One of the services I offer is cover letter writing. Many clients contact me and ask me to write both a resume and cover letter. I always tell them the same thing: I am happy to write a resume but let's wait until you are applying for a specific job or to a specific company to write that cover letter. Part of the reason for that is that the way I write cover letters is very customized. I need to learn about the person I am writing the cover letter for before I can create a really top notch document.
I write resumes for a living, so obviously, I am a big believer in the importance of job seekers having powerful and well written resumes. With that said, I have been amazed recently at some conversations I have had with folks who have strong resumes yet who aren't finding jobs. Remember that we are in a down-economy so every job seeker needs to be on his or her A-game or the job search will not be successful.
Once you embark upon a job search your resume, perhaps previously gathering dust in a file drawer, will become the most important document you own. Job seekers have a tendency to show everyone they know a copy of their resume; many of them seem to weigh each opinion equally and continuously edit the resume based on the most recent "great advice" they have been given.
Do you want to drive a recruiter or resume writer crazy? Then be sure and give long rambling monologues as answers to simple questions. Just like in the movie, "Dragnet", resume writers and recruiters are looking for. "Just the facts, ma'am".
I have worked with a lot of clients over the years and most of them tend to land jobs pretty quickly after they have a completed resume. But times are tough and it tends to take longer for almost anyone to find a job and when people don't find jobs as quickly as they would like they tend to second guess nearly every aspect of their job search.
I have been writing resumes for more than 20 years but I have only been doing it as a full time job for the past 4 years. The past 4 years as a business owner have been a huge learning experience for me. I think that working for big companies gives you a completely different view of the world, particularly if the companies are powerful and prestigious like most of my previous employers have been.
Here are a few things (good and bad) that I have learned from having my own service business:
Resumes are straightforward documents. They should list information that describes your education, the companies for which you have worked, what your jobs were, and what you accomplished in those jobs. In addition you can include lists of certifications, patents, affiliations, and board memberships. There are some variations on this formula but that is pretty much what a resume should contain. Do you know why?
Recently I was honored to have been chosen to be a featured entrepreneur in a book called "A Cup of Cappuccino for the Entrepreneur's Spirit Volume II" by Jeretta Horn Nord and Cindy Patterson Thompson. The book features the stories of 50 entrepreneurs and is intended to inspire and energize your entrepreneurial spirit.
To promote the book Cindy and Jeretta have been hosting book signings and panel discussions featuring the individual entrepreneurs whose stories were featured in the book at Barnes & Noble bookstores around the U.S. The NYC signing, in particular, was a huge success!
I will be a member of the panel discussion and book signing at the upcoming event here in Austin Texas on Saturday April 10th at 2 pm at the Barnes & Noble store in the Arboretum.
Did you know that Jeff Foxworthy is one of the most successful comedians of all time? His album, “You Might Be a Redneck If…” has sold millions of copies and inspired all sorts of similar comedy. Including this post.
So, in honor of the very funny Jeff Foxworthy, I would like to present, You Might Get a Rejection Letter If…
According to Merriam Webster dictionary the word gracious means "marked by kindness and courtesy; marked by tact and delicacy; characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding."