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Salt Lake City Resume Writing Services – “I approached the career center because I wanted someone to look at my resume and cover letter. I got a lot of help and useful feedback. I brought my revised resume to my next interview and got the job. My boss told me that my resume was part of why I was hired because it showed him that I had the professionalism and attention to detail that he was looking for. I am very grateful that this resource was available to me even though I had already graduated.”
The quality of your professional documents can get you in the door for an interview—or get you overlooked. Read below to learn what impresses employers and makes you stand out in your resume, cover letter, and reference list. All three are important, so make sure you write them all down. You can also download this information as a PDF packet
Table Of Contents
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The goal of a resume is to get you an interview. All information and formatting should serve that purpose. Check out each section below for details on how to make your resume shine!
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Note: Make sure you connect with people in the organization—if you just submit a resume online, 95% of the time you won’t hear back (Burnett & Evans, 2016, p. 129; Dalton, 2012, p. 3). . For more information on job searching and networking, see How to Job Search Effectively.
Unless you’re a word-processing wizard, it can be helpful to start with a template. Unfortunately, many of the resume templates you’ll find aren’t very helpful. Below is a clean, professional template that highlights what employers want to see. Make sure you know your industry before choosing to make your resume more visually appealing.
Note: If you are applying to work as a graphic designer, artist, or marketer, you will need to format your resume to showcase your artistic/design skills.
Below is an effective resume sample. Be sure to keep reading each section to learn how to make your resume stand out to employers.
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Give the employer your name and contact information clearly at the top of the page. Note that the headings on your resume, cover letter, and reference list should be the same.
Your name should be big and bold. If you want to be known by a nickname, you can put it in brackets like this: Victoria (Tori) Johnson.
The summary section is your best chance to grab the employer’s attention by highlighting why you are right for the job. In 4-6 bullet points, summarize your qualifications and characteristics as they relate to the specific job for which you are applying.
Note: Do not use an objective statement! These are redundant (they already know your objective is to get a job with them) and date back to at least 2008.
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In the first line you should give a job title related to the industry and state how much experience you have in that field.
If you’re applying for a specific position that you saw in a job ad, target your resume directly to the keywords and qualifications in the job ad. If you are applying for a job that is not listed (remember that 80% of jobs are unlisted — see the “Find Specific Jobs” section of this page for details), read the job ads and submit your resume to the employer or Target the industry. Read what you want, the organization’s About page, and the LinkedIn profiles of people who work in the industry.
You can list your education section first or your experience section first; Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and think about which would be more effective for them to look at first.
Note that you should not enter your start date for education. List only the month and year you graduated or expect to graduate. You don’t even need to write “estimated graduation date”—if the date is in the future, it’s clear to the employer that you’ll graduate then.
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The way you talk about your experience on your resume can make or break an employer. Consider the following three statements—if you were an employer looking at the resume, which one would impress you the most?
Statement 1 lists only one task and does not show why that task was important. Statement 3 focuses on outcomes! By doing so, statement 3 clearly shows the next employer that this person has valuable experience and achieves excellent results.
If you are having trouble writing an achievement statement using the PARQ rule, it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
Volunteer/unpaid work is still experience! The employer doesn’t care if you’re paid in dollars or hot fudges; They take care that you can work with a team and achieve great results. Additionally, adding volunteer/unpaid experiences can help demonstrate that:
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Here are some examples of things you should include: sports team captain, club treasurer, missionary, community event organizer, Sunday school teacher, tech support for your uncle’s business, soup kitchen volunteer. Note that if you are concerned about discrimination, you can list the church service under other names, such as volunteer teacher, humanitarian volunteer, etc.
The format for each of your experiences (paid or unpaid/volunteer) is very similar to your education experience, except that you will list your start and end dates. Note that “current” is not a date! If you are still working, write “Present”.
Format your work experience (paid or unpaid/volunteer) as follows, with position title first (not company first):
Limit your resume sections to title, summary, education, and experience—unless you need to include something that doesn’t fit logically anywhere, and you’re confident that including a section will get you an interview. will help in This may include specialized training, memberships, languages, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, etc. (note that volunteer work should generally go under the “experience” section).
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When you apply for a job, including a cover letter shows that you are professional and thoughtful. This gives the employer a little more information about why you want that particular job and how you will benefit them.
Below is a clean, professional template that highlights what employers want to see, and that matches the resume template.
When there is no place to upload a cover letter, you can combine your resume, cover letter, and reference list into one PDF, but they must still be formatted as three separate pages. .
Explain why you are writing. State the position you are applying for and how you found out about it. Find company-specific information and match it to your interests.
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At a community gathering two weeks ago, I spoke with Bob Anderson, director of Monticello Insurance Solutions. After discussing my diverse experience as a claims analyst, he encouraged me to apply for the open position as a claims analyst supervisor. Based on providing excellent customer service and a family-friendly work environment, I am excited to apply for this position, and feel I would be a great fit for your team.
Explain why you are a unique and strong candidate for the position. Use the qualifications and duties section of the job ad as your guide to target your information. Remember, the employer will look at your resume further, so don’t just repeat what they see in your resume. Keep this section brief (same for the entire letter—no more than one page total) highlighting your skills, experiences, characteristics, and/or accomplishments that make you a good candidate for the job.
I have two years of experience as a Claims Analyst, progressing from Summer Intern to Claims Analyst I during this time. My experience is diverse, allowing me to work in a variety of insurance and claims processes including claims analysis, fraud, risk management, training and development, claims management, claims auditing, field auditing, and many more. is found The quality of my work is evident by my appointment as a mentor/trainer to others in my unit within a year of becoming Claims Analyst I. I pride myself on quality work and leadership as evidenced by my 100% on time reporting and compliance rating. .
Thank you for taking the time to consider my resume. I am readily available for an interview and look forward to hearing from you.
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I hope you will carefully consider my attached resume as I am excited about the prospect of bringing my enthusiasm for claims to a quality team like Monticello Insurance Solutions. Thank you for considering me for this position. I am readily available for an interview and hope to hear from you soon.
Leave a space below the final paragraph, then type “Sincerely,” leaving just enough room to write your signature. Below the signature space, type your full name (as you listed it in the header).
Since this is a formal letter, it will look completely awkward and unprofessional if you don’t sign it. There are several ways to get signatures on your cover letter, including:
Including a reference list with your application is a great way to connect employers with people who are influenced by your work and will advocate.
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