Ask This When Writing a Resume and Cover Letter

One of the most important steps of the application process is drafting a resume and cover letter. These documents will determine whether an applicant receives an interview or is rejected for a position outright. Unfortunately, many job seekers do not know how to create resumes and cover letters that appear professional and properly sell their skills and experience to employers. Below are answers to a few questions that can help.


  1. AskThisWhen on July 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    What belongs in a resume?

    There are several things that are absolutely essential for a successful resume. First of all, there needs to be plainly visible contact information. This should include an accurate and current phone number, cell number, street address and e-mail address. You should also include a succinct and clear mission statement on what position you are trying to obtain at the company. This should be followed by a listing of information relevant to that position such as education, job history, professional certifications, skills and a short list of accomplishments directly related to the kind of work that you want to perform.

  2. AskThisWhen on July 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    What does not belong in a resume?

    Unfortunately, many people go beyond what should be included in a resume. Contact information should not include phone numbers or e-mails tied to a current employer. While you do want to include information on your employment history, skills and accomplishments, you should only include entries that are actually relevant. A part-time, minimum wage job you held before college is a good example of something that should be left out if you have other work experience. References should only be included if they are requested.

  3. AskThisWhen on July 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    What belongs in a cover letter?

    First, a cover letter must be addressed to a specific person. Find out who will read the application and include their first and last name as well as their job title. The cover letter should go more in depth than the resume in regards to what you know about the company, why you want to work there and what about your background makes you a good fit. The cover letter can repeat some of the information from the resume, but don’t be afraid to include information that you left out of the resume as long as it’s relevant.

  4. AskThisWhen on July 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    What does not belong in a cover letter?

    Sometimes applicants make the mistake of including personal anecdotes and stories in their cover letters. While these may be interesting, often times they have no relation to the company of position being applied for. Try to keep everything contained in your cover letter relevant. Avoid gimmicky attempts to “hook” the reader. Instead, focus on using the cover letter to highlight why you want the job and should be given the position. Also, much like your resume, you should be as succinct as possible while supplying the information most valuable to the hiring manager. Try not to ramble on and keep your cover letter to no longer than one page.

  5. AskThisWhen on July 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    What style choices are best for resumes and cover letters?

    Resumes and cover letters should be direct, succinct and easy to read. A cover letter should be one page long, and a resume should be one to two pages maximum. Avoid anything gimmicky. Use plain, white computer paper and stick to professional fonts like Times New Roman and Calibri. Font size should be 11 or 12 point. Also make sure you do not create a wall of text. Take advantage of paragraph breaks to break up the text and implement white space. Some white space on the page can make it easier for the reader’s eyes to find the important information included within the text.