Ten Ways to Ensure Your Resume and Cover Letter are Absolutely Flawless

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression". The first impression you make with a potential employer is through your resume and cover letter. The following are 10 ways to ensure your resume and cover letter are absolutely flawless, so that first impression can be perfect:

1. Use the right information. This seems simple, but you wouldn't believe how many people send cover letters addressed to the wrong people and talking about a different position or even a different company. If you're reusing a cover letter, be sure you change all of this information to the information associated with the correct company.

2. Put it aside. Before you send off your resume and cover letter, set them aside for at least a day. Come back with a fresh set of eyes before you begin the proofreading process.

3. Print it out. Print out a hard copy of both your resume and cover letter. Take them into another room to read. This will provide a different perspective and help you spot errors you may have missed on your computer screen.

4. Get help from a friend. Ask at least one friend to read through your resume and cover letter to catch typographical errors and give you feedback. Of course, be sure to select a friend with superior writing skills.

5. Read your resume out loud. Reading your resume and cover letter out loud will help you hear how your words flow together. Modify any awkward sentences, so that your message is easier to understand.

6. Check for consistency. Write in the past tense for all descriptions of jobs you've held except your current position. Double-check that you haven't slipped in and out of the past tense in your writing, especially if this is a resume you've added to over the years.

7. Make sure your cover letter is relevant. Compare your cover letter to the job description. Do you use some, if not all, of the keywords the employer is looking for from a candidate? If so, you're on the right track! If not, edit your cover letter so that the employer immediately knows that you have the skills he or she is looking for.

8. Edit as you go. You may be tempted to read entirely through your resume and cover letter and then make your changes. That can lead to errors. Make your edits as you go, so you don't forget about them.

9. Double-check your layout. An employer may receive hundreds of resumes for a single position. Make sure the layout of your resume is easy to read and clearly highlights the skills and experience the employer desires.

10. Walk away again. Once you've edited your resume and cover letter and think that they're perfect, walk away again before sending them. Give them a few hours -- preferably overnight -- and then review what you have written to make sure it is absolutely flawless.

Ten Ways to Ensure Your Resume and Cover Letter are Absolutely Flawless Ten Ways to Ensure Your Resume and Cover Letter are Absolutely Flawless Reviewed by Sandipan Chakraborty on November 10, 2011 Rating: 5

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