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#1
Old 02-11-2006, 07:48 PM
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what's a GOOD General Resume Cvr Ltr

hoping to get plenty of your suggestions-- examples preferably!

thanks in advance
#2
Old 02-11-2006, 07:59 PM
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A good general resume/CV is one that is geared toward the job for which you are applying and has no spelling or grammar mistakes. A good cover letter is one that addresses the requirements for the job and lets a something of who you are show through.


Seriously, I know that's no help, but I'm in the final stages of a search committee where I work. The resumes and cover letters that stood out were the ones that weren't generic/general - the person told us up front how they were qualified for the position. The ones that were generic basically just told us that the person saw the ad and thought they'd apply - they didn't even necessarily read the job ad well.


If you're talking about a template for the layout, I find that the ones in the MS Word Resume Wizard work well - they can be customized to include specific sections relevant to you and the position you want. The type of position you're applying for as well as your employment history makes a difference in what your resume will look like.
#3
Old 02-11-2006, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsura
The resumes and cover letters that stood out were the ones that weren't generic/general - the person told us up front how they were qualified for the position. The ones that were generic basically just told us that the person saw the ad and thought they'd apply - they didn't even necessarily read the job ad well.
This feedback is much appreciated! I remember grabbing a recruiter's attention by doing the very thing you've suggested... I should remember what worked for me then, may work for me now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsura
If you're talking about a template for the layout, I find that the ones in the MS Word Resume Wizard work well - they can be customized to include specific sections relevant to you and the position you want. The type of position you're applying for as well as your employment history makes a difference in what your resume will look like.
I should take a look... a template might help to jumpstart my personalized cv letter.

Thank You!
#4
Old 02-12-2006, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsura
A good general resume/CV is one that is geared toward the job for which you are applying and has no spelling or grammar mistakes. snip and lets a something of who you are show through.
So, grammar counts? I'll assume spell checking does also. Mistakes never happen? Typos mean an unqualified candidate?

I know that you meant well, but by your standards, your post would be treated as unworthy. There's a fine line between a typo, and a person that presents themselves as being uneducated.

Just sayin'
#5
Old 02-12-2006, 12:41 AM
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My last post was maybe a bit crass. Lsura's remarks were right on.

Don't be generic, be honest. Make your goal something that the specific employer you're giving your resume to would find appealing and apt.

Sorry for being so terse Lsura.
#6
Old 02-12-2006, 12:48 AM
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You're darn tootin' grammar & spelling mistakes count.

When I was in charge of hiring, the resumes and cover letters with spelling mistakes went straight into the shredder.

We can sit here and discuss the unfairness of it all, but if someone can't take the time to ensure their resume is spelling mistake free, I don't want them.

It tells me they don't give a shit about how they present themselves, and I'm not interested in hiring someone like that.

There is no valid reason why someone might have a spelling mistake on their resume, not one! If you don't care enough to ensure you resume is error free, that tells me you are sloppy and careless, and I'm not interested in you.

There's the door, good-bye.
#7
Old 02-12-2006, 01:14 AM
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Who, Where:
Name
Address

Why
Brief, Clear, Concise Mission Statement: I want this job, doing this crap, preferably at your company...

Edjamokation
In most-recent to least-recent order, list your degrees and majors, and graduation dates, as well as certifications and non-degree stuff.

Degree
Place/Program
Date of Degree

Certification Credential
Place/Program
Date of Certification

Stuff I Can Do for You
List specific knowledge, Skills and Abilities that relate directly to your desired job. Be specific, and support your claims.

Work History
In most-recent to least-recent order, list your jobs. Explain any significant gaps in employment.

Stuff that goes on the bottom

Salary Requirements(*rarely included)
References available upon request(* don't include specific references)

Stuff to possibly include
Publication list...

Stuff to leave out
Personal Demographics
Religious Afiliations
Personal Hobbies

For a general brief microCV, restrict it to one page...no more than three pages in general.

And a good cover page is highly recommended, though I am too wasted and tired right now to lay one out...
#8
Old 02-12-2006, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnooman
So, grammar counts? I'll assume spell checking does also. Mistakes never happen? Typos mean an unqualified candidate?

I know that you meant well, but by your standards, your post would be treated as unworthy. There's a fine line between a typo, and a person that presents themselves as being uneducated.

You're right, though - I would probably toss out my resume if I was on a committee and saw that error on one that came across my desk. This is especially true when you have a lot of qualified applicants for a job. When a position needs to be filled, you can't interview every one who sends a resume in. That's why first we had to weed out the ones that didn't meet the minimum qualifications, then identify the applicants that stood out from what remained.

And dnooman pointed out the reason why I always have at least one person besides myself look over my resume before it goes out. I may not see the errors because I know what I intended to write, not necessarily what ended up on the paper.
#9
Old 02-12-2006, 07:32 AM
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If possible, try to find out who's likely to be reading the letter - if you can address it to them, rather than a generic "Dear sir/madam", it's a nice touch.

The covering letter is your way to get a foot in the door. They won't base the contents of an interview on it - that's what your CV/resume is for - but it's your chance to show them you read the advert properly and have prepared a case for why you're the person they're looking for. I agree that generic letters are bad, possibly worse than none at all.

Don't repeat the contents of your CV/resume in detail in the letter. You already have them listed separately there. Summarise the most salient points, the past jobs and skills that are directly relevant to this vacancy, and leave the rest out.

I don't know what the convention is in the US, but in my experience here in the UK I wouldn't include discussion of your current salary or expectations. That may just be a cultural point.

Oh, and the points already made in this thread about grammar and spelling are absolutely spot on. I recruit people who will be spending a lot of time writing reports to senior management. If they can't convince me that they have the basic skills necessary to do this well, they're much less likely to get an interview. It may seem harsh, but when it really doesn't take much effort to spell- and grammar-check a letter, or have a friend read it over, I don't think it's unreasonable.
#10
Old 02-12-2006, 10:32 AM
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IMHO (and I've done a fair amount of resume reviewing in my job), cerberus is describing the resume/CV itself, not the cover letter. I want no more than a few paragraphs in the letter itself -- it covers the resume, it doesn't reproduce it.

Be very specific about what it is about you in particular that makes you want -- and be qualified for -- this job in particular. This will probably involve your saying "see resume" a couple of times -- but the cover letter is about getting the person to read the resume. Bad cover letter, I don't even look at the resume.
#11
Old 02-12-2006, 02:10 PM
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There is no good "generic" cover letter. You will have to write a new one for each job you apply to- it's hard and thankless work. I keep an archive in a gmail folder of every cover letter I've ever sent out in case I see a job with that description again. But you will have to spend some time addressing specific qualifications.

The trick to these things is that you need to explain what you can bring to the company. They don't have any idea who you are and arn't going to bother to figure out how you can fit in. You have to tell them that- what you are and why they need someone like you.

Keep it short. Nobody is going to read more than a few paragraphs.
#12
Old 02-12-2006, 06:33 PM
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All of your comments are greatly appreciated. Considering the advice given, drafting my cover letter(s) should be easy... but even though I feel I am a great candidate for a particular position, I don't want to come across as over confident, which I've heard from others, is often a pitfall. from the hiring perspective. Any additional advice?

pace
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