We work with our customers and trainees every day preparing them for that employment application, interview, or a resume to apply for a job…..it occurred to me that over the years with my human resources experience, that many people who have a job for a very long time and are now without one may never have had to prepare a resume and write that cover letter of introduction. Here are my ten “golden rules” for introducing yourself to a prospective employer.
- A resume must ALWAYS be one page
- A cover letter of introduction must ALWAYS be one page
- A cover letter should highlight and augment what you have in your resume to create the “hook” for the recruiter. They will look at both for a minute or less. Keep it business, never personal.
- ABSOLUTELY no typographical mistakes in either document……check it over and over and have someone else do it, too.
- Use a very legible font, no script, nothing tiny. Times New Roman 12 is a good font.
- Describe what you can do for a company at the top, not the position you want….recruiters really don’t care what you want….they are looking to fill a job.
- List ALL the ways to reach you…..home phone, pager, cell phone, email and then be sure to check it.
- Consider a functional resume which describes your strengths and experiences in all the jobs you have had as opposed to one done by date. Be sure to list education and provide references by date.
- If you do one by date, be sure to put the most recent job description at the top.
Once you have gotten a new job, keep your resume current (I never was very good about that and I wish I had been).