Outrageous Résumé Lies

Résumés are a critical part of any job search. They are the most effective marketing tool any of us have about who we are and what we can do. And all of us want our résumé to be the best possible representation of our work.
But some workers turn their résumés into a work of fiction instead of a representation of fact.  A CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers looked at the tall tales and bold lies job seekers have constructed on their résumés.

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Here are the hiring managers' most outrageous whoppers...

1. Candidate claimed to be a member of the Kennedy family
2. Applicant invented a school that did not exist
3. Job seeker submitted a résumé with someone else's photo inserted into the document
4. Candidate claimed to be a member of Mensa
5. Applicant claimed to have worked for the hiring manager before, but never had
6. Job seeker claimed to be the CEO of a company when he was an hourly employee
7. Candidate listed military experience dating back to before he was born
8. Job seeker included samples of work, which were actually those of the interviewer
9. Candidate claimed to have been a professional baseball player
Modifying your résumé is a lot like airbrushing a photo, and many of us may have made minor tweaks to our résumés. You may have revised a job title that sounded uninspiring or omitted a hellish work experience from your list.
But there's a line between bending the truth and outright deception. According to the CareerBuilder.com survey, these were the most common falsehood told on a résumé:
·         38 percent of those surveyed indicated they had embellished their job responsibilities
·         18 percent admitted to lying about their skill set
·         12 percent indicated they had been dishonest about their start and end dates of employment
·         10 percent confessed to lying about an academic degree
·         7 percent said they had lied about the companies they had worked for
·         5 percent disclosed that they had been untruthful about their job title
Do these lies work? In most cases, no. Most companies disqualified candidates after discovering their dishonest. Thirty-six percent still considered the candidate, but ultimately passed on hiring them. Six percent of hiring managers overlooked the "flawed résumé" and hired the applicant anyway.
The survey also found some industries seemed to be more likely to have incidences of résumé fabrication. The industry reporting the most deceit was hospitality, with 60 percent of employers reporting they found lies on résumés.  The transportation/utilities field and information technology followed close behind with 59 percent and 57 percent of hiring managers respectively. The industry with the fewest liars: government at 45 percent.
How do you make a résumé stand out without resorting to ? What can you do to be attention-getting for the right reasons? Here are some recommendations.
Be the first in line. One-in-five employers said they are receiving more résumés this year than last year.  A good way to break out from the crowd is to be the first one in line. Sign up for e-mail alerts and perform daily searches for jobs in a specific field or industry.
Use keywords. Many hiring managers and HR departments are using new technology to review job candidates. Applicant tracking systems scan résumés and provide the managers with a ranking based on keywords in the document.
Among the terms employers searched for most often: "problem-solving and decision making skills," "oral and written communication," "customer service," "retention," "performance" and "productivity improvement," "leadership," "technology," "team-building,"  "project management" and "bilingual."
Stand out. Many of the hiring managers (43 percent) said that they spend a minute or less looking at résumés. Think of your résumé as a written audition. You have a limited window of opportunity to have the attention of the hiring manager, so make the most of it. Focus on specific accomplishments and tangible, positive results that you achieved at previous jobs.
Be honest. If you have a gap in employment periods, explain why. Mention any volunteer work you did or classes you took at these times to show that your skill set is still current and highlight what you have accomplished. People often forget to include volunteer work, part-time jobs and freelance work in a résumé, even though that work is often relevant to your career path. If you did not complete a degree, do not claim that you did; college and university attendance is easy to verify.  List graduation date, the time frame you attended any institutions and major. 

Are Employers Looking at Your Résumé?

5 ways to make it stand out.
With a record 12.5 million people unemployed in today's labor market, it's apparent that now, more than ever before, the people looking for employment must work even harder to ensure that they stand out to employers through their applications.
Nearly 25 percent of human resource managers said on average, they receive more than 75 résumés for each open position and 42 percent receive more than 50 résumés per position, according to a nationwide survey released in March 2009 by CareerBuilder. The majority of these managers say that at least half of those résumés are from unqualified candidates.
With that type of pressure and competition, the question becomes, how will you stand out among the masses? The answer is simple: through your résumé.
If crafted effectively, your résumé is perhaps the most valuable marketing tool you've got. After all, in a matter of seconds, its contents can make or break your chances of landing an interview. Thirty-eight percent of human resource managers say they spend one to two minutes reviewing a new application, while 17 percent spend less than one minute, according to the survey.

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5 tips to make your résumé stand out.Now that you know you have approximately 60 seconds to impress an employer, you had better make sure that your résumé is the best possible representation of you and your achievements.

Here are five tips to help you produce an effective résumé.

1. Include a career summary at the top of your résumé You only have a matter of seconds -- a minute if you're lucky -- to impress a human resource or hiring manager with your résumé. Don't make him search for the important material. Including a career summary at the top will give managers an immediate snapshot of your skills and accomplishments.
2. Keep it up-to-dateNo matter the state of the economy, you should always have a recent résumé and portfolio on hand. Fifty percent of the 8,038 employees surveyed by CareerBuilder.com said their résumés aren't up to date. Any time your responsibilities increase or you accomplish something significant, update your résumé with that information. You never know when you'll need to produce a current résumé.
3. Incorporate keywordsTracking systems are becoming increasingly popular to screen and weed out unqualified candidates. In fact, 51 percent of human resource managers report using them in the hiring process. To avoid the discard pile, integrate keywords from the job posting into your résumé. Doing so will heighten your chances of showing up near the top of the employer's ranking of the most relevant candidates.
4. Use a functional résumé Almost every major industry is experiencing mass layoffs. That being said, many job seekers are looking for work in new industries and professions where they might not have much experience. Listing your experience by skill categories rather than chronologically shows employers the proficiencies you possess rather than those you lack.
5. Include all relevant experienceWhether you're expanding your job search to a new industry or you're a new college graduate, you might not have the necessary experience to land that job you want. Make sure you're including all pertinent experience on your résumé. Volunteer work, leadership roles or community involvement are all areas most employers consider to be relevant experience.
Now what?Now that you've incorporated these five tips into your résumé, the worst thing you can do is send a generic copy out to the masses while you sit on your couch and pray for a response.
Be proactive with your résumé and take advantage of the tools available to you. On job boards like CareerBuilder.com, for example, you can use resources like cbResume, cbResumeDirect and Resume Upgrade, all of which can increase your visibility to employers. Additionally, you should utilize social networking sites to host your application materials, as well as target your résumé to the company where you're applying.
Taking advantage of all the resources at your disposal will help ensure that your résumé stands out among the masses.

Source: careerbuilder

Generic job application? You can still sparkle

I remember looking for a job during summer break from college. I went through the arduous task of filling out hundreds of job applications, providing every scrap of information about my educational background and work experience and racking my brain for phone numbers and addresses (why do they need these?) of my references.

At the time, I didn't really have enough experience to create an impressive résumé, but I would print out a bunch of copies and bring them with me anyway.

Even when asked to play by the rules, you can use them to your advantage. Why yes, dear company, I'll fill out your four-page application, but as a result you will take my résumé.

Aside from rule-breaking, how can you stand out on a generic job application? Let's just clear up any confusion that using neon colored pens or Lisa Frank stickers are acceptable beyond the fourth grade. They are not. Blue or black ink only and absolutely no stickers, no matter how cool they are.
Even as I tell that story, you might say, "How dated. No one has paper applications anymore." You would, for the most part, be right. Employers today want you to go online to fill out an application. Even your local grocery store will point you toward a self-serve application kiosk if you are looking for work. Paper or not, generic applications usually ask for the same information, with some variation based on the industry or type of position. Usually they want to know your availability, experience, skills and qualifications in list form and references.

Sometimes you'll get those painfully long personality surveys, which I never seem to master, regardless of how I answer the questions. Let it be said I applied to a very well-known coffee shop and answered that survey in every way possible -- honestly, not honestly, what I thought they wanted to hear, etc. Never worked. It was not in the stars for me to become a barista, apparently. I digress ...
So how can you stand out on these applications? Well, here are some basics that will expedite and improve how you fill one out:

  • Take your time. Don't just slop it together or act put out to be filling it out. I would always prepare a sheet that I could essentially lift information off of for the application, because I have a horrible memory and don't remember who my boss was at job No. 3, or what his extension was. If you sum it all up and have that with you, the process will go faster. But it's still not a reason to just rush through it.

  • Keep it readable. Know how to spell all of the words you are using and just print -- no cursive, thank you.

  • Stick with the facts. Get all your dates in line and don't fudge around with your compensation, employment gaps, criminal background, etc.

  • The optional cover letter is not an option. Write it, explain anything from the above bullet point and start talking yourself up as you do in a résumé. Focus less on tasks and more on the results that you brought to your previous work experiences.

  • Notify your references. As a show of courtesy, let your references know that you're applying for a new job and that they may be contacted about it. Never pull a reference out of a hat, and always ask for permission first.

Also, many employers will now allow you to upload a résumé, and if given the opportunity, you should. Here are 10 tips on making your résumé stand out from the rest, as well as tips on how to get personal referrals in case you're applying with a company that a friend or family member may already work for. Because most systems are now pulling against keywords, it's important to use the best terms in your cover letter, résumé and application.

After you've applied, the follow-up dance begins. Here are some tips on proper follow-up etiquette.
  • Follow up after a week or two to confirm that the hiring manager has received your application or résumé and to see where the company is in the hiring process. Keep the communication short and to the point.  

  • If you land an interview, send an email thank-you note within 24 hours, highlighting key attributes that make you the right fit for the position. If you can, send a mailed thank-you note as well.

  • If you haven't heard back, wait about 10 business days after the interview to check in with the hiring manager on the job status.

Source: careerbuilder

20 unusual résumé tactics to avoid

Are you a polite, non-smoker with three pets whose interests include barbequing, picnics and long walks on the beach? If you've ever considered including these personal details on a résumé or the fact that your special skills include making organic soups and calling the weekly Bingo game at your local VFW, then you might need to rethink your job search. In a competitive job market, creating a clear and concise résumé is extremely important if you want to land that first interview. Many job postings elicit hundreds of applications for a single opening, so even making it to the first step of the interview process can be a significant feat.  

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Unfortunately, in the midst of searching for the perfect opening, creating a customized cover letter, updating their résumé and filling out an application, some job seekers lose sight of the task at hand and forget that clarity and simplicity are key when trying to catch a recruiter or hiring manager's eye. The annual CareerBuilder survey shows that job seekers don't have a lot of time to make a positive impression on employers. In fact, 45 percent of human resource managers say they spend, on average, less than one minute reviewing an application. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from May 19 to June 8, 2011, included more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals. When asked to recall the most unusual résumés they have received, employers shared the following:

  1. Candidate said the more you paid him, the harder he worked.

  2. Candidate included that he was arrested for assaulting his previous boss.

  3. Candidate said he just wanted an opportunity to show off his new tie.

  4. Candidate listed her dog as reference.

  5. Candidate listed the ability to do the moonwalk as a special skill.

  6. Candidates -- a husband and wife looking to job share -- submitted a co-written poem.

  7. Candidate included "versatile toes" as a selling point.

  8. Candidate stated she was "particularly adept at comprehending the obvious."

  9. Candidate said that he would be a "good asset to the company," but failed to include the "et" in the word "asset."

  10. Candidate's email address on the résumé had "shakinmybootie" in it.

  11. Candidate said he was qualified because he was a "marvelous physical specimen."

  12. Candidate included that she survived a bite from a deadly aquatic animal.

  13. Candidate was fired from different jobs, but included each one as a reference.

  14. Candidate used first name only.

  15. Candidate presented a list of demands in order to work for the organization.

  16. Candidate asked, "Would you pass up an opportunity to hire someone like this? I think not."

  17. Candidate insisted that the company pay him to interview with them because his time was valuable.

  18. Candidate's résumé was intentionally written from right to left instead of left to right.

  19. Candidate shipped a lemon with résumé, stating "I am not a lemon."

  20. Candidate submitted 40-page résumé that included photos and diplomas

Too often, job seekers get overly creative or personal with their résumés in order to make an impression, but irrelevant information and goofy details can be perceived as unprofessional and may cause the résumé to be rejected on the spot.
"Making an impression on an employer should go deeper than just shock value," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "Job seekers should focus on gaining attention for the right reasons by highlighting relevant experience, applicable skills and how they would benefit the organization."
Instead of trying to shock and amaze the hiring manager with your résumé, spend some time focusing on the job requirements and how to clearly represent yourself and your abilities. At a glance, a hiring manager should be able to gain insight on:

  • Your current or most recent employer

  • Specific details on tasks you're in charge of (not just an HR job description)

  • Your experience and capabilities as applicable to the open position

  • Any pertinent accomplishments or successes that make you a top choice

  • Name and professional contact information
After reading your résumé, the employer shouldn't wonder what makes you qualified for the position. The only questions you want him or her asking are the kind that need to be answered in an interview. Once you've organized, focused and targeted your résumé for the job in question, you must move on to creating a customized cover letter. While the cover letter acts as a canvas to showcase your personality and strengths, don't forget that making an impact doesn't mean astounding the employer with your many quirks, hobbies or demands. Show that you would not only fit in with the culture of the organization, but that you would improve the business process and overall efficiency.

Source: careerbuilder

10 Ways to Write a Stronger Résumé

Nearly one-in-four human resources managers said they receive, on average, more than 75 résumés for each open position, according to a nationwide survey by Careerbuilder.
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When a job posting's response is that overwhelming, human resource managers often struggle to distinguish one candidate from another -- particularly since most of them spend only a minute or two assessing each candidate's résumé. That's why job seekers have to be savvy about their résumé's content and presentation.

Unfortunately, even the most talented, qualified candidates sometimes write weak résumés. Whether they're in a hurry, lack writing skills or are unsure how to market themselves to employers, they fail to score interviews because their résumés don't immediately demonstrate what return on investment they offer employers.

To sidestep this dilemma, consider Susan Britton Whitcomb's 10 tips for writing great résumé copy, excerpted from her book, "Résumé Magic".

1.     Know your audience before you begin to write. What skills and competencies are they looking for? What knowledge do they require? What trends are they capitalizing on? What opportunities are they interested in tapping? What problems do they need fixed? What projects can you help them move forward?

2.     Pack your résumé with keywords -- those words that describe your title, knowledge base, skill set, impressive "name-brand" companies or Fortune 500 employers, prestigious universities attended, degrees,  licensing, software experience, affiliations and so on.

3.     Find keywords by reviewing relevant job postings online or detailed classified ads in newspapers, reading job descriptions or content at your target companies' Web sites, reading your association's newsletter or trade journals, conducting informational interviews with industry contacts and so on.

4.     Position critical information at the "visual center" of the page. Weave keywords throughout your Qualifications Summary and Professional Experience sections, as well as in your cover letter. Create a Keyword Summary section for electronic versions of your résumé.

5.     Resist the temptation to outsmart applicant-screening software by, for instance, planting the keyword "project manager" nine times throughout the résumé when you might have minimal experience as a project manager.

6.     When writing job descriptions, try to keep your paragraph to around five lines. Summarize any redundant statements and present the material with an emphasis on transferable skills. Always highlight your accomplishments.

7.     If you're writing a functional or skills-based résumé, focus on three to five skill areas and lean toward occupational skills (such as event planning, marketing or project coordination) instead of personal skills (such as analytical skills, problem-solving skills or organizational talents) for category subheadings. After you have selected your subheadings, develop two to five sentences, along with specific accomplishments that encapsulate your range of experience for each subheading.

8.     New graduates with limited professional experience will normally place their Education section near the top of the résumé, after the Objective/Focus or Qualifications Summary.

9.     For categories such as affiliations, publications, presentations or awards and honors, consider presenting information in a bulleted list or two-column format to save space and add visual appeal.

10.  Think like an advertising copywriter: Be concise, but give enough data to create interest and a desire to meet you.

Source: careerbuilder

Is Your Resume Ready For A Recruiter?

Resume Recruiter

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Great news! You received a call out of the blue from a recruiter who wants to see your resume quickly. But what if you haven’t kept it current?
First of all, consider asking for more time to pull things together. After all, the recruiter’s job is easier if your resume clearly tells the employer why you’re a strong candidate.
Now, on to getting that resume in shape! Here are 3 tips to help you craft a compelling document—even if you’re short on time:

1. Focus Squarely On The Goal

Nothing kicks an applicant out of the running faster than an unfocused resume. Therefore, you’ll need to build your value proposition around this particular job, laying the foundation for the strategy behind your resume. (You can always create a different resume for another job type later).
Add a resume title, using as many specifics as possible that reflect your goal, such as Sales Manager, IT Director, CFO, VP Operations, etc.
Next, you’ll need to write down ideas for a summary of your background and why you’re qualified for this particular position. The key to writing an effective summary is to tweak it and keep it flexible during your resume writing process, allowing different ideas to surface so that you can weave them into this section.
One idea that may make this task easier is to use short, brand-focused headlines in lieu of writing a full profile paragraph.
Remember to review your summary after finishing your resume as well. You might find that you’ve uncovered more information to add—forming the basis for a well-rounded, powerful introduction to the rest of your credentials.

2. Jot Down Your Major Success Stories

Here is where you’ll need to spend the bulk of your time. Analyzing how your contributions have impacted your employers is a critical step in the resume writing process.
Start by making a quick list of key points that you’d make if you already had the interview. Take special note of the metrics behind each story and the impact of your work on the company.
Flesh each out to a small paragraph, cutting out extraneous details for brevity. It’s best to aim for a sentence of three lines or less that describes your role, the context behind each accomplishment, and the results.
Repeat this process a minimum of 3-5 times for each job that you’ve held in the past 10 to 15 years to fill in your resume. This task may take a few extra hours, but it will be time well spent on a resume that gives a compelling picture of your abilities.
Finally, add these stories in bullet-point form to your resume, with a basic job description in paragraph form to introduce each of your jobs. Here, you can describe the teams you’ve supervised, budgets managed, and other contextual details.

3. Get Feedback On Your Resume Update

This is an important step, but it’s one that many professionals miss. Colleagues, spouses, bosses, and friends can help you to recall any important projects you might have omitted, or leadership qualities that you should demonstrate in order to be considered for the job.
Be sure to ask others to help proofread your resume as well, since typos and other errors can escape even the best writer who is pressed for time.
That’s it! Now, take the time to compose a short note to the recruiter that points out your main qualifications and the reasons you’re interested in the job. Your new, superbly crafted resume can then do the rest of the talking.


Top 100 Most Powerful Resume Words

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Top Resume Words

In today’s society, your resume is the most important document you have to get yourself an interview.
Including power resume words will increase your chance of getting hired by 80%!
When a hiring manager is seeing the same old resume time and time again which includes the cliché words and phrases such as “highly dedicated individual” or “great team player” you are guaranteeing yourself your resume will be deleted.
Poorly chosen words and clichéd phrases can destroy the interest of the reader. Power words when chosen correctly can have the opposite effect of motivating and inspiring the reader
Power Resume Words will make help you stand out from your competition and increase your chances of getting hired!

Top 100 Power Resume Words

  1. Advanced
  2. Assigned
  3. Assessed
  4. Absorbed
  5. Accelerated
  6. Attained
  7. Attracted
  8. Announced
  9. Appraised
  10. Budgeted
  11. Bolstered
  12. Balanced
  13. Boosted
  14. Bargained
  15. Benefited
  16. Beneficial
  17. Comply
  18. Critiqued
  19. Closed
  20. Collaborated
  21. Designed
  22. Delegated
  23. Demonstrated
  24. Developed
  25. Detected
  26. Efficient
  27. Enhanced
  28. Excelled
  29. Exceeded
  30. Enriched
  31. Fulfilled
  32. Financed
  33. Forecasted
  34. Formulated
  35. Generated
  36. Guided
  37. Granted
  38. Helped
  39. Hosted
  40. Implemented
  41. Investigated
  42. Increased
  43. Initiated
  44. Influenced
  45. Integrated
  46. Innovated
  47. Instituted
  48. Justified
  49. Listed
  50. Logged
  51. Maintained
  52. Mentored
  53. Measured
  54. Multiplied
  55. Negotiated
  56. Observed
  57. Operated
  58. Obtained
  59. Promoted
  60. Presented
  61. Programmed
  62. Provided
  63. Projected
  64. Qualified
  65. Quantified
  66. Quoted
  67. Recommended
  68. Refine
  69. Revamp
  70. Reacted
  71. Retained
  72. Recovered
  73. Reinstated
  74. Rejected
  75. Sustained
  76. Skilled
  77. Saved
  78. Scheduled
  79. Supported
  80. Secured
  81. Simplified
  82. Screened
  83. Segmented
  84. Streamlined
  85. Strengthened
  86. Triumphed
  87. Troubleshot
  88. Taught
  89. Tutored
  90. Translated
  91. Trained
  92. Uncovered
  93. United
  94. Unified
  95. Updated
  96. Upgraded
  97. Validated
  98. Viewed
  99. Worldwide
  100. Witnessed

Source: careerealism

Are These Resume Buzzwords Killing Your Chances?

Zillions of resumes are useless except perhaps for lining a bird cage's floor. The main cause? Resume advice has changed little over the decades, so most resumes today feel moldy, cliche-larded, as if spewed from resume software or a hired gun from the disco era.

As a result, most resumes make savvy employers roll their eyes. Examples of hopelessly dated resume advice include:
  • Use power verbs -- "I spearheaded..." Yuck.

  • Sell yourself -- "I'm uniquely qualified for the position." Yuck.

  • Use business buzzwords -- "I delight in exceeding customer expectations, being a team player while being a self-starter, always driving initiatives to achieve bottom-line results." Some other word. Double-yuck.

  • Quantify -- "I saved/made the company $X zillion dollars." Employers are now wise to that tactic and often view such numbers as more inflated than a burst balloon. Indeed, if you added up all the dollars reported on resumes, it would exceed the Gross Domestic Product.

Use all those antiquated resume rules and, voila, you have a resume that makes the employer much more likely to click "delete" than to grant you an interview.
There is a better way.
You can replace employer suspicions with intrigue about you -- by telling a story. Stories are far more credible than are self-aggrandizing verbs and adjectives.
Put yourself in your target prospective employer's shoes. What one-paragraph story could you tell that would make that employer want to interview you? Use what I call the "PAR" approach:
  • Tell a problem you faced.
  • Explain the way you approached it.
  • And then detail the positive result.
Here's an example from a resume written by an individual contributor.
  • The Problem -- "Everyone was hating the new talent management software."

  • The Approach -- " I was just a worker bee so I asked my boss if she might send an email to everyone asking them to write why they prefer the old software. That might help her decide what to do. "

  • The Result -- "She took my advice and, as a result, it was clear we were better off with the new software, but that the vendor needed to tweak the interface and provide a targeted training session. That all happened. In truth, still, not everyone is crazy about the software, but everyone is much less frustrated now."
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Why This Works

It has an informal tone that seems authentic: "I was just a worker bee" and "not everyone is crazy about the software." True, that will turn off some employers but more will prefer it, feeling they're reading an honest yet intriguing resume from a real human being, not an assemblage of verbiage pulled from a resume-writing guide or cranked out by a resume-writing automaton who barely knows the applicant.
Of course, your resume needs to be in your voice, one you're comfortable with. But whatever the tone, a rule of thumb is to include three PAR stories in your resume. Recent ones are preferable but more important is that they be stories likely to make your target employer think, "Hmm. She could be good in that position. I'll interview her."
Shouldn't these stories be saved for the interview or cover letter?
You should use them in cover letter, interview and resume. Perhaps use one in a cover letter, and you certainly can retell a story or stories in the interview. Most employers are overwhelmed with input from lots of job seekers. Usually, employers appreciate your repeating an illustrative story.
Indeed, tell your true, impressive stories in resume, cover letter and interview, and you're more likely to be hired and less likely to have your resume line a bird cage floor.

Source: AOL

Quiz: Is your cover letter like a bad handshake?

A cover letter serves a specific purpose in the hiring process. While potential employers can turn to your résumé to see your work experience, a cover letter is an introduction to who you are and why the company should invite you in for an interview.

Handshakes are another form of introduction, so think of your cover letter as handshake. While you may think you're offering a warm handshake, your cover letter actually could be strong-arming you out of a job. Take this quiz to find out what type of handshake your cover letter is most associated with and the impression it's giving to potential employers:

1. Your cover letter's opening sentence is:
A. "I want to tell you why you should hire me for this open position at your company."
B. "I'm interested in the open position at your company and would like to submit my qualifications."
C. "I was surprised to hear of the open position at your company and was hoping you could look at my résumé if you get a chance."

2. If you're currently employed, do you mention your job in your cover letter?
A. Yes, I explain that my current job should pay better, and I'm interested in receiving a promotion.
B. Yes, I relate my current job to the open position and explain why I'm ready to assume more responsibilities.
C. No, I don't want the hiring company to think I'm not ready to leave my current job.

3. Your experience matches about 90 percent of the job requirements. Do you address the requirement you don't meet in your cover letter?
A. Sort of. I tell them how experienced and smart I am and how impressed my past boss was with how quickly I picked things up.
B. No. I address the requirements I do meet and include my relevant experience; I can mention the other requirement if I get asked about it in an interview.
C. Yes. I point out that I don't know how to do it and say I hope I get the chance to learn it.

4. Where in your cover letter do you write about the company of interest?
A. Briefly in the middle; most of the room was used for boasting about my qualifications and why I'm the best choice.
B. After the introduction paragraph about my interest and experience, I write a short paragraph about why I admire the company and the values I share with it.
C. Most of the cover letter is about them. I only included a few sentences about why I'd be lucky to work there.

5. How do you end your cover letter?
A. Thank you for your time, and I know you'll make the right choice.
B. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.
C. Thank you for your time, and it'd be so incredible to hear from you.

Mostly A's: Death-grip handshake
Being assertive and confident are great qualities, but you're coming on too strong. If your cover letter were a handshake, you'd break a few bones with that death-grip. Keep your cover letter balanced with the qualities that would make you a great pick for the job as well as why you're interested in working there. You want to build a relationship with the potential employer, not muscle them into a decision.

Mostly B's: Confident and approachable handshake
You may be getting a call for an interview soon, because your cover letter made a great first impression, just like a confident and approachable handshake. You clearly understand what it takes to write a great cover letter: expressing a genuine interest in the position and the company and relating your past experience to the new role. By presenting yourself as a strong candidate, you set the stage for a more in-depth conversation about if the job is a good fit for both parties.

Mostly C's: Dead-fish handshake
You'll need to muster up more courage in your cover letter, because your writing is the equivalent of a cold, limp handshake. It's wonderful that you're impressed by the business and you're trying to be polite, but that won't help the hiring manager understand who you are and why you're a good fit. A cover letter is an introduction, but it's also a tool to help the company make an informed business decision. Focus on the key points that company should know about you -- why should they hire you over everybody else?

Source: msn.careerbuilder

Recent Graduate Resume

Recent Graduate Resume
From Resume Magic by Susan Britton Whitcomb (JIST)

This job seeker uses internship and volunteer experience to demonstrate accomplishments and abilities.

555 East Cove Road
Solo Beach, CA 95555

(555) 555-5555


Dual-degree graduate with D.C. Internship experiences, qualified for opportunities where communications expertise, technology skills and broadcast background will be of value.


University of California, Santa Barbara
Bachelor of Arts degree, Communications (Dean's List Honors; GPA in major 3.9, 2004
Bachelor of Arts degree, Political Science, 2004


Talk Radio News Service and TalkDaily.com, Washington D.C.
June-August 2003

Assisted in production of daily radio and Internet broadcasts. Researched Internet sources, national newspapers and other news sources to assemble show content. Wrote daily news summaries for TalkDaily.com. Assisted with ongoing research on talk-show topics. Highlights:

  • Broadcast: Co-hosted live, 20-minute daily radio broadcast an assignment normally reserved for full-time staffers.

  • Communications: Covered White House press conferences; posed questions to senior officials and the President. Interviewed guests for Talkers Magazine, including hosts of top Boston- and D.C.-based talk-radio programs.

  • Technology: updated Web site with daily highlights of talk personalities, such as Rush Limbaugh and Imus.

  • U.S. Representative Geraldine Smathers, 22nd District, Washington D.C.
    July-August 2002

    Represented congresswoman at hearings and provided written analysis of proposed legislation. Served as office contact for major supporters. Wrote constituent correspondence and franked communications. Highlights:
  • Communications: Selected among five interns as media spokesperson for several campaign events. Served as precinct captain on election day.

  • Technology: Project managed on-time installation of new communications system at campaign headquarters.



    Delta Delta Gamma, UC-Santa Barbara Campus
  • Social Chair: Organized 15-20 annual events for 100-member organization

  • Philanthropy Chair: Envisioned and manages projects that benefited the campus and city.

  • Fund-raising Chair: Introduced activities that generated record revenue.



  • Computer Skills: Dreamweaver Web site design; MS Office (advanced skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint); MSIE and Netscape Navigator browsers; e-mail applications (Outlook Express, Eudora); Internet research.

  • Favorite Subjects: Political communications, lobbying, legal advocacy and argumentation, oral debate, drama.

  • Language: Basic conversational and business Spanish (completed four years of Spanish course work).

  • Activities: Tennis, golf, canoeing.

  • Source: careerbuilder