It’s silly, but people do judge your character on your ability to write and format a cover letter and résumé. Keep yours from getting lost in the stack by following these simple tips from résumé guru Craig Cotich, the director of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Professional Editing track.
On writing cover letters: DO “Remember this slightly cheesy line: ‘Ask not what the company can do for you but what you can do for the company.’” DO write with “you-attitude,” by focusing on the reader’s potential benefits to hiring you, and DON’T use “I” sentences if they can be avoided.
On writing résumés: DO remember, “Neatness, accuracy, and attention to detail are essential.” People tend to focus on content that is at the beginning and the end of the page while ignoring the middle. So, you DON’T necessarily have to organize things in chronological order, but DO position the most impressive content at the beginning and the least important in the middle. DON’T leave big blank spaces on the page — instead, make sure you fill a whole page with content. Lastly, DO use active verbs when describing your work duties and DON’T use long phrases.
The best way to manage interview stress is with confidence in your abilities. These interview tips from Select Staffing’s Kylie Kelleher will give you the poise and courage you need to nail your next job interview. Most importantly, she advised, “Always be yourself, and never feel that your experience may not be enough …. There is always room to learn and grow. If an employer sees potential in you, they will be willing to train.”
DON’T brag about your experience. Instead, “discuss your work history in a professional manner as you are asked about it.” DO research the company ahead of time and “ask questions, [as it] makes you seem more interested than if you are quiet unless spoken to.” And “DON’T make the interview about yourself.”
“DO show up to all interviews in business professional attire, unless directed to do otherwise …. This shows you are taking it seriously.” Lastly, when it comes to those dreaded curveball questions that some employers throw out there “to get a sense of an applicant’s intellect and ability to handle situations that may not be in their day-to-day job description,” DO “stay calm and focus on not going off the topic of the question being asked.”