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Create Killer Resumes and Cover Letters

Your cover letter and resume are two of the most powerful tools in your career arsenal, but many people don't understand how to use them effectively. Both are designed to sell you to an employer; they are your first chance to show a potential employer all the reasons you are perfect for the job they need to fill.

Write a Killer Cover Letter

The cover letter is your tool to get you in the front of the hiring pack. A well-written, targeted cover letter impresses hiring managers and substantially increases your chances of getting an interview. To create a killer cover letter you must follow a few simple tips:

Tip 1: Research the position you are applying for. The more you know about the position and what the employer is looking for in a candidate, the better targeted your letter will be. Investigate your prospective employer through the Internet, annual reports, newsletters, or by talking to other professionals.

Tip 2: Never use a generic cover letter with only: "To Whom It May Concern." Try to find out the name of the hiring official or at least his/her title. When you can't get a name, use Dear Recruiter, Dear Hiring Manager, or Dear Sir/Madam.

Tip 3: Tell them why you would be the perfect person for the position. Highlight your experience and/or education that relate directly to the position. Elaborate on qualifications that are not in your resume but pertain to the position.

Tip 4: Explain how you could fill the company's needs. If you've done your research, you know what they need. Let them know that you understand what they need and are ready to help.

Tip 5: Don't repeat your resume-elaborate on it. Give concrete examples of what you have accomplished.

Tip 6: Drop names. If you know someone in the organization, don't be afraid to say so.

Tip 7: Always start your cover letter with an introduction and explanation of why you are writing. Include which position you are applying for and how you learned about it.

Tip 8: Get into the driver's seat. Conclude your letter by indicating what you want- an interview. If you are comfortable, inform them that you will be contacting them in a few days to set up an interview. Then, actually call them in a few days.

Tip 9: Check for typos and grammar mistakes. Get someone else with fresh eyes to read your cover letter for clarity and content.

Create a Killer Resume

To write a killer resume you must first understand its purpose. A resume is your first, and most important, opportunity to sell yourself. It is an advertisement created to entice employers to learn more about you. Thus, it must be well crafted- including only the information most important to your career goals.

The five biggest resume pitfalls:

1. Spelling Errors, Typos and Poor Grammar - Nothing will disqualify you faster for a position than to have a resume full of errors. Remember, this is a recruiter's first impression of you. Why would they hire someone who makes mistakes?

Don't depend on spell check! "Manger" is a correctly spelled word, but it means something very different from "manager." Get someone to read over your resume. Also, pay close attention to the spelling of acronyms and buzz words in your specialty.

2. Inaccurate or Missing Information - Do not lie on your resume! Believe it or not, recruiters do check the facts of your resume. Don't forget to include your correct contact information. If a recruiter can't contact you, they will move onto another candidate. Don't exclude dates in your work history -especially when hiding gaps in your work experience. Recruiters will think you are trying to hide something. Display the dates and explain the gaps in your cover letter.

3. Too Duty-Oriented
Job seekers often focus too much on job descriptions and unit/company accomplishments. Don't describe your previous positions-instead highlight your accomplishments in that position. Employers don't need to be explained what NICU nurse is. They need to know what you did as one.
Show your achievement, accomplishments, and goals in direct statements (i.e., Managed 30-bed critical care nursing unit with a staff of 20 nurses.)

4. Poor Formatting
Different typefaces and boxes can be confusing to recruiters, especially if the resume has been scanned by computer software. Recruiters prefer plain text resumes with simple designs.
Fortunately, our resume builder will format your resume for you. (hyperlinked to resume builder if they are member&or become a member page if they are not)

5. Long Resumes
Recruiters don't have time to read long resumes. If you write a great resume then you will get to elaborate on everything at the interview. Focus on the skills and accomplishments that directly apply to the job you want to be offered. You can save up to five resumes in your account, so create different resumes for specific jobs.

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