the same words as in the job ad. Think of the jobs you want, and then include the keywords you think an employer would use to find someone who can do what you can do. These are available in both print and online formats.
They will give you a variety of keywords you can use in your electronic resume. Include the key skills you documented in chapter 3. You can identify keywords by reviewing the sample resumes in chapter 7, job descriptions of jobs you want, want ads, employer Web sites, job board postings, and more.
Always be as specific as possible. Read each job ad carefully, and be ready and willing to make changes to your resume when applying for different positions.
These resumes were specifically designed to be easily scanned or e-mailed and most also look pretty darned good. Some provide a list of keywords in a separate section, in addition to the many keywords used throughout the resume. Look to them for inspiration on how to add more keywords to your own electronic resume. More and more, you will be googled in your job search. A recent Harris Interactive poll showed that 23 percent of people search for the names of business associates or colleagues on the Internet before meeting them, and 75 percent of recruiters are googling candidates.
Have you googled yourself? When you do, you could discover one of the following: Some job seekers have created their own interactive sites that include stunning resume graphics; video clips introducing themselves; samples of their work using photographs, video, or sound; and many other features. Unless you are looking for a job as a Web designer, this is simply too much information for most employers.
You can surmise from these scenarios that everything that you post online or that is written about you becomes a part of your online identity. Your Own Blog One of the easiest and most economical ways to get an online presence that is well-designed and search-engine friendly is to create a professional blog short for Weblog.
Just make sure that your posts are professional and relevant to your target audience. Use this vehicle to demonstrate your knowledge, experience, and current grasp on happenings in your industry. Figure shows the blog of job seeker Nina Burokas. A Blog for Career Management Online Career Portfolios To go beyond the blog and create a more comprehensive picture of who you are and what you have done, you can create an online career portfolio. A Web portfolio is the traditional paper portfolio concept reinvented for the online medium with links and multimedia content.
Portfolios are more than Web-based resumes in that they must contain tangible evidence of your past performance, including work samples, testimonials, articles, video, photographs, charts, and so on. Providing this depth of information earlier in the career search process weeds out no-win situations and establishes virtual rapport with your interviewers. The portfolio concept also helps prove the facts on your resume because it shows and not just tells.
Prospective employers and clients want to see that you have solved problems like theirs. If you say that you have strong presentation skills, show a video clip! Articles, awards, graphs, audio references, white papers, case studies, press releases, and schedules of appearances are just some of the options you have to prove your expertise.
Use Your Resume on the Internet Figure My Web portfolio made it easy to distribute my resume and show examples of projects during my interviews. Brian added it Nov 26, TMA Library added it Jun 02, Carrie marked it as to-read Aug 01, Dorinda marked it as to-read Aug 27, Brian added it Feb 07, Francisco marked it as to-read Apr 07, Jennifer Knight added it Jul 04, Lawstudent added it Jan 11, Aimee added it Mar 30, Stephen Daluz marked it as to-read Sep 03, Cynthia marked it as to-read Dec 31, Sabrina Chladni added it Feb 28, Peggy Williamson marked it as to-read Aug 27, Two Readers in Love marked it as to-read Feb 02, Melissa marked it as to-read Apr 18, Jefferies added it Jul 28, Aubrey marked it as to-read May 30, CLibrarian marked it as to-read Jun 16, Ck marked it as to-read Apr 05, Alvin Aldridge marked it as to-read Jul 13, Justin Byrd marked it as to-read Aug 05, Sue added it Jun 08, Community District Library added it Jul 09, Nicole George added it Dec 30, Jody marked it as to-read May 26, John Michlig added it Aug 15, TypeFace added it Sep 12, Leanne Marie marked it as to-read Jun 10, Cassie marked it as to-read Aug 22, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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