Resume and Cover Letter Tips

Resume Tips Include
Why you’re n
ot getting enough interviews
How Hiring Manager determines if you’re qualified
Offer withdrawn because of false information on resume – See last page.
Does your resume say you are careless?
Resume should focus on
what you’ve done (accomplishments)
How to make a good impression
Improve your resume , shorter resumes gets more interviews
Education and Certifications
Do’s and Don’ts
Standard Word Resume – with work history, not non-standard, not boxes, not image, not password, not with tables, not with columns, not read only, not PDF, not HTML

Why WORD is the best Resume Format.
Word resume (.doc) is the best resume to get you an interview. Most companies ATS (Applicant Tracking System) can search Word but not PDF.

Not getting enough interviews – Here’s why!
* Hundreds many times thousands of resumes are received for each open position.
* 3-7 are selected for a phone interview.
* 2-3 for a face to face interview
* Your resume is the most important piece of information for your job search.
* Replace Responsible for with your Accomplishments, Challenges and Deliverables under your Work History. This will get you more interviews.

How to make sure your resume gets you the interview
* BEFORE YOU SEND YOUR RESUME – take a minute to look over your current and recent jobs.
Your current and recent jobs will or won’t get you an interview.
Look at your current and recent jobs, does it show the required skills you have? If not, no interview
If you’ve successfully done the description or project and have skills (applications, software, etc) required,  make sure it’s on your resume, preferably under your work history, recent and or current jobs. This will assure you an interview
Adding a few lines of your related experience will get you an interview. The more the better, don’t lie.
Adding your Challenges, Achievements and Deliverables under each job will increase your changes for an interview

If you’re a hands-on manager and open to non-management positions
You should have two resumes.
One for non-management positions that indicate you’re interested in hands on non-management positions and focuses on all your hands on tasks under your current and recent jobs.
A current title should include your manager’s title and a title that best describes what you do. E.g. BI Manager / Architect
A second resume for management positions which focuses on management skills.

Please send me at least a few bullets indicating your related experience for the required skills. The more the better chance for an interview

If you want to get an interview customize your resume for each job
* If you’ve successfully done the job description or project, make sure it DETAILS your experience with ALL of the requirements (in your own words) under your work history. Current and recent jobs are ideal.
* This will assure you an interview.

How Hiring Manager determines if you’re qualified
The first place they look is your current and then recent jobs. Make sure your work history (recent jobs) shows your current experience for EACH of their requirements that you have.

Your resume 
* This is the first example of your work a potential employer will see
* This is  an example of your organizational, presentation, writing and reading comprehension skills

Typos will stop you from getting interviews because it is the first example of your work an employer will see. It must be perfect.

TYPO’s: 1,000 managers surveyed said, they wouldn’t interview an applicant with 1 typo on their resume.
This is the first example of your work. If there’s a mistake on something as important as your cover letter or resume, it’s assumed you’ll make mistakes on the job.

Make a good first impression
In Word
look for
Red and Green lines. (Red = possible spelling error and Green = possible grammar error).
Have two friends or relatives whose first language is English read your resume line by line.
Send me a corrected copy with updated resume – typos corrected in subject line.

Your resume will get you an interview or not – How to make sure it gets you the interview
Does your resume say
you are careless?

Please go over your resume line by line and correct all typos and words on top of each other.
grammatical and spelling mistakes, poor word choices, and punctuation errors send a message that you are careless

You should only have on your resume things that you actually did, not something someone else in the group did.
Make sure your recent work history
includes the skills this job requires if you have them and major accomplishments

Resume Mistakes – Managers Comments
Are you senior level?
– Resume does not appear to come across as a senior. – I have seen so many profile’s with statements like “Configured Planning Strategies and assigned MRP Group to Strategy Group”.
These are low-level tasks that are not worth talking about.

Before sending your resume, remove all low-level task. Replace responsible for with major accomplishments. This will get you more interviews.

COMMON RESUME MISTAKES – Check your resume for these mistakes:
A space before a comma or period. Should be a space after a comma or period, not before.  E.g. AR, AP, GL, FA.   E.g. Word. Next word.
To find these problems use Ctl F
and search for space comma ( ,) or space period ( .) or open or close parenthesis (  ) .
Should be a space before and after a parenthesis.  E.g. word (words) word
E.g. Oracle Accounts Receivable(AR) incorrect.   Oracle Accounts Receivable (AR) correct
2 spaces between words should be one.

Words like Oracle or Unix without a capital first letter. (oracle, unix)
PL SQL in small letters (pl sql or Pl SQL)

Employers prefer a Chronological Resume (Reverse order. Most recent first)
Education, skill list (software, applications, hardware) and Industries
towards the top of your resume before work history.

To improve your resume and get more interviews include:
* Bullet format under your work history describing each project and your accomplishments.

* Your top 5-10 accomplishments for your current position. Your 4-7 accomplishments for your next position and less and less for older positions. 20–30 bullets is too many.

  • Mention how you saved the company time and or money
  • Found and fixed a problem no one else could find
  • Been promoted
  • Indicate what you can offer a prospective employer. Use the CAR method to help you recall your achievements: Challenge, Action, and Result.
  • Instead of Responsibilities included, replace it with Accomplishments using Problem Action Results.

Problem Action Results are
* First you state the problem that existed.

* Then you describe what you did about it.

* Then you point out the beneficial results.

E.g. Transformed a disorganized, inefficient warehouse into a smooth-running operation by totally redesigning the layout; this saved the company thousands of dollars in recovered stock.

Mention on every project what you did to improve performance and / or save the company money.
Use the ones
where you saved the company hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars or something else that will impress.
Have you received awards or job well-done letters? Anything else that will make you be the one they will want? This will help me get you interviews.

Your Unique Selling Proposition
* Indicate what you can offer a prospective employer. Use the CAR (Challenge, Action, and Result) method to help you recall your achievements:
* If you can determine your Unique Selling Proposition (top 3- 5 selling points) and build it into a dynamic paragraph, you will have a real advantage of getting the job.

POWER WORDS. Start off sentences with these words and make them a bold font.

            Ability              Accelerated         Accomplished
            Achieved             Administered        Advised
            Analyzed             Capable             Coded
            Compared             Completed           Conceived
            Conceptualized       Consolidated        Consulted
            Converted            Coordinated         Created             
            Decreased            Designed            Debugged            
            Developed            Edited              Eliminated          
            Established          Evaluated           Expanded            
            Generated            Guided              Implemented         
            Improved             Increased           Installed           
            Instructed           Justified           Lead  
            Led                  Maintained          Managed             
            Modified             Monitored           Motivated           
            Negotiated           Organized           Planned             
            Presented            Programmed          Recommended         
            Reduced              Reorganized         Replaced            
            Researched           Responsible         Saved               
            Scheduled            Selected            Solved              
            Supervised           Taught              Tested              
            Trained              Updated

Don’t put something on your resume that someone else in your group did. This will come out during the interview and that will be the end of the interview and your reputation will be questionable.

If your title doesn’t reflect your work
Put your title and the title that reflects your work. E.g. 
Programmer Analyst / Project Leader
Explain during the interview what your official title was / is.

Work History

On 1 line
Title       From and To Dates     Co Name     Industry

Highlight your title only
It’s a good idea to mention what each of your employers does or their industry.

Only go into details for the last 4-5 years. Then indicate your previous job titles and that detailed experience is available upon request.
Indicate all your Job Titles at every job.

experience for these is available upon request. 

PROJECT MANAGER          12/90 – 6/95    Web Designers   
Web Development

PROGRAMMER ANALYST  10/85 – 11/90   Disney  
Movie Studio

PROGRAMMER                     1/82 –  9/85     Bob’s

Do not use 
* Wide margins
* Icons that take several lines
* 18-inch size font
* Work History twice
* A lot of blank lines. Don’t take 6 lines for a title, from and to dates and company name when it will fit on 1 line.
E.G. Title       From and To Dates     Co Name     Industry
Don’t indicate environment if you already mentioned it in your job description
* If you want to mention it at the end of your job description limit it to 1 or 2 lines
E.g. C#, Java, PL SQL, SQL Server, Oracle, Windows, NT, ASP, VB Script, JavaScript
* References available, interest, hobbies, race, religion, false information (a degree you don’t have) or your picture.

This takes too many lines for every job. Put this once towards the top of your resume.

Languages                        C#, Java, HTML, PLSQL
Operating Systems      Windows, Linux, HPUX
Database                            SQL Server, Oracle
Server Side Tools          ASP, VB Script, JavaScript
Application Server       Internet Information Server
Industries                         Entertainment, Manufacturing, Healthcare

* Spelling Errors, Typos, and Poor Grammar
* Too Long, Longer than 4-5 pages. Gives too many details (bullets) for jobs that are more than 5 years old.
* Objectives
or Meaningless Introductions
* Leaves off Objective. if you want to use objective and you’re a hands-on manager who is open to an Analyst, Programmer, DBA, or other non-management positions, make sure your objective includes these titles, not just management titles.
* You will only be considered for titles you list that’s why it’s better to leave off an objective.

Poor formatting – boxes, templates, tables, use of header and footers, etc.
Font Choice – poor font choice or style  (Arial black or bold for the whole resume).
Font size is too small or too big (Arial 8, Times New Roman 10, etc.). Arial 10 is a good size.

Functional Resumes as opposed to writing a Chronological Resume
* Paragraphs – Long Paragraphs instead of Bullet-points.
* Resumes sent as PDF, ZIP files, faxed, web page resumes or mailed.  Resumes not sent as WORD Attachment.
* Resume in all capital letters.

* Too many bullets under each job. 

* Doesn’t sound like he’s hands-on.

* Doesn’t have hardcore experience, just superficial
* Sounds like he assisted with the work. His focus wasn’t on what we need.
* Too many blank lines between jobs and others

Missing important software, education or certifications on the resume
* Too Duty Oriented – A resume that reads like a job description and fails to explain what the job seeker’s accomplishments were and how they did so.
* Dates not included or inaccurate dates.
* Gaps in employment (4 months between jobs). Indicate what you were doing.
* Contact Info – none or inaccurate contact info, unprofessional email address.
* Personal Info included not relevant to the job
* Employer names not included and / or not telling what industry or product candidate worked on
* Lying, misleading (especially in terms of education, dates and inflated titles)
* Pictures, Graphics or URL links no one will call up
* Not easy to follow summary
* Resumes written as the 1st or 3rd Person
* Burying important info in the resume

OFFER WITHDRAWN because of false information on resume
Indicated on resume had a BS degree
Signed a legal document indicating had a BS degree
Background check indicated
no degree and work history dates weren’t even close.  Ironically the job didn’t require a degree

CEO at Yahoo was fired for saying he had a degree he didn’t have
Since all companies do background checks these days, make sure your resume is accurate.

The Ideal I.T. Resume – Comments from an IT Director
* My resume is a year-round process and trying to encapsulate 20+ years of experience in two pages seems ridiculous. I’ve settled in on four pages as my maximum.
* I’m constantly tweaking it for the skills and experience which exemplify me and what work I would like to do.
* Before I submit my resume formally it will be modified yet again so it is targeted for the job announcement.
* I’m a fan of simple and direct. Perhaps that’s my military experience speaking, but it’s effective. As someone who sits on many hiring committees, I’m a fan of someone who can quickly capture my attention and highlight their skills for the position.
* This is what I try to incorporate in my own resume. Most importantly, the resume should focus on results…what have YOU done

Resume Check List – To get more interviews and stand out from the rest
Get more interviews by taking 5- 10 minutes now and improve your resume with these tips

* Please send standard WORD resume with work history, not non-standard, not image, not boxes, not password, not read-only, not PDF, not HTML
Non-Standard – If I can’t add lines (my letterhead and notes) to the top of your resume without messing up the format, then this is a non-standard resume and I can’t use it.
* Word is the number one format people want. If you want to include PDF that’s fine, but send Word also so we don’t have to ask for it.
* Resume in boxes, sometimes if I add my letterhead and 10+ lines of notes the format gets all messed up and looks really bad.
* OFFER WITHDRAWN because of false information on resume
* Resume must include from and to dates for your work history
and must show your current job even if you’ve only been there a short time.
* Shorter resumes get more interviews – How To Shorten Your Resume
* Accomplishments rather than responsible for will get you more interviews

Also, including a Cover Letter will make a good first impression 
* A cover letter will distinguish you from the 75% of applicants who don’t include a cover letter with their resume.
What to include

* A paragraph summary of why you’re qualified. Mention all the related experience you have related to the job requirements.
* Bullets format is easier to read
* Keep it short. 1/2 page
* Start off with my
xx years of experience as a (Title) make me an excellent match for your xxxxx position listed on xxxx.
* This is an opportunity to point out how you can help the company.
This is about the company and not you.
* Mention as many keywords in the ad as possible in your cover letter and add them to your resume if not already there
* You need to impress them that you will fill the void and solve their problems immediately.
* Don’t use words like “I think”, use “I know”.
* Use points from your resume that are relevant
* if you will relocate if required
* you need to customize each cover letter. Don’t send in a generic cover letter
* Typo’s – This will stop you from getting an interview.

* End with asking for an interview. Days and times you could be available.

For Recruiters Add
* I prefer full-time employee but will consider contract or contract to hire
* current or recent salary or hourly rate
* why you’re available
* what you would be interested in (titles of jobs)
* if you will relocate if you have more than a 1-hour commute 
* make sure you have contact info on your cover letter and resume. Full name, phone number, and email address.
* the top 3 things you want with your next job
* how do you have the right to work in the U.S.? (US   Citizen, H1, TN1, EAD, other)
* other information that will help me find you your ideal job

Watch what you say online
Racist, repulsive or political could cost you an interview.