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Resume and cover letter

Resume = your business card

Companies are choosing candidates according to resume at the first place. The HR posts new job openings, collects all the applicants’ resumes, narrows the selection and picks the most fitting candidates. Who will they choose? Of course people with the most interesting resume! If you have wrongly or carelessly built resume, you eliminate your chances to get interview without the opportunity to present yourself in person. Do not underestimate resume and work on it and that applies to cover letter as a part of materials sent to the company (as described below) as well.

Don’t be afraid to visit our office and we will help you build correct resume. You can visit one of our lectures I don’t want to end up at the government employment office! Aka how to be successful on the job market.

What should be in resume:

Particular points are in order resume should be arranged in

  • Personal info– name, address, health conditions, ideally also date of birth
  • Photo– we recommend photo on resume but make sure to pick the appropriate one (passport format, no selfie, no picture cut from family or group photos). More about this topic HERE
  • Education– start with the most recent, elementary school is not put on the resume, do not forget the years of starting and the graduation
  • Experiences– again, from the most recent to the older ones, older experiences not relevant to the job offer mention just shortly and focus on experience related to it. The most common format is 04/2010 – 05/2016 (it’s transparent)
  • Unemployment time period– do not leave it this info out in resume if it’s a longer period of time. And this is placed in experience section
  • Foreign languages knowledge– it’s one of the most important facts on resume lately. Evaluate honestly your knowledge level according to the European chart. If you want to get informed better we have a detailed video on this topic HERE
  • IT tools literacy– do not say you are MS Office literate, state specifically what softwares you can work with and on what level, for example MS Office Excel user level, etc
  • Courses and workshops– place list of courses, workshops and certificates in second half of resume
  • Driver’s license– list what kind of driver’s license you own and state if you are an active driver
  • Other info you can list your other hobbies and interests or skills
  • Date- make sure you update the date

Tips

  • HR person pays in average 30 sec to your resume so the rule is: simple, clear, accurate
  • Resume should be structured for better orientation thorough the info – no one reads complicated long texts
  • 2 pages max, graduates are good with 1 page
  • Don’t lie and don’t exaggerate!! It always comes to the surface and you won’t look good (especially if you lie about unemployment time period or exaggerate the foreign language  or computer knowledge)
  • The resume should always be dated with the actual date, it doesn’t make a good impression if your resume is months, even years, old
  • Resume should contain the actual info. If you changed job recently and you are looking for a new job, update your resume. It’s not professional and you’d make an impression of a careless person

Another tips and advice for building the correct resume are topic of this blog. Sample resume is enclosed below this article.

 

Cover letter = we are offering

Cover letter is very important part of your resume. It is a message to the company why they should pick you/invite you for an interview, what it is you can offer. Make sure you accentuate your professional strong points

Composition of cover letter:

  • First paragraph should attract attention and should state the reason why we send the letter (what offer we respond to, where we found out about the position)
  • Next paragraph should describe your last experience and emphasize your experience and knowledge fitting for position you are responding to
  • Last paragraph should contain additional info you’d like to mention and also, add sentence or two saying you’d like to see them for a personal interview

Advice and tips:

  • Write an original cover letter for every position you are responding to and fit it to the particular company and position
  • Text should be clear and simple, ideally half of A4 page, no one got time to read long letters
  • Watch for typos, right title of the position (the government employment office changes titles according to their list but it is not usually the correct title)

Another tips and advice for creating an interesting cover letter are topic of this blog.

For inspiration, see my resume created in our free on-line form below.