A Professional Method to Resumes and Cover Letters

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A Professional
Approach to
Resumes and
Cover Letters

Brought to you By James Reilly
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Taking that first step
Effective resume and cover letter writing
The purpose of your resume
Resume presentation is key
Wow the employer
Elements of a resume that will impress
Writing your objective
Writing your summary
Writing the skills and accomplishments section
Resume formatting
Three basic formats
- chronological resume
- chronological resume sample
- functional resume
- functional resume sample
- chronological/functional resume
- chronological/functional resume sample
Writing an electronic resume
Put your best foot forward
Writing your resume using power words
Writing the history/experience section
Writing the education section
Writing a professional affiliations section
Writing a publications section
Writing a personal interests section
Writing a references section
Your resume -- a work of art
Do not put in your resume
A variety of resume samples
- banking and real estate
- recent business graduate
- management consultant
- marketing/advertising/public relations
- pharmaceutical sales representative
The importance of writing cover letters
Cover letter outline
Key phrases to be used in your cover letter
Cover letter samples
- in response to a newspaper advertisement
- to request a position
Cover letter template

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Employers are forever on the lookout for the resume that jumps out at them. Not in terms
of being fancy and pretty to look at. Employers are looking to be impressed! Reading
your resume, they want to be able to feel that YOU are the right candidate for the job.
They want to be able to do this before ever setting eyes on you!

Tall order, right? You betcha it is!

The very first step in landing that ideal job is to write an ideal resume and cover letter.
Without those two most primary of introductions, there most likely won't be a first

Taking That First Important Step

Your resume places you in the front lines when job hunting. It becomes your calling
card. It is not about compelling drama or clever prose; it's a few simple pages, expertly
written, containing information that is all about you.

Your resume will either place you front and center where all the good jobs are or it will
not -- there is no middle ground.

It's Now or Never

For the serious job seeker, this "Resume and Cover Letter" ebook will become as a
trusted friend. This will be your personal and comprehensive guide to everything you
could ever hope to know about conquering the never ending "resume and cover letter"
paper trail.

Your resume writing skills will become well honed and your resume will be fine tuned.
You will learn to sell yourself with simple, yet, effective words. Your resume will not be
relegated to the bottom of any pile -- it will be placed where it belongs....at the very top!

You will write a resume that will rival any resume written by a top-notch professional
writer, and you will do this in complete confidence.

Let's Get Started!

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To begin, make a decision to discard any former knowledge learned about the "rules" of
resume and cover letter writing. People commonly become stuck in "bad" writing habits
from a time gone by.

It is almost a certainty that since you last wrote your resume, much has been learned and
even more has been changed. This is as it should be, for everyday, very creative people
are adding to the resume and cover letter writing arsenal.

This ebook is chock full of the most recent and cutting-edge resume and cover letter
writing techniques, culled from writing professionals and employment experts.

The Basics

For years, we have been told that to be most effective, a resume should be only one page.
This just does not apply any longer! Today's resume is creative and unique.

Aside from the most essential and key elements, a resume should reflect the personality
and need of the job seeker and not be some cookie cutter rendition of what is "acceptable
and expected."

Standards in resumes and cover letters have changed dramatically, but, only so far as the
job seeker has the creative expression and know-how to pull it off! Therein lies the
difference. Everyday, employers read all of the standard resumes. They are required to
go through each and every one! But, which one will catch their eye?

Formatting in resumes and cover letters has expanded, too. When you consider that your
resume will be your own, personalized form of marketing yourself -- this lends itself to
all manner of unique communication and expression.

Again, so long as the essential elements are included in each resume and cover letter, you
are at complete liberty to make certain that your resume will impress and with a bang!

Just how, exactly, does one do this?

First of all, learn about the most basic principles involved in writing a highly effective
resume and cover letter. Once you have this down, the creative expression can begin!

Your most basic purpose in writing your resume and cover letter will be to be noticed
among the many. You want to stand out as not just a good candidate but as "the"
candidate just fitting for the job you want.

When you consider that next to your well written resume, not even one hundred other
resumes will be written as well as yours, you can see the odds will be in your favor.
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Your salvation here is in writing a resume that will compel a perspective employer to
notice your credentials. If you can master this technique, the rest will be pure gravy.


Your resume is an important tool that communicates all about YOU. When it does the
job right, you win an interview.

Your resume doesn't simply provide a prospective employer with your work history. It
speaks loud and clear that you have the credentials needed to be a complete success in
this new position or career.

Your resume will attract immediate attention. The reader will want to pick it up and read
it top to bottom. Interest will be stimulated. An interview will be arranged.

Your resume will contain:

Your contact information, i.e. name, address, phone, email address,
website address.

A defined job objective.

A work history.

Educational history.



Your resume will be written using professional grade printing and paper.


An employer can have hundreds of boring resumes to pour through. This means when
something catches the eye, it must really pop out!

Your resume must impress within the first important seconds or it will not impress at all.
Employers will quickly scan all resumes and then grab for those that catch their eye best.

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To write a really effective resume, you will use powerful statements that will impress.
This is very important, but, you do not want to oversell! There is a very fine line here
and you will learn all about it.

Above all, you will make honest statements about yourself. They will be strong
statements and 100% true, or they will not be effective at all.

Just as you would sell any product that you believe strongly in, you will learn to sell the
product that is you! Once you have learned to do this, you will find that you will get a
better response from a prospective employer than other prospects do and even those with
better credentials. It is all in how you market your product!


First of all, who are you writing this resume for? Your prospective employer will be the
one who oversees the day to day operations of the company you want to join.

They make the hiring decisions and they are entirely invested in ensuring that you are the
right one for the job. This person will care about whether or not you can do a good job
for that company and so this is the one you are writing your resume for.

You want to be sure that you are the right candidate for the job. You want to be sure you
know everything there is to know about this company. You want to understand exactly,
which qualities are needed to be the right candidate for this job.

You want to be sure you are not a good candidate for this job, but, that you are the best
candidate for this job.

Time to start writing

This is the time to put pen to paper and to lay out clearly what your prospective employer
is looking for in an ideal candidate. You need to be able to solidify what it is that you
bring to the table, even before you begin.

Jot down every fine point about your training and experience, your unique characteristics,
special talents, even your attitude -- everything that shows you most qualified for the job
you seek.

If you are new to the job market, be creative and draw on your upbringing, life exposure
and anything that can account for your unique experience and qualities.

You will begin to be able to connect the dots during this process. Simple statements will
turn into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Keep this information in a safe place.
You will use it later to be incorporated into your finished product.

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The primary element of an ideal resume contains powerful and assertive statements about
your talents, characteristics and accomplishments. No need to be shy. You are going for
the gold so sell yourself with all that is in you!

The secondary element of an ideal resume will show "you know your stuff" and know it
well! This will be proven by education, experience, work history and any other relevant
affiliations that shows the prospective employer that you are a person of substance and
not only of design.

Keep in mind that the more standard resume will simply be a chronological account of a
very boring life and most people will not give it a second glance. Write your resume to
be interesting and even impressive and watch as your phone rings for that important

You will write a resume that does much more than just inform; you will write a resume
that compels to action! Your resume will become as a good bargaining tool! Your
prospective employer will be interested and will stand up and take notice! This is exactly
what you want.

Be bold about your assertive statements, but, not too bold. Leave them wanting for more.
Tease a bit with nuggets of information and let them be interested to know more.


Be very clear in defining the name of the job or job title you are so qualified for. Be
specific. Avoid general terms such as: I am seeking a Management position. Well, OK,
but what kind of Management position are you seeking? Marketers signal in on one
product at a time and so will you!

You will hit the bull's eye when you define your precise career direction and put that
down on paper. When your prospective employer reads it, they should have no doubt that
you are seeking the exact job that they need filled.

After starting your resume with your contact information, your next section will clearly
start with your job objective. Once your prospective employer can see that what you
bring to the table is what they want, they will continue to scan for more.

Employers separate the wheat from the chaff very quickly. They look for objectives that
meet with their own expectations. They know there are many prospects out there that
really don't know what they want.

Employers are not looking for these types. Your objective will convey that your
objective proves you will make the kind of contributions to the company that they need
and want.
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Keep in mind, too, that an employer is looking for a candidate who will meet their own
needs, and not for one who is looking to meet his or her own goals and agenda.

Your goal can be to offer this company your unique skill set and experience, but, the key
is in putting that across in a way that proves you are their to service them and not the
other way around.

Your resume must grab them within the first few seconds, so, your objective must be
dynamite! Clearly state the job title you are going for and then add a few key phrases to
show you will meet their exact needs...more on this later.


The Summary element of your resume needs to pack a punch to be most effective. It
contains the best about how and why you qualify for the job.

You want the employer to focus in quickly on this section because it will highlight your
most important accomplishments, talents, and qualities.

After reading your Summary, the employer should know, without any doubt, that you are
the best man or woman for the job. This is where you will shine! This will be your
moment to show your stuff. After reading this section, the employer will be compelled to
read more!

Writing this section, you will use many colorful and descriptive words. If one of your
best talents is sales, write that you are a gifted salesman, able to close the deal in record

If your talent is hairdressing, write that your creations have been featured at XYZ hair
show and that your technique is now copied in Salons throughout the Mid-West! You get
the idea.

This section will only contain information about you that is commendable and that will
set you apart from the crowd. Using the right kind of descriptive, complimentary words,
you achieve this handsomely. Your summary will show your prospective employer that
you alone will be the best fit for the position needed to be filled.

Tailor your Summary to your Prospective Employer's Needs

Before writing your resume, you wrote notes on what makes you the best candidate for
your intended position. You will have looked at the many characteristics and qualities
that you believe your prospective employer will be looking for in the ideal candidate.

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Now is the time to tailor your Summary section to matching those specific needs. Every
statement made in your Summary section will be targeted to show the employer that you
have what it takes to fill that position.

Work on writing positive and affirming statements that exemplify your unique abilities
and talents to be most affective in the intended position. Practice using descriptive

If you want to write that you are a good leader, write instead that you are "proven leader"
with initiative and motivational skills that cause others to act! Describe why you are
good at what you do and leave no room for interpretation.

Using words like "good" and "competent" speaks in general terms. Describe how you
possess these attributes and you will have done your job well!

Below, you will find a variety of suggestions for composing your Summary section. You
can select those that best suit your skill-set. Experiment a bit, first, and then zero in on
those that best reflect what you have to offer a perspective employer. Remember, your
Summary section is critical to your resumes success.

Few people will use all of the suggestions. Doing this might be seen as over-kill. You
are encouraged to say the most, while writing the least.

Start with a concise phrase that describes your profession.
Next, another concise phrase showing your broad or specialized

Make a few more concise statements to show the following:
- the full extent of your skill-set
- the variety of your skills
- diversity in your experience
- an accomplishment worth noting
- Anything remarkable about your accomplishments.


Professional achievements
Personal Characteristics worth noting
Concise statement to highlight professional objective.


In the Summary section of your resume, you can brag a little. In the Skills and
Accomplishments section you can brag a little more.

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This section will cap off all that qualifies you for your intended position. You will show
your prospective employer that there can be no other and the journey stops with YOU!

How do you do this best? You continue to show that you are the right one for the job by
going into better detail about all that you wrote of in your Summary section. This
requires careful wording so as not to be repetitious. If you can pull this off professionally,
using words that glow, you will have the attention you are looking for!

The most key point about writing this section is you are not going to inform. You are
going to highlight in more detail, what your prospective employer already believes to be
true about you as an ideal candidate.

The Purpose of your Skills and Accomplishments Section

Go into good detail about the following:

Any benchmarks or landmarks accomplished as the result of your unique

Using facts, figures and statistics, show how your best efforts showed the best

Your specific talents and unique gifts as related to your job.

All accomplishments that sets you apart.

To be most effective, you will use clear, crisp writing that sums up. You are going into
detail here, but not so much that this section reads like a story.

Key Point -- Write so that you give hints and not complete details. You want your
prospective employer to call you in for the interview to learn more! This is critical.


There are Three Basic Resume Formats

The three basic formats of resumes are: Chronological, Functional, and
Chronological/Functional combined.

The Chronological resume is the more structurally formatted of the three.

Experience section is the key.
Jobs are listed in detail.
No focus of skills or achievements at beginning of resume.
Used generally when remaining in same job or career.
Caters to conservative type positions.
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