College & Career

Take Your Resume & Cover Letter From Drab To Fab!

resume-cover-letter-drab-to-fabIt’s internship application season! That means it’s the time when your cover letters and resumes should be looking pristine and ready to impress. Recently at my job, I was tasked with assisting in the recruiting process for new interns as well as a full-time team member. I was absolutely shocked when I saw the quality of resumes and cover letters that were coming my way. Grammatical errors galore and lots of irrelevant information. Can you believe it?!

That is what inspired me to write up this post today. I am sure you all have amazing experience and are beyond capable of handling whatever internship or job you are applying for. However, if your resume and cover letter fail to impress then you can trust that your experience and talent will be worth ZERO.

So let’s get to it!

Take your COVER LETTER from drab to fab…

I can’t stress this enough. Keep it short. Cover letters are meant to serve as an introductionΒ of yourself and your resume, not a breakdown of yourself and your resume. When putting it together, be sure to answer these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What position are you applying for?
  • What makes you stand out from the other candidates? (This can alsoΒ be something on your resume that you want the recruiter to pay special attention to)

Cover letters should be around 3-4 short paragraphsΒ long and only feature the most relevant information for the position. If it has nothing to do with the position you are applying for, don’t include it.

When putting together a cover letter, always think about the person who will end up reading it. If the recruiter only has 30 seconds to look over both your cover letter and resume, will your key messages come across successfully?

Also, be sure to include updated contact information. An address is not necessary unless you live in 1995 and are applying by mail. Your full name, contact number, and professional email address is perfect.

Finally, a point I will continue to stress: PROOFREAD. Read it over, read it over again, ask someone else to read it… and then read it over again.

Taking your RESUME from drab to fab…

The perfect length for a resume is one full page. Use a professional font, like Times New Roman, in size 12. Use headings for each section with lists beneath them and make it as easy to read as possible! Reading your resume shouldn’t require an expertise in solving maze puzzles.

Keep it relevant! That perfect attendance award you won in your junior year of high school can take a back seat on this one. Both your resume and cover letters shouldn’t be the same with every application you send. Tweak them according to the jobs and companies you are applying to by including the information which will serve you best as a candidate.

Stick to the essentials. Your education, work experience, and any other relevant certifications, awards, or expertise is enough. Objectives, summaries, and being “proficient in Microsoft Office” can also take a back seat.

Finally, instead of simply listing your duties for each of your work positions, add value to them. If you had a job as a cashier, rather than saying you were “responsible for ringing up customers”, you can say you “demonstrated excellent customer service in a fast-paced retail environment.” This is especially helpful if you don’t have a lot of work experience in your desired field.

And just because I can’t drive this home enough… PROOFREAD!Β 

I would be more than happy to help you tweak your resumes or cover letters! Send them on over at nicole@glamorouslynicole.com and we can chat about taking them from drab to fab πŸ˜‰

Also, let me know in the comments what positions you currently have your eye on! Where are you currently in your internship or job search?

 

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25 Comments

  • Reply Jenny

    This is so helpful! I’ve never been good with this kind of thing.

    April 26, 2017 at 11:26 am
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      It’s hard stuff! It also doesn’t help that it’s the middle man between you and getting a job, you know? Haha

      April 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm
  • Reply Kaycee

    These are some great tips for resumes! Another thing I’ve heard about resumes is to get rid of the “Objective” section and replace it with “Professional Summary.” I’ve heard a professional summary showcases your talents and what you can bring to the company in a short paragraph, whereas objectives were more of a “why I want this job” sort of thing.

    April 26, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      That’s definitely a valid option! That can be where you really direct the recruiter to look where you want them to look πŸ˜‰

      April 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply John Mulindi

    Very informative tips. I do write on topics related to Resume writing, this article will be very helpful to me.

    April 26, 2017 at 5:14 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Thank you! Glad you liked it ☺️

      April 26, 2017 at 7:46 pm
  • Reply Kiara

    Couldn’t agree more with your tips on keeping everything short, sweet and simple! This definitely goes a long way when it comes to your cover letter. And I know resumes look very different in creative fields verses a non-creative field. So everyone will have a different look, but the core tips remain the same on relevancy and checking on proofreading.

    April 26, 2017 at 8:16 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Can’t go wrong with those main tips!

      April 26, 2017 at 10:37 pm
  • Reply Kristen

    These are all great tips girl! Proofreading your resume and cover letter is SO important! Even just a simple spelling mistake can make a huge difference for if you getting the interview. I actually wrote about this on my blog recently and offer Resume Editing & Writing services on my Etsy store to help other women ensure they have top-notch resumes πŸ™‚

    Kristen | http://www.sophisticatedgal.com/top-resume-mistakes-to-avoid/

    April 26, 2017 at 9:15 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      I agree! I am so turned off when I see a spelling or grammatical error, no matter how qualified they may be 😬

      April 26, 2017 at 10:38 pm
  • Reply Alexandra

    Great advice!! I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve helped with resumes and cover letters – proof reading is crucial and less is always more πŸ™‚

    xx
    Alex

    April 27, 2017 at 9:45 am
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Thanks! Can’t go wrong with proofreading and brevity πŸ˜‰

      April 27, 2017 at 9:58 am
  • Reply Safaniya Stevenson

    I feel like being a wordsmith has come in such handy as I update my resumes and cover letters. It’s so important to really jazz up what you say. Super informative! Great tips.

    April 27, 2017 at 2:52 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Absolutely! Having a way with words can be very helpful on a resume 😊

      April 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm
  • Reply Kristin Cook

    I struggle with cover letters. I always feel kind of awkward writing them. Thank you for the tips.

    April 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      I think alot of people struggle with not just making it a summary of their resume lol it can be a tricky thing!

      April 28, 2017 at 7:18 pm
  • Reply Michelle Paige

    This was so helpful! Now I really need to go update my resume!

    April 28, 2017 at 12:51 am
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Glad it helped! You go girl πŸ’•

      April 28, 2017 at 7:19 pm
  • Reply Janice | MostlyBlogging

    Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for the tips. I’m trying to make money blogging and may have to end up at sites where they require cover letters.
    Janice

    April 28, 2017 at 9:39 am
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Hope this helps then! Good luck on your journey 😊

      April 28, 2017 at 7:19 pm
  • Reply Yana

    Great post would love to have you as a guest on our site. We are about to start a series on changing your resume to a CV as you get ready to launch a global career. The advice in this article holds true domestically or abroad. Please do reach out if you are interested.

    April 29, 2017 at 12:33 am
  • Reply Elizabeth Johnson

    This is really great info! Proofreading is a must! I usually have at least two people read over my resume when I am sending it out.

    April 29, 2017 at 3:04 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Great idea! Glad you found it helpful 😊

      May 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Silvia

    These are all amazing tips! I’m currently revamping my resume and will use these!

    May 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm
    • Reply nicoledarosa

      Woohoo! Glad they will be of use 😊

      May 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm

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