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Cover Letter For Dummies Ebook

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Practical tips and tricks for standing out from the crowd and getting the job you want

Applying for jobs in today's tight job market can seem like an overwhelming process. Competition is fierce and employers expect more than ever before from job applicants. With unemployment and redundancies rising, it's simply not a good time to be looking. So how do make yourself stand out? Writing Resumes and Cover Letters For Dummies, Second Australian & New Zealand Edition shows you how to catch a recruiter's attention. Presenting a wealth of sample resumes and cover letters, this handy, easy-to-use guide shows you how to write a killer cover letter, format your resume for online use, use social networking to your advantage, and tailor your resume and cover letters for specific positions and companies.

  • Designed specifically for job hunters in Australia and New Zealand
  • Offers practical tips and advice on crafting a great resume and a perfect cover letter for any kind of position
  • Includes advice on addressing government selection criteria
  • Features ten ways to turn off a recruiter and ten tips for the perfect presentation

No matter how tough the job market is, a great resume and cover letter combination will help you get the attention you deserve. Writing Resumes and Cover Letters For Dummies gives you all the tools and tips you need to get noticed-and get your dream job!

About the Author

Amanda McCarthy is an HR practitioner with experience in recruitment, job training and professional resume writing.

Kate Southam has specialised in employment for more than a decade, providing commentary to magazines, radio and television.

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Creating Resumes and Cover Letters 5

Chapter 1: Introducing the First-Rate Resume and Cover Letter 7

Chapter 2: Resume Formats to Fit You - and the Job 21

Part II: Designing a Dazzling Resume 37

Chapter 3: Creating the Contents 39

Chapter 4: Winning Words for Resumes 63

Chapter 5: Overcoming Resume Dilemmas 79

Chapter 6: Polishing to Perfection 105

Part III: Resume Relatives 117

Chapter 7: Writing a Winning Cover Letter 119

Chapter 8: Creating a Winning Social Media Profile 137

Chapter 9: Dealing with Online Applications and Supporting Documents 159

Part IV: Sampling from the Suite of Resumes 177

Chapter 10: A Sampling of Standout Resumes 179

Chapter 11: Resumes for School Leavers 197

Chapter 12: Graduating to the World of Work - Resumes for Graduates 213

Chapter 13: Applying for Government Positions 231

Part V: The Part of Tens 253

Chapter 14: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Turn Off a Recruitment Consultant 255

Chapter 15: Ten Tips for Perfect Presentation 263

Index 269

ISBN: 9780730307808
ISBN-10: 0730307808
Series: For Dummies
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 13th March 2014
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.7 x 14.0  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised

Writing Resumes & Cover Letters For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australian/New Zealand Edition)

From Writing Resumes and Cover Letters For Dummies - Australia / NZ, 2nd Australian and New Zealand Edition

By Amanda McCarthy, Kate Southam

Writing a resume can be daunting, especially if you haven’t written one in a while. In this new era of job searching and recruitment, you want your resume to stand out from the crowd. You need to know how to create a well-written, tailored resume that presents your work history in a way that appeals to employers so you can get that interview.

Mastering the Art of Resume Presentation

Resumes are scanned in a matter of seconds so ensuring your resume follows a clean and logical layout is a must if you’re to impress recruiters. Be consistent with the formatting, writing style and spacing you use throughout your resume to give it a professional look. Here are a few tips to help you create an attractive, easy-to-read document:

  • Use a common font like Times New Roman, Arial or Garamond.

  • Stick to 10–12 point font size for main text, slightly larger font for headings.

  • Be consistent — don’t mix fonts, heading sizes and so on.

  • Consider using bold for headlines rather than underline and bold.

  • Keep your resume uncluttered — use plenty of white space.

  • Use a professional-sounding email address, preferably your name.

  • List your employment history in reverse date order, so your most recent job appears first.

  • Use bullet points to list responsibilities and achievements.

  • Choose a simple layout that’s easy to read.

  • Include your name and mobile/email on each page in case pages get separated when printing.

  • Stick to using Word unless specifically asked to provide your resume in a PDF format.

7 Deadly Resume-Writing Sins

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to writing your resume. If you try to deceive employers and recruiters by fabricating or exaggerating your skills and experience, chances are you’ll be caught out. Keep it real. Avoid making these mistakes when you’re writing your resume:

  • Lying about your work experience

  • Using phony referees

  • Fudging employment dates

  • Faking or overstating your qualifications

  • Beefing up your job title and responsibilities

  • Exaggerating your achievements

  • Inflating your salary

Choose Persuasive Words for Your Resume

Write your resume using strong, powerful words that engage employers and recruiters and make them want to keep reading about you. Keep the language clear and professional, and use commonly used keywords to highlight your achievements in your industry. By using words from the job ad in your resume as well as industry terms, you stand a higher chance of getting shortlisted when either a human being or a piece of software first reads your resume.

Here are some tips on getting the language in your resume right:

  • Use strong descriptive words to outline your responsibilities and achievements, for example:

    • Capable

    • Competent

    • Delivered

    • Dynamic

    • Exceeded

    • Excelled

    • Experienced

    • Improved

    • Increased

    • Initiated

    • Positive

    • Qualified

    • Self-motivated

    • Significant

    • Strengths

  • Write in an active not a passive voice.

  • Spell out uncommon acronyms and abbreviations.

  • Leave out slang words and casual talk.

  • Avoid old-fashioned terms — keep up with the times.

10 Top Technology Tips for Resume Writing

Today’s job seekers need to know how to create a resume that can be sent by email and that can be easily opened by employers and recruiters:

  • Fill your resume with industry-specific keywords, so you don’t get overlooked in company databases.

  • Stick to file size limits.

  • Send your resume in the requested file format. For example, in Word. Note that some companies may prefer PDF or another format. When in doubt, always ask.

  • Use simple, plain fonts.

  • Avoid using graphics, photos, clip art or special characters — unless you’re applying for a creative role.

  • Scan your files regularly for viruses.

  • Limit resume posting to a few job sites to help you track your job hunting activity and to avoid applying for the same job more than once.

  • Keep track of the user names and passwords you use when registering on employment sites.

  • For advertised vacancies, put the job title and reference number in the subject line of the email.

  • Ensure the employment details you provide on your resume are consistent with those that can be found on your LinkedIn profile.

Avoiding Common Resume Blunders

If you want to write the perfect resume for recruiters you need to know what irritates them as they sift through piles of job applications. Here’s a list of resume mistakes that really irk recruiters:

  • Omitting contact details: This sounds like a no-brainer but always include your name, address, telephone numbers, email address and URL (if applicable) in your resume. List your contact details at the top of the page, so they stand out.

  • Putting in unnecessary personal details: Leave out information such as date of birth, marital status, gender and religion in your resume. This information is irrelevant and not job-related.

  • Telling all: Don’t divulge personal information in your resume. Nobody cares what your partner does, how many children you have, what schools they attend, the number of pets you own.

  • Using zany email addresses: Stick to using conservative email addresses that sound professional and incorporate your name.

  • Sending your resume off to the wrong person: This creates a bad impression and recruiters won’t take you or your resume seriously.

  • Including photographs: Photos shouldn’t be included with resumes in Australia and New Zealand; to do so will work against you.

  • Including salary information: Remuneration matters are best brought up in the interview.

  • Making typos and grammatical errors: Recruiters have zero tolerance for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Don’t rely solely on the spellchecker to catch errors.

  • Making your resume too long: Recruiters don’t want to read a novel. Limit your resume to two or three pages even if you’re in a senior role.

  • Attaching wads of paper: Only attach certificates and reference letters when requested.