Step 3: Resumes and cover letters that work
Are you on the road to a new career? We’re here to help you with our Steps to a New Career series, including today’s post on creating your resume and cover letter. If you have career training, experience and the drive to find success, your resume and cover letter need to show it! Here’s how to use our career services strategies for resumes and cover letters that work:
Did you know that you only have 6 seconds to capture someone’s attention with your resume?1 So make sure it’s short, to the point and informative. Start with the basics of who you are, where you received your career training and how your future employer can get in touch with you. Be sure to provide your contact information and links to your profile on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Even if you don’t provide social media links, the hiring manager probably will find them, so make sure every image you put out on social media is one that represents the professional you are. Include the positions you’ve held and the scope of your responsibilities at each job. Choose active words that demonstrate the kind of abilities that an employer would want in a new hire like initiative, leadership, and your ability to work on a team. Use numbers and facts that provide specific details about your abilities and accomplishments. For example, if you’re pursuing a position as an automotive technician, don’t just say that you refurbished an engine, give the make, model and year so the service manager can learn about your qualifications and your passion for cars.
It’s also important to customize your resume for the job you want. A one size fits all resume won’t get you hired, but one that is tailored to the exact position and company could. Incorporate words from the job posting into the language of your resume and match your objective to fit the company and the position. If you’re looking to start your career as a practical nurse at a hospice facility, your objective might read: Seeking a practical nursing position with a comprehensive and well-regarded hospice care facility where there is an opportunity to provide end-of-life care and compassion to a diverse patient population.
Your cover letter needs to say a lot about you, your experience, and your passion in as few words as possible, but don’t make the common mistake of restating your resume in it. Your cover letter is an opportunity to go beyond your resume and explain why you’d be a perfect fit for the job as well as the company. If someone recommended you for the job, make sure you start the letter with that important piece of information. If you discovered the job online, do plenty of research about the company before you begin your letter. Then, incorporate what you learned into your letter to demonstrate your knowledge and desire to work for the company. Include the qualifications that will make you outshine the competition and remember that your goal is to explain why you’d be an asset to the company. It’s about how you could fill their needs, not about what they can do for you.
Are you ready for your future? Start with career training that will also provide you with the soft skills employers really look for and career services that can help you prepare for your job search. Porter and Chester Institute offers ten career training programs at our nine campuses in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Give us a call at 800-870-6789 to schedule your school tour today. And be sure to check more Steps to a New Career such as getting career training and learning to network.