Best Formats For Resumes, Cover Letters And Thank You Letters, With Examples
Best Practices In Resume Writing
In your own particular and unique case, what is the best format and style for preparing your resume?
You might need some help in deciding that important choice of style and format. Above all else, take the task seriously, because your resume represents you as a working individual.
The following information describes a variety of good choices to use in creating resumes, cover letters, and thank you letters/emails.
You will also find a good number of real-life examples from clients who secured employment (names changed to protect privacy). Examples come from over 25 years of employment 7 Training experience in a range of client occupations extending from entry level work to corporate CEOs and in teaching resume and portfolio preparation courses.
In our highly visual society in which increasing numbers of people focus on visual cues in the 21st century, one may ask if graphics and photo imagery are appropriate in resume presentations. A separate work portfolio - hard copy, DVD, or YouTube link - can accommodate such visual content well.
Is Clip Art Or A Photo Appropriate On a Resume?
News For the 21st Century Job Seeker
Since about 2010, it has become smart, advisable, and popular to include additional information in the form of online links in the CONTACT INFORMATION section at the head of your resume.
Since the world of work is now nearly all Internet-literate, this only makes good sense.
Even on a paper resume, cover letter, or follow-up letter, standard best practice is to include your email addresses and any pertinent Internet websites. LinkedIn is a good link to add, as is a business webpage link if you own a business or have your resume posted online in a page of its own. Other links are not so good, especially a Facebook account. A Twitter address may be useful of you have one dedicated to your work, such as news broadcasting or movie reviewing.
Don't Forget Your Full Contact Information!
Even on a paper resume, cover letter, or follow-up letter, standard best practice is to include your email addresses and any pertinent Internet websites.
Make Yourself And Your Talent Easy To Find
Busy potential employers will be expecting at least a good, professional sounding email address for you when you apply for jobs via a resume, online or off line.
The digital contact information on your resume should include:
- Your LinkedIn address. This company is the fastest growing technology firm in the US since 2014 and a highly respected professional social media site. The company offers a free version and a premium version of its services. Go with the free version if you are just starting on the web site. All supply on your resume:
- Your best email address, providing it sounds professional,
- Your pertinent BLOG title and address, if your blog contributes to your chosen industry or employment, or contains a high quality set of writing, fine arts, graphic arts, cartooning, or other examples for your career advancement.
- Your website resume and portfolio page. Many people create a website that contains a full resume and writing or graphics samples. Potential employers may look over your profile and portfolio online and want to hire you.
One of the great things about LinkedIn is it isn’t the same kind of networking that happens at conventions, where you’re wearing a name tag, trying to meet strangers, and awkwardly attempting to make small talk. LinkedIn is networking without the pressure.— Melanie Pinola, LinkedIn In 30 Minutes
The resume focuses on you and the past. The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future.— Joyce Lain Kennedy, Cover Letters for Dummies
Would You Put Photos on a Resume?Click thumbnail to view full-size
Resumes and Their Results
There are a growing number of types of resumes appearing in recent years and some are very useful.
I have included some samples of some of the most effective and eye-catching formats I have used in teaching Resume Preparation Classes.
One recent year, one of my creative GED students attending a usually boring Job Fair used a cream colored paper and a golden paper (a usual no-no), included her volunteer work (good) and special skills (great), her two previous jobs, her GED graduation projection date, her planned course of study in college...and included matching clip art along the edges of each section! This is usually a definite no-no unless you are applying for a graphic arts position and drew the clipart yourself.
She was hired on the spot by an employer that was tired of people coming in with no resumes after being asked to bring some, tired of hand written resumes on folded up paper torn from a spiral notebook, and tired of Job Fairs. It was a success for them both.
Keep a work portfolio containing work samples, certificates, etc. and a comprehensive general resume in it with several copies.
Next, have a resume, with copies, targeting each line of work you may wish to pursue. That may be two or three different resumes, such as Education and History.
Finally, you may need to target a version of your resume toward a specific job description advertises, so keep your resume on a flash drive so it is readily available for adjustment. HR Representatives want to read a resume that matches the job requirements of the posted opening.
Some basic resume tips and instructions are contained below for your use. If you are interested in seeing and correcting mistakes people often make in resume production, then see how to correct resume mistakes at : Resume Mistakes - Resume Format.
Entry Level and First Resumes
Resume with One Job
Old Standard: The Chronological Resume
The chronological resume is a good starter resume. It is a standard resume format that many employers and HR representatives want to see and one with which most job seekers are familiar..
Chronological Resume & Sample
- Chronological Resumes
This is a standard resume format that many employers and HR representatives want to see. It is standard business practice and in keeping with EEO regulations to leave dates off these resumes.
Notice how the Functional Resume below is different from the other resumes I have shown you.
This is a good resume if you have 20 years' work history or more that you want to include, if you are changing careers, or if you have had many clients or bosses as a freelancer, actor, etc.
The OBJECTIVE is very important if you are changing careers, especially to a line of work in which you have no experience, but into which you can transfer your skills. The Objective makes clear what kind of work you want.
See how the Skills are grouped together in table boxes.
Also see how the Employers are simply listed by name.
Functional Resume- Page One
Functional Resume - Page Two
Combination Resumes and How To Write Them
Combination Resumes are a cross between
- Chronological and
- Functional resume versions.
Look at the following examples below for some excellent formatting. It is easy to prepare a Combination Resume, one you understand its structure.
Combination ResumeClick thumbnail to view full-size
It is easy to prepare a Combination Resume, once you understand its structure.
Cover Letter & Combination/Executive ResumeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Cover and Thank You Letters
Below are some good examples of the Cover Letter (to help you receive interview offers) and the Thank You Letter (after an interview).
Cover Letter for Accounting
Thank You Letter for Accounting
Five Great Resume Tips
© 2007 Patty Inglish
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