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Resume/Cover Letter Question?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK....do I really need a cover letter?

Also....I put "references avaliable upon request"....was that right?

And....I put my volunteer work at the local HS...but I was paid for some work as well.....sporadically....how do I put that on there? Or should I not?

And what should I put for objective?


Sorry....first real resume I've sent out! I want to do it right...wishful thinking that I might get the job, but it's worth a try, right?
post #2 of 18
the bad news is yes you need a cover letter or several I have like three depending on what type of job i apply for .

i do normaly put references avaliable upon request.
You want to cover in short of way as you can any experince that relates to the job, if your volunteer work applies to the job you are going for yep, put it , you can as something like, For the high school i was both a volunteer and later paid for the work i did, You can name the job you did for them,

The volunteer work can also be used to show that you can be counted on.

sure, if you have one, it is normally not a bad idea
post #3 of 18
I work in a corporate building and a large part of my job all day every day staffing around the US, I work with and view resumes every day.
The Recruiters and I are much too busy to look at cover letters. They don't get much attention, if any at all for the majority of my positions and my co-workers.
In general, unless you are going for 100K and over jobs, or maybe a very very small business, cover letters honestly are wastes of time.
And now days, the phrase “references upon request” just takes up valuable space. It is redundant in a way. You don't even have to put the references or that statement, they are both outdated.

Our process does include references, however, those are not a factor until later in the process and we ask for them personally.

As far as high school stuff, I would opt to leave those type of things off, or put it under hobbies without dates, unless you are an entry level applicant and don't have much work history. If that is the case, you should include your volunteer work and think of action verbs to say about the work.

I just read that wrong! Edit….okay - new answer. I would put the volunteer work under hobbies or just leave it off depending upon the rest of your resume, or if you have very little work history, I would put it in work history and don't call it volunteer (since you did get paid occasionally) and then you could also include in hobbies volunteer work since most of it was volunteer work. This is up to you and will vary with your personal situation. Some people put hobbies, other's don't. It just varies.
And objective....well, what ARE you looking for? This should be a short easy to read concise statement that tells someone what you are looking for:
For example: Seeking a (full/part) time position in (select your target position) at (enter company, department, etc.)
I can't really help since I don't know your personal stuff; your objective should be individualized and more stand out than the simple bare bones I listed.
Go online and look at samples. That might help spark your personal objective.
Good luck!!!
post #4 of 18
lol that is the not so fun part, these days,
everyone and every person you talk to has different rules or ways they like, these things done
post #5 of 18
I had someone yesterday leave out 10 years of applicable work history b/c he thought the resume was only suppose to be ONE page!
Someone recommended him though, but based only upon his resume, he wouldn't have met the requirements for an interview for the position.

That is also very outdated. Resumes are a possible ticket in to interview. Two pages is just fine and honestly very normal.
post #6 of 18
wcl, you didn't mention what type of position you were going for. The relevancey of a cover letter, and listing hobbies/organizations, etc. is usually dependent on job position, company size and who might read the resume/letter.

Is it a big company that will rip away the cover letter and just OCR scan the resume to be sorted for keywords? Or is it a small company where the prospective boss will read the resume and conduct the interviews?

If large to mid-sized company, using similar keywords from a job advertisement in the resume/cover letter can't hurt.

If it is a small company, I would recommend a cover letter describing how you heard about the open position and a sentence or two explaining why your experience qualifies you.


EDIT: Oh, and make sure they know you've got 42 awards there in your user profile!
post #7 of 18
Have you thought about an employment agency? They will help you with resumes and prepping for interviews. The ones down here seem to specialize in different areas, which can give you access to more opportunities. And many employers will pay the fees.

My husband was looking for a job when his company was bought out almost two years ago. The agency had him make a list of every person he knew personally or from work. He was told to contact them and ask them to keep their eyes open. Many of them ask for a copy of his resume and sent it to other people. Three of his contacts actually recommended him for the same job, which he eventually took.

My sons took advantage of their college employment services. Their resumes were posted online - after they helped them write them.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
I work in a corporate building and a large part of my job all day every day staffing around the US, I work with and view resumes every day.
The Recruiters and I are much too busy to look at cover letters. They don't get much attention, if any at all for the majority of my positions and my co-workers.
In general, unless you are going for 100K and over jobs, or maybe a very very small business, cover letters honestly are wastes of time.
Interesting, although I completely disagree. With MY experience as a recruiter, cover letters can make a candidate stand out. For instance, a poorly written cover letter will find the resume not even getting looked at. But a well written cover letter will bring attention to a resume and give it more credibility.

In interviewing as a job candidate myself, I have been complemented on my cover letters often and the feedback I have received is that they were impressed because many people do not write them anymore. Personally, I think it just shows you are going the extra mile and shows more professionalism. Anyone can blast out resumes, but a cover letter needs to be tweaked a little for each position and takes time. To me, it shows interest in the position and company, rather than just blasting out a resume to anyone and everyone. Anything you can do to stand out from the competition.

I can PM you some examples if you want.

Also, "Dear Sir/Madam" is no longer used - if you do not know the name of the person, (oftentimes I will call and find out so I can address it correctly) you can use "Dear Hiring Manager". Anyone remember the tv commercial from a few years back with the guy writing his resume and he sends out like a 1000 copies and his wife reads the cover letter out loud and it says "Dear Sir/Madman." That still cracks me up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
And now days, the phrase “references upon request†just takes up valuable space. It is redundant in a way. You don't even have to put the references or that statement, they are both outdated.

Our process does include references, however, those are not a factor until later in the process and we ask for them personally.
I totally agree here, it is like "well, DUH." Of course if they ask for references you will give them - it is a waste of space on a resume and completely unnecessary.

As for an Objective - there are different schools of thought on using one versus not. Also it depends on the level of position you are aplying for. Here is a website you can look at to get more info:
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/worksh...objective.html

And most importantly, GOOD LUCK!!
post #9 of 18
There are many ways of doing this and different companies have different policies. But a cover letter and a resume have two different functions. A cover letter explains why you want the particular job with this company - in it you can briefly point to the relevant experience/qualities in your resume, and your objectives, and what you can offer the company. Your resume gives all your educational and work history. The cover letter should never be more than one page, while the resume can be more, though should be kept as short as possible. The purpose of your cover letter is only to get the interview and the resume will only be scanned briefly at this stage, by most companies.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK. I'm applying for a p/t position in a small bank. It must be a "chain bank" because I'm sending my application not to the bank, to a recruiting manager. And I live in a rural area, if that makes any difference.
post #11 of 18
What I learned from my seminar classes at ILCC, is that you should always use a CL, and I always put my references on there too. I can send you a copy of mine if you want, but I just think a CL makes it look a bit more professional.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Drat I should call Joni! I'll have to make up a CL. I want this to go out in the mail by 4pm tonight....so I gotta get going!
post #13 of 18
Since this is you're first "official" job, write the cover letter. Talk about your experience that pertains to the position, how much you would like to work for the company (check out their About Us section on the web site for company information) and basically smooze and tell them how great you'll be to work for them.

Once you get an official job, then the cover letter is a toss up. If you have a solid objective on your resume, such as

To work for your company/bank/place of business as a teller utilizing my skills in 1, 2, 3 and grow within your company.

That's still a little generic, but it gets the point across. In that scenerio then you don't need a cover letter.

However if you don't have a specific objective, you want to leave it generic, then use a cover letter that basically sells yourself for the person to read the next part: Your resume!
post #14 of 18
#1....Yes yes yes send a cover letter...but keep it short! I preach that morning noon and night to my students (I teach clerical skills and also job seeking skills)

#2....Most people and by people I mean 'experts and hr people!' are now saying NOT to use an objective. I still do on occasion, but the trend of thinking is that it can deter readers. Use your cover letter to state your objective, which is exactly whatever they are advertising for! Immagine that!

#3....Deffinatley put volunteer work...someone who is willing to give their time for nothing (meaning money becuase money is everything... ) is worth something. It shows character.


I suggest visiting about.com and reading up. You can sign up for newsletters and tips of the day related to job searching and resume writing/cover letters/etc. They have some pretty good articles and links to examples.

Another piece of advice, never forget to send a thank-you letter after an interview!
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
OK. I'm applying for a p/t position in a small bank. It must be a "chain bank" because I'm sending my application not to the bank, to a recruiting manager. And I live in a rural area, if that makes any difference.
What position are you going for?
My bank never read my cover letter. I noticed that if it isn't a supervisory position they don't read it but toss it aside.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
OK....do I really need a cover letter?

Also....I put "references avaliable upon request"....was that right?

And....I put my volunteer work at the local HS...but I was paid for some work as well.....sporadically....how do I put that on there? Or should I not?

And what should I put for objective?


Sorry....first real resume I've sent out! I want to do it right...wishful thinking that I might get the job, but it's worth a try, right?
Here's my input:

I don't put cover letters unless it's a HUGE IMPORTANT job with a big company. If it's just a small company that I'm trying to hired onto then I just give them a resume. But if you really really want to impress them- just put a cover letter!

Yes, I feel what you did with the references is correct.

1 thing you could do is bring a folder to the interview and in there put: resume, references, any letters of recommendation, certificates, etc. That way IF they ask for any of these things- your prepared!

As for the volunteer work I would just leave that as volunteer work

Objective: I would put something along the lines of: Looking for the opportunity to fill your position as _______ and grow with the company!

Let us know how it goes good luck!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've mailed it already. Just forgot to post that here.
post #18 of 18
LOL. That's ok... maybe someday in the future someone will come across this thread when they are getting ready to do their own resume. LOL. Good luck, and keep us updated silly!
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